The Modes


 There are  7 modes: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian. The modes are alternative scales that can be derived from the major scale by starting on a different scale tone on the major scale. An easy way to consider how the modes are comprised is to use a single example of the notes in the C major scale. There are no sharps or flats in the C major scale, so it provides a good visual example. 

  • CDEFGABC = 1st mode: Ionian (The Major Scale: in this case the C major scale)
  • DEFGABCD = 2nd mode: Dorian (To play Dorian start from 2nd note and play in sequence)
  • EFGABCDE = 3rd mode: Phrygian (To play Phrygian start from 3rd note and play in sequence)
  • FGABCDEF = 4th mode: Lydian (To play Lydian start from 4th note and play in sequence)
  • GABCDEFG = 5th mode: Mixolydian (To play Mixolydian start from 5th note and play in sequence)
  • ABCDEFGA = 6th mode: Aeolian (To Play Aeolian start from 6th note and play in sequence)