MAJOR SCALE MODES

Really Expand Your Music Knowledge
And Learn About The Valuable Info
Contained In The Major Scale Modes.

The modes are famous amongst jazz players mainly because knowing them makes improvising on all the major scale chords so much easier.
But even if you're not planning to be a "jazzer" it is a simple and eye-opening step to find out more.

How do you create the Major Scale Modes?

  1. Build a scale on every note of the major scale: In the case of C-major, not just from C to C, but D to D, E to E etc.
  2. Insert (or be aware of) the same note id's that we added to all major scales.
  3. Be aware of the interval relationship between the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes and then name the chord that belongs to each new mode.
  4. Note how guide tones are still above the 3rd and 7th notes.
  5. Observe that tensions and avoid notes can change from mode to mode.
  6. Name each scale with a old greek word and number it using roman numerals.

How to use the Major Scale Modes?

  • First and foremost is the realization that 1 scale serves 7 different harmonic sounds.
    In other words: You can create melodies/improvisation over 7 different chords using just the notes from 1 scale.
  • Be aware of the fact that each scale note has a different relationship to the 7 chords
    Ex: the note E in the C chord is the most important 3rd and a guide tone, but the same note in the G7 chord becomes the 13th.
  • Take in the bigger picture of all the connections that exist inside a major scale.
  • Melodies containing mostly scale notes (no accidentals) can potentially be harmonized with any version of the 7 chords (and of course other "non-belonging" ones as well).
  • Note that the 4th scale (lydian) seems to be the most "useful" one since it has no avoid notes and the 3rd (phrygian) the least "accommodating" with 2 avoid notes.

The Major Scale Modes In The Key Of "C"

Major Scale Modes in C

Understanding how to combine major scale studies with
the circle of fifths, guide tones and the modes
can be the "aha" moment you need
in your music tuition.

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