Playing Rating: Intermediate

Example 1

The triplet note figures on beats 1 and 2 outline A minor 7 arpeggio followed by on beat 3 a slide to the 9th of A (B). The B is sustained with 16th note figures interspersed, the first emphasising the 9th again and the next, beat 4 of bar 3 the natural 6 (F#). It’s good to think of the 9th and 6th as being the important notes to play when using the Dorian mode because they bring out the mode’s unique quality. The lick becomes bluesier at beat 3 of bar 3 where there is a classic Santana descending run.

Example 1

Example 2

This example begins with another instance of an A minor 7 arpeggio followed by the slide to the F# (natural 6 of A dorian). It’s interesting to note that this type of lick appears often in Latin music and shows the unique way Santana incorporates this into the rock idiom. The lick progresses to bar 3 where the high C to D bend is executed, another typical Santana technique where the string is bent up, held and repeatedly picked, ending with a tasty descending minor pentatonic figure.

Example 2

Example 3

This example demonstrates the lyrical style of Santana where a simple and effective melody is outlined beginning in an almost rubato style, hence the 9:6. The emphasis is again on the natural 6 and 9.

Example 3