Easy Guitar Modes

(4 customer reviews)


A fun, fresh and carefully structured approach to learning the modes with an emphasis on writing and playing melodic solos.  Full description and video preview available here.  Eight lessons on four DVDs.


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Lesson One

This lesson starts with an incredibly simple nine-note pattern that you can memorize quickly and then easily move to other octaves and keys. This pattern contains every mode of the major scale, but we’ll start by visualizing it as Mixolydian, then Ionian, and then as Aeolian (natural minor). You will also learn how to see the minor pentatonic in this same pattern and you will quickly be playing all over the fretboard with confidence!  Also included- finding the G and A notes on your guitar.
“Easy Guitar Modes Lesson One”

Lesson Two

Lesson Two builds on what we covered in Lesson One.  We learn how to transpose the original nine-note pattern, or move it to other keys.  We get plenty of practice using this pattern to play the Aeolian mode, or natural minor.  Then we see how we can play the Phrygian mode with this same shape.  Also included- finding the C and D notes on your guitar.
“Easy Guitar Modes Lesson Two”

Lesson Three

In this lesson we combine the minor pentatonic and Aeolian mode and learn some more Phrygian lines.  Then we change one note in pattern #1 to get the second block in our system, the Ionian shape.  Each one of these patterns actually contains all seven modes, but we will approach them in a logical way and emphasize certain modes which are most useful in rock and metal, such as Aeolian and Phrygian.
“Easy Guitar Modes Lesson Three”

Lesson Four

This lesson starts with linking our first two patterns to easily cover large “chunks” of the fretboard in several positions.  This is an extremely effective method because the “mind’s ear” is directly linked to the patterns due to the process of replication (making exact copies).  Then we use the two patterns (Mixolydian and Ionian) to play in the common rock key of A minor before completing our “Phrygian Song”.  We conclude the lesson by learning the third pattern, which is associated with the Dorian mode but like all patterns in this system contains every mode of the major scale.
“Easy Guitar Modes Lesson Four”

Lesson Five

We begin by moving our third pattern, the Dorian shape, to different octaves and positions. Then we link our first three patterns together and use these shapes to play several licks and solos using two approaches- emphasizing the sound of a single mode and “playing the changes” (following the chords in the harmony). We conclude the lesson by learning the fourth pattern in our system, the Aeolian mode.“Easy Guitar Modes Lesson Five”

Lesson Six

We begin by moving our fourth pattern, the Aeolian shape, to different octaves. Then we link our four patterns together to cover larger areas of the fretboard. We learn to play the cycle of fourths and harmonize the minor scale.  This lesson features three solos and several animated fretboard diagrams.  We conclude by learning the fifth pattern in our system, the Phrygian mode. “Easy Guitar Modes Lesson Six”

Lesson Seven

In our previous lesson we learned the phrygian pattern in our system of nine-note blocks. Next we will move that pattern to other octaves and learn a simple solo in A phrygian.  Then we will transpose the phrygian pattern so that it has E as the root note and connect it to our A aeolian and D Dorian patterns.  We’re also going to learn the locrian pattern in our system and connect it to the other patterns.

You might not associate the major scale or ionian mode with metal but with a crunchy tone and 150 beats per minute we get a familiar power-metal sound. We’re going to take several steps to learn how to construct a solo over a “Metal Ionian” progression. First we will study the harmony, then play several exercises using arpeggios and diatonic patterns

Finally we will have a complete piece with a prelude of scalar passages followed by a melodic solo which outlines the chords of the progression. “Easy Guitar Modes Lesson Seven”

Lesson Eight

In this lesson we learn the Lydian pattern in our nine-note block system. Then we connect it to other patterns to move around the fretboard. This lesson will help you to recognize the sound of Lydian and know how to apply it in two ways- as a central tonality (refer to first solo in preview video) and as contrast to the Aeolian mode (second two solos in preview video). In addition you will learn the “Mode Spectrum”- the array of modes with respect to their bright and dark qualities.

“Easy Guitar Modes Lesson Eight”

Additional information

DVD, Digital Download

Reviews (4)

4 reviews for Easy Guitar Modes

  1. glenn swiderski

    Sarah has taken a somewhat daunting musical concept and has turned it into a very understandable and fun journey. The modes are broken down into bite size pieces that keep the student from being overwhelmed. There is just enough music theory that if you pay attention it will be very useful later on. All in all its a well done product and Sarah should be congratulated for her work!

  2. Dan Hayes

    I’ve just completed working through all of the easy modes lessons. I must congratulate Sarah on a job well done. The videos are well produced, she explains ideas clearly and the playing is tasteful, achievable, and reflective of the concepts she is presenting.

    Many of the concepts were not new to me but that doesn’t mean I didn’t take away some valuable ideas and techniques. Sometimes, it just takes someone explaining things slightly differently from the way you’ve heard things a thousand times before and new connections start to happen. I would put Sarah’s series in that category for me personally. Recommended.

  3. Superblonde

    I’ve just finished drilling thru the 8 lessons here. The methods taught by Sarah in Easy Modes makes writing a solo with modes straightforward using the patterns without requiring much other than applying the shapes as patterns. Anyone should be able to write a solo this way (as long as the correct pattern/key is applied).

    Skipping ahead in the Lessons, past where I was in the first week of studying, Sarah also has an excellent section in a later Lesson on “Building a Solo”, where she describes a method about taking solo writing in multiple passes or steps. So even after writing a solo using only the shapes, applying the tips from that “Building a Solo” section of the lesson, should clear up a lot of the ways solos go from “meh” to “solid” or “good”, basically, building it up into something cool.

    The solos in this package are great and a variety of musical melody styles- look at the description closely- metal, jazz, classical.

    Great program, study it, you won’t regret it! My hint: take learning this package as multiple passes. First, go thru it somewhat rapidly, within a few weeks, try not to get “stuck” or bogged down, because later concepts could clear up earlier confusion. Then later, after playing thru several solos and all the patterns in each lesson (even if not at fast tempo), go thru all the lessons a second time to dig into the material in depth. This worked well for me, after initially having some confusion. Keep motoring thru it.


    These mode patterns that Sarah as developed or “discovered” are a perfect compliment to Doug’s Speed & Accuracy exercises. Definitely one of the reasons I was able to pick up the mode patterns so quickly, is because of so much time spent on the Speed & Accuracy previously. So I would say, anyone who has done Speed & Accuracy, should definitely pick up Easy Modes as the next step. It is the perfect program to apply the S&A skills. And get some killer modal solos as a result of that. S&A teaches patterns for speed, without the musical context. Easy Modes is like the perfect musical context for S&A practice.

    Or vice versa- Anyone who goes thru Easy Modes and hasn’t done Speed & Accuracy, should finish Easy Modes, continue to practice the Easy Modes patterns, and as a way to look at building speed, check out Speed & Accuracy. [* note since the S&A exercises are now in Doug’s new basic course, then anyone who has done the new 2017 basic course intermediate section, should be familiar with the S&A patterns.]

  4. Sarah Spisak

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