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Beginner Question

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Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

I have NO guitar, yet. I am retired, and have mobility issues, so I decided to learn the 'Theory Aspect, first. I have learned a lot online...'Google, Youtube, etc.
I keep running into a need for confirmation about 'Modes'..."one more time?" lol

"IF, I am in, C-major 'Ionian my root' is C.
If I go to the 'songs bridge' in G Mixolydian... does the root stay as C or is it G?
Do I start the mode in the 2nd degree.
Is the Mixolydian Mode still using ( no # / no b's ) or am I required to add F#

Is the mode / " still 'all white keys "or is the 'bridge' now in the Key of G?

Thanks for your time...

Donn ___
[email protected]

Or/... Is it moot , because it is up to the musician and composer to decide?

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

Thinking that way overcomplicates things. It's true that some guitarists love to do that, but it's not necessary at all.

If you're in C major you are in C major. You do not switch to a different "related" mode over some part of the song. You might think you're doing it, but there's NO effect. You're still in C.

(Also, learn an instrument. Don't try to learn theory without being able to actually apply it.)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 6

First off modes do not change the key they only determine what scale step the scale starts on and their are different types :Ionian-1 Dorian-2 Phrigian-3 Lydian-4
Mixolydian-5 Aeolian-6 Locrian-7

ok, so if you are in the key of C you only have to deal with natural notes (no sharps or flats). Ionian means you start on scale step 1 of the key So in they key of C you start on C! duh. So now going to the bridge you said it modulates(changes key) and is now in the key of G but in mixolydian mode. In the key of G mixolydian mode you would start on a D because D is G's fifth. The root of G mixolydian is G and their is an F# (black key)in this key/mode. The chordal scale for this is as follows D em f#dim G am bm C D.

Ok so that answers the question but I think that if you are a beginner guitar theorist than modes may be too confusing. Modes were created for instruments that could not change key so having a song the song change to a different key and a different mode is illogical. Guitars can change keys so I don't see any reason to need modes as much, though they can be a useful tool if you know how to use them.

Another thing that could be happening but i don't know since I don't know what song this is, is If you are in the key of C (Ionian) and you change modes to C mixolydian than you would start on G and only be using natural notes causing the chordal scale to be G am b#dim C D em F G.

hope this helps -Rollcat

Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

Thank you... at least your answer is 'Logical.