The Correct Way to Name Modes and Modal Scales

The Correct Way to Name Modes and Modal Scales

The Correct Way to Name Modes and Modal Scales

guitar modes DVDModes and modal scales are called by their roots, not parent major scales. For example, if you’re playing notes and chords from the E major scale, but the 5 chord B is functioning as the root, then you would call it B Mixolydian (not E Mixolydian). B Mixolydian means that B is the root and it’s the 5th (Mixolydian is the fifth mode). If B is 5, then obviously E is 1. With mode names, you must figure out the parent major scale yourself.

An example of a song in Mixolydian mode is “Fire On the Mountain” by Grateful Dead. It uses chords 5 and 4 from the E major scale with the 5 chord, B, functioning as the root. Play E major scale patterns over it and you’ll produce the B Mixolydian mode sound.

To learn more about guitar modes read Fretboard Theory Chapter 8 or watch the video Guitar Modes – The Modal Scales of Popular Music DVD.

Guitar Theory

To learn more about music theory for guitar, including scales, chords, progressions, modes, and more, sign up for a free preview of my Fretboard Theory books and DVDs by using the form on this web page.

Play Until Yer Fingers Bleed!
Mr. Desi Serna
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