‘C dorian’ is the 2nd mode of the Bb major scale. The notes in C dorian are:

C – D – Eb – F – G – A – Bb

If you have read the post on understanding the dorian mode, you will know that the dorian mode contains a flat 3 and a flat 7 (parallel approach). You will also know that it is the 2nd mode of a major scale (derivative approach). Let’s briefly look at how to construct C dorian using both the parallel approach and the derivative approach.

C Dorian Mode Using The Parallel Approach

C major has the following notes:

C – D – E – F – G – A – B

If we flatten the 3rd note (D) and the 7th note (B) we get the following:

C – D – Eb – F – G – A – Bb

C Dorian Mode Using The Derivative Approach

C is the 2nd note of a Bb major scale:

Bb – C – D – Eb – F – G – A

If we play a Bb major scale and start on the 2nd note we get the following:

C – D – Eb – F – G – A – Bb

C Dorian in the Open Position

Firstly, let’s look at C dorian in the open position:

C Dorian Mode Open Position Frets
C Dorian Mode Open Position Notes

C Dorian CAGED Positions

Now let’s look at C dorian in the 5 different CAGED positions along the fretboard.

C Dorian in the 2nd Position (Lowest Fret is 2)

C Dorian Mode 2nd Position Frets
C Dorian Mode 2nd Position Notes

C Dorian in the 5th Position (Lowest Fret is 5)

C Dorian Mode 5th Position Frets
C Dorian Mode 5th Position Notes

C Dorian in the 6th Position (Lowest Fret is 6)

C Dorian Mode 6th Position Frets
C Dorian Mode 6th Position Notes

C Dorian in the 10th Position (Lowest Fret is 10)

C Dorian Mode 10th Position Frets
C Dorian Mode 10th Position Notes

C Dorian in the 11th Position (Lowest Fret is 11)

C Dorian Mode 11th Position Frets
C Dorian Mode 11th Position Notes

That covers the 5 basic positions and the open position of C dorian along the guitar fretboard. For an in depth explanation of the dorian mode, check out dorian mode explained.

Further Reading

  • Cm chord (Cm Dorian works well over this chord)
  • Cm7 chord (C Dorian works well over this chord)
  • Bb Major scale (C Dorian is the second mode of the Bb Major scale)

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