A huge range of printed resources that ensure that you are ready for anything during guitar lessons
Use Backing Tracks and Chord Charts to ensure that your students learn to play In Time To Music
Blank Guitar Neck Tab and Chord Grids that will allow you to prepare your own lessons
A look at writing "Rock" chord progressions and the "Four Chord Trick" that is central to so much popular music
Guitar Modes are wonderful things.
When I decided to teach guitar for a living I imagined that I would spend a whole lot of my time helping the technically advanced intermediate level players (like I had been a relatively short time before) unlock the neck of the guitar using modes to help them to understand the range of harmonic and melodic possibilities that were spread out before them. The reality was somewhat different.
If I depended on students who were at the stage that a working knowledge of modes was what they needed most then the truth is that I would probably be living in (and teaching from) a cardboard box!
The vast majority of people who help me to avoid a day job (thanks folks!) are beginner/intermediate players and children. By far the largest part of the work that I do that involves teaching kids guitar or a series of lessons for older learners who are at beginner and intermediate stages of guitar playing
What Im saying is that the reality of the teaching guitar ended up being totally different to the way that I imagined it and that if I had chosen the type of work that I did more carefully I could probably have waved goodbye to the day job years earlier. You can find out more by going to the page that looks at how good do you need to be in order to teach guitar? or to some material that looks at the various kinds of guitar teaching job that there are out there
Having said all of that modes are challenging, important and a huge amount of fun
Modes on guitar (beloved of modern players like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai right back to Jazz guitar pioneers such as Joe Pass and Wes Montgomery) are simply put just the notes of a parent major scale (which itself is re-named the ionian mode) played from a point other than the first note of that major scale. So if you play the C major Scale from its second note (D) using the notes D E F G A B C and D you produce the D dorian mode.
The teachwombat materials give guitar teachers three printable handouts for each guitar mode.
The first sheet explains the guitar mode itself through one octave providing a scale formulae (on the left hand diagram) and suggesting a practical fingering (on the right)
The second and third sheets go on to extend the mode into two octaves and then to cover the whole range of the guitar neck encouraging your student to develop the mode over the entire neck of the guitar.
Below you can see some more material looking at modes on the guitar.
The ionian mode is simply the major scale starting from (and ending on) the root (or first) note. Using a parent major scale of C the ionian mode would contain the notes C D E F G A B and C.
The dorian mode is the major scale starting from (and ending on) the second note. Using a parent major scale of C a one octave dorian mode would contain the notes of D E F G A B C and D.
In the diagram below (which shows the fingering for a dorian mode of A through two octaves) the "parent" scale is G Major. The A dorian is produced from the G major scale because A is the second note of the G Major Scale (in the same way that D is the second note of the C Major Scale?)
It is very important when teaching your guitar students about modes to keep relating their construction back to the idea of their being a "parent" Major scale which defines and controls the whole process?
Another way of thinking about the dorian mode on guitar is to regard it as being a "natural minor scale with a raised 6th note"
Click the link to get a free copy of one of our sheets looking at a two octave dorian mode on the guitar
The phrygian mode is the major scale starting from (and ending on) its third note. Using a parent major scale of C a one octave phrygian mode would contain the notes of E F G A B C D and E.
Another way of thinking about the phrygian mode on guitar is to regard it as being a "natural minor scale with a flattened 2nd note"
The lydian mode is the major scale starting from (and ending on) its fourth note. Using a parent major scale of C a one octave lydian mode would contain the notes of F G A B C D E and F.
It is also possible to think of the lydian mode on guitar as being a major scale with a raised fourth note
The mixolydian mode is the major scale starting from (and ending on) its fifth note. Using a parent major scale of C a one octave mixolydian mode would contain the notes of G A B C D E F and G.
It is also possible to regard the mixolydian mode on guitar as being a major scale with a flattened seventh note
The aeolian mode is the major scale starting from (and ending on) its sixth note.
Using a parent major scale of C a one octave aeolian mode would contain the notes of A B C D E F G and A.
It is also possible to regard the aeolian mode for guitar as being a natural minor scale
The locrian mode is the major scale starting from (and ending on) its seventh note.
Using a parent major scale of C a one octave locrian mode would contain the notes of B C D E F G A and B.
It is also possible to regard the locrian guitar mode as being very wierd indeed!
It is beyond the scope of this page to go into much depth concerning the use of guitar modes by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and othe legends like Joe Pass etc but hopefully you found some of this information useful?
Guitar teachers might like to look at the full range of guitar teacher's handouts avaliable from teachwombat which feature a full range of printable guitar modes . The material deals with much more than just modes for guitar.
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