Understanding The Modes - part 3
this lesson, you'll work with 3 different jam tracks, all which are in different
play several modes over each jam track to help you understand when you can use
the modes. Here's an audio sample of the 3 different types of jams you'll work
Here's the first jam track you'll need to use:
Sound Clip 1
This jam track is based around the F#7
chord, which is a dominant
chord. When you have a groove or jam over a
dominant chord, you can use the Mixolydian mode. In this case, the F#
The Mixolydian is the 5th mode of a major scale. It's almost identical to a major scale
formula, only the 7th degree is flatted,
do you know which chords are dominant?
Barry, the dominant chords are like A7, D7, G9, B13. They are built from a major
triad and a flatted 7th added: 1 - 3 - 5 - b7.
Barry: Ok, thanks.
Lyle: Here's an arpeggio, or every other note
of the F#7 Mixolydian:
In the pattern above, I started on the b7, then 2 or 9, then 3rd, 5th, b7, root.
Lyle: When you see a G7, B7, E7, these are
all dominant chords. G9, B9 A9 are also dominant
chords, as well as 13ths.
they're "Dominant 7ths" which can only be used as a "V" chord right?
Right, for the most part. There are what's
called secondary dominants. Rules are made to be broken....even in
Buud: Say more about
secondary dominants please.
The iii chord, which is minor, can be
changed to dominant, even the ii chord, but most cases, you treat the dominant
chord as a V chord.
Buud: How do you convert a ii or a iii chord to a
dominant? What do you add to the chord formula?
Lyle: Easy, the ii and iii chords are
just minor 7ths - 1, b3, 5, b7. Raise the 3rd degree from a b3 to a maj 3: 1, 3, 5, b7
and you'll have a dominant.
Here's a lick combining the Mixolydian and arpeggio:
Lyle: If our jam is over the F#7 chord, then it's the V chord of what
Lyle: eric's got it - B
major. This means you can play a B major scale
over the jam.
The major scale IS a mode. It's called the Ionian mode. Hear how the B Ionian sounds just as
good as playing the F# mixolydian to this jam?
Lyle: Since we have found out that we are in
the key of B major for this jam, we can play other modes in the key of B
maj. Just like F# Mixolydian is the 5th mode
in the key of B. The 2nd mode in B is the C#
In this Dorian pattern, notice that there are notes on all strings at the 9th
and 11th frets. I point this out to you because those
are easy to play! Check out this next lick:
Let's move to a new key. Load this new jam track:
Sound Clip 2
Now we're in G minor, This jam is built around G Dorian
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7. This is the 2nd mode in the key of F
major. So you could also play the F Ionian or
major scale along to this jam.
If you're jamming around the Dorian, G for this jam, then go up 2 frets and play
a Phrygian mode:
The A Phrygian mode is the 3rd mode of the F major scale. It's formula has 4 flatted notes in it,
compared to a major scale. Formula: 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7.
read somewhere that the 4th note of the Ionian mode is an "avoid" note, and
therefore the Lydian with it's #4 is almost better sounding against the Root
chord, do you agree with this?
No, I like that raised
Speaking of Lydian...let's go there now. Load this new jam track:
Looping Sound Clip 3
This jam is in a new key, It is built around an open A bass note,
with two chords over the top - B and A.
When you see two major chords a whole step apart, they are considered the 4 and 5
chords. In this case, the B is the V and the A
is the IV chord in the key of E major. With the droning A bass note, you can
treat the jam like it's in A Lydian, the 4th mode in the key of
Here's what the E Ionian or major scale sounds like against the jam:
If you've found the key you're in, you can play the relative
minor. The C# Aeolian mode is the 6th mode in
the key of E, or called the relative
eric: Does that
mean for any key that the 6th is also the relative minor?
Lyle: eric - yes.
That's all for this lesson. If you would like further study on this topic or any
other topic, email me at
Lyle@theguitar.net for info on how you can get your own customized guitar
lessons like this using Riff Interactive technology. Your private lessons can be
downloaded to your pc for anytime, anywhere study. I can even teach you how to
play your favorite songs! Thanks and see you at the next lesson. - Lyle