What are modes?

Modes are a very simple concept but can take some time to really understand and get under your fingers in a way that gets you playing around with them with any authority.

Basically, all a mode is is a scale. When someone mentioned the major scale modes, they are talking about all of the scales contained within the major scale.

For example, you probably already know the C Major scale, which is:


If we start On the D note and play all the following notes we get a new scale and mode.  D dorIan.  If we start On The E note and play through the following notes we get a new mode, E phrygian.  It’ss amazing how easy it is when you look into it.  Basically, starting on a new note from a major scale gives us a new mode and a new sound.


The same set of notes can creatE completely different sounding scales depending on the root note.



In a future blog, we will look at the seven modes individually, what sound they give and how to use them.



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