Scales & Modes

A 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).

What Are The Main Types Of Musical Scales?

There are many kinds of musical scales  : 

  • Diatonic scales (constructed from a mix of half-steps and whole-steps)
  • Chromatic scales (every half note in an octave).
  • Whole-tone scales (notes a whole step apart).
  • Pentatonic scales (the most used scales).
  • Hexatonic scales (six pitches per octave).
  • Bebop scales (eight notes scales).
  • Symmetric scales.

Scales can even include quarter-tones and micro tones in the music of other cultures.

What Is A Musical Mode?

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.

Click on the links below for a better understanding of musical scales and modes.

 

  • Modes of the Major Scale

    How to play the seven modes of the major scale on the guitar. These guitar lessons provide guitar diagrams, scale charts and jazz guitar lines to understand and master the twelve Greek modes named Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian.
  • Modes of the Harmonic Minor Scale

    What are the seven modes of the harmonic minor scale. You will find lessons with jazz guitar lines, scale charts and guitar diagrams about the seven modes of the harmonic minor scale called Locrian 13, Ionian #5, Dorian #11, Phrygian dominant, Lydian #2 and super locrian bb7.
  • Modes of the Harmonic Major Scale

    This section provides music theory lessons with scale charts, formulas, guitar diagrams and other useful information about the seven mode of the harmonic major scale.
  • Modes of The Melodic Minor Scale

    If you are wondering what are the seven modes of the melodic minor scale, you can consult this very comprehensive website pages that provides free guitar lessons with guitar neck diagrams, efficient jazz lines, scale charts to learn how to play these seven scales and how to use them in your improvisations.
  • Bebop Scales

    Bebop scales are very used in jazz music and a must know for any jazz student. They are derived from the other modes and contains an additional note what makes them octatonic scales, in other words, scales with eight notes. Check out those lessons with diagrams and charts to learn how to play bebop scales on guitar.
  • Pentatonic scales

    How to play pentatonic scales on guitar. This page provide Jazz guitar lessons with guitar fretboard diagrams, theory, scale charts and licks.
  • Blues Scales

    These theory lessons with guitar positions and charts will help you understand and make the difference between the blues scales as composite blues scale, hexatonic, heptatonic, nonatonic, mixo blues, minor blues & major blues.
  • Symmetric scales

    Symmetrical scales consists of repeated symmetric intervals, meaning that the octave is divided in equal parts. The most important symmetric scales are the whole-tone scale, the diminished scales and the augmented scale. This page provides links to lessons with neck diagrams, scale charts, theory and licks.