Modes

Just as there are seven (major, minor & dimished) triads (3 note chords) and seven 7th (4 note chords) that relate to each major scale, there are also seven Modes. A Mode is just a Major Scale with the notes played in a different order. For every Major Scale there are 7 modes, they always follow this order: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.

Modes of C Major

Below is a table containing all the modes of C Major, togther with the associated triads and 7ths for each Mode.

Root Mode Notes Triad 7th
C Ionian C, D, E, F, G, A, B C (C,E,G) CΔ7 (C,E,G,B)
D Dorian D, E, F, G, A, B, C Dm (D,F,A) Dm7 (D,F,A,C)
E Phrygian E, F, G, A, B, C, D Em (E,G,B) Em7 (E,G,B,D)
F Lydian F, G, A, B, C, D, E F (F,A,C) FΔ7 (F,A,C,E)
G Mixolydian G, A, B, C, D, E, F G (G,B,D) G7 (G,B,D,F)
A Aeolian A, B, C, D, E, F, G Am (A,C,E) Am7 (A,C,E,G)
B Locrian B, C, D, E, F, G, A Bø (B,D,F) Bē (B,D,F,A)

Modal Scales

In the next section I have compiled fretboard diagrams for each Mode, using the three notes per string format to enable you to practice those double hammer-ons and pull-offs.

C Ionian Position (aka Major Scale)

Play against: C (C, E, G) or CΔ7 (C, E, G, B)

Here's the ascending tab...

e ||------------------------------------------10-12-13-----||
B ||---------------------------------10-12-13--------------||
G ||-------------------------9-10-12-----------------------||
D ||-----------------9-10-12-------------------------------||
A ||---------8-10-12---------------------------------------||
E ||-8-10-12-----------------------------------------------||

Descending tab...

e ||-13-12-10----------------------------------------------||
B ||----------13-12-10-------------------------------------||
G ||-------------------12-10-9-----------------------------||
D ||---------------------------12-10-9---------------------||
A ||-----------------------------------12-10-8-------------||
E ||-------------------------------------------12-10-8-----||

D Dorian Position

Play against: D (D, F, A) or Dm7 (D, F, A, C)

Ascending tab...

e ||----------------------------------------------12-13-15-||
B ||-------------------------------------12-13-15----------||
G ||----------------------------10-12-14-------------------||
D ||-------------------10-12-14----------------------------||
A ||----------10-12-14-------------------------------------||
E ||-10-12-13----------------------------------------------||

Descending tab...

e ||-15-13-12----------------------------------------------||
B ||----------15-13-12-------------------------------------||
G ||-------------------14-12-10----------------------------||
D ||----------------------------14-12-10-------------------||
A ||-------------------------------------14-12-10----------||
E ||----------------------------------------------13-12-10-||

E Phrygain Position

Play against: E (E, G, B) or Em7 (E, G, B, D)

Ascending tab...

e ||-------------------------------1-3-5-------------------||
B ||-------------------------1-3-5-------------------------||
G ||-------------------0-2-4-------------------------------||
D ||-------------0-2-3-------------------------------------||
A ||-------0-2-3-------------------------------------------||
E ||-0-1-3-------------------------------------------------||

Descending tab...

e ||-5-3-1-------------------------------------------------||
B ||-------5-3-1-------------------------------------------||
G ||-------------4-2-0-------------------------------------||
D ||-------------------3-2-0-------------------------------||
A ||-------------------------3-2-0-------------------------||
E ||-------------------------------3-1-0-------------------||

F Lydian Position

Play against: F (F, A, C) or FΔ7 (F, A, C, E)

Ascending tab...

e ||-------------------------------3-5-7-------------------||
B ||-------------------------3-5-6-------------------------||
G ||-------------------2-4-5-------------------------------||
D ||-------------2-3-5-------------------------------------||
A ||-------2-3-5-------------------------------------------||
E ||-1-3-5-------------------------------------------------||

Descending tab...

e ||-7-5-3-------------------------------------------------||
B ||-------6-5-3-------------------------------------------||
G ||-------------5-4-2-------------------------------------||
D ||-------------------5-3-2-------------------------------||
A ||-------------------------5-3-2-------------------------||
E ||-------------------------------5-3-1-------------------||

G Mixolydian Position

Play against: G (G, B, D) or G7 (G, B, D, F)

Ascending tab...

e ||-------------------------------5-7-8-------------------||
B ||-------------------------5-6-8-------------------------||
G ||-------------------4-5-7-------------------------------||
D ||-------------3-5-7-------------------------------------||
A ||-------3-5-7-------------------------------------------||
E ||-3-5-7-------------------------------------------------||

Descending tab...

e ||-8-7-5-------------------------------------------------||
B ||-------8-6-5-------------------------------------------||
G ||-------------7-5-4-------------------------------------||
D ||-------------------7-5-3-------------------------------||
A ||-------------------------7-5-3-------------------------||
E ||-------------------------------7-5-3-------------------||

A Aeolian Position (aka Natural Minor)

Play against: Am (A, C, E) or Am7 (A, C, E, G)

Ascending tab...

e ||--------------------------------7-8-10-----------------||
B ||-------------------------6-8-10------------------------||
G ||-------------------5-7-9-------------------------------||
D ||-------------5-7-9-------------------------------------||
A ||-------5-7-8-------------------------------------------||
E ||-5-7-8-------------------------------------------------||

Descending tab...

e ||-10-8-7------------------------------------------------||
B ||--------10-8-6-----------------------------------------||
G ||---------------9-7-5-----------------------------------||
D ||---------------------9-7-5-----------------------------||
A ||---------------------------8-7-5-----------------------||
E ||---------------------------------8-7-5-----------------||

B Locrian Position

Play against: Bē (B, D, F) or Bø (B, D, F, A)

Ascending tab...

e ||-------------------------------------8-10-12-----------||
B ||-----------------------------8-10-12-------------------||
G ||----------------------7-9-10---------------------------||
D ||---------------7-9-10----------------------------------||
A ||--------7-8-10-----------------------------------------||
E ||-7-8-10------------------------------------------------||

Descending tab...

e ||-12-10-8-----------------------------------------------||
B ||---------12-10-8---------------------------------------||
G ||-----------------10-9-7--------------------------------||
D ||------------------------10-9-7-------------------------||
A ||-------------------------------10-8-7------------------||
E ||--------------------------------------10-8-7-----------||

Table of Modal Intervals

The following is a table of the intervals that construct each Mode

Mode / Degree I II III IV V VI VII
Ionian Root Maj 2 Maj 3 Per 4 Per 5 Maj 6 Maj7
Dorian Root Maj 2 Min 3 Per 4 Per 5 Maj 6 Min 7
Phrygian Root Min 2 Min 3 Per 4 Per 5 Min 6 Min 7
Lydian Root Maj 2 Maj 3 Aug 4 Per 5 Maj 6 Maj 7
Mixolydian Root Maj 2 Maj 3 Per 4 Per 5 Maj 6 Min 7
Aeolian Root Maj 2 Min 3 Per 4 Per 5 Min 6 Min 7
Locrian Root Min 2 Min 3 Per 4 Dim 5 Min 6 Min 7

Table of Modes

The following is a table of all 15 keys and associated Modes.

KEY Ionian Dorian Phrygian Lydian Mixolydian Aeolian Locrian
C# C# D# E# F# G# A# B#
F# F# G# A# B C# D# E#
B B C# D# E F# G# A#
E E F# G# A B C# D#
A A B C# D E F# G#
D D E F# G A B C#
G G A B C D E F#
C C D E F G A B
F F G A Bb C D E
Bb Bb C D Eb F G A
Eb Eb F G Ab Bb C D
Ab Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Db Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
Gb Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
Cb Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb