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The Modes

Theory Lab



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The modes of the major scale are a complex but essential topic for guitarists. This two-part series delves into them, taking a detailed look at the Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, and Lydian modes in part one. Understanding modes is a fundamental aspect of music theory, and it involves learning scale formulas. By the end of this course, these first four modes become comprehensible.

Part two continues with the Mixolydian mode and covers all seven modal scales. It also discusses how to apply these scales practically on the guitar. The key concept is grouping the scales into major and minor families, reflecting their real-world usage.

Building triads on the guitar is like crafting a musical puzzle, where each note fits perfectly into place, creating harmony and depth in every chord.

Dan Holton

All of our Theory Lab courses are hosted "on the blackboard". This means that it is theory in the truest sense of the word. We're working with our brains and our thinking mind to try to understand the concept, before using the Guitar Skills, Player Studies & Challenges to put the ideas into practice. Therefore, you can watch or listen to the course without a guitar in hand, perfect for a journey to work or chilling with a notepad handy!


10 HD videos

Full lesson notes

Supporting diagrams

This course includes the following 2 units:

Unit 1

The Modes Part 1

The modes of the major scale is a massive topic and certainly one we do not want to rush on the guitar.

Lesson 1What Are The Modal Scales?

Lesson 2What Is The Ionian Mode?

Lesson 3What Is The Dorian Mode?

Lesson 4What Is The Phrygian Mode?

Lesson 5What Is The Lydian Mode?

Unit 2

The Modes Part 2

This course picks up where The Modes (Part 1) left off and jumps straight into the Mixolydian mode.

Lesson 1What Is The Mixolydian Mode?

Lesson 2What Is The Aeolian Mode?

Lesson 3What Is The Locrian mode?

Lesson 4How To Group The Major Modes

Lesson 5How To Group The Minor Modes

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Whether you buy or subscribe, you'll get full online access to this course – The Modes – complete with ad-free video lessons, interactive tab, audio tracks, progress tracking and more.

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Course workbook

Every downloadable course includes a detailed workbook, written to work as a standalone study guide, as well as support the main videos.

*the PDF workbook is only available with the download of the course.

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Choose to either purchase this single course, or subscribe and open up access to all of our courses. We've broken down the options below.

Full Video Lessons

HD, multi-camera, professionally filmed video lessons to show you the way with crystal clarity.

Backing Tracks

You'll have every single backing track and jam track for every single course.

Interactive Tab

Tab that moves along with the music! Slow down, loop and speed train with this interface.

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