Okay kids, this is where it all starts! The major scale modes! You’ve probably seen around the internet, in books and many other resources that there is other ways to play these scales. In fact, any scale. We would highly suggest to avoid playing your scales in a non 3nps (or 4nps) way.
3nps scales make things very easy and give you the most mileage of notes. ‘Cowboy’ shapes can be very confusing because of the varying number of notes per string. The 3nps shapes make it nice and easy to string things together and quickly navigate the fretboard.
The Major Scale
Proabably the most important scale you’ll ever learn. Virtually any scale, mode, chord, can be linked back in some way to the major scale. Notes in red are the root notes for that scale / mode. This is important to know but we’ll cover that in another episode.
Some resources for scales and modes show the root note of the key as opposed to the root notes for each scale. Don’t get confused with this. Knowing the roots for each mode offers a more true approach to modal playing.
Aeolian Mode aka Natural Minor Scale
Applying The Modes – Some Helpful Theory
As we mentioned above, some other resources show the root note of the key in each of the modes across the neck. For example if your ionian mode is played from fret 3 on the low E string (that’s a G Note) they will show the G note in all of the modes. This would be considered playing in the key of G Major.
True Modal Playing
The true secret to using modes is actually determinded by what you are playing them over, i.e the backing track / music. If your backing track is in the key of G major you can play any mode over the top. HOWEVER this does not mean you are playing modally since your ear is ‘set’ to the key of G major and the modes share all the same notes.
Only when you begin to construct your own modal chord progressions do the modes truly take their shape and character.
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