YaY Theory!!

TTU Shredder

Junior Member
Its been a while since I have posted on here...why must they make my 2nd senior year of college so hard. Anyway, I have a theory question for all the guru's out there. I started studying modes and I am starting with the basic C Major Scale going from Ionian to Locrian. I charted all the different modes and moved on to D major. I charted everything down to the C# and found out that I ran out of frets. What I am wondering is when you are playing modes for a certain key, should all the modes be played higher than the key you are playing in? I am probably rambling to much and making this way to complicated. But to me it seems like I shouldnt be able to play the C# Locrian on the 9th (I feel like it must be played on the higest point on the E as possible) when the D Ionian is on the 10th. Prove me wrong so I can force my head to get it right.
I'm not certain what you are asking, but here's another, perhaps more simple way to look at it:

Say, G major. Look at the "box" to play a G major scale, thru two octaves, with the root at the third fret / sixth string.

Your hand shouldn't move up and down the neck to do this, just keep your second finger on the third fret for this...

Sure, there are "boxes" for a different hand position all up and down the neck, but just picture the box at the third fret.

This is exactly the same box for Major, Minor, Dorian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Phrygian modes. It just depends on where you put the "box".

Move the pattern up 4 frets, and you're in minor mode. Move the major scale down two frets, and you're in Dorian. And so on.

So there's really only one "scale pattern" for six different modes...it just depends on where the pattern is played in relation to the root (key).

If you've memorized the major scale pattern for any given key all over the fretboard, you've also memorized the major scale in every key, and every mode. You can play in any mode, anywhere on the neck. Just gotta know where the root is.
Yeah, to be honest I didnt know what I was trying to ask. The way you put it helps me out a lot. I would have never even noticed that all the different modes had the same pattern, thanks a lot  :icon_thumright:.
TTU Shredder said:
Yeah, to be honest I didnt know what I was trying to ask.

Trust me, your question made a lot more sense than 99% of the "Hey, I just had a random thought!" threads that have flooded this place lately.

I've found this chart to be quite helpful when it comes to modes:


It seems to me you're talking more about different finger patterns of the major scale. Those are good to know, but when it comes to modes I just worry about the major scale in general and not so much about which pattern goes with which mode.

Like for instance - if I want an E lydian sound I know that it's B major played over an E tonal center. E dorian is D major played over an E tonal center, etc.
Cool, Gary has a website.  I too, live in unreal America.  I am also happy about the election outcome, but I'm not a liberal leftist commie.  :icon_biggrin:

I'll add this little hijack since the man's question was answered already...and I learned from it too.  :icon_thumright: