John Heussenstamm

Video Guitar Lessons, Tabs


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Introductory Mode Lessons - 1


John plays the C major scale over the first 7 chords of the key of Cmaj7, which was covered in previous lessons, including the video harmonizing the major scale. Note that the starting chord for that lesson, Cmaj7, could just have easily have been C. In that case, the chord sequence would have been (C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bmb5) instead of (Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7, G7, Am7, Bm7b5).

The following lessons show that the same major scale sounds different when played against a different bass note or background chord, and these scale-chord combinations represent different modes. So as will be made clear in subsequent lessons, you do not have to memorize different scales in order to play the seven different modes. The following table gives the mode name for each of the scale - chord name pairs covered in the lesson videos.

(We briefly covered the mixolydian mode in the lesson advantages of learning major scale positions. In that video however, the A major scale was modified (the 7th note of the scale was flatted) to get the A mixolydian mode. In the lessons below, instead of modifying the major scale of the key we are in, we play an unmodified major scale in a different key.)


Click on the mode name below to change the video image

major scale chord key/mode play time date added comment
C Cmaj7 C ionian 2:14 06-25-2009  
C Dm D dorian 1:25 06-25-2009  
C Em, E E phrygian 2:18 06-25-2009 the 3rd chord in the key of C major is a minor chord, but as John explains the major chord sounds good as well.
C Fmaj7, F F lydian 2:06 06-25-2009 the 1st part of this lesson discusses the other way of viewing modes: changing the C major scale to play a mode in the key of C.
C G7 G mixolydian 1:46 06-25-2009  
C Am A aeolian 1:50 06-25-2009  
C Bm7b5 B locrian 1:58 06-25-2009  

click on the video image below to play the mixolydian mode lesson