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Don't understand modes??

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(@jamesp)
Active Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Hello,

Ive watched many many you tube clips about Modes and scales and Ionian mode and all of that and I still have no idea what they are talking about. I watched one you tube clip where he played all the different modes and they all sounded exactly the same.

Does anyone know of a you tube clip or website that explains all of this in more simpler terms? Modes for dummies perhaps? I really want to understand this and its frustrating me that I really don't have a clue what modes are and what the difference in them is.


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

I'm not sure what video you watched, but there are a ton of guitarists who explain modes badly.

Here's how you can hear the differences:

Play a C major scale:

-----------------
-------------0-1-
---------0-2-----
---0-2-3---------
-3---------------
-----------------

Now you'll play it again, but raising the fourth note (in C, you'll play F#):

-----------------
-------------0-1-
---------0-2-----
---0-2-4---------
-3---------------
-----------------

Hear the difference? You just played C Lydian.

Now play C again, then play it while flatting the seventh note (in C, you play Bb):

-----------------
---------------1-
---------0-2-3---
---0-2-3---------
-3---------------
-----------------

Hear the difference? You just played C Mixolydian.

Now we'll do the minor ones - start with A natural minor, which is also called A Aeolian:

-----------------
-----------------
-------------0-2-
-------0-2-3-----
-0-2-3-----------
-----------------

Lower the second note (play Bb) and you'll have A Phrygian:

-----------------
-----------------
-------------0-2-
-------0-2-3-----
-0-1-3-----------
-----------------

Then play the A natural minor again, and right after that play it with the sixth note raised (it'll be F#):

-----------------
-----------------
-------------0-2-
-------0-2-4-----
-0-2-3-----------
-----------------

Hear the difference? That was A Dorian

That's the best way to hear them - as altered scales. If you're trying to learn them as "related" scales (C Ionian, then D Dorian, etc) it's much harder to get a grasp on them, at least in my opinion.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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(@jamesp)
Active Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Thanks for your reply but I'm a noob and I'm not even sure how to play a C major scale. So I didn't really understand most of your post.


   
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(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Thanks for your reply but I'm a noob and I'm not even sure how to play a C major scale. So I didn't really understand most of your post.

OK, you're trying to run before you can walk. Head over to "Theory Without Tears" and "Scales Within Scales" in our lessons section (both by David Hodge). If you don't understand the basic major scale, then no amount of YouTube vids will help you.

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


   
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(@jamesp)
Active Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Thanks Allan. I will check them out.


   
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(@hthiew)
Eminent Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 22
 

I was in the same position and it was Jimmy Bruno who explained it to me in the most non-technical way. All the modes are derived from the major scale with just a switch of the starting note. When I learnt that, it opened up so many doors for my playing. Worth it. I think it was his No-nonsense Jazz guitar DVD. I recommended it under "Good Music" on my blog playgoodguitar.com

HT, Founder of https://PlayGoodGuitar.com


   
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(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921
 

The modes can be identified in relation to the major scale, but it's not correct to say they're "derived" from the scale. Modes were used for about a thousand years before anyone made a connection between them and the major scale.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


   
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