More Dorian scale ideas for bass players

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More Dorian scale ideas for bass players

Figure B could be played as a slow straight funk groove (try 70 – 80bpm). Notice the B natural in the second bar? It seems to take away some of the darker minor sound (of Bb, from D Natural Minor) and adds a funky edge.  

Figure C reiterates the sound of the B natural. Starting on C (the dominant 7th of D) the line descends to the minor 3rd and root note in Bar 1. Bar 2 then takes the same opening phrase and descends down to low G and F. Again, this could work as a slow to mid tempo straight funk groove utilising the B natural for some flavour.

Similar to last month’s look at Mixolydian, it’s obviously useful to know these scales and modes all over the neck which allows us to move around the fretboard at will and come up with cool sounds, chords and lines from that particular scale or mode. There are lots of great options in Dorian, but let’s start with a few pairs of notes (Figure D).

Try taking any of these two note chords and incorporating them into a line or comping behind a funky D Dorian bass line. Maybe play a bar of groove and then fill with one or more of these voicings in the next bar. Then repeat/loop until you’ve got your hands on some cool ideas. You’d be amazed at how many possibilities there are and how quickly you can incorporate some of these ideas. The rhythm doesn’t have to be complex and you don’t need to know a million voicings; just pick a couple and gradually build your knowledge of D Dorian on the fretboard. I’m sure you can then see how many other possibilities there are when you move this to other keys, strings and areas of the fretboard. All good fun and great for building your vocabulary on the bass.