Having some free time, I paddled through old posts relating to modes. There seems to be a range of opinions and uses for the application of modes, so I thought I’d throw may hat into the ring and lay down how I approach modes. (I feel somewhat apprehensive, knowing there are posters here much more knowledgable than myself). Firstly, some memorise them as inversions of the relative major key, and so don’t have to add another scale pattern to their arsenal. This is OK, but I think it limits the ability to apply modes in different ways. I prefer to memorise the mode patterns, which allows easier application of modes (there’s only seven patterns to memorise, so it’s easy- even for me). Using a 4-note-per-string scale, the octave stays on a string pair. 3 pairs of strings (E/A, D/G and B/E). (Also works on the A/D string pair). Ignoring the root note, you have seven 3-note-per-string patterns to memorise. Modes can be seen both as “Key based” or “Root based”. (This is my definition, so may not be the correct terminology). Key based modes are inversions of the same scale. Using modes this way, you can see the chords embedded within the parent scale. i.e. All modes in the key of C (C is the parent scale). For example, in the key of C you have: Mode >> Assoc Chords. C Ionian (major) >> C CM7 D Dorian >> Dm Dm7 E Phrygian >> Em Em7 F Lydian >> F FM7 G Mixolydian >> G G7 A Aeolian (Minor) >>Am Am7 B Locrian >> Bm7b5 Root based modes are modes with the same root note. This way you can see chords or melodies based on different key signatures that work with the root. i.e. Same root note but different parent key. These also create a pathway to key changes within the song. In the key of C: Mode .... Parent key .... Interval changes .... Effect C Lydian .... G .... #4 .... Bright #4 wants to resolve C Ionian (major).... C .... .... Bright, stable C Mixolydian .... F .... b7 .... Bright but softer C Dorian .... Bb .... b7 b3 .... Soulful C Aeolian (minor).... E .... b7 b3 b6 .... Sad, stable C Phrygian .... Ab .... b7 b3 b6 b2 .... Dark, brooding C Locrian .... Db .... b7 b3 b6 b2 b5 .... Dark, sinister, unstable Notice that I’ve sequenced on the circle of fifths. This has 2 advantages: there is only one note change between adjacent modes, and the sequence represents the mood changes of the modes. Modes sequence as major, minor, diminished. The first 3 are major = brighter, happy. Lydian is brighter than Ionian; Mixolydian is softer. The next 3 are minor = sadder, moodier. Dorian is lighter than Aeolian; Phrygian is darker. Locrian is a scale most ignore (except jazz and speed metal players). With a flattened 3 and 5, there’s not much left of its C-ness, and wants desperately to resolve (to a new key). Everyone likes a chart, so I’ll finish with one. Notes: Both the Modes and Key/Scale sequences are arranged in Circle of Fifths. The notes in the array can represent either scale notes or root notes. The far right column shows which intervals of that mode are raised or lowered (# or b). Key Based approach (where does my mode start?) Each column represents the notes of the major scale (arranged in 5ths reading down the column, and in 4ths reading up). The notes in the columns also represent the starting note (root note) of the associated mode. e.g. In the key of D, Dorian mode starts on the 2nd interval (E) (= E Dorian) Root Based approach (what scale is this mode built from?) Each row represents a mode. Select a note from the row as the modes root note. The parent key is labelled at the top of that column. e.g. E Dorian > parent key is D Hopefully someone finds this of some use.