#1
B minor and D major have the same notes in the scale now If we take the B dorian mode can it be played over the B natural minor or D major progression?
#2
Short answer? Yes.

Long Answer? Yes, you can play B dorian (or whatever scale) over a progression. You just hae to make use of the accidentals that aren't in that key.

Using you're example, let's assume that We have a Bm Em F#m Bm chord progression, which means we are in the key of B minor. Typically, we would just use the notes found in the B minor scale and we'd be good. If you wanted to change it up, you can use accidentals in your melody/solo lines. As you know, these are the notes in each of the scales:

B minor: B C# D E F# G A B

B dorian: B C# D E F# G# A B

The only difference is a G# instead of a G, and that can add for some interesting lines. Besides, it is common in blues to use the natural 6th (or a Dorian scale if you wanted to name it as a scale) in a minor key.

I hope I didn't make it confusing and I helped you out some. I am sure that some more of the regulars here will help you out as well.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#3
Just adding to that, if you're playing over D major:

D E F# G A B C#

D E F# G# A B C#

What you're really doing here is playing D Lydian.

Remember that you can always play any note in any key. It really is about knowing how to use it. You want to get to a point where you hear each note's unique relationship to the tonic, rather than just treating a scale as a series of interchangeable safe notes.
#4
It depends on the progression. It is a different scale so it won't work over everything. But then again, natural minor won't work over anything either.

I wouldn't play B dorian over Bm-Em-F#-Bm because there's an Em chord that has a G natural in it, and the scale has a G# in it. And using dorian over that kind of progression could sound a bit strange.

I would learn about chord functions and keys. Harmonize the minor and major scales to figure out the diatonic chords to a key. When deciding what to play over the backing track, you need to find the key (listen to it and find the chord that sounds like home). Then look at the chord tones. Are there any non-diatonic chords (chords that don't fit the key scale)? If the chord progression is something like Bm-D-A-Bm, both dorian and natural minor would work over it because the progression doesn't have a G or G# in it. Sometimes you need to play different scales over different chords.

For example let's take the progression of House of the Rising Sun (I don't remember the original key but let's stay in B) - Bm-D-E-G-Bm-D-F#-Bm-D-E-G-Bm-F#-Bm (i-III-IV-VI-i-III-V-i-III-IV-VI-i-V-i). If you listen to the progression, you can hear it's in the key of B minor. B sounds like home. But if you look at the chords, Bm, D and G are diatonic to the key (ie, part of the key scale). But then there are E and F# major chords. E major has a G# that's not part of the key scale and F# major has an A# that's not part of the key scale. So when playing over those chords, you need to either avoid the G (over E major) and A (over F# major) or change your scale to fit them. Over E major you could change the G to G# (which would be the same as playing B dorian) and over F# major you could change the A to A# (which would be the same as playing B harmonic minor).

TL;DR
It depends on the chords you are playing over. B minor and B dorian aren't really interchangeable.

Which scales work over which chords has everything to do with the sound. Just try playing B dorian over a B minor progression and listen to the sound (but remember that not every B minor progression is similar - certain notes work better over certain progressions). If it sounds good, it is good. If it sounds bad or strange, don't use it. What sounds good is good. There are no rules.

Learn about keys and chord functions.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#5
+1 to Maggara

They aren't interchangeable but both can work over certain chords.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#6
Quote by dazzzer30
B minor and D major have the same notes in the scale now If we take the B dorian mode can it be played over the B natural minor or D major progression?

Well to say yes is a matter of semantics because technically you can do whatever you want.

If you're looking to common practice though, you won't find many (if any) examples of B dorian being playing over a B natural minor progression or a D Major progression.
shred is gaudy music
#7
^ I don't even know what a "natural minor" progression is (I mean, if it has to use the natural minor scale, of course then dorian won't fit over it because then it wouldn't be a "natural minor progression"). But there are minor key progressions that dorian scale would fit perfectly over. As I said, Bm-D-A-Bm doesn't have a G (or G#) note in it so using either B dorian or B minor works over it.

It's also not rare to use the dorian scale over the i (minor) chord when the chords don't change that fast. For example in songs like Summertime playing dorian over the first 4 bars would work. Same in Take 5 over the i-v vamp.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#8
Exactly.

Unless we're talking modal vamps (we aren't), then scale choice is a personal choice on a chord-by-chord, key-by-key basis.

As far as what's common practice, certain scales work better than others, and that's where CST comes in.

The progression Maggara just posted works equally well with both G and G#.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#9
Quote by dazzzer30
B minor and D major have the same notes in the scale now If we take the B dorian mode can it be played over the B natural minor or D major progression?


I find that sometimes yes, and sometimes no. But You'd call B dorian over B minor progression, except you wouldn't call it B dorian over D major, you'd call it D whatever B dorian's major relative is. They should also sound different, the same way B minor sounds different from D major. It's not just a naming convention.

Some progressions lend themselves well to more options than others. it depends on some other things also, like if there is a melody playing, it might lock you in to one mode or another.

Quote by HotspurJr
Just adding to that, if you're playing over D major:

D E F# G A B C#

D E F# G# A B C#

What you're really doing here is playing D Lydian.



D Lydian. It was D Lydian.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Feb 1, 2015,
#10
Quote by Jet Penguin
Exactly.

Unless we're talking modal vamps (we aren't), then scale choice is a personal choice on a chord-by-chord, key-by-key basis.

As far as what's common practice, certain scales work better than others, and that's where CST comes in.

The progression Maggara just posted works equally well with both G and G#.


well, it's always a person choice, and lots of things can work. It depends on how defined the progression is.

The given progression Bm - D - A - Bm is ambiguous in that it has chords that are also diatonic to B dorian, so naturally you could solo with either scale over that, as well as a few others. Throw a subdominant in the mix, and things change. Throw V in there and play that natural 9 over it…. maybe you'll say you like for the sake of argument, but take a look a handful of jazz solos over a minor progression and you're much more likely to see b9's and #9s. Yeah, it's your choice, but if a person is asking questions, they're probably wondering what other people do (I call that common practice). It's a good place to start to anyway.


Quote by MaggaraMarine

It's also not rare to use the dorian scale over the i (minor) chord when the chords don't change that fast. For example in songs like Summertime playing dorian over the first 4 bars would work. Same in Take 5 over the i-v vamp.


The more ambiguous it is, the more freedom you have to define it as a soloist. So sure if you hang on 1 chord for a long time you can color it in all sorts of ways.

same with a i - v vamp. i - v is also diatonic to dorian… so the scale naturally will work over it.


Those are special cases though. A typical minor progression will include subdominants, and dominant V chords.


Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ I don't even know what a "natural minor" progression is


I was just using the TS's words. I should have said typical minor progression.


and besides all that, what the TS is really asking is…… Since B minor is the relative minor to D Major, does that mean I can use B dorian over both? The answer to that is no.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Feb 1, 2015,
#11
Agreed. We don't need to go overboard and beyond simply answering OP's question; I just want to make sure nothing gets dogmatic.

Disclaimer: I'm not claiming anything has been dogmatic in this thread.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#12
@GuitarMunky - Yeah, I agree. I think TS should learn about chord functions and keys and learn to use "correct scales" over chords (I mean, if the progression is diatonic to B minor, use the B minor scale, and if there are non-diatonic chords, look at the chord tones).

I know "dorian" as a scale name sounds exotic and cool and all that. But you can't just play it over anything.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#13
Bingo.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp