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Old 10-13-2004, 10:37 AM   #21
Bubonic Chronic
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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Teaching vs. "Stude"-ing really opened my eyes to what this jazz stuff is all about, so maybe this will add something to the lesson for the visual learners (raises hand.)

Ok, you have 7 modes, that's 3 major, 3 minor and one oddball, which is Locrian.

If I play a C major chord, I have three basic scale options:

Ionian, Lydian, Mixolydian

-in a sense, which one I use depends on whether the "C" is the 1st, 4th, or 5th chord of my key, and this is the essence of modes for me.

Alright, you all know Ionian mode, I assume?

To get started with major modes, record a C chord over and over, or have a really devoted friend play it for you.



Now try starting the Ionian mode at the eighth fret. That's Ionian.



...my houseplants know that.

Alright. Now try starting that scale a perfect fourth higher (same fret, 8, just on the A string instead.) You'll now be playing the Major/Ionian scale off of the F, which is also F Major, but it becomes C Mixolydian with the C chord. Now by ear, construct the rest of the scale, the notes on the low E string. That shape is the Lydian shape - trust me, or if you don't, go ahead and check your scale charts.

Ok. Now try starting that Ionian shape we're so familiar with two frets above F, on the 10th fret of the A string.

That's C Lydian mode. Again, check your scale chart. See?


Now with minor's it's exactly the same. If you play an A minor chord, try starting Aeolian at the fifth fret. Then move it up a string (a perfect 4th) and it becomes A Phrygian. Move it up two frets, you've got A Dorian.

..eventually, you will wind up playing the same scale shapes as outlined on the scale charts anyway, but approaching it this way is easier to understand if you're a beginner (well, assuming you know Ionian and Aeolian, the two most essential mode shapes to learn.)

Same applies to pentatonics.

...I call this my "Wild Thing" approach to modes. Wild Thing is an A power chord, then D, E, D, and again A. 5th fret E, 5th fret A, 7th fret A... This is where you're modes reflect the standard scale shape over any given chord (barre chords).

This says essentially the same thing as the other lesson, but it's another approach to it. It's a less theoretical, more visual way of understanding how all of this works.

Good luck!


edit: made some corrections - now it IS right.
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Last edited by Bubonic Chronic : 10-13-2004 at 10:46 AM.
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