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Use the fretboard knowledge you gained from the first lesson in this series and visualize not just each note but its relationship to the tonic E. Go through the same process with the A major scale. Now find those notes up the neck on the A string, as depicted in Example 3 , before doing the same on the D, G, and B strings Examples 4—6. If you like, repeat Ex. When going through all of these scales, be mindful of which note is which—both in terms of pitch name C, F , etc. Using this same method, you can derive every other major scale. Just go slowly, and remember these three things: the half steps that occur in a major scale are between scale degrees 3—4 and 7—8, the half steps that occur between natural notes are between B—C and E—F, and there will be one and only one of each letter A through G in every major scale.
Until then, I highly encourage this mission, should you choose to accept it:. Write down the scale pattern with scale degree numbers and corresponding half and whole steps. Then label the note name above each scale degree. Transfer the note names to notation on a standard staff. The staff paper is included in the free Notation Guide. You learned that the modes relate to the degree of the major scale.
Now you will learn that the modes use the same exact notes as the major scale. Modes should not be used like a scale, rather they should be used as a framework to find the best notes for the given chord.
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The selection of notes is a key point that you should not forget. Another way of learning the modes is in parallel. This means that you forget the key and learn modes that start from a single note. To do this, you must know how to modify the major scale to form the desired mode. I just made a big implication.
These 7th chords are part of diatonic harmony too. They are noticeable when you discuss modes in parallel along with chord formulas. The table below expands on the diatonic chord options we discussed earlier.
For example, the ii, iii, and vi degree modes can be played over the same chord types. Chord extensions can throw a small wrench in this simplistic approach because they use the 2nd, 4th, and 6th degrees of a scale also known as the 9th, 11th, and 13th. The following general rules apply if you have a chord with a 9th, 11th, and 13th.
Chord extensions are advanced harmonies. Finally, I am getting to actionable part of the lesson. Make sure you fully understand the theory above. Without it, modes will not feel useful.
To apply the modes in parallel to patterns, we can take the two basic single-octave major scale Ionian mode patterns and modify them for each mode. See the table below for the two basic patterns for each mode.
You can combine the two patterns to create a box pattern or to create a diagonal pattern. I know this was a loaded lesson. Modes are easy to learn from a pattern standpoint, but have a lot of depth in their usage. This is the only way that you will truly learn to use the modes effectively!
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This lesson is very well written put together my thanks to the author. Jay, Thank you for the kind words! In the coming weeks, I will be releasing updates to several others. Keep checking back!
Thank you for being a teacher with absolute lots of knowledge and patience. Your lesson is well written, although I lost you on choosing the boxes. Could not find the relevance to any of the starting positions.
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However, I am so pleased that I came across your page, as I have had too many problems with — AND — explanations around scales, that this was a real blessing to my little island. Thank you once again! Pieter, Thank you for your comments and kind words. Hopefully, I can answer your questions and improve that section of the lesson for other readers too.
I remember I used to read these blogs and not understand anything! But I was determined to learn the modes. I took about 4 or 5 private lessons on modes, and a friend showed me how chord harmony works, the rest is history. Endless options, confidence, better technique, better everything lol! I was just looking over this blog here for some review and remembered life without modes!
Joe, I loved reading this comment. It is encouraging to anyone who wants to read the modes. Almost everyone is confused by the Modes at some point.
That is so important to learning why the modes are useful. Thanks again for the great comment! Thank u Mr. Sahil, Thank you for the kind comment. I am glad that my lesson on modes has cleared up some confusion. Good luck with your playing! A very well written article …thank you very much, Patrick. I learned the modes a long time ago, but I often seem to get myself into trouble using them!!! Thanks again! Thank you for your clear concise and easy to understand approach. The chord tones of a C major chord are the 1st, 3rd, and 5th note of each of those modes.
One of the beauties of using modes is learning that the chord tones are easy to identify if you know the mode. This shortcut will help you play more efficiently! Thank you, Patrick.
Mastering the Modes of G Major with Three Notes Per String
Hello, You make mention of two gravitation pulls. Would this be a correct assessment? When a musician talks about gravity, it refers to a feeling of resolving tension or dissonance into consonance. The tonic is the chord that will most likely give a feeling of consonance or relief after playing another chord from the key. In a different way, a mode will sound consonant over a particular chord. The notes that sound best over the chord should change from mode to mode.
Mode patterns in a key refers to modes that use the same notes. The patterns I provide should help you learn either way. I hope this helps. Thanks for this lesson.
Related Modes for Guitar (Strings Series Guitar)
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