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Using Modes In Soloing

Jason Hensley (3962) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Advanced · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2

Each of the seven degrees of the major scale can be treated as the starting point for a scale. These scales are known as modes, and are assigned classical greek names. Lets use C major Diatonic scale for the examples. The notes in C major are C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. C Ionian - This is commonly referred to as the major scale. The Ionian scale has an order of intervals, from the root, composed of major and perfect intervals. Standard major harmony is based on this scale.

C Ionian


D Dorian - The dorian mode is a minor scale. It has a similar structure to the Aeolian natural minor scale, except for the sixth, which is a major sixth from the root. This is one of the most widely used melodic modes.
D Dorian


E Phrygian - This minor scale has an augmented fourth in relation to the root, creating an unusual melodic flavor.
E Phrygian


F Lydian - can be converted to the scale of F major (Ionian) by lowering the fourth by a semitone.
F Lydian
G Mixolydian - The major scale has a minor seventh in relation to its root. This mode is frequently used in all types of music. G Mixolydian can be converted to the scale of G major by raising the seventh by a semitone.
G Mixolydian


A Aeolian - This scale is usually referred to as the minor scale. It is used as a relative minor scale to the major , and is a primary scale for building the chordal harmony, with harmonic and melodic variations.

A Aeolian


B Locrian - This minor mode has a perfect fourth, a diminished fith, and minor intervals in relation to the root.

B Locrian