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Modes Of The Major Scale
A good understanding of the seven modes of the major scale is an important fundamental element for soloing, and writing harmony and melodies in music. This scale exercise is designed to help you not only learn the modes of the major scale but, also connect them with the appropriate chord in time. these particular scale shapes are three notes per string and contain some position shifts.
One way to view modes is to establish a new tonic within a preexisting scale. The notes in a C major scale are C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. If you take those same notes and make D the tonic note then you have D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D. This would make the D dorian mode. The other six modes can be created in the same way using the other notes in the scale as the tonic.
What we are doing here is using the same tonic note and changing the appropriate intervals to make each mode. The big benefits are is that you are forced to learn these intervals and play them all in the same position on the guitar. This will help you significantly when your playing over chord changes.
Ionian/Major Scale: A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A (A Major Scale)
Dorian: A, B, C, D, E, F#, G, A (G Major Scale)
Phrygian: A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G, A (F Major Scale)
Lydian: A, B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A (E Major Scale)
Mixolydian: A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A (D Major Scale)
Aeolian/Natural minor scale: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A (C Major Scale)
Locrian: A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A (Bb Major Scale)
Here are the Intervals for each mode.
Ionian/Major Scale: Root, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
Dorian: Root, 2nd, b3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, b7th
Phrygian: : Root, b2nd, b3rd, 4th, 5th, b6th, b7th
Lydian: : Root, 2nd, 3rd, #4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
Mixolydian: : Root, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, b7th
Aeolian/Natural minor scale: : Root, 2nd, b3rd, 4th, 5th, b6th, b7th
Locrian: : Root, 2nd, b3rd, 4th, b5th, b6th, b7th
Having these interval formulas memorized is the key to having a good understanding of modes.
Being able to play the correct patterns for each mode in position on the guitar is the other big challenge. And that’s what we are here to improve on!
I recommend that you work on each mode separately at first, then use the videos and the backing tracks to get better at moving from scale to scale.
Free Demo Video
The video below is an example of the videos that are available for this exercise. For Paid Members, this section includes a commentary video that explains each exercise in full. Additionally, each exercise is also presented as videos where the exercise is played in 10+ tempos. Sign up today to get full access to all the videos.
Most exercises include backing tracks for you to practice with. They are also provided in the same tempos as the videos. Backing tracks are available for paid members only and are downloadable MP3 files.
Every exercise includes a transcription in standard notation as well as guitar tab. The transcriptions are presented online and are also available for download as a PDF for printing or saving to your computer. The transcriptions are available for Paid Members of PracticeTheGuitar.com