#1
Ok, so i'm not the greatest guitarist but i'm trying to be. So I thought, right i'll go learn all the modes next. So i've been going through them and learning them as best I can. Thing is, today I didn't have my book with me and couldn't remember some of them so I looked them up on all-guitar-chords.com and they're not the same!!! WTF? Ok so i know that the notes in the scales/modes are the same but the pattern is different and I know that that really doesn't make a difference note wise but god damn it does when you're trying to play it! 

Here's an example of what i have been learning:
Ionian in C
|---------------------------------------------------------------8----
|------------------------------------------------------10-12-------
|------------------------------------------9-10-12----------------
|------------------------------9-10-12----------------------------
|------------------8-10-12----------------------------------------
|------8-10-12----------------------------------------------------

And here's what I looked at today:
Ionian in C
|--------------------------------------------------7--8-10-12------
|-------------------------------------------8-10--------------------
|---------------------------------7--9-10---------------------------
|-----------------------7--9-10-------------------------------------
|-------------7--8-10-----------------------------------------------
|------8-10---------------------------------------------------------  

So what's going on here? I know that they end on different notes but my question is which one should I be learning? All the modes I've been learning are set out similar to the the first with a lot of notes that are far away from the others and on all-guitar-chords.com all the modes are laid out like the minor pentatonic which is a lot more convinient to play. Help me out here.
Last edited by Stairway2000 at Sep 13, 2017,
#2
The first example is a 3 nps (three notes per string) version of C Ionian. 
The second example is actually G Ionian NOT C Ionian. Move that same shape up to the 8th fret and you have C Ionian just a different version than before.
Dont know how well you know the modes but if you start playing G Ionian (second example) From the C note (A string 3rd fret) You have C Lydian.
Which is a major scale (Ionian) with a #4th gives a nice dreamy sound.
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Last edited by Guitar137335 at Sep 13, 2017,
#3
Guitar137335  Yeah, sorry I wrote the first one out but copy/pasted the second and didn't check which one I was coppying. Yeah, I know the theory of Modes(despite that mistake) and I get that it's jujst a different way of playing it but what I'd like to know is which one should I be learning? it seems top me that the second one is a far better one to start with.
#4
Stairway2000  Really you wanna learn both. I feel the top one is better for faster playing and sequences. The 2nd is better for more melodic stuff, so knowing both you will have the option. Each one will make you play different ideas.
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Last edited by Guitar137335 at Sep 13, 2017,
#6
oh heavens, this is all misinformation

let's start off with this: this is not any ionion. it's the C major scale. end of.

as there is no other context to go on (chords that could complicate this), assume that any sequence of notes without sharps or flats is either C major or A minor. you should learn your note and interval names long before you think you can tackle modes

you're literally playing the same notes in each one. the only difference is that one scale pattern keeps moving up to the 5th (G) after completion of the second octave

do not confuse shapes with what scales actually are. scales are just a combination of notes. a shape is an easy way to conceptualize that scale (and a scale in turn is just a color-by-numbers, rarely abided-by means of trying to stay in key), but is ultimately absolutely worthless for anything (outside of running up and down that shape) unless you learn some semblance of theory.

realistically, if you learn your intervals at any given time, you can make any scale shape up on the fly whenever you want. it's not rocket surgery

trying to mess with shortcuts is just gonna lead you to knowing absolutely nothing. don't kid yourself into thinking this way of thinking is remotely effective. that's not me saying there's only one way to learn or discounting all the people who started off thinking like this (myself included), but from years of watching people running this shitty hamster wheel, forget every single thing you think you know about theory and learn all your intervals (1, b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, #4/b5, 5, b6, 6, b7, 7, octave) and how to build chords.

THEN go back and realize that you're going down the wrong rabbit hole
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Last edited by Hail at Sep 13, 2017,
#7
Quote by Stairway2000
Guitar137335 ah man, I was hoping I could get away with just learning one. lol

This is the C major scale pattern (as far as 12th fret - the pattern repeats after that.



There's all kinds of ways that mega-pattern can be broken down into playable chunks.  Choose any 3-4 fret section.  Learn it all, any way you can!  (Chord shapes containing the notes are useful, as are the note names, and any visual pattern you see.)

Some stupid people give mode names to the different chunks (7 overlapping positions, named - stupidly - after the lowest 6th string note).  These people are stupid. Did I say that?  

Modes are real things, but every mode of this scale is playable in any position on the neck.  It's simply a matter of how you play the scale or - more often - the chord(s) you play it over.

Naturally the other 11 major scales will include one or more sharps or flats (from the unmarked gaps in this pattern), but - the great thing about the guitar - every one has the same 12-fret pattern, you can just shift the whole thing up or down.  So the D major scale is the above pattern shifted 2 frets to the right.  (Some  notes will be on the same frets as before, of course, with the same names.  The different ones will all be either C# or F#.)
Last edited by jonriley64 at Sep 13, 2017,
#8
Hail I am aware that the Ionian is the major scale and pretty much everything else you have mentioned. Also i am aware that learning intervals is the best way to know all this stuff, so do you know of anywhere on this site or anywhere else where I can learn everything I need to know about intervals? I'll tell you where i'm at. I know quite a lot of scales at this point and can use them all pretty well but i'm looking to get a little less predictable with my solos and melodies in terms of the notes i use and after doing a little reasrech on some of my favourite guitarists I found that they use certain modes quite as lot, so i figured i'd learn them and see if it helps. But if you think there's a better path to take please let me know. the more you know the better right?
#10
The C major scale is all over the fretboard. It doesn't matter which position you use - as long as you are playing the notes A B C D E F G and C sounds like the tonal center, you are playing the C major scale. There are plenty of different positions for the same scale, and there are also different ways of building those shapes (for example CAGED and 3 notes per string, the difference being that in 3nps all of the shapes always have 3 notes per string whereas CAGED scale shapes are built around chord shapes, and on some strings there are only two notes). You could even come up with your own shapes - you don't need to use any existing method to learn the scales.

So if you want to learn more scales, use the way that feels more comfortable for you.

Remember that modes are not fretboard positions. They are separate scales, just like C major and A minor are. (So, similarly as you can play the C major scale in any position, you can play the E Phrygian scale in any position. The mode doesn't change just because you change the scale shape/position. As long as you are playing notes A B C D E F G and E sounds like the tonal center, you are playing the E Phrygian scale.)
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#11
If you cannot name the notes and intervals you're playing, you need to go back and start with C Major at the bottom of the fretboard. These patterns are not particularly useful if you don't know what they contain.

If really want to be good, all you need to know are two things:
1) WWHWWWH
2) Don't mix sharps and flats in the same scale

Work it out from there. It's harder, but you'll actually learn the stuff permanently and in a way that makes it useful.
Last edited by cdgraves at Sep 13, 2017,
#12
Quote by Guitar137335
The second example is actually G Ionian NOT C Ionian.


As everyone pointed out, there is nothing Ionian here. As nobody pointed out, the second one is NOT in G maj since there are no F# notes.
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#13
Beware the confusions from recycling of names...

Tonal music (about the last 300 years) resolves to either major or minor.
Modes are pre-tonal and don't resolve to major or minor.
The inversions of the major and minor scales have been given the names of the modes,
but they are neither used nor function as modes in modern music.

Guitarists casually may refer to scale degrees as intervals;
these things (1, b2, 2, b3, 3, 4, #4/b5, 5, b6, 6, b7, 7, octave) are scale degrees.
Intervals are a little different as their definition comes from the mechanics of music notation. 
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#14
theogonia777  If you read the 3rd post you will see the TS made a mistake thats what I saw before he edited it.
 
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#15
Quote by Guitar137335
theogonia777  If you read the 3rd post you will see the TS made a mistake thats what I saw before he edited it.
 


Then you could change your post to reflect that.
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#16
theogonia777  True or you could read the post underneath it.
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#17
Quote by Guitar137335
theogonia777  True or you could read the post underneath it.


It's ambiguous at best.
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#18
I sure it's said above, but it's two different ways of playing the same scale.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#19
Quote by theogonia777
It's ambiguous at best.

I thought that was what happened just from the first two posts, the 3rd post was just confirmation.


I also read the first 4 posts just assuming this was a necro'd thread from years ago when we were being inundated with modes threads very similar to this one.
#20
Quote by Stairway2000
after doing a little reasrech on some of my favourite guitarists I found that they use certain modes quite as lot

This sounds suspicious to me.  Which guitarists?

To "use" a mode, strictly speaking, really means to compose with it, not to improvise with it.  Improvisation means using the material the song contains; which - normally in rock music - means the melody and riffs, and chords from a major or minor key scale, with occasional borrowed chords.  
Sometimes you can use modal terms to describe that material, and it may be that some players tend to choose songs that are mostly based on one or two modes.  (Eg  some of Santana's most famous tunes are in dorian mode, which is why some people say he likes dorian mode. He plays in dorian mode when the tune is in dorian mode.)

I don't know of any other well-known guitarist who is linked with a mode - other than Jerry Garcia and mixolydian - but in both these cases, that supposed modal preference won't enable you to sound like them.   Most players will play in both those modes at certain times, if the tune demands it.  Mixolydian and dorian are the most common sounds in all of rock music, along with major (ionian) and minor (aeolian mostly).

In short, a scale or mode does not define a musician's sound or style, any more than it governs the mood of a piece of music.  (It affects the mood, but other things control the mood much more.)
Last edited by jonriley64 at Sep 14, 2017,
#21
Quote by jonriley64

Trey Anastasio takes a lot from Jerry and Santana. Most Phish tunes are mixolydian or dorian. Allman Bros do the modal thing on their jams.

Although I'd agree "modal" is only sometimes the right word. 
#22
1) there is no right or wrong way to play a scale. Choose a way that works for you. Print a fretboard diagram of a given scale and come up with patterns that make sense to you using a highlighter. It's easier to remember if you approach it creatively.

2) as much as I admire the tenacity of those advocating against learning modes and obsessing about semantics, you don't really know a scale unless you know it's modes. Simply knowing how to play c major is basically useless for improvising. If you can't quickly identify what notes and intervals work over a given chord in a progression then you're lost. Modes help unlock that information. Modes also help you understand various intervals and how they sound. For example, dorian has a minor third and a natural 6 th - that has a really cool vibe to it and it is distinguishable from other minor modes. Learning the modes, if for nothing else, is worth the trouble just to work your ear and understand intervals.
#23
Quote by reverb66
as much as I admire the tenacity of those advocating against learning modes and obsessing about semantics, you don't really know a scale unless you know it's modes. Simply knowing how to play c major is basically useless for improvising. If you can't quickly identify what notes and intervals work over a given chord in a progression then you're lost. Modes help unlock that information. Modes also help you understand various intervals and how they sound. For example, dorian has a minor third and a natural 6 th - that has a really cool vibe to it and it is distinguishable from other minor modes. Learning the modes, if for nothing else, is worth the trouble just to work your ear and understand intervals.
No, you really don't need to learn "modes" of the major/any scale (chord-scale theory or otherwise). I spent about 10 years happy without modes before music theory curiosity led me to look further on my own time. Knowing where the notes are and how they interact with each other is useful information, but figuring them out doesn't necessitate learning "modes". Chord tones are good anchor points in general, as are locations of identical notes:

#24
Quote by reverb66
1) there is no right or wrong way to play a scale. Choose a way that works for you. Print a fretboard diagram of a given scale and come up with patterns that make sense to you using a highlighter. It's easier to remember if you approach it creatively.


unless you're playing metallica licks in guitar center, you're rarely going to be playing up and down scales outside of your warm-ups

2) as much as I admire the tenacity of those advocating against learning modes and obsessing about semantics, you don't really know a scale unless you know it's modes. Simply knowing how to play c major is basically useless for improvising. If you can't quickly identify what notes and intervals work over a given chord in a progression then you're lost. Modes help unlock that information. Modes also help you understand various intervals and how they sound. For example, dorian has a minor third and a natural 6 th - that has a really cool vibe to it and it is distinguishable from other minor modes. Learning the modes, if for nothing else, is worth the trouble just to work your ear and understand intervals.


why would you learn 7 modes just to understand how accidentals work? intervals aren't that complicated. there are hundreds of resources online to train your ear on how to hear intervals in and out of context. i feel like you're just trying to excuse a poor system created by uneducated guitarists to sell DVDs and keep kids coming to lessons.

i also like how you seem to think that improvising is the main purpose of playing music/learning theory. improvising is fun, but it's a party trick and should not be even close to your main musical goal unless you're a jazz musician - and if you're playing jazz guitar, soloing should be the easiest part of your job if you don't know every chord voicing under the sun already
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#25
This modes thing is a pitfall of trying to learn scales "visually" with position diagrams and dots on the fretboard and such. I always recommend starting the journey of scale knowledge with nothing more than the major scale formula.

Yes, you'll probably have to sit there saying "C...whole....D.....whole...E...half..." for two hours to get one scale played from one end of the fretboard to the other, but that stuff really sticks. And by the time you work out the triad harmonies for each scale they'll be so thoroughly under your fingers that you can play them at will, anywhere on the neck. Once you've got that, it's actually pretty easy to look a the same patterns in different ways.

The big mistake people make with music is trying to understand a concept before they know how it works on the instrument or even what to call it. You have to spend time being confused. It's just the truth. There is simply no way to understand what a mode is if you don't already know the thing that [church] modes are made of: the major scale. If you want to understand something well, you have to work with the pieces and parts without really knowing what you're doing. It's that process of assembling blocks of knowledge that builds real understanding of your instrument.
Last edited by cdgraves at Sep 15, 2017,
#26
Quote by Hail
unless you're playing metallica licks in guitar center, you're rarely going to be playing up and down scales outside of your warm-ups


why would you learn 7 modes just to understand how accidentals work? intervals aren't that complicated. there are hundreds of resources online to train your ear on how to hear intervals in and out of context. i feel like you're just trying to excuse a poor system created by uneducated guitarists to sell DVDs and keep kids coming to lessons.

i also like how you seem to think that improvising is the main purpose of playing music/learning theory. improvising is fun, but it's a party trick and should not be even close to your main musical goal unless you're a jazz musician - and if you're playing jazz guitar, soloing should be the easiest part of your job if you don't know every chord voicing under the sun already


Modes matter to improvisers and creators. if you don't care about improvising than it makes sense that you think modes are a waste of time.
#27
Quote by reverb66
Modes matter to improvisers and creators. if you don't care about improvising than it makes sense that you think modes are a waste of time.


i'm an improviser and a creator. i use my ear for those purposes, because trying to process modes and scales is really counterintuitive if you know what you're doing. notes are only a small aspect of making music, and when you're creating rhythms, melodies, harmonies, and assisting others in doing so on the spot, worrying about the notes is the last thing you should be doing.

if anything, i spend more time thinking of my right hand technique than the notes i'm hitting in my fretting hand. plucking, thumping, variable muting, slapping, tapping, clawhammer, classical, 1/2/3/4 finger, emulating a pick, focusing on the position between bridge and neck, pickup emphasis, dynamics...and that's just accents and timbre, where i'll often shift 10+ times in a given song if it calls for it.

maybe it's different for bass, but once i have a general idea of a progression, that's more than i need note-wise. then i worry about the stuff that actually matters
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#28
No not really. Modes don't mean anything extra off fretted string instruments.