Tutorial – solo guitar to a song which is in two modes – Bob Dylan’s Don’t think twice its alright

Do you know what is unusual about Bob Dylan’s song ‘Don’t think twice, its alright’? I analyze the chords and modes and show how the Mode Decoder can easily help you to expand your soloing ability. Knowledge is power! NB I’m using a James Tyler Variax set to Acoustic guitar.

The Chords of this song are

C G Am F

C G Am D

So the song is mostly in C major (C Ionian). The only problem is that D major is not part of the C Major scale – the correct chord is Dm. However all this does is place this part of the song into G majoe (G Ionian).

For soloing, this gives us an opportunity to expand our soloing by adding a note not available to the rest of he. We can see which note this is by changing the Mode Decoder from C major to G major and back again. From this we can see that the 5th fret and 12th fret are common – so we can solo with the minor pentatonic in both modes. However, using the 2 additional notes which, when added to the minor pentatonic, make the minor scale, we can see that because the 5th fret is firstly in location 1 and then in location 2, the position of these 2 notes change as the mode changes – ie when the D major is played.

Practically then we can see that this means that there is a new note available to play on the 5th string only when the D major is played.

Listen to the recorded version on Soundcloud below:

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