What To Know Before You Start Learning Modes
Before you start on your new modal adventure, you need to have a few basics down first. PLEASE do not try and do this course if you are uncertain of any of the items below, it will make your journey difficult and to be honest, you are just probably not ready to start using them just yet. So check out this list and then only move on once you are happy that you know this stuff...
Basic Theory Required
You need to understand how a major scale is constructed. We will be relating each Mode back to it's PMS to work out the characteristics of each mode, so this is really important.
You also need to know what sharps and flats are found in different keys. This helps you find your PMS and to work out the notes in any mode.
You will also need to understand how chords are constructed and how they can be altered to make new chords. This is because modes are played over chords, and without understanding the harmony created by the chords you won't be able to use modes!
You should also be familiar with the diatonic chord sequenced from the major scale, though we will be revising this in the next lesson...
If you don't have any of this yet, you might like to buy my Practical Music Theory pack, which will explain all this (and a whole lot more!)
Practical Skills Required
You need to know AT LEAST position 1 of the Major Scale, but it will be a great help if you know all five positions. And not just play them up and down, but be able to use it / them. If you don't then I would strongly advise you spend your time getting to know your major scales well before you attempt to use and understand modes. Please.
If you can't use a Major Scale to improvise with them you have very little hope of using your modes with any success. That's not trying to put you off, it's just the truth! My Master The Major Scale DVD will help you learn all five positions and show you some ways to use them!
You will also need to know the notes on the fingerboard. You don't need to know every note instantly (although that would be a big help) but you must at least be able to work them out pretty fast, though using a map of the fingerboard showing all the notes may help you get started if you are a little uncertain. This is covered in Practical Music Theory too.
You got all that down? Then it's time to get going...