It’s Hot Outside is a weekly video guitar lesson series by Jeff Beasley, author of several TrueFire courses. This series focuses on performing with depth in the most stressful environments, and throughout Jeff will give you tips on how to step outside your comfort zone to take your playing to a whole new level. Be sure to subscribe!

Welcome to the 6th installment of the “It’s Hot Outside” video lesson series. In this lesson we focus on the major 6th tone of the Dorian scale infused into the pentatonic minor scale, and a Mixolydian arpeggio with an emphasis and addition of the 6th tone. The inclusion of this tone adds a brand new color to an otherwise prolific scale and spices up a typical arpeggio idea.

The first example infuses a 6th arpeggio with the pentatonic minor blues scale. The arpeggio is based on an E6 chord (1,3,5,6), with the 5th omitted. This infusion adds a new color to the scale and catches the ear a little off guard. The lick creates an unusual tension before it resolves into the minor 7th of the scale. The resolution of the 6th tone to the b7 is interesting to hear as it moves up just a half-step to release into the minor scale.

Lick #2 combines a Dorian idea (1,b3,4,5,6,b7) into the pentatonic minor blues scale. The inclusion of the major 6th (normally absent from the pentatonic minor) again creates a subtle outside sound. In this example I really manipulate the 6th multiple times to constantly challenge the listener’s ear. I also end the lick on the 6th tone leaving the ear hanging just a bit.

In the last example I incorporate the 6th and 2nd tones into an otherwise 13th arpeggio again finishing on the 6th tone rather than a typical resolution to the 1 or 3. This lick reminds me of an Eric Johnson characteristic of including the 2 in a lick that wouldn’t normally contain it. The 3 licks this would be my favorite and the most “outside” sounding idea.

Thanks for tuning in to the 6th installment!


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