Modes - Where Are They?
 
 

On this page you will find a systematic and simple approach to learning to play modes / modal scales / modal styles on guitar, complete with free mp3 downloads of free backing tracks to jam guitar over.


Watch this video if you want to have modes explained:

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site


Fig one and Fig two, below, show an 18 fret length of guitar neck along the middle, with box positions for the seven modes above and below.

This is so that you can see how the modes relate to each other. They're a bit small, so I've repeated the seven box positions at the base of this page. You can also click here to download a pdf file showing modal boxes, for printing out.

 

Modal Positions Fig one

relationship and where to find modal scales across guitar neck

 

 Modal Positions Fig two

 relationship and where to find modal scales across guitar neck

 

 

Here are some tips for taking a systematic approach to becoming familiar with playing modes:

 

  • Learn the Aolian mode - most of us know this scale as the natural minor scale.

 

  • - Play it loads until you're completely familiar with it. Practice over this MP3 backing track in the key of C.

 

  • Notice that there is only one note difference between the Aolian and Dorian modes. Draw the two as box positions so that you know how to play this small difference.

 

 

  • Notice that there is only one note difference between the Aolian and Phrygian modes. Draw the two as box positions so that you know how to play this small difference.

 

 

  • Play the Ionian mode and you'll realise you probably know it already - the major scale. Learn the above fingering.

 

 

  • Notice that there is only one note difference between the Ionian and Mixolydian modes. Draw the two as box positions so that you know how to play this small difference.

 

 

  • Don't bother with the Lydian or Locrian modes unless you want to be a guitar teacher (or you are an appreciator of the talents of Frank Zappa!)

...........alternatively, click here for a Lydian modal progression, in the key of C.

  • Practice each mode in the key of C (parallel approach), then play all the modes derived from the C major scale (derivative approach) - C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aolian and B Locrian.

 

  • Teach someone else the modal system Wink


Check out my Backing Tracks page for further free MP3's of modal chord progressions to practice these scales over.

If you really want to launch ahead with your lead guitar playing, whether you're a beginner or more advanced, checkout my ETrax Guitar Lessons.

My ETrax Guitar Lessons are superb quality; Rock, Funk & Blues jam tracks, played by 100% 'live' musicians; and are formatted as complete songs - so you get into soloing over a verse, then it steps up into a bridge to lead you into screaming joy over a thumping chorus! :-)

Each hiqh quality sound file is accompanied by a comprehensive lesson, detailing all you need from chords and associated info on how the backing is played, to scales, licks and tips for improving your soloing.They cover a wide variety of styles, from Jazz and Blues to heavy, dark Rock.

 

You'll find more box positions on my box positions page....



Below are seven box positions for the seven modes, as shown in Fig one and two above, but larger.

 

 Aolian Mode (VI)

Aolian Mode or Natural Minor Scale box position

 Phrygian Mode (III)

How to play Phrygian Mode on guitar

 Dorian Mode (II)

Where to play Dorian Mode on guitar

 Ionian Mode (I)

Ionian Mode or Major Scale box diagram

 Mixolydian Mode (V)

How to play Mixolydian Mode on guitar

 Lydian Mode (IV)

How to play Lydian Mode on guitar

 Locrian Mode (VII)

How to play Locrian Mode on guitar

 

eTrax Guitar Lessons

 

Ideal for both beginners and advancing guitarists - Launch your playing to the next level!

  • High quality, inspiring MP3 backing tracks, formatted as complete songs
  • Chord charts and diagrams
  • Scales and box positions
  • Fully tabbed out licks
  • Emphasis on understanding and mastering modes and modal chord progressions

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2009 Robin May. All Rights Reserved. Search Engine Consultants | Website Design | Website Hosting by WebWise Search