Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Modal Magic!

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!

Summary: Ionian Mode

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:

In Practice: Ionian Scale

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...).

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Dorian Mode

Our second modal scale is called the Dorian mode and is based from the second degree of the major scale. This mode is built from a minor chord so is a little darker sounding and more minor than the Ionian.