Aeolian and Dorian comparison
The Aeolian mode compared to the Dorian mode with diagrams and explanation.
The Aeolian and the Dorian modes are seven-note scales. The scales are closed related, they are both minor sounding with a minor 3rd and only one tone differs (as seen in the comparing tables below).
A Aeolian scale degrees and notes.
A Dorian scale degrees and notes.
The scale diagrams show A Aeolian and A Dorian (shape 1) in two octaves.
The scale diagram shows Aeolian and Dorian modes merged (the added Dorian notes in light green).
Since the Aeolian and the Dorian are quite alike, you can smoothly switch between these scales in solo playing. The main concept is to choose scale depending of the chord you solo over. Try this by playing over the track below. The song is in 4/4 time, 120 bpm and concludes 32 bars playing 2 times. Play A Aeolian over the first 4 bars, the A Dorian over the next 4 bars and so on for the complete song.
Tempo (120 BPM)