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Modes of the Major Scale

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In this lesson we'll learn the locrian mode. We started with the A Major scale and number the scale degrees:

A(1) - B(2) - C#(3) - D(4) - E(5) - F#(6) - G#(7) - A(1)

We are going to use the exact same group of notes, but this time we are going to let the seventh note of the scale (G#) a chance to start the scale. Note the formula of intervals shifts from the original one (WS is whole step or two frets; HS is half step or one fret):

A Major scale: A - WS - B - WS - C# - HS - D - WS - E - WS - F# - WS - G# - HS - A

1st - WS - 2nd - WS - Major 3rd - HS - 4th - WS - 5th - WS - Major 6th - WS - Major 7th - HS - 1st

Letting the 7th scale note (G#) start the scale results in the seventh mode, named, locrian. Watch for the shift in the formula of intervals in between it's degrees.


G# - HS - A - WS - B - WS - C# - HS - D - WS - E - WS - F# - WS - G#

This means we have a different set of intervals and thus a different sound.

1st - HS - flat 2nd - WS - Minor 3rd - WS - 4th - HS - flat 5th - WS - Minor 6th - WS - Minor 7th - WS - 1st

In the image and the video we will learn how to play the A major scale starting on it's seventh note (G#) using a 3-note per string pattern that will cover all six strings. In this way we can move across the entire fretboard. We will eventually do this with all seven modes. In this way we can link all the mode patterns together and cover the entire fretboard vertically and horizontally with these interlocking patterns.

First we'll play locrian in one octave, then we'll play it using a 3-note per string pattern that will cover all six strings. In the next lesson we'll experiment with playing the mode over a backing track that uses chords to help highlight the sound of locrian.

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