Right now my guitar teacher is teaching me modes and pentatonic scales. I'm taking the time to memorize each shape and I play around with them. What I need to know now is how to actually make this work for songs. Lets say I want to make a jam track in the key of C, no sharps no flats. I know that theres the major minor minor major minor minor diminished pattern, but what If i wanted to make a jam to simple power chords? I've been looking up threads and people have been saying "Oh you could jam to Em9 add 11 Bmaj7 add 4 with that mode..." I dont know how the hell to make those chords lol.

In reference to above lets say theres C5 D5 E5 (just for simplicity). With those chords, when would I change modes when soloing? Whenever the chord changes? I'm not too sure if I got this down right but would it be Ionian over C, Dorian over D and Phyrgian over E? Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm still not getting the hang of using what I'm learning correctly
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"Ionian over C, Dorian over D and Phyrgian over E"


if youre jamming to power chords then i don't know if they 'feel' of the modes in relation to the chords would really come through.
you can use one scale over the whole progression, or change for each chord. it's entirely up to you. there is no rule for what can or can't be played, just theory that explains why things sound the way they do.

think of soloing like this:

the solo is it's own unique melody over top of the rhythm parts. As long as the note you are playing isn't completely dissonant to one of the notes in your progression, you can play ANY note over ANY chord, in ANY order.

For example, the notes of your C5 D5 E5 progression are: C, G, D, A, E and B... You could solo in C major, since all these notes fit into that scale. A minor is the more likely choice for rock or metal, and it could be used here, since the notes are the same as in C major, just in different order. All the notes of your progression are in A minor though.

Point is, you could play an A minor scale over all those chords, and after a little bit of jamming, you should have some ideas of what notes sound best in certain parts of the riff. There is no shortcut to playing perfect solos every time. Just jam and listen.

The way that you've learned the modes is not very conducive to improvising on guitar. Modes only sound good over one or two chords, because their interval formula is different than the one that is used to make standard guitar chords. In shorter terms, you need to know some INSANE chords to use modes in all your solos, bar by bar.

This is not to discount the value of modes... scales like Mixolydian, or Lydian, which only have one altered note, are still really easy to solo with over complex chord progressions, since you only have to be mindful of one strange interval, not 3 or 4.

To be honest, i use modes more when i am writing riffs than solos.
You really wouldn't be going modal with power chords especially in the C5 D5 E5 progression. Modal playing needs a strong tonicization of the root note of the mode which doesn't get established with such a powerchord progression.

EDIT: yeah, the guy above said it all
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Don't change modes; you're still in C Ionian and C major. Modes are...way, way different.

For the basics, just...play a C or G when you hit the C chord, D or A when you hit the D chord, and an E or B when you hit the E chord. Stuff some passing notes in between, and you've got a good simple riff to go on top of the progression.

You can do more than just that, but it's hard to explain with just text.
Learn the notes, not the shapes...then you'll start to understand.
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