Modes and Keys
Mode Construction in the Key of C
The modes are constructed from the major scale: W,W,H,W,W,W,H. The examples are in the key of C. Because the key of C has no sharps or flats, it’s the easiest one to see the individual intervals for each mode. The intervals and mode names are the same for all keys. Just the root notes change. To find the modes for a given key, build a scale from each of the seven notes in the major scale.
|These are the same seven modes we’ve learned from previous lessons. To see their individual construction, compare them to the major scale built from the same root as we did with chords. Remember, this is just a more theoretical way to look at what we already know, but will help us to understand the connection between chords and scales.|
Comparing Modes to Major Scales
The following are the seven modes. Below each of them is the major scale which begins on the same root. The notes of the major scale are numbered 1 through 7, When comparing the mode to the major scale, we can see that C major and C ionian are the same. After that, some of the major scales have flats and some have sharps. If a note in the major scale has a sharp, the same interval in the mode is a flat. Likewise, if the note in the major scale has a flat, the same interval in the mode is a sharp. The notes in the mode are numbered with the appropriate sharps or flats. (If compared to the scales we’ve already learned, the construction is the same only shown on the staff rather than on the guitar neck.) The following examples illustrate each mode’s relationship to the major scale.
|Write The Modes In All Keys Once we have found all of the modes for one key, The process is the same for all keys. On manuscript, write out all of the modes for all keys. Remember, the construction for each is always be the same. Each mode is summarized below. If you come up with anything different, check your construction of the major scale.|