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Modes of the Major Scale

 
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Description

In this lesson we'll learn the aeolian 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 sixth note of the scale (F#) 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 6th scale note (F#) start the scale results in the sixth mode, named, aeolian, also known as the natural minor scale. Watch for the shift in the formula of intervals in between it's degrees.


Aeolian


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


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


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


First we'll play dorian 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 aeolian.

Lesson Info
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Modes of the Major Scale