There are few topics in the world of guitar playing that cause as much excitement and confusion as the modes. There is a lot of material on this topic online. And as such the term ‘mode’ has become a bit of a buzz word. In fact, a lot of players have come to view learning the modes as a rite of passage; they feel that it signifies their transition to a more advanced level of playing.

In a way, this makes sense. Truly understanding and being able to target the modes is a big step forwards for most players. It opens up the fretboard. And it gives you access to a range of sounds that are not possible with the pentatonic and blues scales alone.

The problem however, is that most players work towards this point in quite a piecemeal way. They put together snippets of articles and YouTube videos. And then they try to apply the modes in their playing, without understanding what they are and how they work. And this is problematic. It prevents players from being able to use the modes properly, and leaves them with large gaps in their understanding.

This is why I created this course. Here we will cover all of the fundamental pieces of theory you need to know to start using the modes in your playing. In this course we will cover:

  • What modes are, how they are formed and the essential theory around how they ‘work’
  • The scale shapes that will allow you to play the modes all over the fretboard
  • The character and feel of each of the different modes
  • How to use modes and avoid common pitfalls when you are first getting started

This course will give you all of the information you need to start using the modes with confidence. You will understand how they work and the theory behind them. And this will ensure that there are no gaps in your knowledge which could prevent you from progressing in the future.

Now, unlike the minor pentatonic and blues sales, there are some fundamental elements of theory you need to understand before studying the modes.

The language used to explain the modes on your guitar is complicated. Not only this, but properly using and understanding the modes requires a little more theoretical knowledge.

You can get great results soloing and improvising with the minor pentatonic scale, even if you don’t really understand how it works. The same is not quite true of the modes. As such, if you are starting from scratch on the theory front, I would strongly recommend working through the following courses before continuing here:

Both of these courses contain information that is essential to your understanding of the modes and how they work. So do take the time to work through them if you don’t yet feel comfortable with these topics. I understand that you probably want to dive into the modes and get started. But I cannot stress enough that trying to learn the modes without this knowledge will prove an uphill struggle.

As a final caveat, it is worth noting that in my opinion the modes are best approached after you have a thorough grasp of the pentatonic and blues scales. Not only are these scales of fundamental importance in the blues; they also offer a huge range of possibilities in your playing.

The modes provide you with a way of expanding your musical vocabulary. And so if you feel that you have explored the pentatonic and blues scales in depth, they represent a logical next step in your learning journey. If however, you don’t feel totally comfortable with them – or if you have learnt them only very recently – I would recommend spending more time consolidating them before you dig into this material. If you would like help, then some courses which cover these topics in more detail are as follows:

Now with that final caveat out of the way, let’s get into it! When you are ready to do so, head over to the next lesson where we will get started learning the modes. See you over there! 😁