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The Lesson demonstrates a easy way to start using the Modes in your playing. 


Here is a simple and easy method to get playing with the Modes of the major Scale.

I was shown this method years ago by my teacher. It was a great way of being introduced the sounds of the modes and a simple yet effective to use them.

First let’s look at the modes and their relationship to a major scale.

The major scale has 7 modes








The modes in C Major Scale will be

C Ionian   C D E F G A B C

D Dorian  D E F G A B C D

E Phygian  E F G A B C D E

F Lydian   F G A B C D E F

G Mixolydian   G A B C D E F G

A Aeolian   A B C D E F G A

B Locrian  B C D E F G A B

As you can see the notes in C Ionian are the same as all the other modes listed.


Using 3 notes per string a Major scale or Ionian Mode is played like this


Next step is to name the fingers on your hand that you use when playing the major scale as shown in the image below.





If you wanted to play C major Ionian I would put my Ionian Finger on the C note 8th fret on the low E string then play using the notes in the normal scale positions.

Dorian Mode 

I I wanted to play D Dorian, I would place my Second Finger or newly named Dorian finger on D 10th fret on the low E string and use the notes in the normal major scale shape. I can also use the C Note 8th fret on the low E. As the notes in D Dorian are the same notes a C major.



Phygian Mode  

It I wanted to play in E Phygian I would place my little finger or Phygian finger on the E note 12th Fret and use the notes as per the normal Major scale shape. Of course the C and D note can also be used. See Image 3




As you can see from the example below the notes are all from the scale of C Major but the Phygian scale starts on the E.

Now Look a image 2


First finger is now named Lydian, second is Mixolydian 4th is Aeolian.


Lydian Mode

Now if I want to play F Lydian mode I would place my 1st finger (Lydian finger on F 8th fret A string then continue playing a major scale noting that I am already using the notes starting on the A String so the actual scale position would be the same as C major starting on 8th Fret low E string.



To play G Mixolydian I would place my second finger (Mixolydian) finger on G 10th fret A string and play the major scale as though I was playing C Major


Mixolydian Mode 



Aeoliam Mode 



To play G Aeolian I would place my 4th finger on the G note 10th fret on the A String and play the notes as if I was playing C major starting on the low E string 8th Fret.



For the Locrian Mode i would use the 1st Finger on the D String   See image below.





 Locrian Mode



To play in B Locrian mode you would place you 1st finger (Locrian) on B 8th fret D string and play the scale as if you was playing C Major starting on the Low E string

I am sure you get the idea now.

By using this method you will able to use the modes and experience the different tonalities created using the modes.


Simple chords to hear the tones.

Ionian  and Major Chord or 5 Chord -  C major

Dorian   Minor 7th Chord - Dm7 

Phygian   Minor or Minor 7th  Em7

Lydian  Maj 7th  F Maj7

Mixolydian  Dominant 7 or 9 chord  G7

Aeolian   Minor or Minor 7th chord  Am7

Locrian  Diminished chord or 5 Chord Bm7b5