Modes. Part 2: What Is Important To Learn About Modes?

What is important to learn about modes? The answer to this question lies in the structure of the various modes and in their use.

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What is important to learn about modes? The answer to this question lies in the structure of the various modes and in their use. Here is an easy look at the structure of the modes: only a little regular mental work on this is required to begin to get the benefits of learning to visualize the modes in this way. Each mode has 7 degrees, with the octave a repeat of the Tonic, or Root, but varying degrees are altered from the "major" state. This leads to the progressively darker sound each one has. Lydian's brightness or darkness is questionable. It just seems to fit best in it's place below (E-mail me and I will explain why! joshnerez@yahoo. com)
R...2...3..#4...5...6...7...R...............Lydian
R...2...3...4...5...6...7...R...............Ionian (Major)
R...2...3...4...5...6..b7...R...............Mixolydian
R...2..b3...4...5...6..b7...R...............Dorian
R...2..b3...4...5..b6..b7...R...............Aeolian (minor)
R..b2..b3...4...5..b6..b7...R...............Phrygian
R..b2..b3...4..b5..b6..b7...R...............Locrian
Here's a longer way of saying it:
Lydian

1...2...3..#4...5...6...7...8(1)
.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./. 
..W...W...W..1/2..W...W..1/2.

Ionian (Major)

1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8(1)
.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.
..W...W..1/2..W...W...W..1/2.

Mixolydian

1...2...3...4...5...6..b7...8(1)
.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.
..W...W..1/2..W...W..1/2..W..

Dorian

1...2..b3...4...5...6..b7...8(1)
.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.
..W..1/2..W...W...W..1/2..W..

Aeolian (Minor)

1...2..b3...4...5..b6..b7...8(1)
.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.
..W..1/2..W...W..1/2..W...W..

Phrygian

1..b2..b3...4...5..b6..b7...8(1)
.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.
.1/2..W...W...W..1/2..W...W..

Locrian

1..b2..b3...4..b5..b6..b7...8(1)
.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.\./.
.1/2..W...W..1/2..W...W...W

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Handparty
    This is pretty mystifying and clearly deep but I LOVE it! I suppose it can't be completely taught in three easy lessons, it's more just a taste or overview. We should just do more reading and messing about on the guitar and I'm sure it'll become clear what it's all about
    3125935951
    Edward, as DLR calls him, says, "if it sounds good, play it"..."Don't overload yourself with rules". While I agree, I believe it's good to have as many tools to make your "art" as close to the way you want it instead of (settling) for a run because it will "fit"...What do you think about what VH said?
    demondown666
    R...2...3..#4...5...6...7...R.....Lydian R...2...3...4...5. ..6...7...R.....Ionian (Major) R...2...3...4...5...6..b7...R.....Mixolydian R...2 ..b3...4...5...6..b7...R.....Dorian R...2..b3...4...5..b6.. b7...R.....Aeolian (minor) R..b2..b3...4...5..b6..b7...R.....Phrygian R..b2.. b3...4..b5..b6..b7...R.....Locrian whats all that to the left?
    TW909
    Does each mode start on the 5th of the one below and just pick up the pattern then?
    executionair
    So... i guess you can call a C major DORIAN a D minor? cause in a d major they are sharped.. and dorian cancelles out the sharps ? (in the case of C Maj being the key sig)? or no, it wouldnt be minor cause minor would be lowered a whole step on the sharps, not a half step... i guess you'd call it a c maj dorian yes? sorry im kind of relearning musical theory
    t3sser4ct
    whats all that to the left?
    Those are the degrees of the scale with a flat (b) or sharp (#) symbol to designate where the change is.
    towk667
    I looked this stuff up on wikipedia.org and I thought it was easier to understand there since every other word had a link to big long explanation to what that word was... but then I can't be sure how accurate it was since it was on wikipedia.... but I understood wikipedia more than anything on this site...
    rhysy_boi
    *** thanks mate now i can make some real good riffs for my band 5 *'s...*****
    Stula1031
    speak English not talk english you dumb ****! Anyways It IS a little confusing
    Wolf1915
    He explained okay. It's just a complicated topic. Saying that, it could be dumbed down for some people.
    SoundSCCheck
    Modes arent just about intervals though. Its more complicated than half steps and whole steps. It also has to do with chords. For instance an Ionian mode in the key of C isnt just the formula WWhWWWh.An Ionian mode in the key of C would be playing a C Major chord with the C Major scale. Its a little confusing, but if you understand chord construction than its really simple.
    Chairoi
    .... ive seen many "formulas" for degrees of modes, and now you just added one more DIFFERENT one for me to eat away at... arent modes just the same scale played on a different note? or is it the actual formula i have to figure out to obtain the same "sound"... is phyrgian a Bb scale starting on C? or is it a C scale starting on E? and plus, you didnt put them in order when you listed them, that might confuse some readers on the degrees of the modes...