The Major Scale And Its 7 Modes
Its just One Scale…with 7 Different Positions that Give you 7 Different Sounds.
Let me ask you this? If you could improve your overall playing technique and improve your speed and dexterity all in one would you do it?
I Hope so.
You can achieve all that with this scale and once you know it you can RULE the neck.
Not only that…you now have a visual on where to LAND when creating a solo.
The Modes Briefly Explained
The Modes…What are they?
I decided to make this as simple as possible because it can get a little complicated if you’ve never seen these scales before.
The Modes are 7 different ways to play a certain scale. Each subsequent note in a scale has its own scale. For example in C Major you have the notes C D E F G A B.
If you play the Scale starting from the C it is the Major scale…but is also known as Mode 1. – The Ionian Mode.
So you now have the C Ionian Mode.
From the note D you get the D Dorian Mode.
If you start from E (playing the same scale that is (same notes – C D E F G A B C but starting from the E…you get..E F G A B C D) you now have the Phrygian mode.
(E Phrygian) – Metallica uses this one a lot and so does every hard rock and metal band you’ve ever heard of.
If you start the scale from the F note it is referred to as the Lydian Mode.
From the G note up to the G again (not to the C) you have the Mixolydian Mode.
The Mixolydian Scale is usually played over the DOMINANT Chord of the Key. In this case…G or G7. Try it out. More on this in a second.
If you play the scale from A to A you have the Aeolian Mode. (aka the Minor Scale)
If you play the scale from B to B you have the Locrian Mode.
The Modes Are Moveable
The modes are movable so you can move them into different keys. For example you can have C Ionian, G Ionian, D Ionian…etc…depending on what key you are playing in.
If you memorize these scales in C Major all you have to do is move them up or down to whatever key you like and the SHAPES of the scales are EXACTLY the SAME.
Below are the names of the scales in their order.
You can also have the Minor Scale and its Modes. They are exactly the same. Keep reading below
The Relative Minor Key
With the Relative Minor Key (Same key as the Relative Major Key) – you simply start from the 6th scale degree.
****Notice the relative minor key is the same as the Major key just in a different order.
I simply took the Aeolian Scale and Played it first and then followed the order of the Modes.****
What Do I Do With This Information?
Glad you asked.
Here is a list of benefits plus some things you can do to get started.
- Fretboard Knowledge
- Dexterity in your fingers
- 3 Notes Per String Shapes will allow you to Solo All Over the Neck
- You will now know what Notes to land on when Soloing
- You will develop speed playing these shapes
- Get out your metronome
- Play Mode 1 until you have it under your fingers
- Do this for each mode
- Combine Modes 1 and 2, then 2 and 3, and so on.
- Record a C Chord and practice landing on the yellow dots in the pdf. Landing also means (hanging out on that note) – For example when you hang on a note you can add some vibrato to it…or a pinch harmonic. You can also slide into it. This stuff is called ornamenting a note (aka PHRASING.) But thats another lesson in itself.
- For now memorize as many of the modes as you can. Go slow. And record yourself over a single chord or a progression in C Major.
The First Mode starts on Fret 8 on the 6th String
The 2nd Mode starts on Fret 10 on the 6th String
The 3nd Mode starts on Fret 12 on the 6th String
The 4th Mode starts on Fret 13..or Fret 1.. on the 6th String
The 5th Mode starts on Fret 15..or Fret 3.. on the 6th String
The 6th Mode aka (The Minor Scale) starts on Fret 17..or Fret 5 on the 6th String
The 7th Mode starts on Fret 19..or Fret 7 on the 6th String
Below are the chords in the Key of C Major and some example Progressions.
Chords in C Major Review:
- Basic Triads = C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
- 7th Chords = Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5
- C F G
- C Dm G G7
- C Am G F
- C G Am F
- C Am Dm G F G
- C F Bdim Em Am Dm G7