Modes? What are modes? With this lesson I will make them clear. The major scale can have 7 other scales derived from it - these are its modes.

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Modes? What are modes? With this lesson I will make them clear. The major scale can have 7 other scales derived from it - these are its modes. For example, this is the C major scale:
Fig 1:


But, if you were to play the same notes, except starting and ending on D, you would get the D Dorian scale:
Fig 2:


The notes in the C major scale are CDEFGAB, thus D is the second degree of the C major scale, thus a major scale played using the second degree as the key centre is a Dorian scale. The other major modes are as follows:
3rd Degree (E, in C major) = Phrygian
4th Degree (F in C major) = Lydian
5th Degree (G in C major) = Mixolydian
6th Degree (A in C major) = Aeolian
7th Degree (B in C major) = Locrian
Modes can also be built from Melodic Minor and Harmonic Minor scales, but the principle is the same: you play the scale using a different note as the key centre. All modes have their own particular "color" and are useful in different situations, so play them until you familiarise yourself with their "colors."

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    Hey that was a great lesson! I didnt know any of that, except for the C major scale. I've played those modes before, but didnt know what they where. One question, though. What is it called if you start, instead of a C or a D, but you start on a C#? I'm just wondering what that would be called.
    Ah, I spent most of yesterday trying to get this figured out. I posted a thread, and basically had people telling me I had it completely wrong, andI became very confused. You managed to completely clarify the concept for me with merely a sentence and two diagrams. Good job!
    Can I do the same with Melodic minor, Harmonic Minor, and Major Scale, like can I do the same process with them to form the others? Thanks, and this lesson cleared up a lot of stuff.
    Could be longer, Is there a follow up? Im a complete theory noob and could understand a word of what anyone else was saying but when my guitar teacher printed this lesson off and explained it, it kind of made everything clearer. Good lesson.
    this is a good lesson, but i think it could be a little bit simpler. all you need is an explanation of what a mode is and a list of them.
    yes this one is definately right. Dont listen to them others. Some stuff out of em may be right, but this lesson has everything u need on modes. Nice one. I already knew about modes but this will definately help all the beginners and people starting to solo and learn theory/ Good one =).
    another lesson called modes with mode dictionary is saying to do something competely diffierent. can sum1 tell me which one is right
    ricardo, why the hell did u just post that? I was startin to understand for a moment until I read ur post. Uve dumbfounded me. My head is actually physically hurting. What kind o help is that to us beginners? You've just shown off you musical knowledge confusing everybody in the process. Go back to music collegge, ya spiv!
    Does this work foe every scale? For eg. in an A major scale, is the second degree Dorian? If not what would it be?
    You guys are forgetting the most important thing about modes, if you all see them as only different points of view from the same scale they will always be useless, the main thing about modes is that they are colors wich can be combined for certain "feel like" approaches to incidentals such as emotions, I describe them in a very easy way to understand; happy, sad, arabic, serious, cool, baroque and thrilling, in fact when using them with the same root note model they will sound totally flat or begginer. Let's don't forget the fact that music is like a very vast buffet where we can combine any kinds of flavors we want to taste, so there are three main ways in wich we can use modes. 1-On its root chord ex: Play F Lidian on an F Major chord, wich corresponds to a 4th grade of C Mayor Scale. 2-A standard mayor or minor scale on the same characteristic of the chord played behind: Ex: Play a C mayor Scale on a CMaj, FMaj or GMaj Chord, it will sound very interesting cause we are modulating to anothe scale on each step. Ex2: Supose you have a standard Dm-GM-CM-Am progression wich obviously is based on a C Major Scale pattern, instead of playing along only with the whole C Mayor Scale play for instance Dm harmonic scale on Dm Chord, then G Mayor Scale on GM chord, then C Mayor Scale on CM Chord and add a A exatonic minor or blues scale on Am, the colors will seem to be quite different from the first form of approaching modes to chords. 3-The last one is my favorite and i call it "condo-passage", imagine each tonality is a room of an appartment wich is also in a condo, wich may be included in a zip code and then in a city, a state, a country, a continent, a planet, and a universe, you'll notice how many rooms are contained in a universe WOULD BE NONSENSE TO THINK WE CAN ONLY WALK AROUND OUR APPARTMENT RIGHT? Well modes will be ways to connect a significant number of rooms of that UNIVERSE and sometimes we will develop such complex paths that we wont even see a way to go home again, lets go back to the past example, supose you were playing D Dorian scale on Dm wich was the first chord of our progression, and then in the middle of the chord timing we change that scale to Dm harmonic scale, wich will mean we are not playing on a C Major tonality but on a D minor harmonic tonality, then on the arrengement we force the other chords contained on the progression to change basing on the moves we've done so now maybe we can change from Dm harmonic scale to D eolian mode wich will mean "Dm" is no longer a 1st degree of a Dm harmonic Tonality but will work as a 6th degree of an F Mayor scale, the we will arrenge our 2-5-1-6 progression wich will now fit as Gm-CM-FM-Dm. Progression on wich we can effort more possibilities such as keep on going with the D Eolian or F Ionian, Am phrigyan diminished, D blues, or D Pentatonic to name some possibilities, and change again all our harmony backing to fit those new colors, so now we have a more profound approach to seeing Modes, Scales and Tonalities as the Gates we want to use to cross to another universes. Any comments write to if you wanna listen to my guitar solo proyect visit THX to you all guys!!! see ya!!!!...
    when you say you play the same notes just starting andending on D do u play the first note start on any string besides the low E because wouldnt that change the key of the song if you start on a different note on the low E.
    shmeegle: Yes, each degree is always the same mode. This carries into the non-greek modal system also, and the chromatic scales. Most of the time the non-greek modes simply derive their modal name from the degree of the scale they're playing. For instance the Enigmatic scale's modes are simply Enigmatic, Enigmatic II, Enigmatic III... etc -- C
    does each degre of the major always have the same mode? e.g 2nd degree(D) to Dorian 4th degree(f) to Lydian????
    To CaLiBiKeR805: When tuning a guitar a 1/2 step down, you do just that. Naturally, the strings are tuned to EADGBe low to high, when tuning a 1/2 step down, simply tune it Eb Ab Db Gb Bb eb. If you can't tune by ear, or don't have a piano, use a chromatic tuner to help you. If you have a Fender Style guitar head (all 6 tuning pegs are in a line) Turn the pegs away from you to raise the pitch, toward you to lower the pitch. If your guitar has a Les Paul style head (3 pegs on each side of the head) turn the EAD string pegs away from you to raise the pitch, and the GBe sting pegs toward you to raise the pitch. To do Drop-D, tune (lower)just the low E-string to a D. If it's 2 1/2 steps down, follow the same method. Here is the music alphabet, use it if you need it. A B C D E F G A B C D E F G if it is a whole step down, count from the name of the string backwards one note, 2 steps down, 2 notes, etc. For example: Sad But True by Metallica uses this tuning D G C F A d E > D, A > G, D > C, G > F, B > A, e > d I hope this helps.
    exactly what do i do if a song requires me to tune my guitar 1/2 step down? i need someone to explain. any help will be appreciated
    Great job on Modes, I first learned them from fretboard logic and never had problems with them. Them I got out on the web and found many people had no idea what they were and thought they were really hard, amd most people didn't explain them well, I think they made it to complicated, they are acually very easyif you explain them well, good job.
    to Briar30. if u was to start on C# u would be playing in a totaly new key. The key of C major has NO sharp or flat notes... they only come into it if you start using blues scales. even then it does NOT contain C#. The notes of the Cmajor scale are as follows; C D E F G A B C. if u were to use C# u would change the key to C#. to add in a sharp or a flat to the scale u could simply use the pentatonic minor scale with the flattened 5th for example the relative minor scale for the key of C major is A minor which still has NO sharps or flats.. this is why its the reletive minor key. But to add flavour to it and some Feeling into it u can use a flattened 5th wich makes it a bluesy sound... for example take the notes of the Aminor penatonic scale A C D E G and add the flattened 5th note of E flat (E is the fith note of the A minor scale A B C D E F G A so flatten it and use it in the Aminor pentatonic) this will the create the bluesy sound and the notes will be as follows; A B C D Eflat E F G. hope this helps and if anyone can expand on this please feel free. thanks.