Modes in the easiest way!!!
Memorizing these is extremely important!
First learn the names of the modes in order; as follow:

1)Ionian
2)Dorian
3)Phrygian
4)lydian
5)Mixolydian
6)Aeolian
7)Locrian

*Notice there are seven modes in all.
I would highly consider writing them down.

Ok, once you have memorized all seven names you are ready to move on but not untill then; which could take time.

Now we cover intervals.
Modes are made up of intervals. Intervals are based on tones and semitones/wholesteps & half-steps.

In lamen's tems the differance between wholestep/tone and half-step/semitone
would be the distance between the fret you play and the next fret/ or the distance between each note for the mode your in.

Whole steps have one fret between them
Half steps have no frets between them. they are just one fret to the next

!You must understand this before for you continue!

Now we can move into how these steps/intervals make up a mode

Here I will draw you up a diagram of the modes and thier corresponding intervals

Ionian( I-Oh- knee- In )-----------------WWHWWWH
Dorian( Door- RE- In )-------------------WHWWWHW
phrygian( Fridge- E- In )---------------HWWWHWW
mixolydian( Mix- Oh- Lid- E- In )-------WWWHWWH
Lydian( Lid- E- In )-----------------------WWHWWHW
Aeolian( A- Oh- Lee- In )---------------WHWWHWW
Locrian( Lo- Cree- In )------------------HWWHWWW

Notice, that all the other modes are based off Ionian.
This mean that the Ionian mode is considered the Major scale.
Oh sorry modes are also called scales.

Think of Ionian mode's intervals/notes as
DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LA-TI- DO
But dont count that last (DO) because thats the first note/root/octave

So in general a way to remember the number of modes/scales, intervals for each mode and how many notes are in each mode/scale is:
777
Seven modes
Seven steps
Seven notes in each mode/scale.

Tah dah its all pattern

Now to make this all just a little more puzzling
Each mode/scale has all the other modes built into them.

Ok one more example
Note* if you dont know your chromatics/I call them ABC's of the fret board; this wont make any sence at all

Now I will find the Emajor scale's notes by using the Ionian mode's intervals
which if you refer to diagram above will be WWHWWWH/DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LA-TI-DO

I am going to exclude the flats because if you know the chromatics at all you should know that where there is a sharp there is a flat

E F F# G G# A A# B C C# D D# E

W W H W W W H
DO RE MI FA SO LA DO
Now we have the notes for the Emajor scale using Ionian mode
Which are
E F# G# A B C# D# E
R 2 3 4 5 6 7 R

This is is where we will find the names of each note for the Emajor scale.

Root--E
Major 2nd--F#
Major 3rd--G#
Perfect 4th-A
Perfect 5th-B
Major 6th--C#
Major 7th--D#
Root--E

If you like my lesson or if you dont understand ask me. If I made a mistake please correct me if I am wrong or feel free to add on too.
I hope this helps with modes
Ps. this can be overwelming no matter how you explain it but good luck and I hope you figure it out the best way that you can
Thanks Sis_ring_under
so absolutely nothing explaining what modes actually are or how and when they can be used?

Context is the most important thing as far as modes are concerned - without that the patterns and intervals don't mean zip.
Actually called Mark!

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Not bad, a little confusing though.

A good way to memorize the names/order of the modes is the phrase:

"I Don't Play Like My Aunt Lucy"

Ionian
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolydian
Aeolian
Locrian

Each mode starts off the corresponding note of the Major scale.

Say you want to play E Dorian.

"I Don't.." Dorian is the 2nd mode.

What scale is E the 2nd note of?

D Major:
D E F# G A B C#

So, E Doran is just D Major with E as the root:

E F# G A B C# D

Say you want to play B Mixolydian:

"I Don't Play Like My..." Mixolydian is the 5th mode.

What scale is B the 5th note? E Major:

E F# G# A B C# D#

So, B Mixolydian is just E Major with B as the root:

B C# D# E F# G# A

Just learn the 7 positions of the Major scale, and you already know all the modes!
If you want to get into analyzing chords & what modes you can play over them, you do have to study the intervals that make up the chord & see which modes they overlay.

If you're just banging away on power chords (Root/5th), then any mode works except for Locrian (which uses a flatted 5th - which kinda sounds evil anyway!).
Okay Ts nice.

Now show me how to use the modes?

..

The lesson is incomplete, and doesn't help at all. It's like you want to build a car, and you only explain how to draw/describe a car, which is nice to show off, but has no musical value and is (completely) useless.

You say memorising them is extremely important.

Tell me why that is?

You don't hear me say; "Being able to sweep tap is extremely important!" Or something like that.

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(most intelligent)
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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 9, 2009,
stondagain was explaining why it is important to memorize.
Once you learn them and memorize each and every one and how they are made, you will notice that every mode has the six other modes build in them.

I will use G ionian or Gmaj
Using the intervals WWHWWWH we find that the notes for G ionian are:

G A B C D E F#/Gb G

Now, if you start with the A/major 2nd in that group of note, which are all the notes in G ionian/ the major scale.

You get A Dorian mode and so on
How?
2nd note in scale mean 2nd mode
and so on....
B Phrygian
C Lydian
D Mixolydian
E aeolian
F#/Gb locrian

Now how you play them is simple if you have your chops built up.
Now you choose how fast your tempo is.
But make sure you can play the modes as fast as you play the chords or it might sound dirty.

So now that you are playing in the key of Gmaj. You have meny options but to be simple you have the 1st,3rd,5th, notes of the ionian scale. (GBD).
You can play these chords as a simple riff
But you can fill in using the 1st,3rd and 5th modes built into that G ionian mode.

Remember that notes in the mode make chords
It can be very confusing at first but once you get it, it will hit you like a ton of bricks. You will see that no one man can completely master any instrument. I am sure Theory will truly express ways you have never played before. If it dont then your God
Last edited by Sis_ring_under at Jan 9, 2009,
Oh sorry if that didnt answer your question; keep asking. I will try my best just because I love music and guitar theory.
Good luck man
Sorry dude, but that big post said absolutely NOTHING about modes...i'n afraid your understanding of them is well wide of the mark.
Actually called Mark!

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Lol at the big post.

It's so vague, TS you clearly don't understand it urself.

'Take a G chord you have many options, it will hit you'

Wrong lol.

There are 3 modes that work over a major based chord, 3 over a minor based chord, and 1 over a diminished chord.

You can't use every mode over a G chord.

But why am I even trying to explain this; check out the 2nd link in my sig to learn about modes.

and Btw, I don't have a god.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 9, 2009,
I heard that those seven are just the "major" Modes and that there is a ton more of them
Quote by Sis_ring_under

Modes in the easiest way!!!

First of all, even mentioning the word "mode" around here, you should be fully suited
in your best titanium armor. I think you came ill-prepared wearing only your
underwear.

Secondly, although I prefer steering clear of the mode scrums, I'm happy I already
understand them because your explanation is only confusing at best.
Quote by 6_months_N
I heard that those seven are just the "major" Modes and that there is a ton more of them

wrong;

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Quote by 6_months_N
I heard that those seven are just the "major" Modes and that there is a ton more of them
The wording here is incorrect.

Describing a mode, scale, or chord as "major" is simply saying it contains a major third and perfect fifth degree. Hence if you look at the modes there are only three that conatain a major third and perfect fifth degree - Ionian, Lydian, and Mixolydian.

However the seven modes listed in this thread are the seven modes of the major scale. That is they all use the same major scale step pattern each starting on a different step along the pattern.

So you can say they are the "seven modes of the major scale" but you can't say they are the "major modes" since these descriptions mean two different things.

Follow?

As for the modes of other scales if you understand how these seven modes work then there is very little learning involved to understand the modes of any other scale.

Any step pattern can have modes. The natural minor scale of course uses the same step pattern as the major scale starting at the sixth step. So it can be seen a as a mode of the major scale. So any modes of the natural minor scale are simply modes of the major scale. If I repeat them and put them next to each other you can see how this works...
``````Natural Minor =                     1   2  b3   4   5  b6  b7
Step Pattern  =   W   W   H   W   W   W   H   W   W   H   W   W   W   H
Major         = 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   1``````
so starting on any other point along the natural minor scale will simply result in one of the seven modes of the major scale.

I hope you're still with me.

Now when we raise the seventh degree of the natural minor scale to get the harmonic minor scale we alter the step pattern of the natural minor scale and are no longer in the same major scale step pattern.

By raising the seventh degree the distance between the b6 and 7 increases to a whole+half semitone (3 semitones). This distance is not found in the major scale.

As such we now have a new step pattern for the harmonic minor scale.

W H W W H W+H H

From here we can then build seven new modes by using this new step pattern in the same way we built modes from the major scale. One such mode might use the step pattern starting on the sixth degree to get W+H H W H W W H our resulting notes would be 1 #2 3 #4 5 6 7. As you can see this "sixth mode of the harmonic minor contains a major third and perfect fifth. This makes it a "major mode" but it is definitely not a mode of the major scale.

The same goes with the melodic minor scale which has it's own unique step pattern
W H W W W W H. It too has seven modes that can be built off this step pattern.

In fact we can come up with any step we want and work out modes. Simply by starting on a different note. The only modes that don't have a step pattern are when every step is the same distance such as the chromatic scale or the whole tone scale.

The Whole Tone scale for example divides the octave into six Whole Tone steps. The step pattern is W W W W W W. Obviously there is only one mode since anywhere we start on this step pattern gives us the same scale formula, or the same distance between the individual notes of the scale.

The Pentatonic has modes
Major Pentatonic step pattern is W W H+W W W+H. This gives us notes 1 2 3 5 6
of the major scale. There are 5 modes of this scale since there are only five steps in the pattern. See how this is described as the "major pentatonic" because it contains a major third and perfect fifth (1 3 5).

If we start on the last step of the Pentatonic pattern we get the fifth mode of the major scale which is
W+H W W H+W W this gives us 1 b3 4 5 b7 or what you may recognize as the minor pentatonic scale. This is described as the minor pentatonic because it has a minor third and perfect fifth (1 b3 5).

So you see that the modes discussed in this thread so far have been "modes of the major scale" but that is different from calling them "major modes". But that important point of jargon aside yes there are many modes and many scales. But how many of them actually get used to make music? Very few. Modes of the major scale are rare enough in popular music as it is let trying to incorporate modes of the more exotic scales. Nevertheless they are there to be mined and explored for new inspiration and ideas.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jan 9, 2009,
My wording is off, but I think I understand. There is no such thing as a major mode.
Quote by 6_months_N
My wording is off, but I think I understand. There is no such thing as a major mode.

There are 3 Major modes, 3 Minor modes and 1 diminished mode.

They are called as such because the work over a minor, major or diminished chord.

EDIT: soz I thought you were TS

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
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The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 12, 2009,
It seems more and more people are learning about modes and then trying to teach others before they even can grasp it themselves. Is there someone standing on the street corners trying to teach modes to passers by?

I'll be the first to admit that once I started learning about new pieces of theory I was really excited to talk about them, and being that I don't know anyone who gives a crap about music the only place for me to discuss is online but ts you have to see the difference between having a discussion and trying to teach someone something you haven't learned yourself fully. It does come accross to many that do know their stuff theorywise (not me), that you are just trying to show off. However if you can go into more depth and really explain the modes to people and how to use them and the best situations for each, and more importantly give your own uses for them (what you have found to work well) and not just spout off something you have read (quite possibly in another post on UG) I will gladly admit I was wrong.

Seriously, why is this still open?
``````        ,
|\
[U]        | |                     [/U]
[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
*-|-*    (_)     `-’
|
L.``````
Quote by Sis_ring_under
G A B C D E F#/Gb G

Now, if you start with the A/major 2nd in that group of note, which are all the notes in G ionian/ the major scale.

F#/Gb locrian

G major denotes 1 # in it's key signature. No letter can be repeated in a diatonic scale.

For someone starting out in theory, please be careful to label scales with their correct notes.
Last edited by mdc at Jan 12, 2009,
Quote by 6_months_N
My wording is off, but I think I understand. There is no such thing as a major mode.

There is such thing as a Major Mode.

A Major Mode is when the mode contains the elements of a Major triad. If the mode has a major third and perfect fifth it is "Major" in quality. The Mixolydian Mode for example is a major mode as it is 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7. It can also be described as a Dominant Mode since it also contains the elements of a Dominant seventh chord 1 3 5 b7.

This is a different thing than a mode of the major scale which describes modes derived by using the major scale starting on a different degree.

Thus there are seven "modes of the major scale". Of these seven three are major in quality and can be described as "Major Modes".
Si
Quote by 20Tigers
There is such thing as a Major Mode.

A Major Mode is when the mode contains the elements of a Major triad. If the mode has a major third and perfect fifth it is "Major" in quality. The Mixolydian Mode for example is a major mode as it is 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7. It can also be described as a Dominant Mode since it also contains the elements of a Dominant seventh chord 1 3 5 b7.

This is a different thing than a mode of the major scale which describes modes derived by using the major scale starting on a different degree.

Thus there are seven "modes of the major scale". Of these seven three are major in quality and can be described as "Major Modes".