Skip to main content Skip to navigation Skip to search
  • Lessons
  • Articles

Unlimited lessons, backing tracks, and more.

Watch and learn anywhere.
Cancel anytime.

Solving Mode Mysteries - Major Modes

Chris Feener 256 lessons

ALL the rules applied to the three minor modes work in the exact same way for the following major modes. We'll begin by playing through three major scales over one major chord, and then we'll have a look at confining the scales to one position (revolving around the root). So let's get to it!


Major Modes

The three major modes are Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian

As before, have a look at the following scales: A major, then E major and then D major. 

And now, here's the mode break-down:

  • Playing an A Major Scale over an A Major Chord will produce Ionian
  • Playing an E Major Scale over an A Major Chord will produce Lydian
  • Playing a D Major Scale over an A Major Chord will produce Mixolydian

In a nutshell

  • Play a major scale from the root of the chord and you get Ionian.
  • Play a major scale from the fifth of the root of the chord and you get Lydian (one string down, two frets up)
  • Play a major scale from the fourth of the root of the chord and you get Mixolydian (down one string, same fret)

Confine the mode to root position

  • An A Major Scale, starting from A  (A B C# D E F# G# A)
  •    An E Major Scale, starting from A   (A B C# D# E F# G# A) 
  • A D Major Scale, starting from A  (A B C# D E F# G A)


That's all for this tutorial, folks! I hope I opened your mind to a simpler way to examine the bulk of mode mysteries in achieving some new melodic approaches. Until next time...  Keep shreddin'!

Send this to a friend