I've never really understood this, when improvising (lets say in Bm), if I play a mode where the first note is a B, will this work? I've learned some modes but no comprendo how they work...

Halp?
A mode is just like another scale, so generally no.
It's like if you played a B major scale whilst playing in Bm, wouldn't sound right.

The modes, major and minor scaled (which are both modes too) are all relative to each other.
If take the major scale, and just start on another degree, you've got yourself a mode.
Hope this helps you out =]
A mode is essentially the same scale with a different tonal center. An easy example to hear the difference in a mode is to play the C major scale, now play the A minor scale (this is the aeolian mode), they contain the same notes yet the A minor has a different sound to it.

Edit: No a mode is not just another scale and it doesn't matter what note you start on either or even how many times a certain note is played. It's just the same scale with a different tonal center.
Speed is a by-product of shut the fuck up.
Last edited by Aleksi at Nov 27, 2009,
In Bm you could use, Dmaj, Edorian, F#phrygian, G#lydian, Amixolydian
Uhh, im no theory guru, but i can explain it like this. A mode is taking up the scale from a certain degree in said scale. C Major(simply cuz its easiest) starting on second degree (Dorian Mode) is D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D. You can do that with any degree of a scale, major minor or anything and that is the barest simplicity of modal theory, i dont know anything about the next part. We have a thread around here somewhere explaining them better.
read a book called "guitar grimoire: scales and modes". it's awesome and in about 20 minutes you will understand the basics of modes. i think the book can explain it better than anyone at UG
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Learn the major scale back to front and inside out, so you understand how its made up of steps (WWHWWWH) and intervals (root, Maj 2nd, Maj 3rd, Perfect 4th etc), and learn how chords are formed from it. Then learn how the Natural minor scale is related to its relative major scale. Once you've understood that, then's the time to think about modes. Modes are derived from the major scale, so until you understand the major scale learning modes is a bit like trying to learn calculus before you know how to count.