Dorian bebop scale | Lesson with guitar fretboard diagrams and patterns

What's the Dorian bebop scale

How to build the Dorian bebop scale

The Dorian bebop scale also known as minor bebop scale, is an eight notes scale (octatonic). It is commonly used in bebop. This scale like all the octatonic scales (except the symmetric scales) contains a chromaticism, an additional note between the minor third (b3) and the fourth (4). The Dorian bebop scale is built the same as the dorian mode including a major third (3) between the minor third (b3) and the fourth (4th).

It seems that there are two versions of this scale, one with a passing tone (3) between the b3 and the 4th and one with a passing tone (7) between the b7 and the root, this one has the same intervals as the dominant bebop scale. At this point only the first version is shown in this lesson.

The Dorian bebop scale is a minor type scale so it can be used over minor 7th chords. It's an interesting alternative for those who want to increase their musical language. Most of the time jazz guitar players used the Dorian mode, minor pentatonic scales or some arpeggios to play over a minor seventh chord. Playing the Dorian bebop scale open up new horizons.

We can see in the example below that the D Dorian bebop scale contains a minor third (F), a chromatic passing tone (F#) and a minor seventh (C).

D dorian bebop scale D E F F# G A B C
Formula 1 2 b3 3 4 5 6 b7
Intervals W H H H W W H W

 

Comparison with the Dorian scale

Here is quick comparison between the Dorian mode and the Dorian bebop scale. You can see that there is no major third (passing tone) in the Dorian mode.

Dorian mode 1 2 b3 X 4 5 6 b7
Dorian bebop scale 1 2 b3 3 4 5 6 b7

 

Common features with the Mixolydian bebop scale 

If you look closer, you will see that the Dorian bebop scale is the fifth mode of the Mixolydian scale (aka dominante bebop), so it has the same notes. The same passing tone is used for the Dorian bebop and Mixolydian bebop scale. It means that it is possible to interchange scales and lines. For example, in a II-V sequence, you can use the same bebop scale (Dorian of Mixolydian) both for the iim7 chord and the V7 chord. The Dorian bebop scale has an extra note between the b3 and the 4th (F#) whereas the Mixolydian bebop scale has the same extra note between the b7 and the root.

D Dorian bebop scale D E F F# G A B C        
G Mixolydian bebop scale         G A B C D E F F#


Dorian Bebop line

Dorian bebop scale | Guitar position and fingerings # 1

How to play the Dorian bebop scale on guitar

Here is a first Dorian bebop fretboard guitar diagram and fingerings.

To hear this scale correctly, it is recommended to play these patterns by starting with the root (R) and to play them by ascending and descending movements.

To play the A Dorian bebop scale starting with the lower root you must put your first finger on the sixth string at the fifth fret.

Playing the corresponding chord after or before these patterns is a nice way to bring scales and chords together.

Be sure to play these patterns in twelve keys.

Pattern 1 w/intervals. Roots on the sixth, fourth and first string.

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 1

 

 

 

Pattern 1 w/fingerings (suggested)

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 1 fingerings

 

 

Dorian bebop scale | Guitar position and fingerings # 2

This second pattern has its roots (R) on the fifth and the third string.

For example, to play the D Dorian bebop scale using these diagrams starting with the lowest root you have to put your first finger on the fifth string at the fifth fret.

Once again, be sure to play this pattern in twelve keys, ascending and descending.

Pattern 2 w/intervals. Roots on the fifth and the third string.

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 2

Pattern 2 w/fingerings (suggested)

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 2 fingerings

Dorian bebop scale | Guitar position and fingerings # 3

This third position has its roots (R) on the sixth, the third and the first string.

Unlike the pattern #1, you will start to play from the root (R) with your little finger.

For example, to play the A Dorian bebop scale using these diagrams starting on the lower root you have to put your fourth finger on the sixth string at the fifth fret.

 

Pattern 3 w/intervals. Roots on the sixth, the third and the first string.

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 3

Pattern 3 w/fingerings (suggested)

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 3 fingerings

Dorian bebop scale | Guitar position and fingerings # 4

This fourth guitar fretboard diagram has its roots on the fifth and second string.

To play the D Dorian bebop scale just put your fourth finger on the fifth string at the fifth fret.

Pattern 4 w/intervals. Roots on the fifth and the second string.Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 4

Pattern 3 w/fingerings (suggested)

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 4 fingerings

5 easy Dorian bebop guitar patterns

Check out and play these 5 easy Dorian bebop patterns in D.

Dorian bebop patterns

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Last edited: 26/02/2018