Like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, legendary rock guitarist Carlos Santana is one of the most significant players to emerge from the Sixties music scene. By fusing elements of electric blues, rock, jazz and Latin, he created a signature sound that is instantly recognizable and inspirational to guitarists across the spectrum of musical genres.
In last month’s column, I demonstrated a variety of ways to transform standard A minor pentatonic-based licks into modal runs and patterns using the A Aeolian mode (a.k.a. the A natural minor scale: A B C D E F G). This month, I will expand on the concept by applying a slight rhythmic variation to a standard A minor pentatonic pattern, again transforming it to A natural minor, and then examine these newly realized melodic shapes in different areas of the fretboard. We will then transpose the new melodic ideas to another very commonly used mode: A Dorian (A B C D E Fs G).