George Karayiannis – Licks to Learn Pt.A?

Licks to Learn , a series of lick based video lessons for guitar,that will cover a variety of different musical styles and techniques.
Melodic Minor in Dorian Mode

Some words about the Melodic Minor in Dorian Mode.

TAB: Melodic Minor in Dorian Mode

The backing track is a simple Im7 to IV7 in E Dorian Modal Scale (Em7 to A7)
The concept behind these licks is to create melodic tension using the E melodic minor scale (you can see it as the A lydian dominant) over the A7 chord of the classic Im7 – IV7 dorian chord progression.
You can also use these licks to develop your Legato, Hybrid Picking Sweep Picking technique.
Melodic Minor?
The Melodic Minor scale is built from the following intervals : 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
So the notes of E melodic minor scale would be : E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D# and E.
If we take a look at the notes of the E Dorian modal scale we would see that only one note differs this scale from the E Dorian Modal scale, and this would be the note D#.
● E dorian modal scale : E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D, E
● E melodic minor scale : E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D#, E
So why and how can I blend those two scales?
If we harmonize the Melodic Minor scale we will come up with the following chords :
Im IIm bIII+ IV V VImb5 VIImb5
Now if we compare those chords to the harmonized Dorian Modal scale we will get this:
● E dorian modal scale : Em, F#m, G, A, Bm, C#mb5, D, Em
● E melodic minor scale : Em, F#m, G#5, A, B, C#mb5, D#mb5, Em
As you can see there are four identical chords between those two scales and luckily enough the chords that make the essential dorian progression (Em – A) are both used by the two scales as well.
So for the A(7) chord of the dorian progression you can create even more tension by using the E melodic minor scale (or the A lydian dominant scale which is the exact same thing as the A lydian dominant scale is the fourth mode of E melodic minor.)
How to make your own licks using the concept.
The easiest way to use this concept is to add the note that differs the two scales (in E dorian the note is the D# instead of the D) to the A7 arpeggio. This way you will end up with an A7#11 arpeggio which will hopefully give you the disired effect.
Another easy way to create the same effect is by altering the D (b7) note with a D#(7) in the licks that you already have for the E dorian mode above the A7.
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