Quick Lesson On The 7 Guitar Modes, Scales And Degrees

What’s up my guitar friends, Darrin Goodman here with another little guitar lesson for ya’, today I want to talk about guitar scales and modes.

This is a really big subject and obviously to big for just this short article to be able to cover everything; you could write a book about it and still not cover it all. Today we will be looking at the seven major modes and briefly go over them, again it’s a big subject.

The seven major modes are seven scales based on the seven degrees of a key. If you look at a musical key, lets say the key of G Major, there are seven notes that make up the key. In the key of G the seven notes are; G, A, B, C, D, E and F#. So when you play a G major scale, or the Ionian mode, those are the seven notes in the scale. Here is an example of the G major scale or Ionian mode.


Each of the other six modes starts on one of the remaining notes in the key. So Ionian starts on G and ends on F#, Dorian starts on A and ends on G, Phrygian starts on B and ends on A, Lydian starts on C and ends on B, Mixolydian starts on D and ends on C, Aeolian (which is the natural relative minor) starts on E and ends on D and finally Locrian starts on F# and ends on E.

Notice in the example scale pattern that there are three notes per string. When you move to the next position, Dorian, notes two and three on each string become notes one and two of the next position and so on and so forth.


Here is a short video lesson I did on how to connect the patterns together.

Connecting Ionian and Dorian Video Lesson

Here are the tabs for the video.

This by no means is a complete look into scales and modes, but it’s a good place to start. I hope this has helped you on your musical journey.


How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


This free course expires in:


Get 2 hours of FREE Guitar Lessons.