How to Play Evil Ways by Santana

evil waysEvil Ways is played in the key of G Minor Dorian. G Dorian is a mode of F Major and both scales share the same notes.

This time, we are going to learn how to play “Evil Ways” as performed by Santana on their self-titled debut album in 1969. The song was written by Clarence Henry, and was originally recorded by Willy Bobo in 1967. It has been said that Carlos Santana detuned his guitar one whole step to play the chords in an open position for the recording.

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How to play Under my Thumb by The Rolling Stones

under my ThumbIf you want to learn how to play Under my Thumb by The Rolling Stones, this is a great place to get started

“Under My Thumb” was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the 1966 record “Aftermath.” This record was the first to be recorded in the United States and is notable for the instruments not usually associated with the Rolling Stones, such as the Marimba. BIll Wyman uses (most likely) a Maestro Fuzz pedal on the Bass guitar for this song.

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How to Play Cocaine by Eric Clapton

Cocaine by Eric ClaptonIf you want to learn how to play Cocaine by Eric Clapton, this is a great place to get started.

This time we are going to look at the song “Cocaine,” by Eric Clapton. The song was actually written by J.J.Cale in 1976 and Eric Clapton made it popular in 1977 on his record “Slowhand.” I chose “Cocaine” because it is very easy to play and dissect, while still containing many of the important points to remember when writing a great song.

Key And Scale

This song is in E Minor Aeolian, which is a mode of the G Major scale.

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
G Major = G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

Eric Clapton uses the Blues scale for all of his guitar playing in this song. The Blues scale is a modified Pentatonic scale and we build a Pentatonic scale by using the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th notes of the Aeolian scale. We omit the second and the sixth notes, leaving us with five notes to choose from and the name “Pentatonic.”

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G, A, B, C, D
E Minor Pentatonic = E, G, A, B, D

We create the Blues Scale by adding a Blue note that is outside of the Aeolian scale — a note between the fourth and the fifth (a flatted fifth) — to the Pentatonic scale. This Blue note is the only note that is outside the Aeolian scale that is used in this song by any instrument.

E Minor Aeolian = E, F#, G ,A, (A# Blue), B, C, D
E Minor Pentatonic = E, G, A, B, D
E Minor Blues = E, G, A, A#, B, D

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How to Play Soul Sacrifice by Santana

soul sacrificeIf you want to learn how to play Soul Sacrifice by Santana, this is a great place to get started.

This is the start of a new series of articles in which we choose a song and then break it down harmonically to look at the theory behind it. Though we will show you how to play the song, and there will be tabs and music notation, these are not meant to be note-for-note tabs of the songs. These articles are meant to show you how to play the song, introduce you to music theory, and show you how you might apply it to your own music. This series might also be good for guitarists who are in a cover band and need to play these songs, but want to do it while retaining their own identity and originality.

This time we are going to look at the song “Soul Sacrifice” by Santana. Written in 1969, Soul Sacrifice was one of the band’s first songs. They performed it the same year at the Woodstock festival in Bethel NY and it was considered by many to be one of the highlights of the entire three day festival. The live performance of this song turned Santana into an instant success. This is an instrumental song loaded with powerful drums and guitars. We are going to look at the studio version of Soul Sacrifice from their debut album “Santana.”

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