- 3 pentatonic scales in the dorian mode -

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Advanced Improvisation Course


Copyright © Thomas Berglund, TeeBeeMusik

Improvisation Course


Pdf files to the lesson available here.

Pdf files - Pentatonics - Advanced Improvisation store

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In this lesson I´ll show three pentatonic scales to improvise 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) within the dorian scale.

The tones in those three pentatonic scales are included in the dorian scale and in the tabs below I´ll show them in the 5th position.

Am Dorian scale

Am Pentatonic scale

Bm Pentatonic scale

Em Pentatonic scale

If you look at the tones in these 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 these pentatonic scales in mind and playing phrases with them mixed together 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 phrase and you´ll see it in the music score below. In this phrase I´ll go from Am to Em to Bm and back to Am pentatonic scale.

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

Backing track to lesson here!


Links to the lessons in the advanced improvisation course:


-Pentatonics "part 1"

-Pentatonics "part 2"

Chord comping

-Jazz chord playing "part 1"

-Chord playing

Outside playing

-Outside playing


-Alt. arp. to the maj7 chord

-Alt. arp. to the 7th chord

Chord solo

-Chord solo 1 - Bb Jazz Blues

-Chord solo 2 - 251 in major



Diminished Scale & Chord

-Diminished scale

Dominant Scales & Chords

-Dominant chord