is the major scale a mode? C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C

why is this other book teaching me to walk around the chord clock.. like this:

C,F,Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb, then B,E.. thats going clockwise circle of 4ths, and its teaching me songs in those notes intead of the major mode..

should i not study the major mode yet?

my heads spinning
About the major scale:

There are 12 major scales, one for each root note.
C D E F G A B is a major scale in the key of C; it's got no sharps or flats.

To add a sharp you change the root note to the fifth note of the scale (G) and sharpen the fourth (F), giving us
G A B C D E F#

To add a flat in you change the root note round to the fourth note of the scale (F) and flatten the seventh (B) , giving us
F G A Bb C D E

You can keep going until you get keys with 2-5 sharps and 2-5 flats, getting us up to 11 keys. Only one left; if we add another flat to the 5-flats scale (Db major) we get Gb major with 6 flats (Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F). Turns out that adding another sharp to the one with 5 sharps (should be B major) gets us the same notes written with sharps instead of flats, called F# major.

Convention as far as I've seen on sheet music is never to use 6 sharps, always 6 flats (not that I've got a lot of examples- a lot of instruments are designed to be easier to play in certain keys so most sensible human beings avoid writing in keys these instruments find hard), but it's the same damned thing as far as all the theory I've ever cared about says- just make sure that you pick F# or Gb and stick with it, since either way you might want to alter some notes later and will inevitably end up with double-flats or double-sharps for something. Either way you don't need to worry about this last paragraph, there's a way to go before you should be caring about that lot, further than me anyway.

-------------------------------------SANITY LINE- READ AT YOUR OWN RISK-------------------------------------

On modes, you're not ready until you can deal with this thing called tonal music. I'd recommend Justin Sandercoe's free youtube channel for a balanced diet of new technique and theory to go through. But I'll give you a few lines on modal scales (which aren't modes, but they're derived from them) anyway.

Basically, the way to get a modal scale out of a scale is to take your scale, and decide that you're going to use one of the other notes as the root. For example, I might take the C major scale, and use G as the root (the 5th of the C major scale). Then I'd have to look at the kind of chord I've got sitting on the root, by counting up thirds. Here we've got G B D, which is a major chord, so we should (at least on paper, use your ears if it's not working out) be able to play the notes in this scale over a major chord without too much tension. Play it over a minor chord for that out-of-key, risky feel that having a minor 3rd and a major 3rd in the same place gives you.

But what did we actually gain by doing that? The only difference between this new scale in G and good ol' G major is the 7th; we've got an F instead of an F#. This difference is called the flavour tone of the 5th modal scale; it's the character of sitting on the V chord in a major key, what makes it unique. Turns out the rest of the modal scales have these flavour tones; it may be easier to just play pentatonics, major and natural minor until you get comfortable with them and then start adding in these flavour tones. Here they are anyway, with the names (provinces of ancient Greece if I recall) of the modes they come from:

First mode, Ionian- major 3rd, major 7th
Second mode, Dorian - minor 3rd, major 6th
Third mode, Phygrian - minor 2nd, minor 3rd
Fourth mode, Lydian - major 3rd, augmented 4th
Fifth mode, Mixolydian (the one in the example) - major 3rd, minor 7th (also called dominant)
Sixth mode, Aeolian (Same notes as the natural minor scale) - minor 3rd, minor 6th
Seventh mode, Locrian - minor third, diminished 5th

Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian have major chords inside them, Aeolian, Dorian and Phygrian have minor chords inside them, Locrian has a diminished chord inside it, and is bloody hard to stick to because the tension in its root chord is huge.
Last edited by MopMaster at May 10, 2013,
Hey Thanks Mop! Lol I use to rock it out with the mop too before I bought my axe.

Thats makes clearer sense tho :thumbup: