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Is that difficult learn musical modes, study pages and pages of music theory to master them and then practice in all keys?

Well, in theory… yes! But if you are studying music you’ll know that things come easy after while, without even noticing it.
Practice is the key. We guess you’ve already studied major scale, and you’re up to playing modes, but you find it scary?

Be cool, there’s nothing to fear. Think about modes as variations of the major scale. Take some patterns and play the scale back and forth, until you understand the typical sound. You will find that ionian is bright happy sound, lydian is magic, phrygian is exotic, spanish (a lot of flamenco players use that scale) and so on.
Once that you understand the sound and the mood, you have to understand why it sounds like that, so focus on the different notes

IIonian1   2   3   4   5   6   7C D E F G A BCmaj7
IIDorian1   2  b3  4   5   6  b7D E F G A B CDm7
IIIPhrygian1  b2 b3  4   5  b6 b7E F G A B C DEm7
IVLydian1   2   3  #4  5   6   7F G A B C D EFmaj7
VMyxolydian1   2   3   4   5   6  b7G A B C D E FG7
VIAeolian1   2  b3  4   5  b6 b7A B C D E F GAm7
VIILocrian1  b2 b3  4 b5  b6 b7B C D E F G ABm7b5


You see? The Ionian mode (major scale) is the reference, so the b3 and the b7 of the Dorian mode will be THE NOTES that will make the difference.

We like to learn modes not by going up all the degrees of the scale, but playing different modes in the same key, e.g. C ionian, C dorian, C phrygian. Like that, you will understand in one minute how the mode sounds like.Be careful, the mode of a scale are linked by the degree of the scale. With this method we are not playing the modes of one single scale, we are focusing of how modes sound like. We find it very easy and useful, make you more into the sound and less into the theory.

We’ve created a couple of videos where you can practice all modes and learn for each ones notes, formulas and intervals to fix them in your mind while your improvising and practicing, check this one out, every mode in D.

Improvising and reading the different scales, intervals and formulas will fasten your learning so let’s begin and check the you tube channel where you can find a lot of backing tracks:

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