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Using the C Dorian Scale and Cm7 Chord

Pages: 1 2 3

The C dorian scale is a minor scale. It contains the same notes as the Bb major scale (often called Ionian), but you play from C to C instead of Bb to Bb. This means the notes: C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb. One of the characteristic tones of the dorian scale is it's 6th degree, which means if C is the first degree and we count up the scale, the A is the 6th degree. We'll see later on in this lesson how we can milk this tone to convey the "dorian" nature of a lick.

Being a minor scale, the dorian scale fits over a few different minor chords, but perhaps the most common is the C minor 7. If we take the 1, 3rd, 5th and 7th degrees of the dorian scale, we get C, Eb, G, Bb. These are the tones that make up a C minor 7. Cm7's are commonly used in a lot of different music, most notably jazz, rock, funk, and blues.

In the example below, get used to the sound of the dorian scale over the C minor 7:
Using the C Dorian Scale and Cm7 Chord