Scales & modes

Scales & modesA "scale" is a sequence of ascending or descending "pitches" that form a palette of notes that can be used to form a melody. The notes have differing intervals between them, sometimes it's one half-step (semitone), other times it's a whole step (two semitones).

There are many sorts of scales, including the "standard" diatonic scale (in western music): 

  • Chromatic scale (every half note in an octave).
  • whole-tone scale notes a whole step apart).
  • Pentatonic scales (the most used scale).
  • Bebop scales (eight notes scales)

They can even include quarter-tones and other microtones in the music of other cultures.

A "mode" is a specific type of scale. Each such sequence created by starting on a different note of a scale is a "mode" of that scale, and each mode has a name.

Click on the links below to access the lessons.

Ionian mode guitar diagram

Modes of the major scale

Here are the seven modes of the major scale. Ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian, locrian. How to play them on the guitar using patterns.

Harmonic minor scale guitar positions 2

Modes of the harmonic minor scale

The modes of the harmonic minor scale. Guitar diagrams, fingering and positions. Jazz guitar lessons online.

Melodic minor guitar position diagram 2

Modes of the melodic minor scale

There are seven modes in the melodic minor scale. Jazz guitar lesson with diagrams, patterns, guitar positions and fingerings.

Dorian bebop scale guitar diagram 3

Bebop scales

Bebop scales are very used in jazz music and a must know for any jazz student.Here are the dorian, dominant, major & locrian bebop scales guitar patterns.

Pentatonic scale guitar diagram 1

Pentatonic scales

How to play pentatonic scales on guitar. Jazz guitar lessons with guitar fretboard diagrams, theory, scales charts and licks.

Minor pentatonic blues scale guitar diagram 4

Blues scales

Here are the main blues scales, composite blues scale, hexatonic, heptatonic, nonatonic, mixo blues, minor blues & major blues scales for jazz guitarists.

Whole tone scale guitar diagrams  two octaves

Symmetric scales

Symmetric scales for jazz guitar. Lesson with diagrams and scales charts. Diminished, half whole, augmented and whole tone scales.


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