Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Modes: It's All Greek To Me!

Question: What is a Mode
Modes are scales that are formed by taking the notes of an existing scale but starting from a note other than the original keynote. This results in each mode having a unique tonality. The most common modes played on the guitar are those of the major scale, particularly the Dorian, Lydian and Mixolydian.

Ionian (I)

*Identical to the modern major scale, and begins on C. 

C (the tonic),  
D (a major 2nd above the tonic),  
E (a major 3rd above the tonic),  
F (a perfect 4th),  
G (a perfect 5th),  
A (a major 6th),  
B (a major 7th),    
C and the upper-octave to complete the scale

  • Tonic seventh chord: CM7
  • Dominant triad (in modern tonal thinking, the next-most important chord root after the tonic): G
  • Seventh chord on the dominant: G7 (a "dominant 7th" chord type, so-called because of its position in this—and only this—modal scale)

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