A few things before we get started: In my mind, there is a large difference between learning to read music/ music theory

(which most guitar players really don’t like the thought of) and learning GUITAR THEORY. You can learn all the guitar theory you need, and approach it like any other person using theory, without learning to read music. I am going to show you how to master guitar scales and modes WITHOUT learning to read music. You still have to understand music terminologies so there will be a theory element to the discussion but all will be explained in the lessons as if the reader has no experience reading music. The only style of music that requires extensive music reading is classical music. I studied classical guitar for a few years up to grade 8 level and could not have done it if I did not know how to read. All other styles of music can be played to an expert level with just the theory knowledge of the particular instrument, never needing to ‘read’ a piece of music. Now I am not saying you don’t ever have to learn to read music, if you want to by all means do, it will help your playing, writing and music appreciation but for the most part, in rock and metal only a limited amount of theory is really used and needed so it seems like a waste of time learning something you are unlikely to use. If you know what style you want to play, research the musicians you admire and see what scales/modes they use most often. These are the ones you want to focus on and understand. There is no real point in learning something in case you might need it one day. This is wasted time and energy. I intend this to be like a series of mini lessons that will be added on a weekly/fortnightly basis like what I would present to my students at their weekly lesson. Because of this the quantity of the lesson may seem small sometimes but it is because it is a small piece of a much larger puzzle yet to be completed but by the time I have covered all I want to cover the reader should then be able to look at the fretboard and just know where all scale/mode options are in any key within a few brief moments. Also, please feel free to ask questions relating to the current and/or past lessons, and to make suggestions for upcoming lessons on subjects you would like me to talk about. IMPORTANT: These lessons are designed to be used by someone that can already play guitar. It is not a ‘how to play guitar’ lesson but rather how to better understand what the guitar can do for you. I hope this makes sense without seeming rude in any way.

Lesson one: Knowing your fretboard. To me this is lesson one. You HAVE to learn this inside out if you expect to be able to navigate your way round your guitar at lightning speeds or to be able to create more interesting colours in your songs/solos. In popular/western music, we use a sequence of notes to create a piece of music. Each note has a name that is taken from a letter in the English alphabet. There are 12 differently named notes in all. We will be talking about 7 of those 12 notes to start with. These notes take their names from the first 7 letters of the alphabet: A B C D E F G

In order to demonstrate this I like to use a piano keyboard as I find it is easier to locate different notes as the keys have different colours, the guitar has all the same notes on the fretboard but they are all one colour so therefore are harder to locate quickly. Below is a picture of the keys from a piano showing where these notes are.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A

As you can see, all of the notes line up with a white coloured key. You will also notice that once you reach the letter G you do not continue up the alphabet. Instead, while continuing to play up the piano you start the letter names again e.g. A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G... So, if you were to go to a piano/keyboard and play the white keys starting from the key labelled C in the above picture (3rd key from the left) and count/play up 8 keys you will play the following: CDEFGABC This is the C Major scale. If you were to continue up another 8 keys it would still be C D E F G A B C, but the notes will sound higher than before. Each time you go up to a key that has the same letter name as the last key you played, but sounds higher, means you have gone up one Octave. (Oct = 8 i.e. going up 8 notes)

The black keys on a piano represent what is known as the flats (b) and sharps (#) in music. A flat or sharp (as its name tends to suggest) will make a note lower (b) or higher (#) in ‘pitch’ or sound. Black keys on the piano have two different names depending on whether or not the black note you move to is lower or higher than the last note you played. Find the first C on the picture. (3rd key from the left) Now, go to the very next key after that one, it should be a black key as it separates the two C,D white keys. This note will sound higher than the note C so therefore it is a sharp (#), a C# to be exact. You may also notice that some white keys do not have a black key between them. This means that it has no # or b associated with that note. Now, if we were to play every single key (including the black keys) starting from A, it would be like this: A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G# then back to A. (this is called the chromatic scale) Here we have our 12 notes. All notes with a # will line up with a black key.

A A#

B

C

D C# D#

E

F F#

G G#

A A#

B

C

D C# D#

E

F F#

G G#

A (white keys) (black keys)

Please remember this order of sharps is when you are playing from left to right (ascending) on a piano or say on a guitar when you play one fret after another so the sound is getting higher. E.G. On the A string of your guitar if you play from the open string then the 1st fret, 2nd fret, 3rd fret, 4th fret, 5th fret etc all the way up to the 12th fret it will be the same thing as above on the piano but only the first octave. If you start from the far right (highest) A and play each key on the way back down (descending) the black keys will have their names changed to a flat. You will also notice the letter names (alphabet) are being said backwards.

A

B Bb

C

D Db Eb

E

F Gb

G Ab

A

B Bb

C

D Db Eb

E

F Gb

G

A (white keys) Ab (black keys)

Play the 12th fret of the A String on your guitar. This is A. Now play backwards i.e., 12, 11 10, 9, 8 etc. If you do this all the way to the open string it will be the same as the above pattern but only to the first octave.

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

A

(white keys) (black keys)

A#/Bb

C#/Db D#/Eb

F# /Gb G#/Ab A#/Bb

C#/Db D#/Eb

F#/Gb G#/Ab

So here we have all the keys named with the correct names. You will see the black keys have 2 names both # and b. If you play from left to right (getting higher in pitch/sound) use the # name. If you play from right to left (getting lower in pitch/sound) use the b name. A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A (ascending) A Ab G Gb F E Eb D Db C B Bb A (descending)

I can’t stress enough how important this is to the rest of my lesson plan so please take the time to make sure it sinks in. E A D G B E . Don’t be worried if it seems impossible to get. it will make sense. assuming a six string guitar in standard tuning. The strings are called the following starting with the ‘top’ or ‘thickest’ string and working down to the ‘bottom’ or ‘thinnest’ string. Names of the guitar strings. of course. These notes are produced when each string is struck or played ‘open’ or without a finger pressed or touching that string on the fretboard. This is. Each one of the six strings on the guitar has a name taken from the ‘musical alphabet’.If at this point this does not make sense to you then please go back and read from the beginning.

Using the A string I will show how this pattern translates to the guitar.Now comes the important part. The 6 strings are going from left to right across the graph and the 12 frets going down the graph. E A A#/Bb D G B E B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A . Every piece of theory you learn should be immediately transferred onto the guitar as that is the point of learning it. putting all that information on the guitar. A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A Below is a graph to represent the guitar fretboard up to the 12th fret. Let’s take that chromatic pattern starting on A.

Then play up one fret at a time. Fret 1.Start with the open A string. play the 3rd fret and say ‘C’ etc all the way up to the 12th fret. 11. Pick up your guitar and actually do this. D String. Play the open A and say ‘A’. play the 1st fret and say ‘A#’. D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D G String. Do this until you can do it forwards with #’s and backwards with b’s without looking at the chart. Play each note one at a time and say its name to yourself. play the 2nd fret and say ‘B’. If you start at the 12th fret and play backwards. 12. See how the pattern is the same as on the piano? The last thing left to do in this lesson is to fill in the rest of the strings on the graph. 10. 2. When you do this you are ascending as the notes are getting higher in pitch therefore you need to use the names with sharps. For example the first string is called E. 3 etc all the way up to the 12 th fret. . G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G B String. If I start the chromatic pattern from the note E and go up 12 notes I get this: E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E This is what will fill in the graph on both the Low and High E strings. This is done in the same way but you start the pattern of notes beginning with the open strings name and carry on from there. 9 etc you are descending because the notes are getting lower in pitch and therefore you need to use the names with flats. B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A A#/Bb B And now here is the graph with all six strings filled in using the information above.

E A D G B E F A#/Bb D#/Eb G#/Ab C F F#/Gb B E A C#/Db F#/Gb G C F A#/Bb D G G#/Ab C#/Db F#/Gb B D#/Eb G#/Ab A D G C E A A#/Bb D#/Eb G#/Ab C#/Dd F A#/Bb B E A D F#/Gb B C F A#/Bb D#/Eb G C C#/Db F#/Gb B E G#/Ab C#/Db D G C F A D D#/Eb G#/Ab C#/Db F#/Gb A#/Bb D#/Eb E A D G B E .

I give students blank copies of this graph and get them to fill it out at first with the graph in front of them to copy from. by memory. Most important of all: DO IT ON THE GUITAR. and then after a few attempts. I will include an empty graph as the last page for you to print out and practise on. . Go to the A string and repeat.If you have done it correctly then the notes of the 12th fret should be the same as the open strings you started with. Once you memorize the pattern of notes you will be able to do this in a matter of minutes so it is not very time consuming. So ends the first lesson. Do this till you reach the 12th fret and say ‘E’ again. Continue on with all other strings. I recommend you fill out one of these a day for 2 weeks and by then it will be installed into your memory. This turned out to be rather long but it really is the basis of everything else I want to talk about so it deserves the right amount of attention at this point. Continue to play up the frets saying each ones name remembering to say the sharp names as the notes are ascending. E A D G B E. Play it ‘open’ and say ‘E’. Start with the low E string.

E A D G B E .

Now check on the fret board chart to see if you named the fret correctly. Keeping your finger on the fret. 2) Play a note on your guitar completely at random on any string. If you have to think for more than a few seconds to answer either of the two tests above I recommend you keep working on lesson one for a while longer before moving on to lesson two . If this seems easy then you should move on to the next lesson below.I hope by now you have spent time going over lesson one. . even with your eyes closed if you want. Now. have a look and try to name that note. Now check on the fret board chart to see if you landed on the correct fret. pick a string on the guitar and as quick as you can find your note and play it. Do these as many times as you can. one for each string. Do this six times. 1) Pick a note at random from one of the 12 musical notes and say it in your mind. Before we move on to lesson two here is a simple test to see how well you know your fret board.

The term refers to how musical notes are arranged into usable sequences.. On a guitar it would be like this: C D E F G A B C It is called a C Major scale for two reasons. Learn these scales well and the fret board will be yours. On a piano. Others use the term most widely used. This scale is a one octave scale as it consists of 8 notes. To me the Major scale is the most important scale for all rock/metal guitar players to learn. one key at a time until I reach another key called C I would have played 8 notes making up the C major scale C D E F G A B C. and because the order of notes creates a certain type of sound. pleasing sound so therefore it is referred to as a major scale. Please read on. Some people say that Majors sound more ‘high’ and minors ‘low’. With the exception of unique colours that may want to be added from time to time with exotic scales. So.. Major has a ‘happy’ sound and minor a ‘sad’ sound. Most people have heard of the term ‘scale’ used in a musical context. and use any mode at the drop of a hat. because it starts and finishes on a C. Now play an A minor chord and see if you can spot the difference. from a C to the very next C. 8 notes in total that typically start and finish on notes that have the same name. a scale is a sequence of individual notes. When you play the C Major scale above it creates a happy. if I were to play from a C and play up all the white keys. In fact I will go as far to say that in my opinion you only really need to learn this and one other scale. major OR minor.Lesson 2: The Major Scale. these two scales will give all of the information needed to play in any key. Coupled with the fact that it starts on a C it is called C Major. the pentatonic minor scale. Let it ring out and listen to the sound. Music is made up from scales as its very foundations. You can even learn to play in a different key to the rest of the band and still sound ‘in tune’ but the colour added to the sound is at the heart of what modes are all about to me. . Pick up your guitar and play an A major chord.

g. Looking back to lesson one. moving from the 3rd fret to the 4th fret is moving a Semi-Tone. # or b. Moving up one fret at a time is called a ‘semi tone e. A Major A#/Bb Major B Major C Major C#/Db Major D Major D#/Eb Major E Major F Major F#/Gb Major G Major G#/Ab Major . A major scale has a set pattern of tones and semi tones between each 8 notes to help create the Major sound. Memorise this well: TONE – TONE – Semi-Tone – TONE – TONE – TONE – Semi-Tone Start by playing the 3rd fret A string. (A) Now move up a TONE to the 14th fret. C D E F G A B C Play the two scales in the TAB’s one after each other. (E) Now a Semi Tone to the 8th fret. it is just all along one string. there are 12 notes in western music so it is not surprising that there are 12 major scales. (D) Now move another TONE to the 7th fret and play. in music it is said you have moved up a ‘tone’.If you were to start on the first note of the TAB above. (F) Now a TONE to the 10th fret. They sound the same. (C) Move up a TONE to the 5th fret and play. (G) Now move up a TONE to the 12th fret. Scales that start on a fret that have 2 names can also have either of the two names. With this pattern of tones and semi-tones you could start on any note on the fret board and play your way up on the same string based on the order of tones and semi tones above and by doing so you are guaranteed to have played a major scale. 3rd fret A string (C) and move up 2 frets to the 5th fret. (B) Now move up a Semi Tone to the 15th fret. (C) This is also a C Major scale. We will come back to one string scales soon so take some time to make sense of this part.

Here are all the 12 Major scales in TAB in a one octave pattern.For ease of use in the following exercise I will refer to all the frets with two names as a flat (b). C F Bb |-----------------||-----------------||-----------------| |-----------------||-----------------||-----------------| |-----------2-4-5-||-----------------||-----------------| |-----2-3-5-------||-----------0-2-3-||-----------5-7-8-| |-3-5-------------||-----0-1-3-------||-----5-6-8-------| |-----------------||-1-3-------------||-6-8-------------| Eb Ab Db |-----------------||-----------------||-----------------| |-----------------||-----------------||-----------------| |-----------5-7-8-||-----------------||-----------3-5-6-| |-----5-6-8-------||-----------3-5-6-||-----3-4-6-------| |-6-8-------------||-----3-4-6-------||-4-6-------------| |-----------------||-4-6-------------||-----------------| Gb B E |------------------||-----------------||------------------| |------------------||-----------------||------------------| |------------------||-----------------||-----------6-8-9--| |-----------1-3-4--||-----------6-8-9-||-----6-7-9--------| |-----1-2-4--------||-----6-7-9-------||-7-9--------------| |-2-4--------------||-7-9-------------||------------------| A D G |-----------------||-----------------||-----------------| |-----------------||-----------------||-----------------| |-----------------||-----------4-6-7-||-----------------| |-----------4-6-7-||-----4-5-7-------||-----------2-4-5-| |-----4-5-7-------||-5-7-------------||-----2-3-5-------| |-5-7-------------||-----------------||-3-5-------------| .

And here are the same 12 scales in two octaves. (8 x 2) C F |-------------------------5-7-8-||---------------------------0-1--| |-------------------5-6-8-------||-----------------------1-3------| |-----------2-4-5-7-------------||-----------------0-2-3----------| |-----2-3-5---------------------||-----------0-2-3----------------| |-3-5---------------------------||-----0-1-3----------------------| |-------------------------------||-1-3----------------------------| Bb Eb |---------------------------5-6-||---------------------------8-10-11----| |-----------------------6-8-----||--------------------8-9-11------------| |-----------------5-7-8---------||-----------5-7-8-10-------------------| |-----------5-7-8---------------||-----5-6-8----------------------------| |-----5-6-8---------------------||-6-8----------------------------------| |-6-8---------------------------||--------------------------------------| Ab Db |---------------------------3-4-||-------------------------6-8-9--| |-----------------------4-6-----||-------------------6-7-9--------| |-----------------3-5-6---------||-----------3-5-6-8--------------| |-----------3-5-6---------------||-----3-4-6----------------------| |-----3-4-6---------------------||-4-6----------------------------| |-4-6---------------------------||--------------------------------| Gb B |---------------------------1-2-||---------------------------6-7--| |-----------------------2-4-----||-----------------------7-9------| |-----------------1-3-4---------||-----------------6-8-9----------| |-----------1-3-4---------------||-----------6-8-9----------------| |-----1-2-4---------------------||-----6-7-9----------------------| |-2-4---------------------------||-7-9----------------------------| E A |----------------------------9-11-12-||---------------------------4-5--| |--------------------9-10-12---------||-----------------------5-7------| |-----------6-8-9-11-----------------||-----------------4-6-7----------| |-----6-7-9--------------------------||-----------4-6-7----------------| |-7-9--------------------------------||-----4-5-7----------------------| |------------------------------------||-5-7----------------------------| D G |--------------------------7-9-10-||---------------------------2-3--| |-------------------7-8-10--------||-----------------------3-5------| |-----------4-6-7-9---------------||-----------------2-4-5----------| |-----4-5-7-----------------------||-----------2-4-5----------------| |-5-7-----------------------------||-----2-3-5----------------------| |---------------------------------||-3-5----------------------------| . This means continuing past C and playing until you reach yet another C. You would play 16 notes in all.

It will sound an octave higher. but as this is not about technique and just for this forum I will skip past this and carry on with the fret board explanation. so play your one octave scale starting from there. That brings us to the end of lesson 2. Make sure you do this from all the notes you find as well. for this exercise I will pick G. The last thing left to do is to start putting these on the guitar. Basically the idea is to be able to pick any note.. There is also a G on the 15th fret so play your one octave major scale starting on the 15th fret. This should become part of your everyday practise regimen. Find every G you can and see if you can find the major scale pattern around it. For example there is a G on the 3rd fret. Once you can do this you are well on your way to mastering your fret board. Semi-Tone pattern and playing a one string major scale.Normally at this point I would also be talking to my students about other techniques like correct fingering etc. pick a new note and start again. . Play your one octave major scale from there. Don’t rush and if you can practice to a metronome and if you don’t have one. When starting from the D string you will have to adjust your pattern for the shift in tuning from the B string. or following the one string up using the TONE. find it on any string and know where you can go from there in any direction at a moment’s notice. So at this point we are nearly at the end of lesson two. Go to the low E string and play the one octave major scale starting from each fret called G that is on that string. get one. Don’t underestimate how important this is even though it sounds like a simple thing and don’t allow yourself to get caught up memorizing or favouring one key more than another. Every time you find a note you have 2 options. Once you think you have found all the G’s there are and played all the G major scales you can. Go to the A string and find the next G. If you practise in the order given it will allow each scale to get an equal amount of practice. 3) Don’t forget one string patterns. Shift everything on that string up 1 fret. 2) Pick one of the 12 notes at random. the one or two octave patterns above. It is on the 10th fret. 1) Play all of the one octave patterns IN THE ORDER ABOVE from start to finish saying the name of each scale to yourself before you begin playing it. Once you make it through with no mistakes move on to playing the 2 octave patterns from start to finish saying each scales name before playing it. Continue to do this down all of the strings. There is also a G on the 22nd fret but it is a little hard to play the pattern from there but it’s worth noting there is a G there..

I wanted to talk about using notes first as this is the best way to learn so that you are able to talk to other musicians in their own language but patterns can help to span your theory knowledge quickly without having to ‘re learn’ information you already have stored in your mind.. The practice examples at the end of both lesson 1 and 2 (and every lesson from now on) should be practised every day. So let’s move on to lesson 3. .. where they are on the fret board. what a major scale is and where to play 12 different major scales! Not bad for 2 lessons. even when it becomes easy as it is also a great way to practise other techniques like speed picking or hammer on or pull off techniques. This lesson will take a break from a lot of music theory talk and will focus more on moving the scales you have learnt so far round the fret board more and more. This lesson will be talking about playing by patterns.Over the last 2 lessons we have talked about the names of the musical notes.

I hope you can see how this is played and sounds the same as the C major scale in TAB from lesson 2. It is just another way to look at things. This is a C major scale because the pattern (position of the dots) follows the TONE – TONE – SEMI TONE – TONE – TONE – TONE – SEMI TONE pattern and it also starts and finishes on a C. This is called an A major scale because the fingering pattern creates a ‘happy’ major sound and you are starting from a fret called A. Here is the A major scale on the E string: 4TH fret 5th fret 6th fret 7th fret If you play this you will play the A major scale.. When attempting to play these patterns start from the lowest note and play one note at a time from left to right moving up each string until the highest note is reached. The pattern we are using first is for a Major scale. If you play the one octave A major scale pattern from lesson 2 it will be exactly the same. with dots on specific strings/frets showing you all of the frets used with that scale at once. There are 8 dots in total creating a major scale. When presented with a fret board scale pattern it will show you a picture of a fret board laying flat across the page.. . When played it should be exactly the same as the C major scale from lesson 2. The 5th fret on the G string (the last red dot above) is also C. This is what is known as a movable pattern which means you can move the above major scale ‘pattern’ to any other fret starting on either the A string or the E string (diagram to follow) and as long you keep the fingering pattern the same you will be playing a new major scale. What this does not do. The numbers below the pattern tell you what fret to play on.Lesson 3: We are going to be playing the same major scales you learned in the previous lesson so don’t think this is all new information. low E string at the bottom high E string at the top. Make sure you pay attention to the fret numbers underneath the pattern to make sure you start at the right place. however. 2nd fret 3rd fret 4th fret 5th fret The red notes show you the first and last notes of the scale. is lock you into a specific places on the fret board. The 3rd fret on the A string (first red dot above) is C. it is just a different way of moving the same thing round the fret board. Allow me to explain.

If you want to play in 2 octaves like in lesson 2 the diagrams will look different as there will be more notes. So far the pattern you have gives you a one octave scale from either the E or A strings. It is important to note this should not change the way you play the scales from the last lesson. It will be the same as the one octave major scale from lesson 2. Now starting from the 3rd fret A string play the above fingering pattern. They should all look the same as the above patterns just starting from different frets each time. So what good is all this? Well if you memorize this pattern and learn the names of your frets you will be able to move your major scales round without feeling like you have to learn each and every scale as a separate pattern. Since the two octave patterns covers all 6 strings including the B string which is tuned a semi tone. the rest of the 8 notes are the 2nd octave. Example: If I said play me a C major scale starting on the A string you should first of all find where C is on the A string. Notice how all of the above patterns look the same except for the string it starts on and the fret numbers below. By learning what they have in common you cut down the amount of useless information you need to retain.If you move this same pattern down to start on the 3rd fret of the E string (G) and follow the fingering pattern you will be playing the G major scale. It is on the 3rd fret. or one fret lower than the rest. If I said play me F major on the low E string you would find F (1st fret E string) and play the fingering pattern from there. Once again you just played C major in one octave. a different pattern for both the E and A string major pattern is needed. it is just a different way of doing the exact same thing. If you go back to the order of scales in the second lesson and play through from start to finish pay close attention to your fingering. 2nd fret 3rd fret 4th fret 5th fret This is G major. Notice that the first 8 notes are the same as the one octave pattern. Here is the 2 octave major pattern for the E string. Pick a fret to start this pattern on: .

Play the two octave pattern up and down. You should carry on to other strings. This will make it easier to play scales all over the fret board at random. Play the two octave pattern up and down. (13th fret) Play the one octave pattern up and down. . Go to the low E string and find F. Again. Here is the 2 octave pattern starting on the A string. Play the two octave pattern up and down. Once you do this for some time all of the different patterns will start to ‘join together’ and you will see the fret board as one big pattern.Again this is the same as playing the 2 octave pattern presented in TAB in lesson 2 based off scales starting on the E string. Repeat until all keys have been covered. There are now three red dots because we have extended through to another octave. And. The Red dots show where the root notes are. It is important to realise how much of this you already know. Go to the A string and find F. let’s say F. Test your new knowledge: Repeat this test several times picking a different note each time using both b’s and #’s as well. Find the next F on the same string. Once you have done this the entire fret board is unlocked in your chosen key. find all the other F’s and start doing one string patterns or using the one octave pattern from above. notice how the first 8 notes are the same as the one octave pattern. This is good. You may need to adjust the B string up one fret to allow for the tuning difference if you start a one octave pattern on the D string or higher. (20th fret) Play the one octave pattern up and down. (8th fret) Play the one octave pattern up and down. this is the same as the 2 octave pattern starting on the A string as in lesson 2. (You may run out of room with some scales) already you would have covered most of your fret board just doing the above. Pick a note. So after nearly 4 pages of information the only thing new to remember is that your fingers are repeating a pattern when you are playing any one of the scales from lesson 2. (1st fret) Play the one octave pattern up and down. Play the two octave pattern up and down. Find the next F on the same string.

. Both notes share the same name and are 8 notes apart so they are called octaves. but start on a different string that is all.The last thing I will touch on in this lesson is the pattern that is also created by the first and last note of a scale. If you want to play an octave from either the low E or the A string. play this pattern starting from the letter name you choose.. just like the scales. E String Pattern A String Pattern If you want to move the octave pattern down further to the D and G string a different pattern is required because of the B string tuning difference. C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb B E A D G There is also a pattern here. The two notes can be played one at a time or simultaneously depending on the sound you want to create. Here is the pattern for these two strings: D String Pattern G String Pattern Knowing these patterns is a very quick way to find another place to start your one or two octave patterns or even the single string patterns. Both patterns below are the same. Playing these octaves can also be a great way to enhance a solo. .

. essentially linking the patterns together. well play the one string scale on the G string until you reach the pattern you want to move to. Continue to go over each and every exercise that is included with the 3 lessons so far . This way you do not have to stop playing to be able to move from one pattern to another. You decide you want to play higher on up the neck but you do not want to jump all the way up to the 15th fret. For example you could be soling using the G major 2 octave pattern down on the 3rd fret low E string. This pattern can be used on all 6 strings. The first red dot can be played from any fret or it can be the open string. There are enough exercises included in this lesson so I will not add more at this time.I will also include the pattern for the one string scale as it is a great way of linking different parts of the fret board together. Lesson 4 will be about understanding key signatures and how to make the most of what information they provide.. Well I think that is enough for lesson 3.

find it in every position on the fret board and be able to play some form of a major scale from that point. Lesson 4 is going to deal with the subject of key signatures. Don’t think you have to learn more and more and more. If you can do that then you have almost unlocked your fret board and you now need to know what to do with all this new information as it will not make sense until you start applying it in your playing. what the hell are they and why do we need to know what they are telling us? With a basic understanding of key signatures the knowledge you already have will be taken to new heights. It is important once again for me to point out that almost all of which I am about to discuss you already know from previous lessons. If you can’t pick up your guitar and find any scale you can think of within a few seconds go back and continue working on lessons 1. 2 and 3 for a while longer. If you have been practising the examples from the last 3 lessons you should now be able to pick any of the 12 musical notes.I hope by now you feel you have an increased knowledge of both your fret board and scales. Once you can put your major scale patterns anywhere the hardest part is already over the rest is just the icing. All we are doing now is looking at why. . It is a hard subject and with some more practise it will come to you. If you are not quite there yet do not worry you will get it.

It looks like this: The key signature is the group of 4 sharps. You may have noticed C is listed in both columns and yet it contains no sharps or flats. on the right are the scales containing sharps. The key signature above is for E Major as it has 4 sharps in it.Lesson 4 So far you have learned to play 12 different Major scales. As you know a scale is made up of 8 different notes and it is the names of those 8 notes that give you your key signature. So what does a key signature do? A key signature tells us. of the 8 notes we know that make up a scale. Pick a scale and play it. This is telling us that this key has 4 sharps in it. the notes you play will be the exact notes listed below from the scale with the same name. On the left we have all the keys that contain flats. Remember you already know how to play them. We will not be worrying about that part of the theory at this point but it is worth knowing that much for the moment. Remember you have already learned all of the following scales in previous lessons. sharp or flat. you are just going to learn what it is you are playing that is all. Below is a list of the 12 scales we have learnt and the names of the 8 notes they contain. C D E F G A B C (0 b’s) F G A Bb C D E F (1 b) Bb C D Eb F G A Bb (2 b’s) Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb (3 b’s) Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab (4 b’s) Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db (5 b’s) Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb (6 b’s) C D E F G A B C (0 #’s) G A B C D E F# G (1 #) D E F# G A B C# D (2 #’s) A B C# D E F# G# A (3 #’s) E F# G# A B C# D# E (4 #’s) B C# D# E F# G# A# B (5 #’s) . When you play a scale from lesson 2. A key signature is always placed at the beginning of each new stave of music. which notes are natural. You will not need to know where to draw them. look at the list below and compare it with the fret board diagram and see how each of the frets you play matches the notes in the sequences below. but you will need to memorize how many #’s or b’s there are in each of the 12 keys. The lines or spaces on the musical stave the #’s intercept tell us the names of the notes that use a sharp. Each one of those scales has a different key signature so therefore there are 12 key signatures to learn.

This diagram is very helpful and is well worth memorizing as it gives you the order in which the sharps and/or flats appear. The list says the key signature C major has no sharps or flats. It is not a mistake on my part.) . The list says E major has 4 sharps. (You may notice in all my lessons so far I have referred to the 2nd fret on the low E string as Gb. Pick the one that works the best for you. If you follow it round clockwise into the sharp keys (to the right) it is called the cycle of 5ths.If you follow it round anti-clockwise into the flat keys (to the left) it is called the cycle of 4ths. D#. The diagram shows a picture with 4 sharps on it above the letter E. meaning no sharps or flats. G#.Below is a chart of all of the major key signatures showing how many sharps and/or flats they contain. I hope you see how they are the same. The above chart I pulled of the net refers to the same note as F#. however. Really what you have is two different ways of displaying the same information. F#. These both refer to the same fret so therefore the scale will still sound the same. the diagram above shows a picture of a music staff with no sharps or flats above the C. If you compare this list from the previous page with the diagram above you will see they contain similar information. C#.

at the drop of a hat. for example. it all helps and it will help you to find a way that suits your learning style. Remember these are just ways I have come up with that work for me but they may not suit everyone so please find a way that suits you best if this does not work for you. you should be able to figure out a new key signature with only a little thought. G major has 1sharp. C major G major D major A major E major B major F# major F# F# C# F# C# G# F# C# G# D# F# C# G# D# A# F# C# G# D# A# E# And the flat keys: C major F major Bb major Eb major Ab major Db major Bb Bb Eb Bb Eb Ab Bb Eb Ab Db Bb Eb Ab Db Gb See the pattern? If you learn the order of scales and the order the sharps and flats appear in. Both the list and diagram show you a list of scales in order of how many sharps and flats each scale contains. + 1 extra.The first thing you want to do is memorize how many sharps and/or flats each key has and what they are. D major has 2 sharps. and with some practise. Bb has 2 flats Bb. These sorts of patterns make it much easier to learn things like this so be sure to look out for these. Bb. So the list of added sharps looks like this for each scale. F major has one flat. The good news is each new scale contains the same sharps/flats as the last scale in the list. from 0 up to 6. Eb and so on. F#. . and C # and so on. C major has 0. F#. Look for patterns yourself that I have not mentioned.

If you have spent a fair amount of time on lesson one you should now have a good grasp on the notes on your fingerboard.. never both.. . say sharp etc. The last thing I want to point out in this lesson is how this also relates back to something I talked about in lesson 2. Take another look at the key signatures above. TONE – TONE – Semi-Tone – TONE – TONE – TONE – Semi-Tone This is the formula for constructing a major scale. this will be easy. these are the sorts of patterns you need to find and memorize. remember? Now how does this relate? If you take any one of those 12 scales above and look at the intervals or spaces between the notes. If you play a Db major scale make sure you say flat for all those notes. It will cut down on the huge amounts of unnecessary crap you would have to learn otherwise. Note: be mindful of the key signature. Notice that a key signature will only ever contain sharps or flats. Play all the scales from lesson 2. If you play E major. Again.Now. you will find it matches this pattern: TONE – TONE – Semi-Tone – TONE – TONE – TONE – Semi-Tone Every time. As you do so try to name each fret as you play it. So as you play up a scale and name notes make sure you use the right name for the frets that have 2 different names. as for putting this onto the guitar. Example: G Major G A B C D E F# G TONE from G to A TONE from A to B SEMITONE from B to C TONE from C to D TONE from D to E TONE from E to F# SEMITONE from F# to G You could replace the letters with any other scales’ letters and the pattern will work every time. If you don’t this will help you to learn so it is a win – win situation really. If you do.

Ok. Major or minor at a moment’s notice. Lesson 6 will be the explanation of what modes are and how they can be used for different sonic effects. so that is about enough for lesson 4. Once this is covered and understood you will have truly unlocked your fret board and you will be able to find and play any scale. . You will not have to learn another scale pattern other than the ones you already know to do either of these 2 things. I would like to point out that I am almost at the end of this tutorial about scales and modes. I have one more point I want to cover in lesson 5 in relation to scales and that is the topic of the relative minor scale.

practise. Each minor scale is in some way connected to a major scale through theory and with a few simple steps learning the similarities will help to unlock the minor scale all over the fret board like we already have done with the major scales. You will learn about why it is also called the relative minor scale (or sometimes just minor scale although this is too vague as there is more than one kind of minor scale.This lesson is going to be all about the natural minor scale. We will discuss that in a future lesson). Practise. . Parts of this may seem hard at first if you don’t have any musical theory knowledge other than what we have spoken about in these lessons but don’t give up you will master it in time. practise.

If he said it was in Bb major then you play a Bb major scale over top etc. But what if he said it was in E minor? You can’t play an E major scale over the top because then you will be mixing happy with sad and therefore it will clash and just sound bad. A major chord or scale will produce a ‘happy’ sound.Lesson 5: In lesson two I spoke of the difference between a Major and a minor chord or scale. If your rhythm guitarist says the song is in D major then you would most likely play a D major scale over top for any solo ideas. the natural minor scale. We are matching the sad sounding chord with the sad sounding scale. Here is the TAB for the 12 different natural minor scales in one octave. Like the major scale there are also 12 different natural minor scales each with their own key signature. This will work perfectly with the rhythm guitar playing an E minor chord progression. whereas the minor chord or scale will produce a ‘sad’ sound. in this case the E natural minor scale. C natural minor F natural minor Bb natural minor Eb natural minor |-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|------------------| |-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|------------------| |-------------3-5-|-----------------|-----------------|-------------6-8--| |-------3-5-6-----|-------------1-3-|-------------6-8-|-------6-8-9------| |-3-5-6-----------|-------1-3-4-----|-------6-8-9-----|-6-8-9------------| |-----------------|-1-3-4-----------|-6-8-9-----------|------------------| Ab natural minor Db natural minor Gb natural minor B natural minor |-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-------------------| |-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-------------------| |-----------------|-------------4-6-|-----------------|-------------------| |-------------4-6-|-------4-6-7-----|-------------2-4-|---------------7-9-| |-------4-6-7-----|-4-6-7-----------|-------2-4-5-----|--------7-9-10-----| |-4-6-7-----------|-----------------|-2-4-5-----------|-7-9-10------------| E natural minor A natural minor D natural minor G natural minor |-------------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| |-------------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| |---------------7-9-|-----------------|-------------5-7-|-----------------| |--------7-9-10-----|-------------5-7-|-------5-7-8-----|-------------3-5-| |-7-9-10------------|-------5-7-8-----|-5-7-8-----------|-------3-5-6-----| |-------------------|-5-7-8-----------|-----------------|-3-5-6-----------| . Like the major scale covered in the first 3 lessons there are patterns to learn for the natural minor scale and likewise there is also some short cuts for making this easier to learn so do not fear. It is the matching of the major chord and scale together that is important here.. Because of this it is important to match the sound of the scale you choose with the sound of the chord progression itself. The correct thing to do is to play a different scale..

C natural minor F natural minor |---------------------------6-8-|-----------------------------1----| |---------------------6-8-9-----|-----------------------1-2-4------| |-------------3-5-7-8-----------|-----------------0-1-3------------| |-------3-5-6-------------------|-------------1-3------------------| |-3-5-6-------------------------|-------1-3-4----------------------| |-------------------------------|-1-3-4----------------------------| Bb natural minor Eb natural minor |-----------------------------6-|-------------------------------9-11----| |-----------------------6-7-9---|-----------------------9-11-12---------| |-----------------5-6-8---------|-------------6-8-10-11-----------------| |-------------6-8---------------|-------6-8-9---------------------------| |-------6-8-9-------------------|-6-8-9---------------------------------| |-6-8-9-------------------------|---------------------------------------| Ab natural minor Db natural minor |-----------------------------4-|----------------------------7-9--| |-----------------------4-5-7---|---------------------7-9-10------| |-----------------3-4-6---------|-------------4-6-8-9-------------| |-------------4-6---------------|-------4-6-7---------------------| |-------4-6-7-------------------|-4-6-7---------------------------| |-4-6-7-------------------------|---------------------------------| Gb natural minor B natural minor |-----------------------------2-|--------------------------------7----| |-----------------------2-3-5---|-------------------------7-8-10------| |-----------------1-2-4---------|-------------------6-7-9-------------| |-------------2-4---------------|---------------7-9-------------------| |-------2-4-5-------------------|--------7-9-10-----------------------| |-2-4-5-------------------------|-7-9-10------------------------------| E natural minor A natural minor |----------------------------------10-12-|-----------------------------5--|-------------------------10-12-13-------|-----------------------5-6-8----|---------------7-9-11-12----------------|-----------------4-5-7----------|--------7-9-10--------------------------|-------------5-7----------------|-7-9-10---------------------------------|-------5-7-8--------------------|----------------------------------------|-5-7-8--------------------------- D natural minor G natural minor |------------------------------8-10-|-----------------------------3----| |----------------------8-10-11------|-----------------------3-4-6------| |-------------5-7-9-10--------------|-----------------2-3-5------------| |-------5-7-8-----------------------|-------------3-5------------------| |-5-7-8-----------------------------|-------3-5-6----------------------| |-----------------------------------|-3-5-6----------------------------| .And here is the TAB for the 2 octave natural minor scales.

The pattern is the same just replacing major with minor. I have not included the extra patterns I did for the major scales because if you have practised the other lessons enough you will know how to build your own patterns from the TAB I have provided. What is a relative minor scale? Here is a list of the 12 minor scales showing the sharps and/or flats for each scale. Because 2 scales share the same key signature. If you directly compare both lists you will get to see which major scales are related to which minor scale. picture the one string scale pattern in front of your playing position. They are EXACTLY the same as the pattern for the major scales in lesson 4. This way you will know if the bend needs to be a half or full bend to stay in tune with the song. . This will show you if your next note choice in your key is one semitone (1 fret) or a full tone (2 frets) away. In the end these major and minor scale shapes will serve a good purpose when it comes to practise and technique building but when it comes to improvising it is better to ‘think bigger’ than these small boxes/patterns. It is now representing minor scales not major. A minor E minor B minor F# minor C# minor G# minor D# minor F# F# C# F# C# G# F# C# G# D# F# C# G# D# A# F# C# G# D# A# E# And the flat keys: A minor D minor G minor C minor F minor Bb minor Bb Bb Eb Bb Eb Ab Bb Eb Ab Db Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Do you recognize any of this? Look at the list of sharps and flats. we say they are related. Here’s a tip: When doing a string bend. Once you have learnt them all as described in these lessons you will be able to see the fret board as one big picture which gives you more freedom in your playing.Practise this in the same way you did the major scales in the first three lessons.

G major: G A B C D E F# G E minor: E F# G A B C D E Again. It is the sequence/ distance between each note that changes its characteristics and sound qualities. C major: C D E F G A B C A minor: A B C D E F G A Both scales contain the same notes (no #’s or b’s) each one just starts and finishes on a different note in the sequence.Relative major/minor chart C major/A minor G major/E minor D major/B minor A major/F# minor E major/C# minor B major/G# minor F#/D# minor And the flat keys: C major/A minor F major/D minor Bb major/G minor Eb major/C minor Ab major/F minor Db major/Bb minor Bb Bb Eb Bb Eb Ab Bb Eb Ab Db Bb Eb Ab Db Gb F# F# C# F# C# G# F# C# G# D# F# C# G# D# A# F# C# G# D# A# E# So. . (E minor in the verse. Tone – Tone – semitone – Tone . the same notes (1 #) but in a different order. it is quite likely that it will change to its relative major in the chorus. G major in the chorus for example). Of course this can work the other way round too.Tone – Tone – semitone (major/happy) Tone – semitone – Tone – Tone – semitone – Tone – Tone (minor/sad) Relative majors/minors are used in song writing all the time. I think it kind of speaks for itself but here is an example or 2. here you can see which scale is related to which. they just start and finish on a different note. If a song starts in a minor key. See the pattern? Essentially they are the same scale.

D. If they share a key signature and therefore notes. Next time you are playing over an E minor backing of some kind try and play round with your G major (relative to E minor) scales and see what happens. Till then. (Replace this example with one in a different key often so you don’t get stuck in one key) A word of warning with this approach: It is not enough to simply play the G major scale over an E minor chord and expect it to work. . keep practising.. E major and C# minor etc. This is what gives the illusion you are actually playing in E minor rather than G major for example but without having to re learn lots of minor scales patterns. Instead. Relative majors/minors are the same scale but each one starts/finishes on a different note in the sequence of notes that they share. I think there will only need to be one more lesson in this series and that will explain what a mode is. The last thing I will do is reiterate something I said earlier.. If you think about this for a moment you may see another pattern. heaps. how it is different to using majors and minors and what they can be used for. C major and A minor. you have essentially learned all the natural minor scales all over the entire fret board already. So. then when you play a G major scale you are playing the same notes as if you were playing an E minor scale.So now you know what a natural minor and relative major/minor is and how to find them on the fret board. G major and E minor.... A. Play a G major scale slowly saying the name of each note till you say E (relative minor) and stop. C. when playing the G major scale be aware of where the note that matches the name of the relative minor scale (E) is and play round it as mentioned above. I hope this last part makes sense.. E. Now continue to pay the scale from that point (E) and you are playing E natural minor. While nothing will sound ‘out’ nothing will really quite sound ‘in’ either. if you learnt all the major patterns all over the fret board and learn which minor scale is related to each of those major scales. If you learnt the key signatures from the previous lesson you would have already learnt the key of its relative minor scale and therefore you don’t have a need to learn additional information. As always if there are any questions about this or other lessons post a reply on the forum and I will do my best to help you out. G. What you need to do next is memorise what major and minor scales are related to each other. This is essentially a way to break the ‘don’t mix happy with sad’ thing I said earlier. B. I always have a bit of trouble explaining it to my students.

I hope you feel like you have gained something from these lessons but if things still seem unclear don’t worry you may just need to keep searching for a tutor that explains things in a way you better understand. All musicians could benefit from learning from more than one tutor. Some of you may find that now you have learned what certain scales and modes are. No matter what the outcome is I am sure you will be glad you learnt a bit more about your instrument and the fret board knowledge alone should improve basic techniques in your everyday playing. .So this will be the last lesson in this series on scales and modes for the guitar. As always continue to practise heaps and don’t rush. you really had no need to learn them in the first place as they are not really appropriate to what you are playing while others will feel like a blanket has been lifted off the fret board for the first time. One thing I must stress right now is that these lessons represent just ONE way of doing things and by no means the only way or even the most ‘correct’ way. it’s just something I have formulated over the past few years that made the most sense to me and the way I learn. good things take time and time is all we have.

. or. C D E F G A B = C major we know that A natural minor is related to C major because it has the same key signature.Lesson 6: What the hell are modes and why do we need to learn them? Modes are actually a fairly simple concept that breaks a scale. C D E F G A B C (C major) DEFGABCD EFGABCDE FGABCDEF GABCDEFG A B C D E F G A (A natural minor) BCDEFGAB This represents all 7 modes in C major. So can the notes be re arranged into any other order? Yes they can. so I would have the chance to introduce some theory before tackling the modes subject. So we only have 5 more to learn. A B C D E F G = A natural minor But really all that has been done to create A natural minor is the order of the notes in C major have been ‘re arranged’ to create a new scale. How did I do that? The major and natural minor scales are 2 of the 7 modes we are going to learn about. a major scale into multiple usable parts that will better harmonise with specific/related chords in a diatonic chord progression. This should hopefully make this next part a little easier to understand. The major scale is a mode. In a major scale there are 7 notes in total not including the repeat of the first note to create an octave. There are actually several different ways to use modes in a song writing context but since the point of these lessons was to show you the appropriate scale choices for rock/metal I will only show you a couple of different ways that I found to be the most useful every day. to possibly offer a different scale choice than the standard major or minor to create different harmonies than the usual western harmonies we are used to. . where they are all over the fret board in every key. You will see the natural minor is the 6th mode.. The natural minor scale is a mode too. how they relate to each other and how to find the other 5 modes without learning from scratch. It takes a bit of explaining and theory knowledge for it to completely make sense that is why I made the modes lesson come after the lessons on major and minor scales. In other words. As there are 7 different notes in a major scale it gives us 7 different places we could start a new scale that still share/use the same key signature. This is where things start to get a little tricky. in our case. That’s right. Sweet. repeating the same letter at the start and end of a scale. What I have already done throughout these lessons so far is teach you 2 of the 7 different modes.

and will have to. All of this theory and pattern work is here to help you understand the ‘why’ part of modes only. Instead we use Latin terms. And the ‘no’ is because these shapes are really only going to be helpful to you to help you learn the sound a particular mode has compared to a major or natural minor scale. The major scale becomes the Ionian mode and the natural minor scale becomes the Aeolian mode. which is really important to do by the way. work it out from the info above yourselves. Yes because I will TAB out each mode in 2 octaves but that is all. If you want to know it in all the other positions including one string patterns you should be able to.In the world of modes we use different names other than major or minor. . Here is a complete list of all 7 modes respectively. Ionian (major) Dorian Phrygian Lydian Mixo-Lydian Aeolian (natural minor) Locrian So in C major the list of modes are as follows: C Ionian D Dorian E Phrygian F Lydian G Mixo-Lydian A Aeolian B Locrian C D E F G A B C (major) DEFGABCD EFGABCDE FGABCDEF GABCDEFG A B C D E F G A (natural minor) BCDEFGAB In G major the list of modes are as follows: G Ionian A Dorian B Phrygian C Lydian D Mixo-Lydian E Aeolian F# Locrian G A B C D E F# G (major) A B C D E F# G A B C D E F# G A B C D E F# G A B C D E F# G A B C D E F# G A B C D E (natural minor) F# G A B C D E F# So does this mean you have more scale shapes to learn? Well. yes and no.

Make sure you look at the fret numbers above the diagrams for this one. Normally each new mode will start on the next note that appears in the scale. The top one expands the fret board out to show the patterns in full so there is a double up of frets from pattern to pattern. All of these modes I Tabbed out start on G. 2 octaves. To put the modes into full context here is a picture I found on the net just now after a quick search. The exploded view used shows where the modes divide the scale up over the fret board. Be sure to listen out for the major (happy) and minor (sad) modes and any other note differences you may hear. These are all movable shapes so you can learn the patterns and move the mode to the correct starting position based on the key you chose to play or practise in. This is not the same as playing all the modes in G.Here is the TAB for all 7 modes in one position. Each one starts on G so you are able to directly compare the difference in tonality between modes. G Ionian (major) G Dorian |---------------------------2-3-|-----------------------------3----| |-----------------------3-5-----|-----------------------3-5-6------| |-----------------2-4-5---------|-----------------2-3-5------------| |-----------2-4-5---------------|-----------2-3-5------------------| |-----2-3-5---------------------|-------3-5------------------------| |-3-5---------------------------|-3-5-6----------------------------| G Phrygian G Lydian |-----------------------------3-|---------------------------2-3----| |-----------------------3-4-6---|---------------------2-3-5--------| |-------------------3-5---------|-----------------2-4--------------| |-------------3-5-6-------------|-----------2-4-5------------------| |-------3-5-6-------------------|-----2-4-5------------------------| |-3-4-6-------------------------|-3-5------------------------------| G Mixo-Lydian G Aeolian (natural minor) |-----------------------------3-|-----------------------------3----| |-----------------------3-5-6---|-----------------------3-4-6------| |-----------------2-4-5---------|-----------------2-3-5------------| |-----------2-3-5---------------|-------------3-5------------------| |-----2-3-5---------------------|-------3-5-6----------------------| |-3-5---------------------------|-3-5-6----------------------------| G Locrian |-----------------------------3----| |-------------------------4-6------| |-------------------3-5-6----------| |-------------3-5-6----------------| |-------3-4-6----------------------| |-3-4-6----------------------------| I already mentioned this but I will say it again. It shows the fret board with the frets marked to show all the notes in G major over most of the fret board. . This is just so you can compare the sound of each mode directly against each other. The smaller bottom one is the better one to look at for a true view of a guitar neck but both should show you what I am trying to explain.

I will be coming to this shortly. When playing or writing with modes you are more likely to stay in perfect harmony with the passing chords in a chord progression. In other words a metal song is less likely to stick to a solid key signature for any length of time. By now hopefully you can see that modes are really all about theory and are for players that really want a true and intimate knowledge of what they are playing. Because of this I will keep the chord talk to a minimum. In a more blues/rock type band where full chords are more likely to be used the more traditional method for using modes will work well. give it a go anyway. I will start by discussing the more traditional blues/jazz/rock approach which requires the most theory knowledge. Of course this only works if you are playing over some kind of chord based backing or rhythm section which. . It is like a jigsaw puzzle for your guitar. If you do not.Here you can see all of G major mapped out over the fret board with divisions showing where each part of the scale breaks off to become a mode. There are still plenty of useful ideas you will take away with you from this but if you learn more about chords after this lesson and then re-read this lesson you will find more information you missed the first time through. The biggest hurdle to truly mastering this method is that it also requires the musician to have a reasonable knowledge of chords and how they are constructed. In this instance my technique I have devised for learning modes is really helpful. in metal is quite often NOT the case as metal is more often non diatonic in nature. Both techniques create quite different sounding results.

Each mode will have a chord that is related to it. Dom 7 or half dim quality to it and each mode has a related chord. Mixo-Lydian is a major mode but can be related to a major and/or dominant 7 chord. Dorian is a minor mode so therefore can be related to a minor chord. It turns out the natural minor scale was related to the major scale because of the modes theory. Ionian. It would then be fair to assume that chords can be related to these modes somehow too.So far I have talked about different scales being related to each other. Play a G major chord Play an A minor chord Play a B minor chord Play a C major chord Play a D7 chord Play an E minor chord Play an F# half Dim chord – play the G Ionian mode – play a G major chord – play the A Dorian mode – play an A minor chord – play the B Phrygian mode – play a B minor Chord – play the C Lydian mode – play a C major chord – play the D Mixo-Lydian mode – play the D7 chord – play the E Aeolian mode – play the E minor chord – play F# Locrian mode – play F# half Dim chord . Phrygian is a minor mode so therefore can be related to a minor chord.minor Phrygian .major Mixo-Lydian major/dominant 7 Aeolian .minor Locrian – half diminished This also shows you the tonality of the different modes. Here is a list of the modes and the ‘type’ of scale it is. MODE C Ionian D Dorian E Phrygian F Lydian G Mixo-Lydian A Aeolian B Locrian RELATED CHORD C major chord D minor chord E minor chord F major chord G7 chord A minor chord B half diminished chord - CDEFGABC DEFGABCD EFGABCDE FGABCDEF GABCDEFG ABCDEFGA BCDEFGAB - So a major scale is rearranged into 7 different scales called modes. Ionian is a major mode and therefore can be related to a major chord. Each mode will have either a major.minor Lydian . Lydian is a major mode so therefore can be related to a major chord.major Dorian . With me so far? Another good way to learn the sound of each mode is to play the related chord before and after playing the mode. Aeolian is a minor mode so therefore can be related to a minor chord. minor. Locrian is a half Diminished mode so therefore can be related to a half Diminished chord.

broken down into more usable bite size pieces. Dorian. Because the chords themselves are not giving away the key. which is not one of the scales I have talked about in these lessons so if you don’t know that scale.. learn the patterns everywhere off every note and string in every key. If you had a chord progression that looked like this: E major – C# minor – F# minor – B7 – Then your mode/scale pattern will look like this: E Ionian – C# Aeolian – F# Dorian – B Mixo-Lydian – If you look at the above list you should see that E major is related to the E Ionian mode so that is the best mode to play over this chord. By keeping things ‘related’ things sound more in tune and cohesive. It is always Ionian. . it becomes harder to tell what scale/s to use. Over all.. The 3rd note has to present to be able to tell if a chord is major or minor. A power chord is neither a major or minor chord as it only consists of the root note and the 5th note of the scale. C# minor is related to the C# Aeolian mode so that is the best mode to play over that chord and so on. Next I will talk about another method I use more in a heavy rock/metal song where a solid key signature is not always obvious. though. This is all I will say about this mode method. most metal tracks have a very definite minor feel to them as the idea of a major or ‘happy’ sounding metal track is normally not desirable. If it did not make sense read it again and again until it does. So far I have shown it in C and G major. The idea is that when you play to a backing in E major and any one of the above mentioned chords are played in that progression then play the mode that is said to be related to the chord at that time.The good news is once again the pattern and order of these modes stays the same as you change to different keys. you are still just playing the notes from an E major scale and nothing more. I hope it gives you a basic understanding of the theory and thoughts behind modes. The most commonly used scale in metal is actually the pentatonic minor scale. Here it is in E major: MODE RELATED CHORD E Ionian E F# G# A B C# D# E major chord F# Dorian F# G# A B C# D# E F# minor chord G# Phrygian G# A B C# D# E F# G# minor chord A Lydian A B C# D# E F# G# A major chord B Mixo-Lydian B C# D# E F# G# A B7 chord C# Aeolian C# D# E F# G# A B C# minor chord D# Locrian D# E F# G# A B C# D# half diminished chord Remember this is still just one scale. Having said this. Lydian etc no matter what the key is. Dorian is always minor etc. Likewise with tonality Ionian is always major. go learn it now! Do the same things I showed you in these lessons. I can’t stress this one point enough. You are just learning to be able to play from any point from within it. This happens because of the use of power chords. E major.

Moving between modes and the pentatonic minor can work well too.. Well because we know that the major and minor scales are related and that they are in fact both modes it is fair to assume that other modes can be considered to be related to each other too. So if we make it a C Phrygian what would that make the first Ionian mode? What Key has a C Phrygian? Ab major does. . Let say your backing is in C as you are using a drop C tuning and you find that the C Phrygian mode sound the best when played over the backing but you don’t want to be stuck in that one position. Once you have done what I mentioned above and found what you think is the best mode/scale choice for your backing then you need to make sure you know it all over the fret board... So by now you may be thinking ‘so we do have lots more scale patterns/positions to learn!’ well not really. Lydian. for the pentatonic minor to work well. Learn the patterns I gave you above and play each one starting on the root note of your song. What do you do? By following the order of modes: Ionian. If it sounds great and all the notes fit then the chances of a slightly more unusual mode working is slim. not just the one position you tried it in for the test. start them on C etc. If your backing is a little more ‘eastern’ sounding or just has a different ‘flavour’ to it then one of the modes may well do the trick. Phrygian. Think about what we did when we discovered that the major and minor scales where related.So. all of those modes are related to each other in the same way the major and minor scales are. Mixo-Lydian. here we go. Dorian. If your song is in E. This will be because. it is hard to explain. You should see that there are 3 different minor modes. the backing needs to be relatively straight forward also. I hope this is easy enough to follow. If you can then figure out what major scale (Ionian mode) it all relates back to then you will know the key signature and since you have already learned all the major scales all over the fret board you have already learned everything related all over the fret board. no. If it’s in C. Look at the modes list again. start each mode from E. So then a minor scale/mode is the way to go. One should work better than the other or sometimes you may be left with a choice of 2. Try the pentatonic minor scale first and see what happens. If you figure out all 7 modes in one key. The next bit is the tricky bit to wrap your head around so. Dorian Phrygian Aeolian Now you have 3 different options other than the pentatonic minor scale to choose from. As the Aeolian mode is also the natural minor scale it is also a more ‘normal’ sounding minor scale choice and may not suit more out there ‘colourful’ backings. Play each mode over you backing track and see which one ‘fits’ the best. you have a listen to your new track and you feel it is in a minor key. Aeolian and Locrian you can see that the Phrygian mode is the 3rd mode in the series.

MODE C Ionian D Dorian E Phrygian F Lydian G Mixo-Lydian A Aeolian B Locrian CDEFGABC DEFGABCD EFGABCDE FGABCDEF GABCDEFG ABCDEFGA BCDEFGAB RELATED CHORD C major chord D minor chord E minor chord F major chord G7 chord A minor chord B half diminished chord So if you play your C major patterns but centre your playing round a D. According to our modes list there are 2 different major modes. This will work in any other key too so here is one more example. Let’s say our song is D minor sounding and you decide that D Dorian suits the song the best. So if you want to add a little flavour to your track and are sick of playing the same old major scale try using the Lydian mode instead. What Key has D Dorian? C major does. if you were to play the Ab major scale (that you already know right?) but plan to start and finish on the C within the scale. You want to play a G Lydian. No need to learn a whole new pattern then.MODE Ab Ionian Bb Dorian C Phrygian Db Lydian Eb Mixo-Lydian F Aeolian G Locrian - Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Bb C Db Eb F G Ab C Db Eb F G Ab Bb Db Eb F G Ab Bb C Eb F G Ab Bb C Db F G Ab Bb C Db Eb G Ab Bb C Db Eb f - RELATED CHORD Ab major chord Bb minor chord C minor chord Db major chord Eb dom 7chord F minor chord G half diminished chord So it would be fair to assume that since you want to play the C Phrygian mode and the mode shares the same key signature as Ab major. What key has a G Lydian? D major does. This is almost the complete opposite of the previous method. . then it will sound in tune and you will be playing in D Dorian. Let’s say your song is in G major. then you are in fact playing C Phrygian. It will not be as ‘pure’ sounding but it will help to add more ‘colour’ to your playing. Of course you could do the same thing for a major scale too. Ionian and Lydian.

but not wrong. I think with that I have come to the end of talking about how I personally use scales and modes and therefore. Melodic minor and other altered scales but these will only be good every now and again for very specific tones or flavours.MODE D Ionian E Dorian F# Phrygian G Lydian A Mixo-Lydian B Aeolian C# Locrian D E F# G A B C# E F# G A B C# D F# G A B C# D E G A B C# D E F# A B C# D E F# G B C# D E F# G A C# D E F# G A B - RELATED CHORD D major chord E minor chord F# minor chord G major chord A7 chord B minor chord C# half diminished chord So if you played the D major scale (centred round G) over the G major progression then you would be playing the G Lydian scale and it will add a whole new dimension to your sound. Nigel. . There are still other kinds of scales worth looking into such as the Harmonic minor. I will say one more time that this is only one way of doing the scale and modes thing and by no means the only way. If you disagree with anything I have said that’s cool. nmauchline@gmail. I wish you all the luck in the world with your guitar playing in the future and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions relating to these lessons. Record yourself playing a progression in G major: G major – E minor – C major – D major And then played a solo over it in D major you will notice it sounds different. I hope I have managed to explain everything in an easy to understand manor and that you feel like you have learned something. Cheers and thanks for reading.com © Nigel Mauchline 2011-04-05 not to be published or distributed without written permission. just different. The best thing to do is try it. This is a technique used widely by guitarists such as Steve Vai. The scales/modes I talked about only represent the ones I feel work best for me and the ones I feel are most commonly used in rock/metal. I also must mention that these lessons only cover a small fraction of all the scales there are in the world. the end of these lessons. everyone has their own way of doing things. I am sorry some of this got quite long winded but I feel it is important to have as in depth explanation as possible when it comes to this sort of thing.

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