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Video lesson: a mode is not a scale!

In this week's video lesson Guitar Mastery's Claus Levin is introducing us to modes and what they mean for guitarists… 

Music theory is sometimes taught in the weirdest of ways and modes are a perfect example.

We are taught that a mode is a scale; 'The major scale has seven different modes',  the explanation goes. and then we are showed seven versions of the same scale starting on each one of its seven notes.

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A different perspective

A mode is not a scale. How could it be? It's a sound


So does that mean that the same seven notes of any major scale somehow becomes a different thing depending on what note we start on?

And how is this relevant to anything? Where is this useful?

When we play solos and improvise we shuffle the notes around of any scale and rarely play from one note in the scale up to the octave and back again... We use the scale as a pool of notes from which we can choose and not as a string of notes played one after the other in an ascending or descending direction.

So what is a mode really and is this part of music theory useful or applicable to anything practical? It actually is but we need to look at modes from a completely different perspective. A mode is not a scale. How could it be? It's a sound...

Check out the video above to find out why! 

(Image credit: Future)