Modes of the Major Scale

What are the 7 modes of the major scale

Ecclesiastical modes, also named church modes, Greek modes or Gregorian modes formed in the Middle Ages a set of scales whose use has weakened because of the appearance of the major / minor tonal system. Many centuries later these modes have reappeared. 

How are built the modes of the major scale

Modes of a scale are constructed by moving the tonic on the different degrees of this scale. There are seven modes in the major scale, these are the most important modes et the most used in jazz music.

Here are the seven modes of the major scale :

  • Ionian Mode | Interval pattern is 1-2-3-4-5-6-7
  • Dorian Mode | Interval pattern is 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7
  • Phrygian Mode | Interval pattern is 1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7
  • Lydian Mode | Interval pattern is 1-2-3-#4-5-6-7
  • Mixolydian Mode | Interval pattern is 1-2-3-4-5-6-b7
  • Aeolian Mode | Interval pattern is 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7
  • Locrian Mode | Interval pattern is 1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7

Click on the links below to access the lessons

  • The Ionian mode aka major scale | Guitar lesson | Diagrams, theory & jazz licks

    This guitar lesson explain how to play the Ionian mode best known as the major scale on guitar. You will find in this page some guitar patterns, diagrams, licks and theory about this diatonic scale.
  • The Dorian mode | Guitar Lesson With Diagrams, Theory & Licks

    The Dorian mode is the minor scale to know for a jazz guitar player. It is the second mode of the major scale and an evident choice when you want to improvise over a minor chord. This jazz guitar lesson provides some diagrams, scales charts and jazz guitar lines to improve your skills.
  • The Phrygian mode | Guitar Lesson With Diagrams and Theory

    The Phrygian mode, is a Greek mode, the third mode of the major scale. It is a minor type scale because of its minor third. It is interesting, but not the most used to improvise over minor chords. Check out this guitar lesson with diagrams, scale charts and theory to gain a better understanding of the Phrygian mode .
  • The Lydian mode | Guitar Lesson with Diagrams

    What's the Lydian mode, how it is built. This article answers these questions. The Lydian mode is the fourth mode of the major scale. It is generally used over major chords to bring a modern sounding. This guitar lesson with diagrams and formula charts show you how to play the Lydian mode on guitar.
  • The Mixolydian mode | Guitar Lesson with Shapes

    The Mixolydian mode, also called dominant scale is one of the most popular scales to know for a jazz improviser. It is very useful when you want to play over dominant chords. This lesson provides some scale charts and guitar diagrams to play the fifth mode of the major scale on the guitar. Check it out !
  • The Aeolian mode (natural minor scale) | Guitar lesson diagrams, patterns and theory

    The Aeolian mode is a minor type scale and is the sixth mode of the major scale generally employed over minor chords. It is also referred to as the relative minor of the major scale aka Ionian mode. You will find in this lesson some guitar diagrams and formula charts to play this minor scale on the guitar.
  • The Locrian mode | Guitar Lesson, Theory, Diagrams and Scale Charts

    The Locrian scale is the seventh mode of the major scale. It is generally employed on half-diminished chords. You wonder what is the Locrian mode, so take a look at this web page that provides you with a jazz guitar lesson containing neck diagrams, scale charts, licks and theory to master the Locrian scale on guitar.