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The Secret Note That Makes the Minor Pentatonic Scale Better

(Image credit: Cindy Moorhead)

If you’re looking for a way to make your minor pentatonic licks, riffs and solos more interesting, it might be as simple as adding one “secret” note.

So says guitar instructor Tyler Larson. In this video, he demonstrates how adding just one special note to the scale can add a new tonality to standard minor pentatonic licks. Dubbed “the Dorian note” or “the Santana note,” this single addition can seriously spice up your playing.

“Basically, this degree of the scale is gonna give that real nice ‘salsa flavor’ that you may be looking for in your blues solos,” Tyler says.

Take a look, and be sure to visit Tyler’s Music Is Win YouTube channel.

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Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.