#1
hey, can someone explain modes (ionian, lydian, etc..) to me? i heard they're a good way to focus more on a type of sound in a key.
#2
i dont know much, but think of it as using the same notes as a different major scale, and starting and finishing on a different one.. eg for C:
ionian: CDEFGABC, Dorian: DEFGABCD
but i dont know much, who wants to explain progressions in different modes? :P cheers guys!
- tommy
#3
There's is a brillaint modes lesson right here on UG

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/guitar_techniques/hopscotch_method_part_2.html

That should answer pretty much all your questions. if you have more though feel free to come back and ask away - being able to answer questions is the only thing that gives me a sense of worth
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
Practice better
Practice more
#4
I'll be honest and tell you I'm not very advanced when it comes to theory, but I do know some basic stuff.

As far as modes go, what you meant by "they're a good way to focus more on a type of sound in a key" is true (although you need to play in the right key, still).

The reason for modes is to give you an idea of what notes you should play when playing a specific type of genre.

I'll try to explain this to the best of my ability, so sorry if I cause any confusion...

A simple scale contains all the notes you can play in a certain key.

For example, the A Major Scale has the notes A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A.

What you learn in the pattern of the scale isn't all that you can play, though. You can play any of these notes anywhere on the fretboard if you wanted to, and that's why you see great guitarists flying all over the place, rather than staying in the same "box".

As far as modes go, different modes sound better with different types of music.

If you like jazz, for example, you can play Dorian Mode or something.

Just because you could play every all of those different notes around the fretboard doesn't always mean they'll sound great with the song. They won't sound off-key, but they won't really "shine".

If you're playing lead guitar in a jazz band, you want to play more high notes as opposed to bass notes.

The modes, therefore, will "guide" you with what notes will sound good.