Not a clue what a mode is? Or maybe you've studied modes and scales all your life? Either way, if your solos are sounding monochromatic and flat, consider this course of study mandatory. Seriously. But don't freak. This is NOT a theory or music history course. There won't be any lectures about the "Musica disciplina" by Aurelian of Réôme. Pronouncing 'Aeolian' correctly is likewise not a requirement. The only prereq is desire to expand your tonal palette and the discipline to play your way through the Modes That Matter curriculum from beginning to end.
You'll learn just 13 scales and modes. You'll learn how and when to apply them. You'll learn how to shape, color and texture your solos across a variety of styles with them. You'll learn where to find, and how to finger, these 13 scales and modes all over the fretboard. Straight up, get a solid grip on these 13 and your soloing prowess will grow quicker and further than you would have ever imagined.
Don't be thrown by the seemingly few number of scales and modes covered herein. Yes, we know you've seen (and probably own) one of those telephone book-sized encyclopedias of scales and modes. But here's the deal; odds are real good that 99% of the guitar solos that you'd sell your soul to be able to play yourself, only use one or more of the 13 scales and modes covered in Modes That Matter (Disclaimer: unless you're a heavy jazzer, outside modern classical genius, or just happen to really dig quarter-tone-indo-Asian world music).
You likely already know a few of these 13 scales and modes; Ionian mode (commonly referred to as a Major scale), Dorian mode (commonly referred to as a minor 7th scale), Phrygian mode, Lydian mode, Mixolydian mode (commonly referred to as a Dominant 7th scale), Aeolian mode, Melodic Minor scale, Lydian b7 scale, Altered scale, Harmonic Minor scale, Phrygian Major mode, Whole Tone scale and Symmetrical Diminished scale.
Your Modes Maestro could only be our resident Professor of the Deep and Revealing, Chris Buono. "As an academic, I've studied and taught hundreds of scales and modes in thousands of guitar lessons. The most common misconception students have about scales and modes is that you have to master all of them. And that's fine for fellow academics and theory freaks, but in the practical real world, if you're playing blues, rock, metal, country, pop, funk and even jazz, you're playing one of the thirteen scales and modes covered in Modes That Matter."
Buono's format is straight-forward and interactive. You'll play through 13 video lesson sets, one for each scale and mode. You'll first learn how to spell the scale or mode in simple "scale degree" language - no fancy theory math. Chris then demonstrates the scale or mode over distinctively styled jam tracks, emphasizing the tonal qualities and key notes to target while soloing. Now it's your turn: Roll the practice rhythm track and work it until you've captured the sound and feel of that mode or scale in a musical context. Once you can "hear" it under your hands (the easy part), you'll also need to learn that scale and mode in as many places as possible across the fretboard (the hard part).
All of the scales and modes work in multiple styles such as blues, alt-country, rock, funk, jazz, fusion, bossa, metal, surf and even Klezmer. Buono will demonstrate each scale or mode across at least two different styles although endless style variations are virtually unlimited. Lesson Sets & Rhythm Tracks:
Ionian: Alt-Country-Rock, Jazz & Rock
Dorian: Funk, Jazz & Minor Blues
Phrygian: Metal & Latin Rock
Lydian: Modern Rock, Fusion & Jazz
Mixolydian: Funk, Jazz, Blues & Southern Rock
Aeolian: Rock, Metal & Slow Jam
Melodic Minor: Funk & Fusion
Lydian b7: Funk & Jazz
Altered: Funk & Jazz
Harmonic Minor: Metal, Bossa & Surf
Phrygian Major: Jazz, Surf & Klezmer
Whole Tone: Jazz & Fusion
Symmetrical Diminished: Funk & Jazz
As previously mentioned, you will need to learn how to play these 13 scales and modes all over the fretboard for maximum firepower. That's where the shed time and discipline come into play. But fear not; Buono prepared a 1,872-page manual of charts (no typo; that's one thousand, eight hundred and seventy two pages) of alternative fingerings all over the neck for these 13 scales and modes.
1,872 page PDF "I've prepared a chart to end all charts of fingering possibilities. Starting with a single scale the options go all of the way up to four-note-per-string variations. What's more, every scale and mode is also broken down into a unique pentatonic scale whose five-note formula is made up of the core components ensuring the correct sound and vibe with a two-note-per-string pentatonic feel." Chris also prepared 34 practice rhythm tracks charted as both PDF and Power Tab files. So, if you want to go deep geek on Modes That Matter - and we hope you will - there's absolutely nothing stopping you.
So get cracking on this one right away. Start incorporating even a few of these 13 scales and modes in your improvisations and then buckle up as your solos explode in full living panoramic color.
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