Alex Skolnick on combining the Dorian mode with the minor pentatonic

Alex Skolnick is known for his jazz trio these days, but he started out as the fret-melting guitarist for Bay Area thrash legends Testament. Whether you want to make your rock playing stand out or want to venture into the world of jazz, Alex´s ideas can help you out.

In this video lesson, Alex shows you how to add modal notes to the E minor pentatonic scale.

Modes can be intimidating if you´ve never used them before, but Alex makes the Dorian mode a lot less daunting by relating it to the more friendly E minor pentatonic scale - there are just two extra notes to add. By mixing up the E Dorian and the E minor pentatonic scales, you´ve got a new set of tonal colours to play with and you´re still covering familiar ground.

Play through the scales as an exercise first (notated in our free tab) then start messing around and finding your own ideas. There´s more information on Alex at the official Alex Skolnick website.