When teaching or learning how to play guitar, one of the first hurdles many of us face is finding songs to study that fit specific goals in our practise routine.
One of these common hurdles is finding songs that fit particular modes and scales in order to zoom in and focus on just those sounds in the practice room.
Two of the most common modes that guitarists explore, yet often have trouble finding specific songs to study in these modes are Dorian and Mixolydian.
So, we posted the following on the RGT Facebook Page to see what our readers had to say about this topic.
“We’ve had a number of email questions recently asking about popular songs for teaching certain modes on guitar. Can you suggest any songs you know of that are predominantly composed/performed in either the Dorian or Mixolydian mode?”
After receiving a strong and varied response to this question, we decided to compile everyone’s response and gather them into a list for other guitarists to check out and use in their own teaching and studies.
So, here they are, the Dorian and Mixolydian songs as suggested by the RGT Facebook community.
Dorian Songs for Guitar
Get Lucky – Daft Punk
Oye Como Va – Santana
So What – Miles Davis
Wicked Game – Chris Isaac
Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day
Solo to Light My Fire – The Doors
Moondance – Van Morrison
Who Will Save Your Soul – Jewel
Evil Ways – Santana
Horse With No Name – America
Mixolydian Songs for Guitar
Summer Song – Joe Satriani
Solo on Marquee Moon – Television
Verse of Sweet Child of Mine – Guns n Roses
Verse of She Sells Sanctuary – The Cult
Alright Now – Free
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
On Broadway – George Benson
L.A. Woman – The Doors
Seven Bridges Road – The Eagles
Southern Cross – CSNY
Cinnamon Girl – Neil Young
Do you have a song that you would like to add to the Dorian or Mixolydian songs for guitar list above? Share it in the comments section below.
Not a song, but Drowsie Maggie is a great Trad. Irish Tune thats in E Dorian, works great on guitar because you can drone the low E string.
re Dorian song list – Black Magic Woman is Aeolian (natural minor) Dm Am Gm, with B flats firmly in place (no B naturals), as the very good RGT backing track for the DipLCM diploma clearly demonstrates.
Hey Al, yep that one snuck in there. Removed it from the list.
You Know You Know by Mahavishnu Orchestra is in E Dorian and it’s very simple to play, great for soloing.
Mixolydian – How about just about every AC/DC song they ever played?!? Back In Black, Highway to Hell, Long Way To The Top, For Those About To Rock, Thunderstruck ….. (you get the point) – of course they loved to throw in the b3 here and there (as did several others on the list), which makes a lot of them a combo of mixolydian & dorian, but the overriding tonality is always Mixolydian, largely because they hardly ever played a minor chord.
And surely any Dorian list needs Greensleeves & Scarborough Fair thrown in somewhere….?
Full House by Wes Montgomery ;)
Very useful. I always thought of Boulevard of Broken Dreams as a mixture of Dorian, Aeolian and Harmonic minor. Similarly, the chorus of Sweet Child of Mine seems to briefly jump back into major just for one chord at the start.
Dorian Songs – Another Brick In The Wall
I also believe wherever I may roam-Metallica, is in Dorian, I may be misunderstood
Wherever I may roam is in Phrygian mode.
…cult of personality is mixolydian… our band covers it. It mainly solos from G blues but the mass of the song is G mixolydian…