This video is bonus content related to the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at our online store.
In my last column, I went over the differences and similarities between the major scale, also known as the Ionian mode, and another fundamental major mode, Lydian. This month, I’d like to take the same approach to comparing two fundamental minor modes: Aeolian, also known as the natural minor scale, and Dorian.
In our examination of Ionian versus Lydian, I pointed out the notes within each mode that I feel give it its characteristic quality, such as the major third and major seventh in Ionian, and the augmented, or “sharp-ed,” fourth (s4) in Lydian.
In composing songs, riffs or solos, I like to emphasize these characteristic tones so that the listener gets a clear picture, harmonically speaking, of the music they’re hearing. Let’s now take a look at what I consider to be the characteristic tones of Aeolian and Dorian.