Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Major Scale and its modes

Here are the seven modes of the Major Scale shown in a paralel approach with all the scales starting on the same root. I found that playing modes this way was an ear-opener to me when I first started learning about modes. Rather than viewing them from the same major scale (C Major, D Dorian, E Phyrgian etc. -all are from C Major), by playing the modes from the same root, you get a better sense of how the modes sound in relation to one another.



Although I've written them in the order that they appear in the major scale in the handout, I actually tend to organize them by the chord they go with:

Major Chord Scales
Ionian
Lydian

Minor Chord Scales
Dorian
Phrygian
Aeolian

Dominant Chord Scale
Mixolydian

Min7(b5) Chord Scale
Locrian

In terms of naming the modes (when someone asks - what are the notes of "your mode of choice"), I usually derive them by changing the notes from the major scale off the same root.

For instance,

To get Bb Lydian,

First, I think of the notes of Bb Major:

Bb C D Eb F G A Bb

and then I sharp the fourth (because the difference between Lydian and Ionian is the sharped 4th in Lydian) - resulting in:

Bb C D E F G A Bb

Here is the information summarized in a chart: (Click on it for a larger version)



I'll blog more on this in a future post! Like always, feel free to e-mail me at guitarharmony at gmail dot com should you have any questions.

Till later, play on!

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