Guitar Scale Modes

Scale modes are played by starting the Major Scale on a different note.

Ionian Mode - Played the same as the Major Scale, starting on the first note.

Dorian Mode - Played by starting on the second note of a Major Scale.

Phrygian Mode - Played by starting on the third note of a Major Scale.

Lydian Mode - Played by starting on the fourth note of a Major Scale.

Mixolydian Mode - Played by starting on the fifth note of a Major Scale.

Aeolian Mode - Played by starting on the sixth note of a Major Scale

Locrian Mode - Played by starting on the seventh note of a Major Scale.


Example: the A Dorian Mode is played by starting on the second note of the G Major Scale.

Notes used in the G Major Scale

G A B C D E F# G
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Using the notes of the G Major Scale (below on left), and starting on A or second note, and using the same notes from the G Major Scale, the Dorian Mode is formed (below on right), in this case A Dorian (A, B, C, D, E, F#, G).