Modes of the major scale, pt.2


We now consider each mode:

IONIAN


|1|-|2|-|3|4|-|5|-|6|-|7|1|
|5|-|6|-|7|1|-|2|-|3|4|-|5|
|-|3|4|-|5|-|6|-|7|1|-|2|-|
|-|7|1|-|2|-|3|4|-|5|-|6|-|
|4|-|5|-|6|-|7|1|-|2|-|3|4|
|1|-|2|-|3|4|-|5|-|6|-|7|1|

ionian mode"E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|
|---|-5-|---|-6-|
|-2-|---|-3-|-4-|
|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|
|-3-|-4-|---|-5-|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|

ionian mode"A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|-5-|---|-6-|---|
|---|-2-|---|-3-|-4-|
|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|-3-|-4-|---|-5-|---|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|---|
|---|-5-|---|-6-|---|

I've previously described the ionian mode in detail (July5, July12, aug9, aug16). The ionian mode is often called the major scale. The western system we use is based off it. When analysing intervals, they are referenced to the major scale. You can probably already sing this one in your head (try singing do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do). the ionian mode is heard in most forms of western music. It's step pattern is WW1/2WWW1/2. We can represent its intervals as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. we can see it is a major scale (contains the notes 1,3,5). In the key of C, it is the notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C.

We associate the following chords with the ionian mode:
I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio,
Imaj7-ii7-iii7-IVmaj7-V7-vi7-vii7b5.
(further extensions given in part 1)
In the key of C, These chords are:
C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-Bo,
Cmaj7-Dm7-Em7-Fmaj7-G7-Am7-Bm7b5.

We can create progressions from these chords. we should include the I chord, and it should be the chord which the progression wants to resolve to (this is true of all modal progressions, replacing I with the appropriate one chord).

The most common ionian progression is I-IV-V.

Common extensions and other chords built off the root include:
Imaj7, Imaj9, Imaj11, Imaj13, Isus4, Isus2, I6, I6/9, Iadd9, I6/maj7, Imaj7/11, I2, (1,4,7), Imaj7(4).

These chords can be substituted for the basic I chord (in ionian), and the relative chords in other modes (ex. substitute bVIImaj9 for bVII in Dorian).

Ionian is said to have a happy, uplifting sound. Such subjective claims should be tested and validated/debunked individually (for yourself).

DORIAN


|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|
|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|
|b3|--|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|
|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|
|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|
|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|

dorian mode "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|---|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|

dorian mode "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|---|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|

I'm going to go into more detail about this mode in about 2 lessons from now, but for now...

The dorian mode is the 2nd mode of the major scale. The dorian mode is most often heard in classical, jazz, and some folk musics. In solfeggio syllables it would be: re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do-re. In the key of C, it would be the notes: D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D (with strongest emphasis on the D note). Its step pattern is W1/2WWW1/2W. We can represent its intervals as 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7. We can see it is a minor scale (contains the notes 1,b3,5).

We associate the following chords with the dorian mode:
i-ii-bIII-IV-v-vio-bVII,
i7-ii7-bIIImaj7-IV7-v7-vi7b5-bVIImaj7.
In the key of C, these would be:
Dm-Em-F-G-Am-Bo-C,
Dm7-Em7-Fmaj7-G7-Am7-Bm7b5-Cmaj7.

Most common progression are: i-ii and i-IV, but we can create dorian progressions out of any of the above chords (which should include and resolve to the i).

Common extensions and other chords built off the root include:
i7, i9, i11, i13, isus2, isus4, iadd9, i6, i6/9, i7/11, I2, (1,4,b7), i7(4).

These chords can be substituted for the i chord (in dorian), and the relative chords in the other modes (ex. substitute ii7/11 for ii in Ionian).

Dorian reminds me of gregorian chant (although if you analyze chants, you'll find other modes as well).

PHRYGIAN


|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|
|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|--|-5|
|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|
|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|
|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|
|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|

phrygian mode "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|-5-|b6-|---|b7-|
|b3-|---|-4-|---|
|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|
|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|

phrygian mode "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|-5-|b6-|---|b7-|
|---|b3-|---|-4-|
|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|
|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|-5-|b6-|---|b7-|

The phrygian mode is the 3rd mode of the major scale. The phrygian mode is most often heard in classical, flamenco, latin musics, and metal. In solfeggio syllables it would be: mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do-re-mi. In the key of C, it would be the notes: E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E (with strongest emphasis on the E note). Its step pattern is 1/2WWW1/2WW. We can represent its intervals as 1,b2,b3,4,5,b6,b7. We can see it is a minor scale (contains the notes 1,b3,5).

We associate the following chords with the phrygian mode:
i-bII-bIII-iv-vo-bVI-bvii,
i7-bIImaj7-bIII7-iv7-v7b5-bVImaj7-bvii7.
In the key of C, these would be:
Em-F-G-Am-Bo-C-Dm,
Em7-Fmaj7-G7-Am7-Bm7b5-Cmaj7-Dm7.

The most common phrygian progression is i-bII. Again we can create phrygian progressions out of any of the above chords (which should include and resolve to the i).

Common extensions and other chords built off the root include:
i7, i7b9, i11b9, i11b13b9, isusb2, isus4, iaddb9, i-6, i-6/b9, i7/11, (1,5,b9), (1,4,b7), i7(4).

These chords can be substituted for the i chord (in phrygian), and the relative chords in the other modes (ex. substitute v7b9 for v in Aeolian).

Phrygian has a slightly spanish/moorish sound about it (this is more true of Spanish major, an altered form of the phrygian mode. Spanish major = 1,b2,3,4,5,b6,b7).

LYDIAN



|-1|--|-2|--|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|--|-7|-1|
|-5|--|-6|--|-7|-1|--|-2|--|-3|--|#4|-5|
|--|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|--|-7|-1|--|-2|--|
|--|-7|-1|--|-2|--|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|--|
|--|#4|-5|--|-6|--|-7|-1|--|-2|--|-3|--|
|-1|--|-2|--|-3|--|#4|-5|--|-6|--|-7|-1|

lydian mode"E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|
|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|
|-2-|---|-3-|---|
|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|
|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|

lydian mode"A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|
|---|-2-|---|-3-|
|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|
|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|
|---|-5-|---|-6-|

The lydian mode is the 4th mode of the major scale. The lydian mode is most often heard in jazz. In solfeggio syllables it would be: fa-sol-la-ti-do-re-mi-fa. In the key of C, it would be the notes: F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F (with strongest emphasis on the F note). Its step pattern is WWW1/2WW1/2. We can represent its intervals as 1,2,3,#4,5,6,7. We can see it is a major scale (contains the notes 1,3,5).

We associate the following chords with the lydian mode:
I-II-iii-#ivo-V-vi-vii,
Imaj7-II7-iii7-#iv7b5-Vmaj7-vi7-vii7.
In the key of C, these would be:
F-G-Am-Bo-C-Dm-Em,
Fmaj7-G7-Am7-Bm7b5-Cmaj7-Dm7-Em7.

The most common lydian progression is I-II. Again we can create lydian progressions out of any of the above chords (which should include and resolve to the I).

Common extensions and other chords built off this root note (and its relative position in other modes) include:
Imaj7, Imaj9, Imaj9#11, Imaj13#11, Isus#4, Isus2, I6, I6/9, Iadd9, I6/maj7, Imaj7/#11, I2, (1,#4,7), Imaj7(#4) or Imaj7b5.

Lydian sounds slightly restless due to it's tritone interval. You often hear it in background music for sci-fi shows.

MIXOLYDIAN


|-1|--|-2|--|-3|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|
|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|-2|--|-3|-4|--|-5|
|--|-3|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|-2|--|
|b7|--|-1|--|-2|--|-3|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|
|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|--|-2|--|-3|-4|
|-1|--|-2|--|-3|-4|--|-5|--|-6|b7|--|-1|

mixolydian mode "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|---|-2-|---|
|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|-2-|---|-3-|-4-|---|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|-3-|-4-|---|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|---|

Mixolydian mode "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|-2-|---|-3-|-4-|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|-3-|-4-|---|-5-|---|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|---|
|---|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|

I just gave a lesson on the mixolydian mode last lesson (before the modes), but here's the same info as given for the other modes. The mixolydian mode is the 5th mode of the major scale. The mixolydian mode is most often heard in blues, jazz, and rock. In solfeggio syllables it would be: sol-la-ti-do-re-mi-fa-sol. In the key of C, it would be the notes: G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G (with strongest emphasis on the G note). Its step pattern is WW1/2WW1/2W. We can represent its intervals as 1,2,3,4,5,6,b7. We can see it is a major scale (contains the notes 1,3,5).

We associate the following chords with the mixolydian mode:
I-ii-iiio-IV-v-vi-bVII,
I7-ii7-iii7b5-IVmaj7-v7-vi7-bVIImaj7.
In the key of C, these would be:
G-Am-Bo-C-Dm-Em-F,
G7-Am7-Bm7b5-Cmaj7-Dm7-Em7-Fmaj7.

A common mixolydian progression is I-IV-bVII. Again we can create mixolydian progressions out of any of the above chords (which should include and resolve to the I).

Common extensions and other chords built off this root note (and its relative position in other modes) include:
I7, I9, I11, I13, Isus4, Isus2, I6, I6/9, Iadd9, I6/7, I7/11, I2, (1,4,b7), I7(4).
(ex. you could substitute V13 for V in Ionian).

Mixolydian sounds a little more earthy and not as airy as ionian.

AEOLIAN


|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|
|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|
|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|
|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|
|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|
|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|--|-1|

aeolian mode "E-shape" (root note on 6th string)

|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|---|-5-|b6-|---|b7-|
|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|---|
|---|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|---|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|
|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|

aeolian mode "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|-5-|b6-|---|b7-|
|-2-|b3-|---|-4-|
|b7-|---|-1-|---|
|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|
|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|-5-|b6-|---|b7-|

I've previously given a lesson on the aeolian mode (see aug2's lesson). The aeolian mode is usually refered to as The minor scale. The aeolian mode is the 6th mode of the major scale. The aeolian mode is heard in most western musics. In solfeggio syllables it would be: la-ti-do-re-mi-fa-sol-la. In the key of C, it would be the notes: A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A (with strongest emphasis on the A note). Its step pattern is W1/2WW1/2WW. We can represent its intervals as 1,2,b3,4,5,b6,b7. We can see it is a minor scale (contains the notes 1,b3,5).

We associate the following chords with the aeolian mode:
i-iio-bIII-iv-v-bVI-bVII,
i7-ii7b5-bIIImaj7-iv7-v7-bVImaj7-bVII7.
In the key of C, these would be:
Am-Bo-C-Dm-Em-F-G,
Am7-Bm7b5-Cmaj7-Dm7-Em7-Fmaj7-G7.

The most common aeolian progression is i-iv-v. Again we can create aeolian progressions out of any of the above chords (which should include and resolve to the i).

Common extensions and other chords built off this root note (and its relative position in other modes) include:
i7, i9, i11, i11b13, isus2, isus4, iadd9, i-6, i-6/9, i7/11, I2, (1,4,b7), i7(4).

LOCRIAN



|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|b5|--|b6|--|b7|--|-1|
|--|b6|--|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|b5|--|
|b3|--|-4|b5|--|b6|--|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|
|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|b5|--|b6|--|b7|
|-4|b5|--|b6|--|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|
|-1|b2|--|b3|--|-4|b5|--|b6|--|b7|--|-1|

locrian mode "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|---|b6-|---|b7-|
|b3-|---|-4-|b5-|
|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|
|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|

locrian mode "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|b6-|---|b7-|---|
|---|b3-|---|-4-|b5-|
|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|---|
|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|---|
|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|---|
|---|b6-|---|b7-|---|

The locrian mode is the 7th mode of the major scale. The locrian mode is very rarely heard. In solfeggio syllables it would be: ti-do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti. In the key of C, it would be the notes: B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B (with strongest emphasis on the B note). Its step pattern is 1/2WW1/2WWW. We can represent its intervals as 1,b2,b3,4,b5,b6,b7. We can see it is a diminished scale (contains the notes 1,b3,b5).

We associate the following chords with the locrian mode:
io-bII-biii-iv-bV-bVI-bvii,
i7b5-bIImaj7-biii7-iv7-bVmaj7-bVI7-bvii7.
In the key of C, these would be:
Bo-C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am,
Bm7b5-Cmaj7-Dm7-Em7-Fmaj7-G7-Am7.

There aren't any common progressions for the locrian mode, as it is not used much. You can make up your own, but because of the tritone in the tonic chord (b5), there is a restless feel in the root chord that makes it tend to not feel resolved.

Common extensions and other chords built off this root note (and its relative position in other modes) include:
i7b5, i7b5b9, i11b5b9, i11b13b5b9, iosusb2, iosus4, i7/11b5, (1,b5,9), (1,4,b7), i7(4).

Peace,
Christopher Roberts
snglstringtheory@aol.com


How do I change all those numbers to letters (for notes, chords, etc.)? Here's a transposition chart simianmoon.com/snglstringtheory/guitar/8theory3.html

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Last updated January 1, 2003
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