We kick off our modal quest with the Ionian mode, which is the mode based on the first degree of the scale. The cool thing is, you will already know how to play the Ionian mode, and have probably been playing it for years!
The Ionian mode is more commonly known as the major scale! The Ionian mode starts and resolves on the first degree of the scale, which is also what the major scale does. Hence, they are one and the same! So, we should all know the formula for an Ionian mode:
Ionian Mode: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Which in the key of C, would be our C major scale as shown here:
To help you put this into practice, here is a common shape for the C Ionian scale. Notice the notes on the neck as you go through it, trying to say the degrees of the scale (i.e. 1st, 5th etc...).