If you’re just getting started with music, you may be wondering what modes are and how to use them. Modes are basically different ways of playing the same scale, and they can give your music a totally different feel. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll show you how to use modes in your music to add interest and variety.
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What are modes?
Modes are one of the most important concepts in music theory, yet they are also one of the most confusing for beginners. Simply put, a mode is a scale with a different starting note. In other words, if you were to play the same scale starting on a different note, you would be playing a different mode.
There are seven modes in total, and each has its own unique sound. The best way to get a feel for what each mode sounds like is to listen to music that uses them. Once you’ve done that, you can start experimenting with using modes in your own music.
The easiest way to start working with modes is to think of them as variations of the major scale. The major scale has seven notes, and each mode starts on a different note of that scale. If you’re familiar with the major scale, you can use that knowledge to help you understand modes.
To understand how this works, let’s look at an example. The first mode is called the ionian mode, and it’s essentially the same as a major scale. If we take the major scale starting on C, the ionian mode would also start on C. Thenotes would be C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.
The second mode is called the dorian mode, and it starts on the second degree of the major scale. In our example using the C major scalethat would be D. The notes in the Dorian mode would be D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D . You can see that it’s simply the major scale starting on a different note.
The third mode is called phrygian and it starts on the third degree of the major scale. So in our C major scalethe phrygian mode would start on E and would go E-F-G-A-B-C -D -E . Again, it’s just a matter of starting on a different degree ofthescale .
You can continue this pattern for all seven modes:
Lydian: Starts on fourth degree Mixolydian: Starts on fifth degree
Aeolian: Starts on sixth degree Locrian: Startson seventh degree
The major scale and its modes
Modes are an essential part of understanding music. They provide a framework for composition and improvisation, and offer a way to add interest and variety to your playing. In this article, we’ll take a look at what modes are, how they’re used, and how you can use them in your own music.
The major scale is the most basic and commonly used scale in western music. It consists of seven notes, each separated by a whole step (two frets on the guitar). The major scale can be played in any key, and its modes correspond to the seven notes of the major scale.
Mode 1: Ionian
The Ionian mode is the major scale itself. It’s the most common mode, and is used in many popular songs.
Mode 2: Dorian
The Dorian mode is similar to the natural minor scale (also called the Aeolian mode), but with a minor 6th instead of a minor 7th. This gives it a slightly different sound, which can be heard in songs like “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.
Mode 3: Phrygian
The Phrygian mode is similar to the minor scale, but with a flat 2nd instead of a natural 2nd. This gives it a unique sound that can be heard in songs like “Spanish Castle Magic” by Jimi Hendrix and “Nikita” by Elton John.
Mode 4: Lydian
The Lydian mode is similar to the major scale, but with a sharp 4th instead of a natural 4th. This gives it a distinctive sound that can be heard in songs like “Golden Slumbers” by The Beatles and “Benny and the Jets” by Elton John.
Mode 5: Mixolydian
The Mixolydian mode is similar to the major scale, but with a flat 7th instead of a natural 7th. This gives it a bluesy sound that can be heard in songs like “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits and “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The minor scale and its modes
In music, there are different ways of playing scales. The most common is the major scale, but there’s also the minor scale. The minor scale has a different sound from the major scale, and it’s this sound that we’re going to explore in this beginner’s guide.
The minor scale is made up of seven different notes, just like the major scale. But the order of these notes is different, and this gives the minor scale its characteristic sound. To play a minor scale, you start on the sixth note of the major scale. For example, if you’re playing in C Major, you would start on A Minor. From there, you play all the notes in order up to the octave. So in C Major, the notes would be A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A.
Modes are simply scales that use a different starting note. So if we take our A Minor example above, we could start on any other note in the scale and end up with a different mode. For example, starting on C would give us C Dorian Mode; starting on D would give us D Phrygian Mode; and so on.
There are seven modes in total, each with its own unique sound. In this guide, we’re going to focus on two of them: Dorian Mode and Phrygian Mode. These are two of the most popular modes in modern music, and they’re used a lot in rock and metal.
The Dorian mode
The Dorian mode is a minor scale that is often used in jazz and rock music. It is named after the ancient Greek city of Dorian, which was known for its music and poetry. The Dorian mode can be created by starting on the second note of a major scale and playing all the remaining notes in order. For example, if we start on the second note of a C major scale, we would get the following notes: D, E, F, G, A, B, C.
The Phrygian mode
The Phrygian mode is the third mode of the major scale. It has a minor feel to it and is often used in rock and metal music. To form a Phrygian scale, you start on the third note of the major scale and play all the notes up to the octave. So, in the key of C, the Phrygian scale would be made up of the notes C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab, and Bb.
The Lydian mode
The Lydian mode is the fourth mode of the major scale. It is similar to the major scale, but with a raised fourth degree. The Lydian mode is often used in jazz and rock music.
The Mixolydian mode
The Mixolydian mode is the fifth of the seven musical modes. It has a major scale feel and sound, with a flattened seventh degree. The Mixolydian mode is often used in rock and blues music.
The Aeolian mode
In music, a mode is a particular scale. The word “mode” comes from the Latin word modus, meaning “measure, standard, or manner”. The Aeolian mode is named after the Greek city of Aeolis (Αιολίς).
The Aeolian mode is also called the natural minor scale. This is because it is built upon the first, third, fifth and seventh degrees of the major scale. The Aeolian mode has no sharps or flats in its key signature.
The Aeolian mode is commonly used in rock and roll, blues, and jazz.
The Locrian mode
The Locrian mode is the seventh and final mode of the major scale. It is considered to be a very unstable and unresolved sounding scale, due to its half-step intervals between the tonic and second scale degree, and between the fourth and fifth scale degree. This gives the Locrian mode a very dissonant quality.
The Locrian mode is not used as often as other modes, but can be found in some jazz and rock music. To create a Locrian sound, start on the seventh scale degree of the major scale and play all seven notes of the scale.
Using modes in your music
Modes are an important tool for any musician, but they can be especially helpful for beginners. By understanding how modes work and incorporating them into your music, you can add a new level of depth and complexity to your sound.
There are many different types of modes, but the most commonly used are the major and minor modes. To understand how these modes work, it’s helpful to think of them as sets of notes that you can use to create your melody.
The major mode, also known as the Ionian mode, is built on a major scale. This means that it contains all of the same notes as a major scale, but it starts and ends on a different note. For example, if you were to play a C major scale starting on the note D, you would be playing in the Dorian mode.
The minor mode, also known as the Aeolian mode, is built on a natural minor scale. This means that it contains all of the same notes as a natural minor scale, but it starts and ends on a different note. For example, if you were to play an A minor scale starting on the note B, you would be playing in the Phrygian mode.
You can use any mode in any key, but some keys will lend themselves better to certain modes than others. For example, the Dorian mode works well in minor keys because it contains a minor third interval (the interval between the first and third notes of the scale). The Phrygian mode works well in major keys because it contains a major second interval (the interval between the first and second notes of the scale).
When choosing which mode to use in your music, it’s important to think about the overall feel that you want to create. Each mode has its own unique sound and characteristics that can be used to achieve different effects.
The following are some general guidelines for using modes in your music:
-If you want to create a bright or uplifting sound, try using a major mode.
-If you want to create a dark or mysterious sound, try using a minor mode.
-If you want to create an eerie or unsettled sound, try using an exotic/unusualmode such as the Phrygian or Locrian.
-If you want to create a laid-back or relaxed sound, try using a modal jazz harmony built on one ofthe Dorian or Aeolian modes.