Originally Posted by SloeGin
Thanks alot JonR!
Yes the whole song is in F#minor.
But what Dorian mode do you mean then?
F# dorian. Modes should always be referred to key centre.
Having checked my transcription of the song (intro, verse, chorus, bridge, not solos), it's not entirely in F# minor; the verse is in A major.
The rest is in F# minor, mostly drawn from the natural minor scale (aeolian, if you prefer modal terms), but there is a lot of chromaticism, and modal terms don't really help there.
Eg, that run of 16ths after the first chorus phrase ("running off the rails on a crazy train"), is over an F#m chord (or F# power chord), but the notes are more like an A blues scale run, with passing C and G naturals, and resolving to a low A. No modal term will cover that - not without a lot of chromatic exceptions. (After he sings the title phrase the 2nd time, it's a more orthodox chord riff in F# minor.)
In the bridge ("I know that things are going wrong..."), there's more significant chromaticism, in the half-step drop from F#5, the passing D#5 (D5>D#5>E5), and of course the long run of triplets ("you gotta listen...").
Again, modes don't really help. The idea is "F# minor, with half-step shifts here and there."
In the clip you're talking about - if that D# is anything more than a momentary chromaticism (which is what it looks like) - it may be more helpful to think of the classic minor key theory which states that the 6th and 7th steps in a minor key are variable
. IOW, in the key of F# minor, you can have either D or D# as 6th, and either E or E# as 7th - depending on what effect you want in your tune. IOW, it's about a balance between natural, harmonic and melodic minor
, rather than aeolian and dorian.
In a sense, you can regard dorian mode as the extra 4th permutation of 6th and 7th, one that doesn't normally belong in a classic minor key, but is of course quite common in jazz, folk, and rock:
NATURAL MINOR (AEOLIAN): 1 . 2 b3 . 4 . 5 b6 . b7 . 1
HARMONIC MINOR : 1 . 2 b3 . 4 . 5 b6 . . 7 1
MELODIC MINOR : 1 . 2 b3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 1
DORIAN : 1 . 2 b3 . 4 . 5 . 6 b7 . 1