Soloing With Three Pentatonic Scales in the Dorian Mode With Thomas Berglund

In this lesson I'll show three pentatonic scales to soloing with in the Dorian mode.

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In this lesson I'll show three pentatonic scales to soloing with in the Dorian mode.

I'll be in the key of A minor (Dorian). The common pentatonic scale in that key is the A minor pentatonic scale. That's the first scale to come up when one starts to soloing in most cases. But there are two more to use and there are the B and the E minor pentatonic scales in the Dorian mode.

An easy way to figure out these scales is to play the minor pentatonic scale (Root - minor 3rd - perfect 4th - perfect 5th - minor 7th) from the root tone (A), from the 2nd tone (B) and from the 5th tone (E) in the Dorian scale.

The tones in those three pentatonic scales are included in the Dorian scale and in the tabs below I'll show these scales in the 5th position.

Dorian scale

A minor pentatonic scale

B minor pentatonic scale

E minor pentatonic scale

If you look at the tones in the three pentatonic scales you'll see that they're all included in the Dorian scale. So why not say that you're soloing with the Dorian scale then? When I'm soloing and have the pentatonic scales in mind and playing phrases with these scales mixed I get a certain sound that I don't get when I'm just having the Dorian scale in mind. That's my simple answer and I think you must try it to feel the difference.

A good start to be used with this kind of playing is to compose your own phrases. In the video lesson I'll show one composed phrase. You'll see it in the note/tab below. In that phrase I'll go from Am to Em to Bm and back to Am pentatonic scale.

You can download the tab/note to the phrase here!

Eric Johnson and Scott Hendersson are two among other guitar players that uses this in the playing quite much. I'll recommend to listen to them and get some inspiration. Listen and find your own way in this and I'll promise that it'll be great fun to soloing with three pentatonic scales in the Dorian mode.

Good luck!

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About the Author:
Thomas Berglund is a musician that has played in many different styles through the years and he has his heart in music with improvisation.
He also work as a guitarteacher and have a YouTube channel with guitar lessons, releases and consert videos. Here's Thomas guitar lessons website. Feel free to subscribe to his YouTube channel to get the latest from Thomas.

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Heh, keep the lessons coming. I thoroughly enjoy yours. With c.f.this lesson, with my looper, would I lay down a groove track with Am chord or what?
    Wow this really helped me a lot. I started playing a year and a half ago and I learned I was playing my pentatonics all wrong. Are there different forms of pentatonic's?
    Great that this helped you! The pentatonic scale has 5 tones and the common thing is to put them in different boxes on the fretboard to be able to play all over the fretboard. I have 5 boxes that I start from so.....If you have those 5 boxes or if you have a way to playing the scale tones all over the neck in one key, nothing you have done is wrong. What you can do with the pentatonics then is to put them in different musical contexts like I have done in this lesson. Don´t know if this will help you but you´re welcome to come back if there´s something you wonder. Thanks a lot for your positive feedback!