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Fundamental Modes

Matthew Laham (4396) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 60
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

The Fundamental Modes


What is a MODE? A mode is a series of notes derived from different degrees of a parent scale. I am going to show you the 7 FUNDAMENTAL MODES, which are derived the Major scale. The first degree of the Major scale is the Ionian Mode(a.k.a. Major scale), the second is Dorian, third is Phrygian, fourth is Lydian, fifth is Mixolydian, sixth is Aeolian, and the seventh is Locrian.

The intravalic pattern of the Major scale is as follows:
  • whole step
  • whole step
  • half step
  • whole step
  • whole step
  • whole step
  • half step
Here are two octaves of the G Major(a.k.a. G Ionian Mode) scale. The tonic of the Ionian Mode starts on the third fret on the sixth string(G). Dorian Mode starts on the open A (fifth) string. Phrygian Mode starts on the second fret, fifth string(B). Lydian Mode starts on the third fret, fifth string(C). Mixolydian Mode starts on the open D (fourth) string. Aeolian Mode starts on the second fret, fourth string(E). Finally, Locrian Mode starts on the fourth fret, fourth string(F#).

G Major


*NOTE: A half step means moving up(or down) one fret.(ie. Moving from B to C, or A# to B) A whole step means moving up (or down) two frets.(ie. Moving from A to B, or A# to C)
Half step(B to C)
Whole step (A to B)