Rock Guitar Lick 27: Dorian Hybrid-Picking Lick #1

In this guitar lesson we’re going to start looking at some licks that are composed using notes of the dorian mode. To do this, we’ll be looking at an A Dorian mode lick that makes extensive use of hybrid-picking. (This is when you combine using your pick and fingers).

Before we look at the lick, please make sure that you memorise the following table that shows the notes and scale degrees of the A Dorian mode…

A Dorian Mode Table

All done? Good stuff. You’re now ready to start learning this lick…

Rock Guitar Lick 27: Dorian Hybrid-Picking Lick #1

Rock Guitar Lick 27: Dorian Hybrid-Picking Lick #1

The first half of the lick uses a melodic pattern that I call ascending thirds. Because of this, I should quickly explain what thirds are. If you already know what they are, then treat this section as a quick bit of theory review. :-)

The distance between two notes in music is called an interval. Although there are lots of different types of intervals, the one we’re interested in right now is a third, which is an interval that encompasses three letters from the musical alphabet. For Example: The distance between A and C in the A Dorian mode form this third interval…

Thirds Example: A and C

Another example of a third interval would be the distance between the notes B and D

Thirds Example: B and D

If we were to continue the same process for the rest of the scale, then we would end up with the following third intervals…

  • C to E
  • D to F#
  • E to G
  • F#to A
  • G to B

The second half of the lick is largely made up from notes from a C Major Seventh arpeggio. (This arpeggio uses the notes C, E, G and B). The reason why this arpeggio works is that it uses notes that all lie within the A Dorian mode. I must confess that I really like the sound of the arpeggio, and feel that it has a nice jazzy sound to it. :-)

To make the things I’ve just talked about easier to see, here’s the same lick with some written notes added to it…

Rock Guitar Lick 27 Explained

Technically, this lick should be fairly straightforward if you’ve mastered the earlier hybrid-picking licks that we’ve covered in earlier lessons. Notice that you’ll need to articulate a great portion of the lick using downstrokes and the middle finger of your picking-hand.

In terms of timing, the entire lick is played using eighth note triplets. So when you start metronoming the lick, it’s vital that you play three evenly-spaced notes per click.

Have fun!

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