Global Bass Online December 2000
are fundamental to almost every type of music. Jazz, Rock, and pop use these
parent scales all the time to make melodies and build harmonies on. A thorough
understanding of them is absolutely essential to anyone interested in
improvising in any of the aforementioned styles. Some people think that the
Modes are complicated and mysterious. In fact, they are easy to learn and
understand even for a beginner. In my opinion the Modes are best learned in two
general categories, major modes and minor modes. The major modes all have a
natural 3rd and 7th with the exception of Mixolydian,
which has a flatted 7th.
modes all have a flatted 3rd and a flatted 7th.
Each mode has a very characteristic sound that sets it apart from the
others. If you take just the major modes and learn them say over a one-week
period, and the tackle the minor modes the next week, you’ll have them down.
My advice is to see the similarities between the Modes. Most of them only
differ by one note in the whole scale. When you have the Modes down your music
vocabulary goes up exponentially. The key of course is knowing where to apply
them and what types of chords that they fit over. I will explain all of that
very soon. For now, just get familiar with them on your instrument.
are like the ABC’s. When you have them down, there’s no limit to what you
(Major Modes in Key of C)
Ionian: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8)
Lydian: C-D-E-F#-G-A-B-C (1 2 3 +4 5 6 7 8)
Mixolydian: C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb-C (1 2 3 4 5 6 -7 8)
(1 2 -3 4 5 6 -7 8)
(1 2 -3 4 5 -6 -7 8)
(1 -2 -3 4 5 -6 -7 8)
Locrian: C-Db-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-Bb-C (1 -2 -3 4 -5 -6 -7 8)
Come back next month where Lucas
discusses The Application of Modes.
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