Diagonal playing: Fingerings for Dorian mode [Q&A]

Question by Gustav Wessberg
(Gothenburg, Sweden)

Hi there!

I am very thankful for you having done lessons on diagonal playing.

I just have question:

When I play G major I shift between F# and G with my index. If I want to play A dorian, should I still use the index (F# to G) shift?

Or should I use a new fingering? Should I start on the root with my index?

Hope you are able to answer soon.

// Gustav Wessberg, an advancing jazz guitarist

Hello Gustav,

Good question.

Yes, you could use the same fingering as the G major and simply start on the second note (“A”) of the scale. That is what I do most of the time, believe it or not!

Or, you can reconsider the whole system, if you wish.

Here’s an option that I particularly like :
(remember, this is A Dorian played diagonally)

-6th string :
“A” with pinky

-5th string :
“B” and “C” with index
then “D” with middle
then “E” with pinky

-4th string :
“F#” with index
then “G” with middle finger…

…then you’re back at “A” with pinky.
(repeat on next octave)

You could also start with the index on the first note and re-do all the work/thinking. See what works best for you, and K.I.S.S. (keep it simple simple!)

The idea behind diagonal playing is to keep the fingerings (almost) the same on any/all registers!

I hope this helps,

Marc-Andre Seguin

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