Exotic notes cheat sheet

hi Friend,

I want to talk for a minute about
using all 12 tones (all the notes)
in your playing.

The reason you would want to do
this is to make your playing
more interesting.

Actually, I think the BEST way
to make your playing interesting
is just play from the heart.

That’s what I teach in


Ok, but back to using all 12 tones.

It’s a good strategy and you
can easily do it.

Let’s say we’re in the key of A

So we have:

A, C, D , E, G.

Here’s the other notes starting
from A going up…

Kind of a “cheat sheet”:

Bb – Most exotic note here, not the most
intuitive note to use in the key of A.
However, you can easily add this note
by throwing in a few licks from
A Phrygian.

B – A very useful note which overlaps
most of the modes, and is also in
the key of A Major pentatonic. Try
combining those two scales or
simply adding it to any A minor pentatonic
lick. Again, I talk a lot about major
vs. minor pentatonic on my DVDs.

C# – The Major 3rd of A. A quintessential
blues sound is accomplished by using both
the major and minor third in the same lick…
In other words, use the C and the C# in
the same lick in the key of A.

Eb – The flatted fifth or “blue note”.
Very useful. Many ways to include it.
The most common is as a passing tone
between D and E. This gives you that
unmistakable uber blues tonality.

F – The augmented fifth. Can be used
as part of the minor scale. A minor
pentatonic blends beautifully with
A natural minor. Or, just adding
this one note to the pentatonic scale
gives you sort of a “southern rock scale”
that typifies the Dickey Betts/Allman sound.

F# – Part of the Dorian and Mixolydian
Modes. Also its the 3rd degree of the IV (D)
chord. A great note to land on as you’re
going into the IV chord of a blues. Or just
use it as a “spice” mixed into your pentatonic

G# – The Major 7th degree. You can use it
by throwing in some Maj7 arpeggios into your
playing. Also, its part of the A harmonic
minor scale, so you can include it by using
that tonality/scale as well.

Alrighty, there you have it. Sorry I didn’t
have time for a video today but I promise
more vids this week.

Happy guitaring…

Claude Johnson

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