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uk presents:

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic


Minor and Melodic Minor Modes

Page 1

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................. 4
IMPORTANT DISTINCTION ............................................................................................................ 5
THE MAJOR MODES .......................................................................................................................... 6
THE IONIAN MODE........................................................................................................................................... 6
Intervals .............................................................................................................................................................. 7
Chords .................................................................................................................................................................. 7
THE DORIAN MODE ......................................................................................................................................... 8
Intervals .............................................................................................................................................................. 8
Chords .................................................................................................................................................................. 8
THE PHRYGIAN MODE ..................................................................................................................................... 9
Intervals .............................................................................................................................................................. 9
Chords in the Phrygian Mode.................................................................................................................... 9
THE LYDIAN MODE ....................................................................................................................................... 10
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................10
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................10
THE MIXOLYDIAN MODE ............................................................................................................................. 11
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................11
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................11
THE AEOLIAN MODE .................................................................................................................................... 12
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................12
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................13
THE LOCRIAN MODE..................................................................................................................................... 14
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................14
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................14
MODES OF THE HARMONIC MINOR SCALE ............................................................................15
MODE 1: AEOLIAN #7 (THE HARMONIC MINOR SCALE) ....................................................................... 16
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................16
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................16
MODE 2: LOCRIAN #6 .................................................................................................................................. 18
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................18
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................18
MODE 3: IONIAN #5 ..................................................................................................................................... 19
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................19
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................19
MODE 4: DORIAN #4.................................................................................................................................... 20
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................20
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................20
MODE 5: PHRYGIAN #3 ............................................................................................................................... 21
INTERVALS...................................................................................................................................................... 21
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................21
MODE 6: LYDIAN #2 .................................................................................................................................... 22
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................22
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................22
MODE 7: MIXOLYDIAN #1 ........................................................................................................................... 23
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................23
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................23

Page 2

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
MODES OF THE MELODIC MINOR SCALE ................................................................................24
MODE 1 ........................................................................................................................................................... 25
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................25
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................25
MODE 2 ........................................................................................................................................................... 26
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................26
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................26
MODE 3 ........................................................................................................................................................... 27
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................27
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................27
MODE 4 ........................................................................................................................................................... 28
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................28
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................28
MODE 5 ........................................................................................................................................................... 29
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................29
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................29
MODE 6 ........................................................................................................................................................... 30
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................30
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................30
MODE 7 ........................................................................................................................................................... 31
Intervals ............................................................................................................................................................31
Chords ................................................................................................................................................................31
DO YOU WANT GUITAR LESSONS THAT GET YOU RESULTS? ..........................................32
SUMMARY TABLES .........................................................................................................................33
INTERVALS IN EACH PARENT SCALE.......................................................................................................... 33
TRIAD CHORDS IN EACH PARENT SCALE .................................................................................................... 33
TRIADS WITH THE DOMINANT 7 CHORD ................................................................................................... 33
MODES THAT FIT TRIAD CHORDS ................................................................................................................ 34
MODES THAT FIT 7TH CHORDS ..................................................................................................................... 34
LISTS OF MODES AND INTERVALS ............................................................................................................... 35
Intervals in the major modes: .................................................................................................................35
Intervals in the harmonic minor modes.............................................................................................35
Intervals in the melodic minor modes ................................................................................................36
PITCH AXIS / MOVING BETWEEN MODES ..............................................................................37
INDEX OF ALL FREE RESOURCES ...............................................................................................38
FREE LESSONS AND ARTICLES ..................................................................................................................... 38
FREE 14 DAYS SPEED SECRETS MINI COURSE .......................................................................................... 38
FREE GENERAL GUITAR ARTICLES .............................................................................................................. 38
FREE VIDEOS ON HOW TO PLAY GUITAR BETTER ..................................................................................... 38
CORRESPONDENCE GUITAR LESSONS .....................................................................................38

Page 3

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Introduction
The modes are a subject for a lot of guitar players that continues to cause a lot of
confusion. How to play them, how to use them, and what system to use (CAGED or 3
note-per-string?) and what they are is often poorly explained, leaving you, the
improving guitarist, to suffer.

This guide is going to put an end to that once and for all.

By reading this eBook, you will:


Understand what the modes are
Understand how to play them
Understand what chords they can be played over
Understand pitch axis, or, how and when you can change modes
Understand the theory behind how the modes work
Understand how these scales are harmonised
Understand the difference between the Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor
modes, and why they exist
Have complete reference diagrams for all the modes
Have complete reference diagrams for their harmonisations
Understand how to solo all over your guitar neck

Before reading, it would help if you have a basic understand of the major scale and
how chords are made. Knowing the where the notes are on your guitar would be very
beneficial!

Each section on each mode will have diagrams, showing not only the mode, but also
the context of each mode, ie how the other mode shapes fit around it. Note, that when
dealing with 3 note per string modes, the last two notes on each string, of each mode,
make up the first two notes on each string of the next mode (there will be diagrams to
help make this more clear), so modes from the same scale all fit together.

Page 4

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Important Distinction
To start of with, we need to be clear on playing in the key of a certain mode and
playing through a mode. If you are playing over a G major chord progression, all your
major scale modes, when played in the correct place, will be in the key of G major.
Now, if you are playing over an A Dorian chord progression, the same scale shapes
will now be in the key of A dorian.

All the scales we are dealing with will be in the key of G. For example, when are
looking at the 5th mode of the melodic minor scale, the diagram and tab will be for the
5 mode of G melodic minor.

Page 5

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
The Major Modes
There are seven different modes to the major scale that we are going to explore. They
are:
1. Ionian
2. Dorian
3. Phrygian
4. Lydian
5. Mixolydian
6. Aeolian
7. Locrian

They all have unique sounds and can be used over various chords. We will work in
the key of G so that everything fits nicely on our fretboard. Each diagram will have
black dots (that show the current mode we are looking at) with numbers inside them
that tell us which finger to use to play that note. There will also be grey dots, which
will help show adjacent modes, so you can see how these shapes all fit together. You
will understand how these shapes connect together better if you read the guide to the
shapes through at least twice.

Lets start off at the beginning:

The Ionian Mode

Figure 1- The Ionian Mode

Figure 1 shows the Ionian Mode. This is the first mode of the major scale, and it is the
major scale. The numbers inside the dots are the fingers you should use to play each
note. The grey dots to the left show the previous mode (Locrian) and the grey dots to
the right show the next mode (Dorian). Here is the tab for how you would play it:

Page 6

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
e|--------------------------------5-7-8--
B|--------------------------5-7-8--------
G|--------------------4-5-7--------------
D|--------------4-5-7--------------------
A|--------3-5-7--------------------------
E|--3-5-7--------------------------------

Intervals
And here are the intervals this mode contains:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Nice and easy!

Chords
When we take the first, third and fifth note in this scale, we get the following
intervals:

First 1
Major Third 3
Perfect Fifth 5

Which gives us a major triad. When we add the seventh:

First 1
Major Third 3
Perfect Fifth 5
Major Seventh: 7

We get a major seventh added in, so we get a major 7th chord.

So we can play this mode over a major chord, or/and a major 7th chord that has the
same root note.

Page 7

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
The Dorian Mode

Figure 2 - The Dorian Mode

Figure 2 shows the Dorian mode. This is the second mode of the major scale. Here is
the tab on how to play it:

e|--------------------------------7-8-10-
B|--------------------------7-8-10-------
G|--------------------5-7-9--------------
D|--------------5-7-9--------------------
A|--------5-7-9--------------------------
E|--5-7-8--------------------------------

Intervals
The Dorian mode has the following intervals:

1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

Chords
Taking the first, third and fifth form this mode, we get the following triad:

1 b3 5

which is a minor chord. When we add the seventh, we get the following chord
formula:

1 b3 5 b7

which gives us a minor chord. So we can play the Dorian mode over any minor or
minor 7 chord that shares the same root note.

Page 8

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
The Phrygian Mode

Figure 3 - The Phrygian Mode

The Phrygian mode. This mode tends to have a darker sound, for reasons that we will
discuss later in this eBook. Here is a tab to follow to play through this mode:

e|--------------------------------------8-10-12-
B|------------------------------8-10-12---------
G|-----------------------7-9-11-----------------
D|----------------7-9-10------------------------
A|---------7-9-10-------------------------------
E|--7-8-10--------------------------------------

Intervals
The Phrygian mode has the following intervals:

1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Chords in the Phrygian Mode


By taking the first, third and fifth scale degrees, we get the following intervals:

1 b3 5

which gives us the triad for a minor chord. Adding the seventh, which is a b7, we get:

1 b3 5 b7

which gives us a minor seventh chord

Next up: the Lydian mode!

Page 9

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
The Lydian Mode

Figure 4 - The Lydian Mode

The Lydian mode is the 4th mode in the major scale. Steve Vai uses this mode a lot in
his playing. The grey notes on the left hand side show how the Phrygian mode
interlocks and the grey notes on the right hand side show how the mixolydian mode
interlocks. We play through the above diagram like this:

e|-------------------------------------------10-12-14-
B|----------------------------------10-12-13----------
G|--------------------------9-11-12-------------------
D|------------------9-10-12---------------------------
A|----------9-10-12-----------------------------------
E|--8-10-12-------------------------------------------

Intervals
The Lydian mode contains the following intervals:

1 2 3 #4 5 6 7

As you can see, it is a fairly unique mode, being the only major mode to contain a
sharpened scale degree.

Chords
By taking the first, third and fifth; we get the following triad:

1 3 5

Which is a major triad. When we add the major seventh, we get:

1 3 5 7

which is a major seventh chord.

Page 10

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
The Mixolydian Mode

Figure 5 - The Mixolydian Mode

This is the fifth mode of the major scale. Figure 5 shows how we play the mixolydian
mode in the key of D. To the left, the grey dots spell out the Lydian mode and to the
right, they grey dots spell out the forthcoming Aeolian mode. Below is a tab on how
we would play through this mode:

e|----------------------------------------------12-14-15-
B|--------------------------------------12-13-15---------
G|-----------------------------11-12-14------------------
D|--------------------10-12-14---------------------------
A|-----------10-12-14------------------------------------
E|--10-12-14---------------------------------------------

Intervals
The mixolydian mode contains the following intervals:

1 2 3 4 5 6 b7

Chords
Taking the first, third and fifth; we get the following triad:

1 3 5

which gives us a major chord. Adding the b7, we get:

1 3 5 b7

which spells out a dominant 7th chord.

Page 11

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
The Aeolian Mode

Figure 6 - The Aeolian Mode

The Aeolian mode, also known as the natural minor. Here, it is in the key of E. This
is the sixth mode of the major scale. The following tab shows how to play up the
scale:

e|----------------------------------------------14-15-17-
B|-------------------------------------13-15-17----------
G|----------------------------12-14-16-------------------
D|-------------------12-14-16----------------------------
A|----------12-14-15-------------------------------------
E|-12-14-15----------------------------------------------

Intervals
This mode contains the following intervals:

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

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Page 12

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Chords
If we take the first, third and fifth scale degrees, we get:

1 b3 5

which spells out a minor chord. Adding the b7, we get:

1 b3 5 b7

and this gives us a minor 7th chord.

As a side note, if we remove the 2nd and b6 from this scale, we create the minor
pentatonic scale.

Page 13

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
The Locrian Mode

Figure 7 - The Locrian Mode

The 7th and final mode of the major scale. It is in the key of F#. The grey dots to the
left show the Aeolian mode, and the grey dots to the right show the Ionian mode. The
following tab shows how to play through it:

e|----------------------------------------------15-17-19-
B|-------------------------------------15-17-19----------
G|----------------------------14-16-17-------------------
D|-------------------14-16-17----------------------------
A|----------14-15-17-------------------------------------
E|-14-15-17----------------------------------------------

Intervals
This mode contains the following intervals:

1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

Chords
Taking the frst, third and fifth in this mode gives us:

1 b3 b5

which spells out a diminished chord. Adding the b7, we get:

1 b3 b5 b7

which spells out a half diminished chord.

Page 14

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Modes of the Harmonic Minor Scale
The harmonic minor scale is a fantastic sounding scale used all over heavy metal and
neoclassical music. It has a very unique and distinctive sound.

The interval given in the title of each mode is in relation to the scale degree of that
mode, not the interval itself. For example, the name Aeolian #7 means we are
sharpening the 7th degree of the Aeolian mode. We are not saying that this mode
contains a #7th.

There are 7 different modes to the harmonic minor scale that we are going to look at:
1. Mode 1: Aeolian #7
2. Mode 2: Locrian #6
3. Mode 3: Ionian #5
4. Mode 4: Dorian #4
5. Mode 5: Phrygian #3
6. Mode 6: Lydian #2
7. Mode 7: Mixolydian #1

The harmonic minor scale has the following intervals:

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7

So we have a b3 and b6, but now, when compared to the natural minor, we have a
major 7th, not a minor 7th. The purpose of this (as you will see later), was so that the V
chord from this scale would be a dominant chord, leading strongly to the I chord;
whereas in the natural minor scale, the V chord is a minor chord, which resolves very
weakly to the root.

Again, we will work in the key of G, so we are going to be looking at all the modes in
G harmonic minor.

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Page 15

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 1: Aeolian #7 (The Harmonic minor scale)

Figure 8 - Aeolian #7

This is the first mode of the harmonic minor scale, in the key of G.

The grey dots to the left hand side give the 7thmode of the harmonic minor scale
(mixolydian #1) and the dots to the right hand side give the 2ndmode of the harmonic
minor scale (Locrian #6).

The following tab shows how to play through the above diagram:

e|--------------------------------5-6-8--
B|--------------------------4-7-8--------
G|--------------------3-5-7--------------
D|--------------4-5-7--------------------
A|--------3-5-6--------------------------
E|--3-5-6--------------------------------

Intervals
We get the following intervals in this mode:

1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7

The distance between the b6th and the 7th is 3 frets (a minro third), which is what
helps give this scale such a distinctive sound.

Chords
Taking the first, third and fifth, we get:

1 b3 5

Page 16

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
which gives us a minor chord, and adding the 7th we get:

1 b3 5 7

which gives us a min/maj chord.

Page 17

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 2: Locrian #6

Figure 9 - Locrian #6

This is the second mode in the harmonic minor scale. You can think of is as the
locrian mode, where we have raised the 6th degree by a semi tone (one fret). Here is a
tab to show how you would play through this diagram:

e|---------------------------------6-8-10-
B|--------------------------7-8-10--------
G|--------------------5-7-8---------------
D|--------------5-7-8---------------------
A|--------5-6-9---------------------------
E|--5-6-8---------------------------------

Intervals

1 b2 b3 4 b5 6 b7

Chords

1 b3 b5 diminished triad

1 b3 b5 b7 half diminished

Page 18

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 3: Ionian #5

Figure 10 - Ionian #5

This is the third mode of the harmonic minor scale. We get it by raising the 5th degree
of the Ionian mode by a semi tone. To the left, the Locrian #6 has been outlined, and
to the right, the Dorian #4 has been outlined. Here is a tab to play it:

e|--------------------------------------8-10-11--
B|------------------------------8-10-11----------
G|-----------------------7-8-11------------------
D|----------------7-8-10-------------------------
A|---------6-9-10--------------------------------
E|--6-8-10---------------------------------------

Intervals

1 2 3 4 #5 6 7

Chords

1 3 #5 Augmented

1 3 #5 7 Augmented major 7

Page 19

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 4: Dorian #4

Figure 11 - Dorian #4

The fourth mode of the harmonic minor scale, Dorian #4. The grey dots to the left
outline the previous mode, Ionian #5, and the grey dots to the right outline the next
mode, Phrygian #3. Here is a tab to play through the above mode:

e|-------------------------------------------10-11-14--
B|----------------------------------10-11-13-----------
G|--------------------------8-11-12--------------------
D|------------------8-10-12----------------------------
A|----------9-10-12------------------------------------
E|--8-10-11--------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 2 b3 #4 5 6 b7

Chords

1 b3 5 minor chord

1 b3 5 b7 minor 7th

Page 20

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 5: Phrygian #3

Figure 12 - Phrygian #3

The fifth mode to the harmonic minor scale, the Phrygian #3. Again, bear in mind that
the #3 in the title refers to sharpening the third degree of the Phrygian mode, which
makes the flat third a major third. Compare this diagram to the Phrygian mode on
page 9 if you are unsure. This mode is also called the Phrygian Dominant, for
reasons you will see in the Chords setion. The grey dots on the left spell out the
previous mode, the Dorian #4, and the grey dots to the right spell out the next mode,
the Lydian #2. Here is a tab to play through the above diagram:

e|----------------------------------------------11-14-15-
B|-------------------------------------11-13-15----------
G|----------------------------11-12-14-------------------
D|-------------------10-12-13----------------------------
A|----------10-12-13-------------------------------------
E|-10-11-14----------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7

Chords

1 3 5 major

1 3 5 b7 dominant 7

Page 21

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 6: Lydian #2

Figure 13 - Lydian #2

The sixth mode to the harmonic minor scale, the Lydian #2. The grey dots to the left
spell out the preceding mode, Phrygian Dominant, and the grey dots to the right spell
out the next mode, Mixolydian #1 (more on this title in the next section). The
following tab shows how to play the above diagram:

e|----------------------------------------------14-15-17-
B|-------------------------------------13-15-16----------
G|----------------------------12-14-15-------------------
D|-------------------12-13-15----------------------------
A|----------12-13-15-------------------------------------
E|-11-14-15----------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 #2 3 #4 5 6 7

Chords

1 3 5 major

1 3 5 7 major 7

Page 22

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 7: Mixolydian #1

Figure 14 - Mixolydian #1

The final mode in the harmonic minor scale. Now, I know what you are thinking, how
can any scale possibly have a #1!? Think of this as a way to explain the shape of the
scale than literally being a scale degree. Draw a diagram of the mixolydian mode,
then take the root note and raise it a semi tone. You will get the above shape. Neat.

The grey dots to the left show the Lydian #2 mode, and the grey dots to the right show
the Aeolian #7 mode. The following tab explains how to play through the above
diagram:

e|----------------------------------------------15-17-18-
B|-------------------------------------15-16-19----------
G|----------------------------14-15-17-------------------
D|-------------------13-16-17----------------------------
A|----------13-15-17-------------------------------------
E|-14-15-17----------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 bb7

Chords

1 b3 b5 diminished

1 b3 b5 bb7 full diminished

Page 23

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale
The melodic minor scale is another scale that has some great sounds, but is often
neglected by electric guitar players. The modes in this scale dont really have any
names, so we will refer to them as mode 1, mode 2, etc.

The intervals in the melodic minor mode are:

1 2 b3 4 5 6 7

So we have a minor scale (due to the b3), however, we have a 6 and 7, instead of a
b6 and b7. This gives a stronger resolution to the root when moving from the leading
tone, and avoids the big interval jump that we get in the Harmonic Minor scale.

Again, we are going to work in the key of G, so the following will be the modes of G
melodic minor.

So lets get started and take a look at these modes:

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Page 24

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 1

Figure 15 - Mode 1

The first mode of the melodic minor scale. The grey dots to the right outline the
previous mode (Mode 7) and the grey dots to the right outline the next mode (Mode
2). Here is a tab on how to play through the diagram:

e|--------------------------------5-6-8--
B|--------------------------5-7-8--------
G|--------------------3-5-7--------------
D|--------------4-5-7--------------------
A|--------3-5-7--------------------------
E|--3-5-6--------------------------------

Intervals

1 2 b3 4 5 6 7

Chords

1 b3 5 minor

1 b3 5 7 major/minor7

Page 25

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 2

Figure 16 - Mode 2

The second mode in the melodic minor scale. Grey dots to the left show Mode 1 and
the grey dots to the right show Mode 3. Here is a tab on how to play through this
scale:

e|---------------------------------6-8-10-
B|--------------------------7-8-10--------
G|--------------------5-7-9---------------
D|--------------5-7-8---------------------
A|--------5-7-9---------------------------
E|--5-6-8---------------------------------

Intervals

1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7

Chords

1 b3 5 minor

1 b3 5 b7 minor 7

Page 26

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 3

Figure 17 - Mode 3

Mode 3 of the melodic minor scale. Due to the intervals in this scale, some people call
it the Lydian Augmented. Grey dots to the left show the outline of Mode 2 and the
grey dots to the right give an outline for Mode 4. Here is a tab to play through it:

e|--------------------------------------8-10-12--
B|------------------------------8-10-11----------
G|-----------------------7-9-11------------------
D|----------------7-8-10-------------------------
A|---------7-9-10--------------------------------
E|--6-8-10---------------------------------------

Intervals

1 2 3 #4 #5 6 7

Chords

1 3 #5 augmented

1 3 #5 7 augmented major 7

Page 27

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 4

Figure 18 - Mode 4

Mode 4 of the melodic minor scale. Due to the scale intervals (a major third and a flat
seven), this is sometimes called the Lydian Dominant. The grey dots to the left outline
Mode 3, and the grey dots to the right outline Mode 5. Here is a tab on how to play
this mode:

e|-------------------------------------------10-12-14-
B|----------------------------------10-11-13----------
G|--------------------------9-11-12-------------------
D|------------------8-10-12---------------------------
A|----------9-10-12-----------------------------------
E|--8-10-12-------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7

Chords

1 3 5 major

1 3 5 b7 dominant 7

Page 28

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 5

Figure 19 - Mode 5

The fifth mode of the melodic minor scale. The grey dots to the left spell out Mode 4
and the grey dots to the right spell out Mode 6. Here is a tab to play through the
diagram:

e|----------------------------------------------12-14-15-
B|-------------------------------------11-13-15----------
G|----------------------------11-12-14-------------------
D|-------------------10-12-14----------------------------
A|----------10-12-13-------------------------------------
E|-10-12-14----------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7

Chords

1 3 5 major

1 3 5 b7 dominant 7

Page 29

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 6

Figure 20 - Mode 6

The sixth mode of the melodic minor scale. Grey dots to the left spell out Mode 5 and
the grey dots to the right spell out Mode 7. Here is a tab on how to play through it:

e|----------------------------------------------14-15-17-
B|-------------------------------------13-15-17----------
G|----------------------------12-14-15-------------------
D|-------------------12-14-16----------------------------
A|----------12-13-15-------------------------------------
E|-12-14-15----------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 2 b3 4 b5 6 b7

Chords

1 b3 b5 diminished

1 b3 b5 b7 half diminished

Page 30

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Mode 7

Figure 21 - Mode 7

The final mode of the melodic minor scale. The grey dots to the left spell out Mode 6,
and the grey dots to the right spell out Mode 1 (after Mode 7, we loop back into Mode
1). Here is a tab on how to play this mode:

e|----------------------------------------------15-17-18-
B|-------------------------------------15-17-19----------
G|----------------------------14-15-17-------------------
D|-------------------14-16-17----------------------------
A|----------13-15-17-------------------------------------
E|-14-15-17----------------------------------------------

Intervals

1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7

Chords

1 b3 b5 diminished

1 b5 b5 b7 half diminished

Page 31

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
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Page 32

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Summary Tables
This section contains different summaries of how the modes and chords are related, so
you can compare them for yourself.

Intervals in Each Parent Scale

Major scale: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Harmonic minor: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7

Melodic minor: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7

Triad chords in each parent scale

Major scale: I ii iii IV V vi viio

Harmonic minor: i iio bIII+ iv V bVI viio

Melodic minor: i ii bIII+ IV V vio viio

Triads with the dominant 7 chord

Major scale: I ii iii IV V7 vi viio

Harmonic minor: i iio bIII+ iv V7 bVI viio

Melodic minor: i ii bIII+ IV7 V7 vio viio

Page 33

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Modes that fit triad chords

Major Minor Augmented Diminished


Ionian Dorian Ionian #5 Locrian
Lydian Phrygian MM Mode 3 Locrian #6
Mixolydian Aeolian Mixolydian #1
Phrygian #3 Aeolian #7 MM Mode 6
Lydian #2 Dorian #4 MM Mode 7
MM Mode 4 MM Mode 1
MM Mode 5 MM Mode 2

Modes that fit 7th chords

Major 7 Minor 7 Dominant 7


Ionian Dorian Mixolydian
Lydian Phrygian Phyrgian #3
Lydian #2 Aeolian MM Mode 4
Dorian #4 MM Mode 5
MM Mode 2

Augmented Major Min/Maj 7 Half diminished Full diminished


7
Ionian #5 Aeolian #7 Locrian Mixolydian #1
MM Mode 3 MM Mode 1 Locrian #6
MM Mode 6
MM Mode 7

(MM stands for Melodic Minor).

Page 34

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Lists of modes and intervals
Intervals in the major modes:
Ionian 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Dorian 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7

Phrygian 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Lydian 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7

Mixolydian 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7

Aeolian 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Locrian 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

Intervals in the harmonic minor modes


Aeolian #7 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 7

Locrian #6 1 b2 b3 4 b5 6 b7

Ionian #5 1 2 3 4 #5 6 7

Dorian #4 1 2 b3 #4 5 6 b7

Phrygian #3 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7

Lydian #2 1 #2 3 #4 5 6 7

Mixolydian #1 1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 bb7

Page 35

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Intervals in the melodic minor modes
Mode 1: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 7

Mode 2: 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7

Mode 3: 1 2 3 #4 #5 6 7

Mode 4: 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7

Mode 5: 1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7

Mode 6: 1 2 b3 4 b5 6 b7

Mode 7: 1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7

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Page 36

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Pitch Axis / Moving Between Modes
Pitch axis theory is a cool name for a very simple idea. Playing different modes with
the same root.

For example, lets say we are playing over a C major triad. Using the above tables,
you can find all the modes that contain (or fit over) a major chord, they will all
harmonically fit over the C major chord (when they are in the key of C).

So for example, C Ionian:

e|----------------------------------------10-12-13-
B|---------------------------------10-12-13--------
G|-------------------------9-10-12-----------------
D|-----------------9-10-12-------------------------
A|---------8-10-12---------------------------------
E|-8-10-12-----------------------------------------

And C Lydian:

e|----------------------------------------10-12-14-
B|---------------------------------10-12-13--------
G|-------------------------9-11-12-----------------
D|-----------------9-10-12-------------------------
A|---------9-10-12---------------------------------
E|-8-10-12-----------------------------------------

Will both work nicely over the C major chord.

Page 37

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
Index of All Free Resources
The following is a list of all the additional free resources previously mentioned in the
eBook. All are created and generously provided by my mentor, coach and teacher,
Tom Hess:

Free lessons and articles

Free 14 days Speed Secrets mini course

Free general guitar articles

Free videos on how to play guitar better

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Page 38

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk
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Page 39

The Ultimate Guide to the Major, Harmonic Minor and Melodic Minor Modes
Sam Russell 2016
www.SamRussell.co.uk