When to use different scales or modes over chord progressions?



Asked by: Tony Avila

Modes are made for soloing over chords. Each mode is able to play over a specific set of chords. If the chord is dominant, like a G7 or G9, you’d want to play the Mixolydian mode. If it is a minor chord, you can play the dorian, phrygian, or aeolian mode.

How do you match scales with chord progressions?





Don't know which skill to use in order to find the scale it's really simple we're simply going to print out a blank guitar fretboard on that guitar fretboard.

How do you know when to use modes?

Based on its degrees. It's these chord degree relationships that will help you determine which mode can be used over which sequence of chords.

What scales to use with what chords?

This means you can play any scale over a chord, if that scale contains the root, 3rd and 7th of the chord. For example, you can use any scale with a C, E and B in it over a CMaj7 chord, even if it doesn’t contain a G.



Omitting and Changing Notes.

Scale Degrees Comments
Blues scale 1 ♭3 4 #4 5 ♭7 ♭3 = #2 = #9 Omits 3

How do you use modes over chord changes?

Okay I'm in Lydian. Okay I mean mix it I'm not the song is in the key of a minor. And remember what I said last in the last session. Because. We are soloing we are not defining. Anything the rhythm

When can you use different modes in guitar?





Note that's a g. So what that means is if i want to play in b or if i'm sorry if i want to play in g aeolian. Which is just the g natural minor scale i can actually play the b flat major scale.

What chords to play with modes?

Seventh Chords and Modes



Major chords follow the formula 1-3-5-7. Both Ionian and Lydian modes contain these notes; therefore either mode can be used. Minor chords follow the formula 1-b3-5-b7. Dorian, phrygian, and aeolian all contain that formula, therefore any one of them can be played.

How do I know which guitar mode to use?

For this when you use an E minor pentatonic in the first position. And I'm going to start by phrasing using that scale. No problem there I'm very comfortable to scale.

Is it important to learn modes on the guitar?

Learning how to use modes will also help you master the notes on the guitar neck and give you the ability to solo over any type of chord progression because you’ll understand the relationship between chords and scales. Using modes can also help you break out of the “lick” rut.

Which mode should I learn first?

The Ionian Mode



This is the basic major scale, and is often the first key guitarists learn.



How do you memorize scale modes?

Another good way to remember the modes is in terms of their darkness, or how many lowered scale degrees the modes have.



The order of modes in terms of darkness are:

  1. Lydian (#4)
  2. Ionian.
  3. Mixolydian (b7)
  4. Dorian (b3, b7)
  5. Aeolian (b3, b6, b7)
  6. Phrygian (b2, b3, b6, b7)
  7. Locrian (b2, b3, b5, b6, b7)


How do you memorize modes on guitar?

2. The best way to understand modes.



  1. CDEFGABC = 1st mode: Ionian (actually major scale)
  2. DEFGABCD = 2nd mode: Dorian (start from 2nd note)
  3. EFGABCDE = 3rd mode: Phrygian (start from 3rd note)
  4. FGABCDEF = 4th mode: Lydian (start from 4th note)
  5. GABCDEFG = 5th mode: Mixolydian (start from 5th note)

What is Phrygian mode used for?

In contemporary jazz, the Phrygian mode is used over chords and sonorities built on the mode, such as the sus4(♭9) chord (see Suspended chord), which is sometimes called a Phrygian suspended chord. For example, a soloist might play an E Phrygian over an Esus4(♭9) chord (E–A–B–D–F).

What is Locrian mode used for?

Since the Locrian mode is quite tense and unresolved, it is the perfect choice to play over a m7b5 chord. When the underlying chord next changes, the music can be resolved to have a happy ending, sad ending or a mysterious ending, by using the other modes.

When should I play Phrygian mode?

E Phrygian can be used when the rhythm stays on an Em, or when the chords all come from the key of C but keep E as the tonic. Remember, if the progression has a chord outside the key of C, you may have to change scales in the middle of the solo to accommodate the changing harmony.