The Seven Modes of The Major Scale
- By jazz-guitar-licks
- On 2016-07-12
- 0 comments
What Are Ecclesiastical Modes?
Ecclesiastical modes, also named "Greek modes"or "church 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.
Several centuries later these modes have reappeared. They are very used in jazz improvisation as scale of chords and modal playing.
This lesson explains how are built modes and how to play them on guitar.
What Are The Seven Modes Of The Major Scale?
Modes are built by moving the root on each degree of a scale. Each mode as a specific succession of tones and half-tones corresponding to a chord.
The most important modes are built from the diatonic major scale, they are named :
- Ionian mode (major) : Also known as major scale. Here is the formula 1-2-3-4-5-6-7
- Dorian mode (minor) : 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7
- Phrygian mode (minor) : 1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7
- Lydian mode (major) : 1-2-b3-#4-5-b6-7
- Mixolydian mode (dominant) :1-2-3-4-5-6-b7
- Aeolian mode (minor) : 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-7
- Locrian mode (half-diminished) : 1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7
The Ionian mode is the first of the seven musical modes. The Ionian mode is built the same as the major scale and surely the first scale to learn for a beginner musician. It is made up of seven notes :
|C Ionian mode||C||D||E||F||G||A||B|
(W = whole step ; H = half step)
You can play the Ionian mode over major chord types as :
Major, major seventh (M7) , major sixth (M6 or 6) , major ninth (M9), major six/nine (M6/9), sus 2, sus 4.
The Dorian mode is the second of the seven musical modes. It is a minor type scale because of the minor third (b3). The Dorian mode is generally the first choice for improvising over minor chords and one of the most important scale to know for a jazz guitar improviser.
It is made up of seven notes including a minor third (b3) and minor seventh (b7).
|D Dorian mode||D||E||F||G||A||B||C|
The Phrygian mode is the third mode of the major scale. It is one of the three minor modes of the major scale. These minor modes are Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian (natural minor scale).
It can be played over minor chords, but it is rarely used because of the b2 scale tone.
|E Phrygian mode||E||F||G||A||B||C||D|
The Lydian mode is the fourth mode of the major scale. It is very used to play over major chords, it is a major type scale (because of its major third).
The Lydian mode has a very interesting sound because of its #4 (or #11), it is similar to the Ionian mode but has a raised fourth (#4) instead of a perfect fourth. Playing the F Lydian mode over a C major chord is the same as playing the C Ionian mode starting by the fourth (F).
Lydian mode gets interesting when it is played over a major chord, for example playing a F Lydian scale over a CM7 brings tension because of the raised fourth / Raised eleventh (#4).
|F Lydian mode||F||G||A||B||C||D||E|
The Mixolydian mode is the fifth mode of the major scale. This is a major type scale (also called dominant scale) because of the major third (3) and the minor seventh (b3).
It has the same notes as the Ionian mode except the minor seventh (b7). This is the mode to know when you want to play over dominant chords (not altered).
The Mixolydian mode is widely used in jazz and blues music it's one of the most important mode to master.
|G Mixolydian mode||G||A||B||C||D||E||F|
The Aeolian mode (also called "natural minor scale" or "relative minor scale) is the sixth mode of the major scale, it is known as a relative minor to the major scale (ionian mode).
This is the third of the three minor modes (Aeolian, Dorian and Phrygian) of the major scale and a very important minor mode to master. It has a minor third (b3), a minor seventh (b7) and a minor sixth (b6).
|A Aeolian mode||A||B||C||D||E||F||G|
The Locrian mode is the seventh mode of the major scale. It has a particular sound because of its b2, its b3, b5, b6 and b7. It is the least used, and probably the most misunderstood out of all of the modes of the major scale.
It is usually played over minor seventh flat ninth chords (m7b5), in a minor II-V-I sequence for example.
|B Locrian mode||B||C||D||E||F||G||A|
This E-book is a printable PDF method including over 700 scale diagrams and formula charts for guitarists.
This PDF eBook provides over 550 guitar chord shapes. This is the perfect reference guide to understand how chords are built and how to play them on the guitar neck.
This printable PDF is a method dedicated to guitarists of all styles who want to learn the most important types of arpeggios.
This handbook for guitar players is intended both for teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
This package includes a printable PDF method containing 30 exercises with tabs, staves and audio files for practicing minor arpeggios on guitar.
This bundle contains 4 PDF methods for a total of 170 exercises with tabs, staves, analysis & audio files for practicing scales, arpeggios licks & chords over the 2-5-1 progression.
This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
In this package you'll get a printable PDF Method with tabs, notation, analysis, scale shapes and audio files for practicing 30 smooth jazz guitar licks.
This pdf method for guitar contains fourteen 2 5 1 jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
This printable PDF guitar method provides 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab and staves for learning major 2-5-1 chord voicings.
This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor 2 5 1 jazz patterns.
PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
This printable PDF method offers 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians. Tab, standard notation, audio files & analysis.
11 jazz blues chord studies with tabs, standard notation, analysis, and audio recordings and PDF.
This PDF with Tabs and audio files provides 10 easy acoustic fingerstyle blues guitar studies for kids and beginners.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.
This printable PDF eBook offers 10 easy minor 7 arpeggio patterns with its related YouTube video for beginner guitarists.
This is a printable PDF for beginner jazz guitar players providing 10 easy licks to practice major 7 arpeggios.