The Dorian b2 mode - Lesson with guitar diagrams

What's the Dorian b2 mode ?

The Dorian b2 scale, aka Dorian b9 is the second mode of the melodic minor scale. Like all the Dorian modes it is a minor family scale. The interval pattern is : Half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step giving the following formula : 1 - b2 (b9) - b3 - 4 (11) - 5 - 6 (13) - b7.  The Dorian b2 scale is sometimes referred to as the Phrygian #6 scale because the formula is approximately the same as the Phrygian scale, the third mode of the melodic minor scale. Indeed, the Phrygian mode contains a minor sixth (b6) whereas the Dorian b2 has a major sixth (6). You can also think of this mode as the Dorian mode with a flattened second (or flattened ninth). However, the Dorian b9 mode is generally played over minor chords (m7, m11, m6) but can also be used over dominant 7sus4b9 chords.

D Dorian b2 mode D Eb F G A B C
Formula 1 b2 (b9) b3 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Intervals H W W W W H W


Dorian modes comparative table

Dorian b2 mode 1 b2 (b9) b3 X 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Dorian mode 1 2 (9) b3 X 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Dorian #11 mode 1 2 (9) b3 X #4 (#11) 5 6 (13) b7
Dorian bebop mode 1 2 b3 3 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Phrygian mode 1 b2 (b9) 3 X 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7


Dorian b2 guitar diagrams

It is important to memorize the interval pattern and which jazz minor scale it comes from. For example, if we take the D dorian b2 mode (D-Eb-F-G-A-B-C) we can see it is the second degree of C minor melodic scale. This allows you to group similar scales together. The following neck diagrams show you how the dorian b9 looks like this on the guitar fretboard.

Dorian b2 mode guitar diagram 1

Dorian b2 mode guitar diagram 2

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Last edited: 08/12/2017

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