The Dorian #4 Mode - Guitar Diagrams and Theory

The Dorian #4 mode aka Dorian #11

What's the Dorian #4 mode ?

The Dorian #4 mode also known as Dorian #11 or Romanian scale or Romanian minor scale is the fourth mode of the harmonic minor scale. Like all the Dorian modes it is a minor type scale. It can be considered as a Dorian mode with the fourth sharped (#4). It is a very interesting alternative to the classic Dorian mode when you want to add spice to your improvisations over minor chords. The Dorian # 11 scale provides a minor third interval, (1-1/2 step), the main feature of all the modes of the harmonic minor family.
The formula is : 1 - 2 - b3 - #4 (#11) - 5 - 6 (13) - b7.

D Dorian #4 mode D E F G# A B C
Formula 1 2 (9) b3 #4 (#11) 5 6 (13) b7
Intervals W H W+H H W H W

 

A comparison between the Dorian modes 

There are quite a few Dorian modes, derived from other scales as the major scale, the melodic minor scale, the bebop scale. Here is a reminder of the four main Dorian modes used in jazz music. The first is derived from the major scale, it is surely the most used when you want to play over a minor chord type, the formula is 1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7. The second is the Dorian b9 mode, this is the second mode of the melodic minor scale, the formula is 1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7. The last one is from the bebop scale, it has 8 notes like all the bebop scales, its name is the Dorian bebop scale and the formula is 1-2-b3-3-4-5-6-b7. In comparison with the Dorian mode, it has an additional note, a major third (3),  between the minor third (b3) and the fourth (4).
 

Dorian #11 1 2 (9) b3 X #4 (#11) 5 6 (13) b7
Dorian  1 2 (9) b3 X 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Dorian b9 1 b2 (b9) b3 X 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Dorian bebop 1 b2 b3 3 4 5 6 b7

Dorian #4 guitar diagrams

The two following diagrams show you how to play the Dorian #4 scale on the guitar. The diagram on the left has roots on the sixth, fourth and first string, whereas the shape on the right has roots on the fifth and third strings.
 

Dorian #11 mode guitar diagram 1

Dorian #11 scale guitar diagram 2

Dorian #4 guitar diagram - One octave shape

The four diagrams below show you how to play the G, C, F and D Dorian #4 modes spanning one octave. Obviously, you have to play this mode in twelve keys anywhere on the guitar neck.

Dorian #11 scale one octave shapes

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Last edited: 25/05/2018