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

D – E – F – G – A – B – C

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 the major scale (derivative approach). Let’s briefly look at how to construct D dorian using both the parallel approach and the derivative approach.

D Dorian Mode Using The Parallel Approach

D Major has the following notes:

D – E – F# – G – A – B – C#

If we flatten the 3rd note (F#) and the 7th note (C#) we get the following:

D – E – F – G – A – B – C

D Dorian Mode Using The Derivative Approach

D is the 2nd note of the C major scale:

C – D – E – F – G – A – B

If we play the C Major scale and start on the 2nd note we get the following:

D – E – F – G – A – B – C

Let’s look at the D dorian mode in the different positions on the guitar fretboard:

D Dorian in the Open Position

Firstly, let’s look at the open position:

D Dorian Mode Open Position Frets
D Dorian Mode Open Position Notes

D Dorian Mode CAGED Positions

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

D Dorian in the 1st Position (Lowest Fret is 1)

D Dorian Mode 1st Position Frets
D Dorian Mode 1st Position Notes

D Dorian in the 4th Position (Lowest Fret is 4)

D Dorian Mode 4th Position Frets
D Dorian Mode 4th Position Notes

D Dorian in the 7th Position (Lowest Fret is 7)

D Dorian Mode 7th Position Frets
D Dorian Mode 7th Position Notes

D Dorian in the 8th Position (Lowest Fret is 8)

D Dorian Mode 8th Position Frets
D Dorian Mode 8th Position Notes

D Dorian in the 12th Position (Lowest Fret is 12)

D Dorian Mode 12th Position Frets
D Dorian Mode 12th Position Notes

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

Further Reading

  • Dm chord (Dm Dorian works well over this chord)
  • Dm7 chord (D Dorian works well over this chord)
  • C Major scale (D Dorian is the second mode of the C Major scale)

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