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Reference         "Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below." --Joseph Addison

Introduction Edit

In this article, 'W' denotes a whole step or a tone (2 frets), and 'H' a half-step or a semitone (1 fret). Refer also to the diagram of the Guitar Fretboard.

Thus the key of A major (Ionian) would be as follows:

A -W- B -W- C# -H- D -W- E -W- F# -W- G# -H- A

Sharps can also be written as flats, but it is normal when talking about modes to use alphabetical order, without repetition.

Note also that modes follow the same pattern, but start on different notes. For example, the key of C major (CDEFGABC) uses the same notes as the key of D Dorian [DEFGABCD]. The key of A minor also uses the same notes [ABCDEFGA].

Ionian Mode(Major) Edit

W W H W W W H

Dorian Mode Edit

W H W W W H W

Phrygian Mode Edit

H W W W H W W

Lydian Mode Edit

W W W H W W H

Mixolydian Mode Edit

W W H W W H W

Locrian Mode Edit

H W W H W W W

Aeolian Mode(Minor) Edit

W H W W H W W



Fretboard Digrams of the Modes Edit

The diagrams aren’t “tabs” they are ASCII Fretboard Diagrams. So each |---| is one fret. Then those numbers mean what finger you should place on that fret (1= index, 2 = middle, 3 = ring, 4 = pinky). The “position #” means what note is the root note of that mode (i.e. for the first one it says “Ionian Position = #1” that means the first note is the root note, and it says “Dorian Position = #7” that means the seventh note you play is the root note).

**********************************************************
e|---|---|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|   Ionian Position:     #1
B|---|---|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|   Locrian Position:    #7
G|---|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|---|   Aeolian Position:    #6
D|---|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|---|   Mixolydian Position: #5
A|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|---|   Lydian Position:     #4
E|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|---|   Phrygian Position:   #3
                             Dorian Position:     #2
**********************************************************
e|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|           Ionian Position:     #2
B|---|-2-|---|-4-|           Locrian Position:    #1
G|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|           Aeolian Position:    #7
D|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|           Mixolydian Position: #6
A|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|           Lydian Position:     #5
E|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|           Phrygian Position:   #4
                             Dorian Position:     #3
**********************************************************
e|-1-|---|---|-3-|---|       Ionian Position:     #3
B|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|---|       Locrian Position:    #2
G|-1-|---|-3-|---|---|       Aeolian Position:    #1
D|-1-|---|-3-|---|-4-|       Mixolydian Position: #7
A|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|---|       Lydian Position:     #6
E|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|---|       Phrygian Position:   #5
                             Dorian Position:     #4
**********************************************************
e|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|       Ionian Position:     #4
B|---|---|-2-|-3-|---|       Locrian Position:    #3
G|---|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|       Aeolian Position:    #2
D|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|       Mixolydian Position: #1
A|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|       Lydian Position:     #7
E|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|       Phrygian Position:   #6
                             Dorian Position:     #5
**********************************************************
e|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|       Ionian Position:     #5
B|---|---|-2-|---|-4-|       Locrian Position:    #4
G|---|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|       Aeolian Position:    #3
D|---|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|       Mixolydian Position: #2
A|---|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|       Lydian Position:     #1
E|-1-|---|-2-|---|-4-|       Phrygian Position:   #7
                             Dorian Position:     #6
**********************************************************
e|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|           Ionian Position:     #6
B|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|           Locrian Position:    #5
G|-1-|---|-3-|---|           Aeolian Position:    #4
D|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|           Mixolydian Position: #3
A|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|           Lydian Position:     #2
E|-1-|-2-|---|-4-|           Phrygian Position:   #1
                             Dorian Position:     #7
**********************************************************
e|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|---|       Ionian Position:     #7
B|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|---|       Locrian Position:    #6
G|-1-|---|-3-|---|---|       Aeolian Position:    #5
D|-1-|---|-3-|---|-4-|       Mixolydian Position: #4
A|-1-|---|-3-|---|-4-|       Lydian Position:     #3
E|-1-|---|-3-|-4-|---|       Phrygian Position:   #2
                             Dorian Position:     #1
**********************************************************

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