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Understandig the modes of the scales  UNDERSTANDIG THE MODES OF THE SCALES

Hey everyone! Wazz up? =P
I hope the tips about speed helped some of you guys. =)

Well, today we will talk about one of the most useful tools that we, as guitarists could have letting aside our imagination, ear sense and creativity. It?s about the modes of the scales. What a headache! =P

  • As you all may know, we have 14 scales, 7 major and 7 minor ones.
  • Each scale (both of them) has 6, 7 or maybe more fingering patterns.
  • If you do the math, you will find out why they are a pain in the... hand! Hahaha.

    Now, remember this: each scale as a root is a mode

    Here they are:

    C ----> Ionian
    D ----> Dorian
    E ----> Phrygian
    F ----> Lydian
    G ----> Mixolydian
    A ----> Aeolian
    B ----> Locrian

    Each of them begins on the root note

    Here, I will put some of the easiest fingering patterns. Note that the (*) means the root of the pattern.

    For Ionian
    For Dorian
    For Phrygian
    For Lydian
    For Mixolydian
    For Aeolian
    For Locrian
    Well, now: How to use them?
    It?s simple; let?s say that you need to aply one of the patterns to some lick of yours, and it?s in F#...

  • Grab the mode of your prefence.
  • Then ALL U HAVE TO DO IS PUT THE (* / ROOT) IN F#!!! =P
  • Try to play 3 notes per string.
  • Improvise and get some licks, speed them up and so on? =)

    And remember: modes are just like flavored sodas; just pick the one you like.

    I hope this help some of you guys.
    Take care n? good luck.

    Have some fun!

    Written by Alex on 2005-09-21 and read 31997 times.
  • discussion board for this article  DISCUSSION BOARD FOR THIS ARTICLE

    Richard <no e-mail> said on 2005-09-21 00:13:34
    Hey, what a great post!!! I hope you continue writ

    chicho <no e-mail> said on 2005-10-24 02:23:50
    thank you so much, i've been looking for the scales for some time now, thanks again ^_^

    cheeseball <cleandog AT> said on 2005-12-17 16:29:16
    Thanks man! This was very informative! I have always wondered what modes were and you have successfully opened my eyes a crack. Thanks!

    marioleo <no e-mail> said on 2006-07-12 00:19:48
    too complex, unclear..A real mess. Sorry

    Wildman <lightheartedwm AT> said on 2006-07-20 06:58:18
    Hey Nice Job Alex this is mainly for Mario I found 2 really cool sites that helped me in the here they are. and guitarbasics has really nice scale lessons and freeguitarvideos has nice quicktime totally free video lessons...both of them are awesome in my opinion....(first post by the

    chananshredder <chananshredder AT> said on 2006-08-20 12:12:58
    hey alex I already know the scales positions but I didn't understand - let's say a song in on G major now I can't play dorian mode on the G' root because It's gonna be a F major scale right? fix me if i'm worng please I need information so I could improvise contact me at

    Josh <selw9426 AT> said on 2006-08-23 03:15:53
    Great but I think You should post the intervals between notes ( whole step, half and so on) it was a great help though thank you

    azerus... <gudrat AT> said on 2006-10-08 18:24:11
    As I read from other resources, Modes are not easy to use... :) WHY? the profcional uses modes these like: for example here is a song that's been written on the key of D. u want to use mode to improvise on this song. FIRST OF ALL: the chords on this song are needed to be setted eligible for the usage of modes. EG: u cannot use mode on (wonderful tonight by eric clapton) ... if you will use u will get a rabbish sound. for beginners u can use, one pedal tone... and play ower it several scales... and its not suc an easy process... (u have to know all kinds of chords as well)who uses modes? JOE SATRIANI... listen to his musics.. u will get the ide.. the egiptian feel of sond will come up...

    azerus <gudrat AT> said on 2006-10-08 18:27:44
    guys i ve got one good dockument here you can get ide about modes? u want??? contact me.. i ll send...

    chewable <loadyourgun AT> said on 2007-02-08 02:24:55
    actually all of these "modes" follow each other one after another. like one big scale, you just have to figure the pieces out. i.e. start on 10th fret with mixolydian then next would be locrian that starts on 14th fret. think of it as 7 postions of one scale, and if you want a sertain mode, then there you go. you have a whole neck of notes at your whim. like what joe satriani does, he uses this techniuqe on all of his songs. i hope i explained it good enough and it helps someone.

    adnan <surfeur009 AT> said on 2007-03-05 14:06:12
    eric clapton

    Milton Cifuentes <Azaf-mil AT> said on 2007-05-12 17:32:14
    me gustaria que lo hicieran en español tambien. porque yo no le entiendo mucho

    German <germangonzalez2003 AT> said on 2007-10-04 02:15:23
    hey guys I have a program to learn this stuff, its called Guitar Scales Method, Its really useful, try to download it or something, but donĀ“t think it wont take practice or effort theory is always kinda boring at first , but extremely usefull so U should take some time to learn and understand it (for the notice, NO, im not some propaganda guy or something for Guitar Scales Method) good luck!

    June <no e-mail> said on 2008-01-09 19:27:40
    It's really cool but there is a mistake in Ionian . It is same as Aeolian.

    PRaNaI <jusaminute AT> said on 2008-05-26 17:36:01
    I would like to add a few more lines on alex's information modes means "MOOD". each mode has a modal sound according to the chord it fits into .. for example try playing C Phrygian on C min7 and then play C Dorian ... also the chord tones are important here... for example if you are playing C min7 the principal chord tones are C Eb G Bb the remaing notes in the mode are the "tensions".... each tension produces different effect ... example try playin the note D and let it ring while the C min7 is played ... and circle around the note D .. keeping D as the focal point and working on either C Dorian or C phrygian ... do the same with the remaining tensions. ... fundamental principle of music is about tension and release just like yin/yang or black/white or darkness/light ... one does not work unless the other exists ... hope this might be helpful thanks

    <no e-mail> said on 2009-03-14 00:55:33

    SALLY <1912283821 AT QQ.COM> said on 2011-05-04 14:33:15

    sarun kumar sunar <fugitivehomind AT> said on 2011-06-29 04:14:10
    i like it but i dont really understand .how does it work i mean when i play one pattern n then whats gonna b the next chord n the step ... in another bar ..?

    Gonzalo Araya <gaac_riff AT> said on 2011-07-04 05:07:03
    Excelente aporte y muy completa su pagina.Gracias

    Acunetix <no e-mail> said on 2012-01-01 00:21:26

    Acunetix <sample AT email.tst> said on 2012-01-01 00:33:41

    <no e-mail> said on 2012-03-12 17:19:58

    qumgwlog <no e-mail> said on 2012-03-20 06:15:59

    Muray Walsa <no e-mail> said on 2013-03-16 17:00:10
    Nice.. need imagination 2 create illusion..

    twqpyfnv <no e-mail> said on 2016-03-25 16:03:39

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