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The Jeff's Guitar And Steel Blog

Submitted on Friday, February 24th, 2023 - 17:12

What the heck are modes?!

Hello Steel-ists,

I just released a video about how to take 1 lick and give it a different feel or context by using the concept of modes.

I'm a very modal dude. Love em'. Fantastic! Here's some background on me, I went to Jazz school for about 2.5 years, and I learned a lot, especially that I don't really like jazz. As a youngster I attended jazz school camps and hesitantly played in Big Band/Be-Bop combos at non-jazz school, just regular school. They didn't offer any other combos, just Count Basie and Glenn Miller, Miles Davis stuff, etc. Even Uriah Heep would've been way more fun. I digress, what I'm trying to say is that I'm basically a failed jazz guitarist.

Even if that's the case, what I learned from the jazz-bo's is that modal playing is a super efficient way to take 1 scale and turn it into 7 if you understand how to use it contextually.

For instance let's pretend that I eat some chicken. It's in my mouth. That's the scale. The chicken in my mouth is the scale. Now if I hold it there and put some maple syrup in my mouth, the chicken is going to taste different. The syrup is the chord. The chicken stays the same but now it's chicken with maple syrup, context is different. So you could think of it like this

Chicken + Syrup tastes like Ionian    

Chicken + Sad Gravy tastes like Dorian

Chicken + Olive Oil tastes like Phrygian

Chicken + Fun Dip tastes like Lydian

Chicken + LSD tastes like Mixolydian

Chicken + Mango tastes like Aeolian

Chicken + Garbarge tastes like Locrean

Would be the same as:

C Major Scale + C chord = Ionian

C Major Scale + Dm chord = Dorian

C Major Scale + Em chord = Phrygian

C Major Scale + F chord = Lydian

C Major Scale + G chord = Mixolydian

C Major Scale + Am chord = Aeolian

C Major Scale + Bdim chord = Locrean

Pretty simple, right?

So here's a lesson that sums up what I'm trying to say:

Video Lesson: 1 Lick 2 Modal Emotions (Intermediate Techniques): By using the concept of modes we take 1 lick and create two different emotions by setting it up within different chord progressions.

Here's a bunch of my other scale related stuff!

Useful harmonized G scales 

Major Scales -Two Octaves

Major and Minor Pentatonic Scales

6 Major Pentatonic Licks

6 Minor Pentatonic Licks

Let me know some theory lesson ideas I might be missing! Send me an email at jeffsguitarandsteel@gmail.com  

Also, use promo code: STEELNEWS for 1 month free on a pedal steel subcription. Click here to sign-up and enter your promo code in the bottom field.

Stay Modal!