I have just started to learn and trying to understand modes. I have looked on the lessons about modes and spent sometime reading and playing them. But i cant see what modes are all about. What do they mean/do?? With things suchas ionian and dorian and etc. Does the ionian have to start from the C scales and Does the D have to start for the dorian?? I dont think they do it is just that everyone seems to start with those to scales alot.

What does it all mean?? How does it all work??
all the modes are just the major scale played starting from a different note. the major scale goes from note 1 - 8 right ? the next mode goes from 2-9 and theres a mode for the same set of notes but going from 3-10.
im pretty sure the idea is that ur supposed to be able top lay any of the c modes in the key of c. so say ur playing in the key of C u can play the C major scale for soloing or you can play the C-Dorian which is really just the G-major scale played starting and ending on C (idk if its really the g scale just making it up)
Or if you're playing in the key of C the chord progression might go C-G-D so while the C chord is playing ud solo with ur c major scale then when the G chord is playing u solo with the Mode of C that starts and Ends with the G note.
In all honesty it seems as if its just a way of writing out how to solo. in reality you can just memorize your major scale and play by ear. since all the modes are just the same exact notes as the major scale. I guess its supposed to make it easier?
If you arent playing jazz or going to be one of those 2000000000nps shredding homos then dont bother learning modes cause u really dont get That much out of it. i think its a lot better to play by ear.
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Okay, a mode of the major scale contains the same notes as the major scale, but the root is a different note. This is just explaining where modes come from, but I don't think of them like this when actually using them.
D Ionian (major) is D E F# G A B C#
E Dorian (second mode) is E F# G A B C# D
A mixolydian (fifth mode) is A B C# D E F# G
They contain the same notes but start on different root notes.

So, they contain the same notes but they are definately different scales. I think of modes as alterations to the major scale.
Ionian (Major) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Lydian 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
Mixolydian 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Aeolian (Natural Minor) 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Locrian 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

So, for F Phrygian you start with the F major scale, F G A Bb C D E
Then flatten the 2 3 6 and 7 to get 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
And you end up with the notes F Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb.

Now, when playing modes over chords, look at the intervals making up the chord and the intervals making up the mode. If they match up, they will sound good together.
Say a Cm chord comes up, thats 1 b3 5. Look at the modes and you see that Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian all contain those intervals.
So you could play C Dorian, C Phrygian or C Aeolian, which one you chose will give a different feel.
Now if an Amaj7 comes along, thats 1 3 5 7. Compare that to the modes and you see that you can play A Ionian or A Lydian, againg giving different feels.
What about a Bbm7b5? You see that the only mode with 1 b3 b5 b7 is Locrian, so you can play Bb Locrian
With an E7 (1 3 5 b7) you find that only Mixolydian fits, so you can play E mixolydian

JohnlJones Jazz-Theory Bit:
With that E7 you could play E Phrygian, with the b3 funtioning as a #2, to outline an altered dominant chord.
E7 - 1 3 4 b7
E Phrygian 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
This gives the intervals 1 b2 #2 3 4 5 b6 b7 which is a _11b9#9b13 chord.

Remember none of this is law, it's just a guide so don't be afraid to experiment.
Hope this helps

The way to use modes and get their different sounds is to think of the intervals it is made up of. Phrygian has a b2, a dark, dissononant interval. Lydian has a #4, which sounds... I dunno how to describe it but it sounds cool. Mixolydian is like the major scale but has a b7, making it bluesy and dominant.

Just drone the low E string, keep it ringing (clean setting works best). Then on the remaining five stings, play E Phrygian, E lydian, E Aeloian, E Ionian etc. and emphasise the unique intervals in each. Really listen to each scales' characteristics. Try making a melody from each mode while droning the E string.

Once you have done this, watch this video:
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Just make sure you play 1-3-5 notes of modes often. They are melody bringers.
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