A Relatively Easy Method To Memorize The Intervals Of The Modes

I've come across a relatively easy and systematic method of memorizing the modes.

Ultimate Guitar
Hi guys I've been hearing from friends, beginners etc that they are facing a great difficulty in memorizing the interval structure of the modes. Recently I've come across a relatively easy and systematic method of memorizing the Modes from one of my friends. So thought about sharing with you fellas out there. This is my first post so I am trying my best to keep it simple and short. Firstly I am listing the modes in order of appearance, with the interval structure of each of them:
1. Ionian -     1 2  3  4  5  6  7  8

2. Dorian -     1 2  b3 4  5  6  b7 8

3. Phrygian -   1 b2 b3 4  5  b6 b7 8

4. Lydian -     1 2  3  #4 5  6  7  8

5. Mixolydian - 1 2  3  4  5  6  b7 8

6. Aeolian -    1 2  b3 4  5  b6 b7 8

7. Locrian -    1 b2 b3 4  b5 b6 b7 8
Now lets arrange the modes so that we can memorize them in a relatively systematic way:
1) Lydian:     1 2  3  #4 5  6  7  8 (ONLY MODE WITH A SHARP NOTE i.e #4)

2) Ionian:     1 2  3  4  5  6  7  8 (NO FLATS AND SHARPS               )

3) Mixolydian: 1 2  3  4  5  6  b7 8 (                            b7    )

4) Dorian:     1 2  b3 4  5  6  b7 8 (    b3,                     b7    )

5) Aeolian:    1 2  b3 4  5  b6 b7 8 (    b3,                 b6, b7    )

6) Phrygian:   1 b2 b3 4  5  b6 b7 8 (b2, b3,                 b6, b7    )

7) Locrian:    1 b2 b3 4  b5 b6 b7 8 (b2, b3,             b5, b6, b7    )
Thus if arranged in this order, each successive mode has only one interval which is different than the mode before it. NOW the trick: 1) Lydian is the only note with a # note 2) Ionian has no sharp or flat note 3) firstly memorize "L I M D A P L" (The initials of each mode in this sequence) 4) among all the modes (starting from Mixolydian) in 1 and 4 there is no flat notes. 5) now memorize the sequence:
L: #4              
M:               b7
D:    b3,        b7
A:    b3,     b6,b7
P: b2,b3,     b6,b7
L: b2,b3,  b5,b6,b7
6) This is just a guide which worked for me, hope this will work for you too. Please do forgive for any wrong English or you find any place to be a bit confusing keeping in mind that this is my first post. But please do comment if you find any. It'll help me to improve my future posts.

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    you are correct Aeolian A B C D E F G A W H W W H W W Locryan B C D E F G A B H W W H W W W Ionian C D E F G A B C W W H W W W H Dorian D E F G A B C D W H W W W H W Phrygian E F G A B C D E H W W W H W W Lydian F G A B C D E F W W W H W W H Mixolydian G A B C D E F G W W H W W H W W= whole step (2 frets) H= half step (1 fret) so for example, the "equation" (call it whatever you want) for an Ionian scale is play the first note then play the note a a whole step up, then play the next note a whole step up, then a half step up, ect... untill you finish the pattern (in this case WWHWWWH) and you will end up on the origional note hope this made sense Now the real question is... does anybody know why we even HAVE modes?
    Modes are a way to express a certain scale, ie major scale, harmonic minor scale etc.. in different ways, a new context, for example a 1-4-5 progression in c major or c ionian would be c-f-g right? so now write a 1-4-5 in aeolian(the relative minor) and it would become am-dm-em. anyway thats one reason we have modes
    Yes. But why even bother mentioning locrian? No one really uses locrian.
    you mention it because its there and otherwise there would be a hole in the logic of music theory. and a lot of people use locrean mostly modern jazz but locrean is quite important! and full of beautiful tension!
    As someone who plays jazz, I can tell you that the only time you'd even want to use anything similar to that is on a highly altered chord, but better alternatives are diminished and whole tone scales. Unless that altered chord is an altered dominant chord, at which point you play what is more of an alteration of the mixolydian mode to fit whatever the chord tones are - its more or less an arpeggio. Unless you're talking about using it over a m7-5 chord, which is always some sort of predominant, so you base your note selection off that. It's usually just a minor scale of the chord it's tonicizing, which is followed by the harmonic minor of the chord you're tonicizing (gotten through the ensuing dominant). The only reason locrian is worth mentioning is because it has to exist by the logic that allows the others to. But the only people I've ever seen use locrian were the ones who didn't really get theory and thought it was cool because no one uses it.
    Slayer drop the Locrian riff in like bosses so who cares. BTW This guy thinks he's smarter than everyone but he's not, he's just ignorant. Though seldom used some of the best Jazz players in the WORLD use the Locrian. If you don't have the ability to fit it in it doesn't mean it isn't worth mentioning.
    I know this is old. But I don't get all the downvotes. You are absolutely correct. Locrian is rarely used in music because you can't make it sound resolved to its tonic (which is a half diminished chord). You just don't resolve to a half diminished chord. You could play a really simple locrian melody and make it sound like locrian. As you said, it can be used over m7b5 chords but that doesn't really sound like locrian. Half diminished chords are almost always followed by dominant chords. I see them as one thing, not as two separate chords (I'm talking about ii-V). So I don't think "locrian-phrygian dominant" or whatever, I just think "harmonic minor" (or whatever scale it needs).
    Most theory books, including the Techniques and Materials of Tonal Music that I studied in school, also say that Locrian is seldom used. The reason it is seldom used it that by nature the tonic triad is DIMINISHED, and theoretically it is difficult to build anything around a diminished chord.
    Christopher S
    And there's you problem. "Theoretically it is difficult". Screw theory, just play.
    I don't HAVE a problem. Theory is based on what SOUNDS MUSICAL. A diminished tonic is NOT musical. Try it sometime. Build yourself a chord progression in locrian, and try to make it musical. I do "just play", and when I "just play", I still don't write pieces of music around a diminished chord.
    After reading that post, I just wrote a wriff using Locrian. Challenge Complete!
    I use Locrian all the time. It was the first mode I learned after Ionian and Aeolian. It's used in metal occasionally. Slipknot uses it quite often. I don't think it sounds that strange, but maybe it's because I've become so used to it's sound. I like the minor tonality of it, it makes it sound really either really dark or really wild depending how you use it.
    sunburst steve
    this all seems so interesting and probably helpful but i don't know what all this is. Can anyone help me understand this stuff?
    from everything I was taught (I have a bachelor's degree in classical guitar performance from a major university) Before we switched to the equal temperment system of tuning, musicians were so SICK of the idea of having to go from dominant to tonic, that they just said "Im not going to do that anymore, I'm going to start at the note B and end on B, just because I want to" Thus, this was the birth of the modes. so what you said is true, the modes "ARE a way to express a certain scale" however, that is just one benifit from them. Just one final thing to add, (this has been a major issue that I have seen with students) please take in to account that the tuning system they were using when the modes were developed (pythagorean) made it rather difficult (actually, impossible) to change keys without retuning, it was primitive, which is why we switched to equal temperment. So, the problem I see with students from time to time, is that they are SO wrapped up in trying to figure out which mode works with which, they forget that their nice new stratocaster has the ability to change keys. So, I say just should spend your time understanding the relationship of dominant to tonic (major and minor scale) THEN go and try to understand this outdated method of scales. I have seen a lot of results with my students when I explain it this way. Let me know if I missed something, I do that sometimes
    In some places this is taught as a "color system". Lydian is the brightest whereas Locrian is obviously the darkest sounding mode. Cool approach, helped me a little when I first saw it this way.
    Alright, let's try and clear the muddy water on this shall we. Q:If I play the notes C - E - G together, in what possible situation would these notes form anything other than a C major chord? Sure you could call it an Em6(no5) or a Gmaj6sus4 (if there even is such a thing), but why would you ever do that when you can just call them inversions of C Major? Same situation with the so called modes. If C major = D Dorian = E Phygian = F Lydian = G Mixolydian = A Minor = B Locrian then what's the use in making a distinction? Just call those sets of notes C Major/A Minor and be done with it, BAM!! 2 easy names to remember vs. 7 weird names to remember. Point is, if you're playing to harmony then you're playing in a key which is either major or minor. Only time a mode will ever sound different is if it's played unaccompanied or with a drone, and even then try to keep people's attention for a whole song. It's so much simpler to think in terms of Major/Minor than trying to keep up with all of those silly names for the same thing.
    Smokey McPot
    you should also point out that this is written in relation to a major scale. major = ionian = [1 step, 1 step, 1/2 step, 1 step, 1 step, 1 step, 1/2 step] ...so the flats and the sharps are applied to this form. ...from what i understand but correct me if i'm wrong
    Interesting idea on reordering the modes. That's a good way to learn. My little tidbit I can lend to this conversation is to remember this sentence... I Don't Play Like My Aunt Lucy. Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian. That's how my guitar teacher tought me to remember the order of modes and it stuck instantly. But I do like rearranging the modes this way to see how they vary from one to the next. The only problem I see with this for a beginning guitarist is where to start the mode (what note/fret). Keeping them in order helps with that. Put the Ionian scale on the dominant and you can figure out the rest.
    If Dora Plays Like Me, All's Lost! Actually, I've used this system for A long time, ordering them by the variation off the major scale, I always have lydian as -1 so to speak.
    It's more useful to memorize stuff than not to, isn't it? I can't help but think the point you're trying to get across with those three letters is that one should focus more on keys and that kind of stuff. That's a good approach, but it's also good to remember there's chord scale theory which takes advantage of these scales. This is not your typical "how to play modal" lesson. This lesson shows a useful way to lay down your modes and put them in order in a logical way. In case that wasn't what you implied, forgive me.
    1) they should focus solely on keys unless they've advanced to the realm of atonality, which is unlikely if they misunderstand modes and note shapes. 2) CST is an invalid method for poor players and shredders to rape the entire concept of melodic contour off chord tones. modes have absolutely no usage for anyone. there's a reason composition students get like a third of a chapter for them freshman year - they're outdated, obsolete, and useless.
    My Last Words
    I don't know what modes are, but this whole game of learning modes vs not learning modes learn scales vs don't learn scales is getting on my tits.
    wtf for once I already knew all this a while ago..am I finally becoming a good guitarist?? :O
    This wasn't so much an explanation or tutorial as it was a brief summary. All the b's and #'s (sharps and flats) are relative to the ionian scales, i.e. to make a Dorian scale you just play the Ionian scale and make the third note flat (b). It was useful how you presented them in order though so you can see how each mode is different from the previous one by just making it flat at one more interval. I dunno, I just think it's good to s[pell these things out
    Or you could remember that each mode starts on a diffrent scale degree of ionian. So if your playing C ionian then D is Dorian starting on the second scale degree of C ionian.
    This is a great idea! The modes don't work in practice in any kind of linear fashion (ionian dorian phrygian etc.), so why practice them this way? One point I'd like to add to the article: It's good to practice the different box patterns for a major scale, but when practicing the modes, it's better to start with a fixed root note, and then play the modes on that root note. Why? Because when you're improvising, you're not going to be able to reliably shift 6 frets up or down the neck every single time you need to change to a different mode or scale. It's also not going to sound very modal or connected if you have a large interval jump every time you shift modes. Going vertically across the neck is best for when you're staying within one scale, IMO. The 3 note-per-string scale patterns are very useful for being able to start each mode with your first finger on the low E as the root note of the mode.
    as Eddie implied I'm blown away that a person able to profit $7977 in four weeks on the internet. did you look at this site NuttyRichdotcom
    shit, that last post didnt lay out the way I wanted it to, the steps were supposed to be between the notes, so you could see the jumps, sorry
    What are you on about, i love locrain!!!! (if you hate for spelling your a prick)
    just as Anna implied I am alarmed that any body able to make $4435 in one month on the internet. have you seen this web page o-x.fr/6silm
    Ya it's gr8 idea about mode so far n easy way to memorizze mode...will u teach us abouti..intervals how it work within ascending or descending order..easy way to memorize
    Great method. Keep it simple using the suggestion with---> MEMORIZE YOUR INTERVAL POSITION FROM EACH ROOT NOTE. For example, in Mixylodian memorize b7. Practice this for a week if you have to. Learn the b7's on every string in relation to any note. above, below, whatever. For me this works as some form of Fretboard/scale triangulation, or way to gain a sense of fretboard relations. You could imagine what happens when you memorize more.. You can get a picture of where others are before you even start consciously memorizing them. So play your major scale but change on the b7. Hear how it sounds being transposed like that compared to the major scale perhaps.. hear how theres that sexy holding off of satisfaction somewhat, from 6 - b7. To Gopal.david, your question about memorizing the descending intervals can be done this way, LEARNING THE INTERVALS IN RELATION TO ROOT OF MODE. Less of its fretboard relation to whats next to it in order of W W H W W whatever.. You don't have to memorize a running sequence of interval codes forwards and backwards. 7 x 2 tricky codes that if you forget where you are in the sequence you're kind of ****ed. The step half step method doesn't apply to playing actual music as it does not only scale run. SO learning the sound of a b3 against a root note and you will get a sense of its tonal truth in music and where to find it instantly on the fretboard.
    While its true you probably won't need this to play and, for the most part, even compose music, its still valuable to learn in order to communicate with other musicians. I'm more of a theory heavy player, so when I have to communicate to less learned (although certainly not less talented) musicians, I get choked up trying to explain it in any other way. While the burden may, indeed, be on me to learn to better explain myself, it would help a ton if we had a standardized system for explaining this stuff. And why not use the one that's been around for a while? And if you learn it and never encounter someone as lost for words as I am? Did it cause you any pain? If it did, then why were you reading this lesson in the first place? TL;DR- Never hurts to learn something, even if you never use it.
    no need, dude : ) you just can say that the progression of flats goes on 5ths and that the progression of the flatted notes goes on 4ths : )