Playing What You DON’T Know

Advancing as a guitar player is never seen as a slow and steady climb. It is more like a series of steps with pretty long spaces in between. While it might seem like you don’t get better for weeks or months at a time, one breakthrough can lead to months of inspiration.

Playing in Parallel: The ‘Minor’ Modes

We’ve already looked at the modes of the C major scale, and we’ve also looked at the modes that have that happy, major sound. Now we turn our attention to modes that have a minor third – that is, the third note of the mode itself is 1 1/2 steps from the root.

Playing in Parallel: The ‘Major’ Modes

If you had checked out any of my previous articles about the modes, you are starting to hear the unique sounds they have. In most of the other articles I went through the modes of the C Major scale. Here, I take a different approach. Keeping C as our ‘root’, I divide the seven modes into major modes and minor modes. In other words, we take each mode, and compare it to the C Major scale. Some modes will sound better over minor chords and some with major chords. Don’t worry though, it isn’t as complicated as it seems. This article will compare the C Major scale with the modes that have an inherently major, or bright & happy sound.

Mode Mania: Hearing the Unique Sounds of Each Mode

Misunderstanding the modes of the major scale is common among guitarists. We practice them in all keys, up and down the fretboard, in sequences, with different rhythmic groupings. The secrets to these mysterious inversions of the major scale lie in the chords they are played over. This article will explain some ways we can hear the unique sound of each mode, and develop interesting chord progressions that allow us to hear them in their native habitat.

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Locrian Mode

Now we come to the end of my series on modes of the major scale, and this is a tough one. The Locrian mode is the least used, and probably the most misunderstood out of all of the modes of the major scale. This one isn’t tough to play, though. It is just a C…

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Aeolian Mode

Welcome to the next installment of my series on the modes of the major scale. This is probably the most popular mode, and the one most associated with music we have learned on guitar. The reason being is that the Aeolian mode goes by another, more common name: the minor scale.

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Mixolydian Mode

In the last Breaking Down the Barriers article, I discussed the Lydian, or 4th mode, of the major scale. The Mixolydian mode is a very popular one, so you are bound to hear it more. It sounds great with many styles of music too, so you may easily find a use for it.  You can…

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Lydian Mode

The Lydian mode is one of the most expressive modes of the major scale, and through this article, I hope to explain its exotic, yet familiar sound, and how we can use it in our modern compositions. We’ll talk about F Lydian, which is based on the C major scale.

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Phrygian Mode

Recently, I wrote a piece about the Ionian and Dorian modes, the first 2 modes of the major scale. Please check out that article as the theory in this article builds on what was explained there. Let’s dive right in by explaining the next mode: the exotic–sounding Phrygian. Remember, modes are the same scale, just…

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