http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_techniques/a_relatively_easy_method_to_memorize_the_intervals_of_the_modes.html

you are correct Aeolian A B C D E F G A W H W W H W W Locryan B C D E F G A B H W W H W W W Ionian C D E F G A B C W W H W W W H Dorian D E F G A B C D W H W W W H W Phrygian E F G A B C D E H W W W H W W Lydian F G A B C D E F W W W H W W H Mixolydian G A B C D E F G W W H W W H W W= whole step (2 frets) H= half step (1 fret) so for example, the "equation" (call it whatever you want) for an Ionian scale is play the first note then play the note a a whole step up, then play the next note a whole step up, then a half step up, ect... untill you finish the pattern (in this case WWHWWWH) and you will end up on the origional note hope this made sense Now the real question is... does anybody know why we even HAVE modes?

but I don't really know what to make of it. when I play those intervals per string, they are all in the Ionian major correct? so why does he have the other modes next to them? isn't this whole chart the Key of C? I am really confused on all this and I am really trying to learn but I have no idea where to start. and on top of that what if I want to learn more keys? how do the intervals change per string and If I am correct where can I get a chart like the one posted above to break it down for me real simple? thanks in advance.
Quote by gary78912
does anybody know why we even HAVE modes?

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no that is in the article I didn't say that lol. the first paragraph is what the guy put, and the second is me. the whole "W W H etc" I feel will help me learn notes easier I just got real confused with the whole thing he put because the whole chart is in the key of C correct?
Last edited by gary78912 at Sep 20, 2014,
The whole chart (at least what you listed) follows the key of C. No sharps or flats added, all notes are natural. The shape/intervals will never change no matter what key you are in, they will just be moved up/down depending on your root note. An ionian scale in the key of D is the same shape for C ionian, just up a whole step (two frets). Although with a bit of research it looks like modes can get a lot more complex, and the lesson you were reading seems to be derived from a simple, modern use of modes I guess derived from older Greek origins.

From what I understand about modes is that they have quite an extensive history with how/why they were used. The most common is that the Greeks believed certain modes had certain effects, or reflected a certain expressive quality. The wikipedia article gets kinda complicated.

I don't have much of a use for modes (aside from basic tonality in musical structure) but if you do, read up.(?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_%28music%29
Last edited by Will Lane at Sep 20, 2014,
Quote by Will Lane
The whole chart (at least what you listed) follows the key of C. No sharps or flats added, all notes are natural. The shape/intervals will never change no matter what key you are in, they will just be moved up/down depending on your root note. An ionian scale in the key of D is the same shape for C ionian, just up a whole step (two frets). Although with a bit of research it looks like modes can get a lot more complex, and the lesson you were reading seems to be derived from a simple, modern use of modes I guess derived from older Greek origins.

From what I understand about modes is that they have quite an extensive history with how/why they were used. The most common is that the Greeks believed certain modes had certain effects, or reflected a certain expressive quality. The wikipedia article gets kinda complicated.

I don't have much of a use for modes (aside from basic tonality in musical structure) but if you do, read up.(?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_%28music%29

ok so for example, take that same chart but make it a different key, wouldn't the intervals change per string? like the W,W,H,W,H etc?
Quote by gary78912
ok so for example, take that same chart but make it a different key, wouldn't the intervals change per string? like the W,W,H,W,H etc?

The C ionian scale is (C) W W H W W W H, C D E F G A B C
The D ionian scale is (D) W W H W W W H, D E F# G A B C# D

The intervals will not change unless you are changing modes. Key does not change the intervals.
Quote by Will Lane
The C ionian scale is (C) W W H W W W H, C D E F G A B C
The D ionian scale is (D) W W H W W W H, D E F# G A B C# D

The intervals will not change unless you are changing modes. Key does not change the intervals.

hmmm ok.. so I guess a better question would be how do I remember the intervals like this chart across all 6 strings? I hope I am not making this confusing. if I follow the chart of E Phrygian on only the E string it makes sense, but how can I apply the W W H, etc to all 6 strings for that? would it just be the Phrygian scale? I think I am just confusing myself and beating around the bush trying to remember what notes go into what key. I am so use to tabs so I think I am just trying to remember the keys but frets now the w, w, h is replacing tab in my mind. but I guess there is no way around remember the fretboard as notes... I am very confusing I apologize. my end goal is just to see the fretboard as notes and remember all the notes in each key and figure out what chords go into what key and just make my own music.
Quote by gary78912
hmmm ok.. so I guess a better question would be how do I remember the intervals like this chart across all 6 strings? I hope I am not making this confusing. if I follow the chart of E Phrygian on only the E string it makes sense, but how can I apply the W W H, etc to all 6 strings for that? would it just be the Phrygian scale? I think I am just confusing myself and beating around the bush trying to remember what notes go into what key. I am so use to tabs so I think I am just trying to remember the keys but frets now the w, w, h is replacing tab in my mind. but I guess there is no way around remember the fretboard as notes... I am very confusing I apologize. my end goal is just to see the fretboard as notes and remember all the notes in each key and figure out what chords go into what key and just make my own music.

No problem. It requires a fair amount of thinking and work to do all that. The fretboard is set up in a pattern, you just have to learn it. Applying scale patterns just requires you to overlap the notes you play in the same position, instead of just climbing up a single string. For example the C major (ionian) scale (excuse my shoddy tab)

E|--------
B|---------
G|-2--4-5-
D|-2-3-5--
A|---3-5--
E|---------

Instead of 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15 on the A string. You are actually creating a movable shape for the scale formula. Likewise, this helps you memorize the fret notes.
Quote by Will Lane
No problem. It requires a fair amount of thinking and work to do all that. The fretboard is set up in a pattern, you just have to learn it. Applying scale patterns just requires you to overlap the notes you play in the same position, instead of just climbing up a single string. For example the C major (ionian) scale (excuse my shoddy tab)

E|--------
B|---------
G|-2--4-5-
D|-2-3-5--
A|---3-5--
E|---------

Instead of 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15 on the A string. You are actually creating a movable shape for the scale formula. Likewise, this helps you memorize the fret notes.

so im going to assume it doesn't get any easier than remembering scales and that would be the interval pattern... idk wtf I was thinking I was like trying to find an easier way to learn this I guess haha. thanks for the clarification though.
I know this will start a war but modal scales are pretty common in contemporary music.

The way I see modes is not the major scale starting with the whatever note. That doesn't really tell about the sound of the scales (I also don't like calling minor scale a major scale starting on the 6th note). And that way you'll only see them as part of the major scale.

I look at the modes this way:

Dorian = minor scale with a major 6th
Phrygian = minor scale with a minor 2nd
Lydian = major scale with an augmented 4th
Mixolydian = major scale with a minor 7th
Locrian - I don't really see a use for this scale (unless you are into CST when you could play it over a m7b5 chord).

This tells so much more about their sound. Dorian is really close to minor, same with phrygian. They are both just one note away from minor. Lydian and mixolydian on the other hand are just one note away from major.

To hear the differences between the modes, you need to play them in context. You can start the C major scale with any note and it can sound like C major scale. You can't really play "in D dorian" if you are in the key of C. But in the key of C you can play the C dorian scale. And in many minor songs people use the dorian scale. A good example is "Mad World". It's a minor song and uses the dorian scale all the time.

I would suggest comparing parallel modes to each other. Compare C major to C dorian to C phrygian to C lydian to C mixolydian to C minor. That way you'll hear the differences.
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