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The modes of the major scale.

If your searching for bass guitar scales you're bound to find information on modes. There is generally a lot of confusion about modes and how they apply to music, so I will try to simplify them here.

The technical definition?
Any of certain fixed arrangements of the diatonic tones of an octave, as the major and minor scales of Western music.

OK, that's not very simple...

Simply... Modes are scales. However the term "mode" refers specifically to the 7 scales that are built upon the structure of the major scale. Ok, so what is the structure of a major scale?

Let's learn it... it's easy! But before we do, we have to add two more musical terms to our vocabulary. They are: TONE, and SEMI-TONE.

Learn about the tone and semi-tone structure before continuing on with this bass lesson on modes.

Are you comfortable with the lesson on the tone and semi-tone? OK, lets take what we've learned and apply it to make all the other modes of the major scale.

The 2nd mode makes the bass scale, DORIAN. It' is called the second mode because it starts on the 2nd note of the major scale.

g major scale Whereas the notes of the G major scale are: G-A-B-C-D-E-Fsharp-G, and follows the T,T,S,T,T,T,S pattern..

a dorian scale The scale A DORIAN uses the same notes but starts on 'A', not 'G': A-B-C-D-E-Fsharp-G-A.
So if it uses the same notes, why does it sound so different? Do you know the answer?

The DORIAN scale structure is: T,S,T,T,T,S,T.

Using the same procedure as above, lets name and construct all the other modes of the major scale, and add them to the list of our bass guitar scales.

The third mode: PHRYGIAN

The fourth mode: LYDIAN

The fith mode: MIXOLYDIAN

The sixth mode: AEOLIAN

The seventh mode: LOCRIAN

Back to the free bass guitar scales, and more modes

Questions? Comments? Ask me here...


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