Lol ive been putting off modes for quite some time and thought it time to learn them so my basic question was this. I understand modes and the concept(kinda) but i was reading a tab for modes and Then proceeded to watch a video. Now both of these were related to the pentatonics so i could better understand them but both the video and the article used different scales over the first position one used i believe the aeolion and the outher used dorian over the first position. This confused me because i thought dorian went over the third position and aeolion over the first not the puther way around and so i thought. Does the first position have every mode? How else would it have two if not every mode. If someone could clear this up for me id be gratefull thanks!
If you're going to get into modes, learn to read standard notation. Modes are a purely theoretical concept that has nothing to do with hand positions on the guitar.

Imagine trying to get to someone's house with directions like "Go 3,825 feet North-Northwest, then bear 38º South and proceed to the 19th stoplight". That's what TABs are like. Notation is like "Turn left on Congress Ave, then right on Federal St".

Don't worry about modes until you're familiar with all the basic scales.

1) Do you know how to construct major and minor scales?
2) Can you play all the regular major/minor scales? All 12
3) Do you know the difference between scale and key?
4) Do you know how to build major/minor/dim/aug chords?
5) Do you know the difference between chord and harmony?

When you can answer Yes to those, you can learn modes and know what they're used for.
Quote by cdgraves
If you're going to get into modes, learn to read standard notation. Modes are a purely theoretical concept that has nothing to do with hand positions on the guitar.

He's most definitely right. However, I guess the best way for you to understand is this way:

Start a mode that you know like Ionian on whatever fret in whatever position you're in. Once you've done that, take the second note that you played in succession the first time around, and START and END (an octave higher just how you ended with a normal scale) with that note. You should ending the scale one night higher than the note you originally started. Repeat the process and this time start the same exact finger pattern you did for the previous 2 scales, on the THIRD note of that scale and END on the THIRD note of that scale (octave higher). Every time you continue this process, you are playing another mode.

It does really help to know the note names and everything else mentioned in the previous comment however. Good luck mate!
Just to demonstrate the usefulness of standard notation, that entire paragraph could be restated as 7 measures of rhythm-less notation.
Quote by AndreLyles
Start a mode that you know like Ionian on whatever fret in whatever position you're in. Once you've done that, take the second note that you played in succession the first time around, and START and END (an octave higher just how you ended with a normal scale) with that note. You should ending the scale one night higher than the note you originally started. Repeat the process and this time start the same exact finger pattern you did for the previous 2 scales, on the THIRD note of that scale and END on the THIRD note of that scale (octave higher). Every time you continue this process, you are playing another mode.

No.
How to understand modes: Think them as modified major/minor scales. Yes, they are just major scales started on a different note, but at least FOR ME it makes more sense to think of them as individual scales and completely ignoring that they have the same notes blablabla.

For example C Lydian: your normal major scale that has a #4. So it's C D E F# G A B

C Mixolydian: Major with a b7: C D E F G A Bb

Look up modes on Wikipedia. It has charts like this for all 7 of the modes and also how those modal notes affect the chords. Yes, modes aren't just for playing melodies. If you really want your stuff to SOUND like the mode, you also have to use chords that use those modal notes.

All you have to do is remember major and minor scales and which mode has what accidental. For example lydian has a sharp #4 and it's a major mode. Take the 4th note of major and sharpen it. F -> F#. This is for C major, that is.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Jan 4, 2014,
Quote by sickman411
No.

the reason why modes have become such a frustrating topic to discuss is because of singularly unhelpful feedback like this.

what he was responding to is a perfectly fine way to figure out what notes belong in a mode. the "difficult" part is realizing that "playing in a mode" generally involves a harmonic context and a tonal center. you could argue that simply playing the major scale up and down on the guitar neck isn't actually playing in a major key because you're mindlessly playing notes from memory, which is sort of petty, because you have to start from somewhere.

that said...my recommendation is to search on youtube for specific modal music and figure out with your ear what the difference is first, before trying to learn anything.
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Last edited by vIsIbleNoIsE at Jan 4, 2014,
The reason why the lesson asked you to play from the same root note is so you can
hear the difference in them easier. It's to help train your ear.

It's the samething as knowing the difference in the sound of chords.
Cmaj, Cmin, Cmaj7, C7, Cm7, Csus9/11, C6, Caug, Cdim..ect

It's the samething as learning to play arpeggios.

Practice playing intervals...meaning Root then the various degree of notes.

Example...If only 1 bass note is being played as a backing.
Playing the various modes of them is call the axis pitch system.
The root note being the axis or tone center.

It helps to have patterns. You gatta start from somewhere.
If you slow down and play attention to at least where the triads notes are at. it makes life easier.

I personally don't care what the names of the notes are
Thats's because I can play those modes in different pitch and they all change.
Read music sheets from a heavy solo has a mind numbing effect on me. At the very least
it'll freakout my eye balls.
What I do care about is the degree or intervals.
Last edited by smc818 at Jan 4, 2014,
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
the reason why modes have become such a frustrating topic to discuss is because of singularly unhelpful feedback like this.

what he was responding to is a perfectly fine way to figure out what notes belong in a mode. the "difficult" part is realizing that "playing in a mode" generally involves a harmonic context and a tonal center. you could argue that simply playing the major scale up and down on the guitar neck isn't actually playing in a major key because you're mindlessly playing notes from memory, which is sort of petty, because you have to start from somewhere.

that said...my recommendation is to search on youtube for specific modal music and figure out with your ear what the difference is first, before trying to learn anything.

You're right. I'm sorry; I just wanted to express that I didn't particularly subscribe to that post and I didn't really have the time to type out a lengthier response.

While it is a perfectly fine and helpful way to know the notes in every mode, I think the way he put it wasn't really correct and might create those common misconceptions regarding modes.

He did say that you'd be playing in a different mode if you played the major scale starting at different positions. Which isn't true; playing in different modes depends on the modal centre imposed by the context of the music, not on where you start playing a pattern on a guitar.

Also, I find the emphasis put on the fact that scales/modes start or end in some note to be a bit ridiculous and misleading for beginners.

EDIT: I also like the fact that apparently in these last 2 years (in which I haven't checked/posted in MT so often) people stopped being such arseholes (like I probably was just there).
Last edited by sickman411 at Jan 4, 2014,
Quote by sickman411

Also, I find the emphasis put on the fact that scales/modes start or end in some note to be a bit ridiculous and misleading for beginners.

I could not agree more. This alone is the reason why it took a long ass time for me to understand modes.

No one ever told me they are basically just major/minor scales with accidentals. Usually people say like: "uhh, yeah play C minor but start on D THATS D DORIAN!" that's worthless advice in my opinion. It's worth mentioning that modes have the same notes as the major scale, but the KEY CENTER is a different note than the first note/root of the major scale. Emphasis has to be on the major/minor with accidentals in my opinion, though. Teach which notes of the majors/minors to sharpen for each mode.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Jan 4, 2014,

The scale shapes are related to the modes but should not be associated with a specific shape.

It is misleading to name shapes after modes simply because that shape starts on a different note of the scale. As someone said before it has nothing to do with the starting or ending note but depends on the tonal centre.

It is easier to understand modes if you compare parallel modes as opposed to relative modes.

Relative modes are modes that have the same notes but different roots. D Dorian has the notes D E F G A B C D; G Mixolydian has G A B C D E F G. D Dorian and G Mixolydian are Relative mdoes.

Parallel modes have the same tonic. The parallel mixolydian to D Dorian is D Mixolydian
Comparing the two we get
D Dorian = D E F G A B C
D Mixolydian = D E F# G A B C D
Thus we can see that they are very similar indeed, with the exception that one has a major third and one has a minor third.

As we primarily view things in terms of major and minor then it tends to be easiest to relate the modes into major and minor categories depending on whether the tonic chord in that mode is major or minor.

Thus the Ionian, Mixolydian, and Lydian are all major modes
Ionian = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Mixolydian = 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Lydian = 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7

Note that they share the same scale degrees with the exception of the fourth and seventh. Consider then that the pentatonic scale is the same as the major scale without the fourth or seventh, thus the pentatonic scale forms the backbone of all these "major" modes. The fourth and sevenths provide different "flavour" notes.

Same goes for the minor modes.
Aeolian = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Dorian = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian = 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Note they share the same scale degrees with the exception of the 2nd and 6th which give each mode it's unique modal flavour. Note also the minor pentatonic scale which is the same as the minor scale without the 2nd and 6th.

While these relationships are useful for relating the modes to each other and remembering them it is best to think of them as "usefully coincidental" rather than read too much more into them.
Si
Quote by Elintasokas
I could not agree more. This alone is the reason why it took a long ass time for me to understand modes.

No one ever told me they are basically just major/minor scales with accidentals. Usually people say like: "uhh, yeah play C minor but start on D THATS D DORIAN!" that's worthless advice in my opinion. It's worth mentioning that modes have the same notes as the major scale, but the KEY CENTER is a different note than the first note/root of the major scale. Emphasis has to be on the major/minor with accidentals in my opinion, though. Teach which notes of the majors/minors to sharpen for each mode.

They're not just passing notes.

The Locrian sounds scary.
The harmonic minor sounds evil
The phyrgian ls a mystery between scary and evil.lol

This
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE0qLKHnflo
Last edited by smc818 at Jan 4, 2014,
Quote by smc818
The Locrian sounds Locrian.
The harmonic minor sounds minor and all leading-toney and stuff
The phyrgian ls a mystery between Phrygian and Phrygian.lol

Fixed.
Modes aren't positions on the fretboard, and that's all you need to know for now TS. In the meantime get working on what cdgraves suggested above. You too smc818.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
yeah sure...thats like I never used a chord chart to figure out a C chord.
I came out of the womb a master at the guitar fretbaord.lol
Quote by AlanHB
You too smc818.