Take A Walk Around On Scales and Modes Chart

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What we really after in daily exercises on learning guitar? licks, speed and accuracy? what happen after then? these questions keep me wondering about what stuff that really works. Practicing licks in slow-moderate-fast tempo was not really interested after i found some readings and videos about Scales and Modes. It changed my point of view in learning guitar years ago, when i thought that all i can learn was becoming fast and licks-rich playing, bunch of sweeping arpeggios, tapping all along the fretboard, you name them. all the famous guitarists can do were all i wanted to be.There are some unique sounds and styles of playing in every guitarist song. Thanks to Mr. Satriani’s “Flying in A Blue Dream” which ignited me to look deeper in music. And this post will be a long one. Scales and Modes are effective for guitar playing, especially for the beginner ones who get bored with their distortion screaming loud but leads to nowhere.There are seven scales, at least they are the basic ones, those need to be learned:

  1. Ionian
  2. Dorian
  3. Phrygian
  4. Lydian
  5. Mixolydian
  6. Aeolian
  7. Locrian

i put those in order because they are in that order. 🙂 I made a chart here, it is not really the official musical chart actually, it’s my own note to get understand about how Scale and Modes works.

Scales and Modes
Scales and Modes Chart

Take a look at the chart and you can see it’s the notes in clockwise-order. stuff about the scales those you can get from the chart are:

  1. Ionian Scale ; it’s 1-w-2-w-3-h-4-w-5-w-6-w-7-h-1 , which means 1(do) is a whole-note-step away to 2(re), and 3(mi) is half-note-step away to 4(fa). it’s fixed to all next scales i write down here.
  2. Dorian Scale ; it begins at 2(re), so that would be 2-w-3-h-4-w-5-w-6-w-7-h-1-w-2
  3. Phrygian Scale ;  3-h-4-w-5-w-6-w-7-h-1-w-2-w-3 , remember to understand all these scales in order, i promise you it will help you eliminating unnecessary questions.
  4. Lydian Scale ; 4-w-5-w-6-w-7-h-1-w-2-w-3-h-4 , this scale was my first inspiration in learning scales and modes. It caught me
  5. Mixolydian Scale ; 5-w-6-w-7-h-1-w-2-w-3-h-4-w-5 , you will see this scale is transferred into mode, which i will explain in this post, turns into most guitarist ever explore.
  6. Aeolian Scale ; 6-w-7-h-1-w-2-w-3-h-4-w-5-w-6 , this scale defines songs significantly, you will know what i mean about this after read whole of this post.
  7. Locrian Scale ; 7-h-1-w-2-w-3-h-4-w-5-w-6-w-7 , save the best for last. remember this

Now, to put the notes in order, simply we change 1do-2re-3mi-4fa-5sol-6la-7ti on scale into degree I-II-III-IV-V-VI-VII. this will help us to understand how a scale is transferred into mode.
Most of guitar licks, are based on these and the creativity in exploring them. let’s start it:

  • on Ionian scale, we don’t see any changes since the I degree means do = I. it’s major
  • Dorian mode. now take a note and write down only the Dorian scale interval “…-w-…-h-…-w-…-w-…-w-…-h-…-w-…”, then put the 1(do) there on the first blank note. after that, write down the next note based on the interval, that means II=1(do). the notes would be “1-w-2-h-2#-w-4-w-5-w-6-h-6#-w-1″. it’s easy right? now, play them and listen carefully, let your brain defines the unique sound and characteristic of this mode.
  • Phrygian mode.do the exact steps like on dorian mode and you will get “1-h-1#-w-2#-w-4-w-5-h-5#-w-6#-w-1″ . play it on your guitar and understand these notes, it might lead you to alternative choices for Phrygian modes.
  • Lydian mode. The scale interval is “…-w-…-w-…-w-…-h-…-w-…-w-…-h-…” next is yours. i try to make some interactions between my writing here with your curiosity in learning guitar. i hope it works 😀
  • MixoLydian mode. “…-w-…-w-…-h-…-w-…-w-…-h-…-w-…” put your notes there and you will get the basic understanding about “THE BLUES STYLE !!” (you may imagine those words in echo and reverbs, hahaha)
  • Aeolian mode. The scale interval is “…-w-…-h-…-w-…-w-…-h-…-w-…-w-…” it’s minor stuff which you may find it is collaborated well with Ionian mode. it’s easy to listen actually.
  • Locrian mode. yes, your ears couldn’t believe at first, but the interval is indeed “…-h-…-w-…-w-…-h-…-w-…-w-…-w-…”. for one who wants to learn jazz, this is your first real challenge.

well this is exhausting, because i write this spontaneously and i might edit this post, considering this is the crucial part in learning guitar for your better playing. hope this helps, and i need a lot of responses world wide about learning guitar with these kind of readings. see you next posts.