A fun, fresh and carefully structured approach to learning the modes with an emphasis on writing and playing melodic solos. Sarah Spisak has been making music theory fun and accessible for countless guitarists over the years. Her ground-breaking “Melodic Principles” course briefly covered a nine-note block system for mastering the modes and covering the entire fretboard with minimal time and effort. Now she has expanded on this innovative method and packed the course with fun-to-play exercises, solos and backing tracks. (Eight Lessons/4 DVDs)
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 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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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.
DVD, Digital Download