# The Right Way To Learn Modes

author: warlordjoe92 date: 08/28/2012 category: scales
 rating: 8.8 votes: 84 views: 78,198 vote for this lesson: Vote 1 - bad 2 3 4 5 - average 6 7 8 9 10 - great Tweet
Alright, I've been seeing a lot of lessons on here about modes lately and they all give you the same bull, "To play Dorian mode all you have to do is play your G major scale starting and ending on an A"... That's not really right, that would still just be G major. Now listen, I'm not gonna take the time to type out all the mode shapes, patterns, boxes, whatever you wanna call them. If you haven't learned those already (even though they're just the major scale spread out over the entire fret board) then go look at one of the other mode lessons on here and come back to this later. Alright, here we go... First of all I'm gonna give you the names of all the modes. Ionian Dorian Phrygian Lydian Mixolydian Aeolian Locrian Now, I'm gonna give two lists. The first will be the way most lessons tell you to play the modes. The second will be my way which will give you the notes in each of them using G major as the parent scale (parent scale just means the plain old major scale you are using to derive the other modes from). Most lessons give you G Ionian, A Dorian, B Phrygian, etc. But these aren't the modes they're just shapes, because you're still using the exact same notes in every one of those. In other words, you're just playing G major all over the neck. THE WRONG WAY
```G  Ionian     (Major)      (G,A,B,C,D,E,F#,G)  (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,1)
A  Dorian     (minor)      (A,B,C,D,E,F#,G,A)  (2,3,4,5,6,7,1,2)
B  Phrygian   (minor)      (B,C,D,E,F#,G,A,B)  (3,4,5,6,7,1,2,3)
C  Lydian     (Major)      (C,D,E,F#,G,A,B,C)  (4,5,6,7,1,2,3,4)
D  Mixolydian (Major)      (D,E,F#,G,A,B,C,D)  (5,6,7,1,2,3,4,5)
E  Aeolian    (minor)      (E,F#,G,A,B,C,D,E)  (6,7,1,2,3,4,5,6)
F# Locrian    (diminished) (F#,G,A,B,C,D,E,F#) (7,1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
```
See what I mean? Every one of these has the exact same notes, because they are all the exact same scale. Let me clarify something real quick before I make my version of this list... The list of modes I just gave you is not really wrong per se, it's just that most guitarists see that and think something like "So if I have a chord progression of G major, A minor, and E minor and I wanna play modally over it, I would play G ionan, A dorian, and E Aeolian". That's what's wrong with, and what I hate, about all the other lessons I've seen, they lead people to believe that modes are just a fancy way to refer to chunks of the major scale. HERE'S WHAT MAKES MODES DIFFERENT
```G Ionian     (Major)      (G,A,B,C,D,E,F#,G)    (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,1)
G Dorian     (minor)      (G,A,Bb,C,D,E,F,G)    (1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7,1)
G Phrygian   (minor)      (G,Ab,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G)  (1,b2,b3,4,5,b6,b7,1)
G Lydian     (Major)      (G,A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G)   (1,2,3,#4,5,6,7,1)
G Mixolydian (Major)      (G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G)     (1,2,3,4,5,6,b7,1)
G Aeolian    (minor)      (G,A,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G)   (1,2,b3,4,5,b6,b7,1)
G Locrian    (diminished) (G,Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G) (1,b2,b3,4,b5,b6,b7,1)
```