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Memorizing Musical Modes - Part 1

John Chamley (252) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Beginner · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1

Can you name the 7 Greek modes in order from memory? If not, read on...

Here are the seven Greek modes derived from the major scale
1. Ionian
2. Dorian
3. Phrygian
4. Lydian
5. Mixolydian
6. Aeolian
7. Locrian

Learn the names, then use the following technique to memorize the order.

How to Memorize

Using the first letters of each of the greek mode names remember this little Harry Potter spell (dont worry - its not going to turn your Gibson into a broomstick)

Sounds like : I-O Do Fly Me A-O Lo

It may be difficult word to say, but keep repeating it and you may have trouble getting it out of your head.

Next, crack the code and verbalize the list of Greek modes from your memorized word. Remember that Fly Me contains three modes: PHrygian, LYdian & MIxolydian. It works for me. If it works for you, then Magic! (the sort of magic I am talking about is how the brain actually remembers using this kind of strategy).

Modes Relative to the Major Scale.

Here are definitions of the modes based on major scales.

Ionian - Same as the major scale
Dorian - A scale with a flattened 3rd and 7th Example: Scarborough Fair
Phrygian - A scale with a flattened 2nd, 3rd, 6th & 7th
Lydian - A scale with a sharpened 4th
Mixolydian - A scale with a flattened 7th Example: Norwegian Wood
Aeolian - Same as a natural minor scale. A scale with a flattened 3rd, 6th & 7th
Locrian - A scale with a flattened 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th & 7th

Watch out for Part 2 that will go into more detail about the modes, how and where to play them. I will also be posting a pdf version of the tutorial on my website http://www.guitar-lessons.us.