Tip: Practicing Modes (Part 1)

This is the start of a series of articles on practicing modes. We’ll cover a routine you can use to explore, understand and apply modal thinking to your music.

We’ll start with the C ionic or C major sound. We’ll cover chords, scales and arpeggios that convey that basic sound. Let’s look at some ways of playing C ionic with chords, around the fifth fret.

Playing C ionic with chords

A few notes on this: many different chords are possible for each melody note. I chose the ones I did because they sounded good, had more than a tinge of the ionic sound, and felt right under my fingers.

I used chord substitutions for some of the melody notes: you’ll see and hear E minor and E minor 9. I included the F# as a melody note even though it’s not part of the C major scale “” again, it sounds cool.

Next time out we may go into melodic work that conveys the C ionic sound.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2010 Darrin Koltow

This first appeared in the Guitar Noise News – February 1, 2009 newsletter. Reprinted with permission.