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Introduction This is our starting point for building

all of the modes of the C Major scale.


Frazers Scale, Mode and Arpeggio And here they are, youll quickly see
Reference has been designed to help how they are derived.
shed light on some of the different
scales used in music; how they are C Major (C Ionian)
built, fingered and relate to eacho-
ther. It was also made with technical
CDEFGAB
practice in mind (improving left and right
hand dexterity) and to help better visual- D Dorian
ize the guitars fretboard.
DEFGABC
Three mother scales are broken
down into their constituent modes. E Phrygian
The three mother scales are the
MAJOR scale, the HARMONIC MINOR EFGABCD
scale and the MELODIC MINOR scale.
Each scale has 7 modes. Six fingerings F Lydian
are given for each of these 21 modes
(scales). Along with these 21 scales FGABCDE
(modes) a number of other scales are
broken down, with various numbers
of fingerings given for each. These
G Mixolydian
other scales are the PENTATONIC GABCDEF
scale, the 2 DIMINISHED scales, the
WHOLE TONE scale and the CHRO-
MATIC scale. Arpeggios have been A Aeolian
included with each fingering (except for ABCDEFG
the PENTATONIC and CHROMATIC scales).

This amounts to over 200 scale and B Locrian


arpeggio fingerings. BCDEFGA
These are by no means all of the As you can clearly see, the D Dorian
known scales, nor all of the possible mode is made up of all of the same
fingerings for each scale or Arpeg- notes as the C Major scale starting on
gio, but theyre plenty to get started D. And E Phrygian is all of the same
with. notes as the C Major Scale, starting
on E, etc... The modes for all of the
Theory other keys Major scales are built the
same way.
A lot of people get a confused look on
their face when the modes are men- Ive used this same system and built all
tioned. They are not that hard to of the mode fingerings for The:
understand once you see how they are
derived, and how the modal system Major Scale
works. Here is a brief explanation of Harmonic Minor Scale
how the modes are derived. Well use Melodic Minor Scale
the key of C major because it has no
sharps or flats and therefore none The 2 DIMINISHED scales, WHOLE TONE
of the modes derived from it will have scale and the CHROMATIC scale are
sharps or flats (note-wize they will not, not built in a way that allows Modes to
interval-wize they may). be built from them, but I have included
a number of different fingerings and
The C Major Scale is made up of the 7 arpeggios for each of them because
notes: they are important scales.
CDEFGAB

Page 1
Theory string and moving to the higher strings
like this:
For each fingering of each mode I 7 8

have included a fingering for that 6


modes arpeggio, based on that par- 5
ticular fingering.
3 4

An arpeggio is essentially the notes 2


1
of a scale, skipping every other 1

note. So instead of a scale that has


intervals, 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 an arpeggio has
Each mode is labeled with a name and
intervals 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 (the 9, 11 and 13th notes
are the 2, 4 and 6 notes from the scale, stacked on its intervals.
top of the 1, 3, 5 and 7).These are the same
notes that are used to build IONIAN (mode name)
chords.
1234567 (intervals)
If you look closely you will see
I have made up names for the more
common chord shapes in the arpeg-
exotic modes of the HARMONIC
gio fingerings.
MINOR and MELODIC MINOR scales. I
have used the same names used for
How To the Major scales modes so that you
can see how they relate to their
Here is a typical Scale block ,
mother scales and to the standard
labeled with explanation.
Major scale modes. For example:
3)

E
Harmonic Dorian
B
2) G The more commonly used names for
D
this mode of the Harmonic Minor are
SPANISH PHRYGIAN or ROMANIAN
A
MODE, but you could also call it
1 E DORIAN #4. Call it whatever you like.
1)
Below is a chart showing how I
4) choose to organize all of the modes
1) Each fingering is numbered 1 through from the 3 mother scales (MAJOR,
6 (or less with the scales at the end). HARMONIC MINOR and the MELODIC
2) This grid represents the fingerboard MINOR).
of a guitar, with the horizontal lines rep-
resenting the strings, and the vertical Major Harmonic Min. Melodic Min.
lines representing frets. The lowest IONIAN HARM MAJOR MELO MAJOR
sounding string on the guitar is the DORIAN HARM DORIAN MELO DORIAN
PHRYGIAN HARM PHRYGIAN MELO PHRYGIAN
lowest line in the grid. LYDIAN HARM LYDIAN MELO LYDIAN
3) a denotes a scale tone (1 2 3 4 5 6 7). MIXOLYDIAN HARM MIXOLYDIAN MELO MIXOLYDIAN
AEOLIAN HARM MINOR MELO MINOR
Scale tones are played starting at the LOCRIAN HARM LOCRIAN MELO LOCRIAN
lowest string and moving to the higher
strings like this:
13 14 15
Some of these names dont make
much sense but they are only for
11 12
reference, so that you can see how
8 9 10
they relate to the Major Modes. For
5 6 7 a lesson, as youre going through
2 3 4 the modes of the Harmonic Minor
1 and Melodic Minor scales, think up
1
at least one other name for each
4) A around a scale tone marks it as mode. For instance, what Ive called
an arpeggio tone (1 3 5 7 9 11 13). Arpeggio the Harmonic Major mode could be
tones are played starting at the lowest called major#5.

Page 2
Fingerings Practice Tips

For each of the 7 modes of the 3 1) Always practice with a metronome.


mother scales there are 6 fingerings
mapped out. They are numbered 1 2) Start by playing through the scales
through 6, here is a breakdown of and arpeggios up then down slowly
each fingering and why it is differ- and gradually increase the speed as
ent. you are able to play them cleanly.

1) The root note is on the bottom string, 3) play through the scales and arpeg-
second note is on the next string. Typically gios using both triplet and quadru-
this fingering is started with the pinky plet subdivisions (groups of 3 and 4),
finger. once you have those down try some
harder subdivisions i.e.: quintuplets
2) The root note is on the bottom string, the and septuplets (groups of 5 and 7).
second note is on the bottom string. This
fingering is typically started with the second
4) Try breaking up the scales into
finger.
different sequences, for example:
3) The root, second and third notes are on
the bottom string. This fingering is typically 1324354657
started with the first finger. or, using triplets try
1 2 3 2 3 4 3 4 5 4 5 6 5 6 7 etc..
4) The root note and second note are on the or, using quadruplets try
second lowest string(the A string). It is
similar to fingering 2, and is typically started 1 2 3 4 2 3 4 5 3 4 5 6 4 5 6 7 etc..
with the second finger.
Try playing through the arpeggio
5) This fingering is based on a 4 note per fingerings using similar techniques.
string idea and is typically started with the
first finger. 5) Play through the fingerings using
different picking patterns. Use all
6) This fingering is based on a 3 note per
down strokes, use all up strokes, use
string idea. It is very similar to fingering 3 and
is typically started with the first finger. alternate picking, use hammer-ons and
pull-offs and try all hammer-ons
The fingerings are grouped two ways, (imagine hammering onto the string
1) which string the second note of the similar to playing a piano, this is some-
scale is on, 2) how many notes per times called a ghost hammer-on).
string there are. They were designed
that way so that during improvisation 6) Try playing the scales and arpeg-
no matter what position on the neck gios up one mode, then down the next,
you are at, you have notes from the up the next, down the next. For example,
scale under your fingers. play up the fingering 1 of C IONIAN,
then move up a position and play down
The starting fingers given above are the number 1 fingering of D DORIAN,
just suggestions, and sometimes a up the 1st fingering of E PHRYGIAN
fingering may be ideally started with a and down the F LYDIAN ... etc.
different finger than is stated above.
Most of the arpeggio fingerings are 7) Find a device to play a drone note to
best started with the same finger you play the scales over. If you have a syn-
have chosen to start the scale finger- thesizer set it to drone on a lower
ing with. keyed note and play through each
mode in that key i.e.: C IONIAN, C DORIAN,
Except for the PENTATONIC finger- C PHRYGIAN etc.. This will help you
ings, all of the scale fingerings move hear how the scale sounds. I use
www.metrononomeonline.com and it has an
from root to root (A to A for example).
The ARPEGGIO fingerings however, A440 setting, or play to a recording of
depending on the number of octaves, yourself playing through a simple
may end on the root or end on the chord progression. Learn these
7th. scales and arpeggios in all keys.

Page 3
LYDIAN - 4TH MODE PHRYGIAN - 3RD MODE DORIAN - 2ND MODE IONIAN - 1ST MODE
123#4567 1b2b345b6b7 12b3456b7 1234567

1
1
1

1
5
5
5

5
2

2
2

2
MODES of the MAJOR scale

3
3

3
6
6
6

6
4
4

Frazers Scale, Mode and Arpeggio Reference - Page 4


HARMONIC LYDIAN - 6TH MODE HARMONIC PHRYGIAN - 5TH MODE HARMONIC DORIAN - 4TH MODE HARMONIC MAJOR - 3R MODE
1#23#4567 1b2345b6b7 12b3#456b7 1234#567

1
1
1

1
5
5
5

5
2

2
2

2
3
3

3
6
6
6

6
4
4

4
MODES of the HARMONIC MINOR scale

Frazers Scale, Mode and Arpeggio Reference - Page 6


MELODIC LYDIAN - 6TH MODE MELODIC PHRYGIAN - 5TH MODE MELODIC DORIAN - 4TH MODE MELODIC MAJOR - 3R MODE
12b34b5b6b7 12345b6b7 123#456b7 123#4#567

1
1
1

1
5
5
5

5
2

2
2

2
3
3

3
6
6
6

6
MODES of the MELODIC MINOR scale

4
4

Frazers Scale, Mode and Arpeggio Reference - Page 8


Other Scales

CHROMATIC

1 2 3

Frazers Scale, Mode and Arpeggio Reference - Page 11