Modes of the Major Scale: Find Them on the Neck

• Video is split into Parts A and B, below. Click the tab to watch
   Part B.

  • Modes-1, Part A
  • Modes-1, Part B


• Don't be afraid of "the modes," the idea is actually quite easy. I take it slow so you won't get left behind! The modes are sets of different scales and chords. Some are very ordinary sounding; others are rather exotic sounding. Knowing about them--how to listen for and use them--can really help develop your ear and give you a greater understanding of the musical pallet.

This is an introduction to the modes of the major scale. There are also modes of other scales, for example melodic minor or harmonic minor, but the modes of the major scale are, by far, the most common.

• This lesson shows how the modes are found (or "derived"). After this, please watch the next lesson, The Modes 2-Bright to Dark which gives you a more practical view of them.

• In a nutshell, if you start on the first note of a major scale and play up 7 notes (or 8, including the high root), that's "Ionian mode." Start on the second note of a major scale and playing up 7 notes is Dorian mode. Start on the third note: Phrygian. Fourth: Lydian. Fifth: Mixolydian. Sixth: Aeolian (natural minor). Seventh: Locrian. Check the PDF, above, to see them on a scale circle.

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