Learn Modes on the Guitar

Modes are types of scales, they include the major and natural minor scale but also include other more interesting scales which feature in Latin Jazz flamenco and Brasilian music as well.

In this tutorial, we’ll look at modes on the guitar. I will try shed some light on this often confusing topic. I thought the best way to do this is to show you each modes starting on a so that you can compare and contrast each mode and how they differ. Often one note change in a scale can make a huge difference in the musical result.

There are 7 major modes each mode consists of a scale starting on different degrees of the scale. The major scale has the intervals:  T – T – St – T – T – T – St . This formula constitutes the first mode (Ionian) or major scale. The second mode then has the following formula :  T – St – T – T – T – St – T . So you can see we start on the second T interval and move up from there. This results in a different series of notes and intervals and so on.

Let’s use this to create all the major modes in A:


Sheet Music Download / Play-Along Track / Lesson Notes

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