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Blues Lead Guitar #18 - The Dorian Approach

The Blues Guitar Lessons

Getting all Greek about it.

The Dorian Mode introduces two very cool notes that we can add to our minor pentatonic scales to get some hip sounds.

Don't worry too much about all the Greek (the Modal names, like Dorian) there is no real need for you to understand all that if you just want to play the blues! For those that are interested - The Dorian Mode is the second mode of the Major Scale. So the Dorian Mode is in fact a Major Scale but has the tonal centre on the second degree of the scale. In this case we are looking at the A Dorian Mode, and the Parent Major Scale (PMS) is G Major. So G Major and A Dorian Mode have the same notes! Enough about that... more on Modes here if you are interested and have all your basic theory well sorted.

So when we look at the notes in the A Dorian Mode (A B C D E F# G) and the A Minor Pentatonic (A C D E G) we see that the Dorian Mode has two extra notes B and F#. In The key of A, The note B is the 9th (can also be called the 2nd) and the F# is the 6th (can also be called the 13th). Both these notes sound very cool in the blues.

Check out the video first this time and check out the way to use them - Just think of the Dorian notes as being extras that you can add to the Minor Pentatonic and you should be able to get using them pretty soon. You will start in the next lesson when we get into playing licks!

Watch The Video Lesson

Pattern 1 - (E shape from CAGED system)

Major Scale Pos 2



Pattern 2 - (D shape from CAGED system)

Major Scale Pos 2



Pattern 3 - (C shape from CAGED system)

Major Scale Pos 2



Pattern 4 - (A shape from CAGED system)

Major Scale Pos 2


Pattern 5 - (G shape from CAGED system)

Major Scale Pos 2



Please check out my Blues products :) they're real good!

Justinguitar Beginners Songbook

Solo Blues Guitar

This DVD collection will teach you 9 Blues arrangements for Solo guitar where you will play a melody and a rhythm element together or alternately, so they work as complete pieces! They're all great fun and start very simple (beginner) and get right into pretty tricky alternating bass lines!

Check out Solo Blues Guitar in

Justinguitar Beginners Songbook

Really Useful Blues Solos

This download (mp3 and pdf) contains 5 tracks in the styles of Clapton, Hendrix, Albert King, SRV and Chuck Berry for you to learn. I've extracted their most common licks for you to transcribe yourself - however you get full transcriptions to check against too. Old School transcribing made easier.

Instant Download Really Useful Blues Solos here

Justinguitar Beginners Songbook

Blues Lead Guitar Solos

This is a paper book contains detailed transcriptions of 18 of my favourite Blues lead solos - with tips on how to play them and some harmonic analysis. If you getting into the blues you'll find this a LOT of fun, they're not 'in the style of', these are the real deal - see the songlist in the store!

Check out Solo Blues Guitar in

Justinguitar Beginners Songbook

Jam Blues 1

Check out my awesome backing track collection - loads of fun blues to jam along with, I play rhythm guitar my pal Dave Marks plays bass and produces - so come jam with us! also available on iTunes,

Instant Download Jam Blues 1 here

Justinguitar Beginners Songbook

Jam Blues 2

The first volume was so popular (and so much fun) we made another one! :) also available on iTunes!

Instant Download Jam Blues 2 here




Lesson ID: BL-028