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Listen to the sound of the modes

Examples of The Modes in Popular Songs and Rock Music

If you’re trying to crack the puzzle of Modes, one of the most important things you need is to have examples of real music that use them so that you can get their sound into your head. Having these examples will really help you recognise the unique sound quality and distinctive ‘attitude’ of each Mode.

So, without further ado, here are over 75 examples of the 7 Modes of the Major Scale in action in famous Rock, Blues and Metal songs, taken directly from my instructional book Modes For Rock Guitar Players. These examples will give you a bunch of real life reference points for each Mode, in a rock context, so that you can hear their sound and get inspired.

Ionian Mode Song Examples

Ionian Mode Major Scale Song Examples

Dorian Mode Song Examples

Dorian Mode Song Music Examples

Phrygian Mode Song Examples

Phrygian Mode Song Examples

Lydian Mode Song Examples

Lydian Mode Song Examples

Mixolydian Mode Song Examples

Mixolydian Mode Song Examples

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama (D Mixolydian)
Guns n Roses – Sweet Child O Mine (verse) (Db Mixolydian)
Steve Morse – Highland Wedding (D Ionian, A Mixolydian)
John Petrucci – Glasgow Kiss (E Mixolydian)
Joe Satriani – Summer Song ( A Mixoyldian
The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction (E Mixolydian)
ACDC – Thunderstruck (E Mixolydian)
Led Zeppelin – Thank You (D Mixolydian, B Dorian)
Massive Attack – Teardrop (A Mixolydian; A Dorian on the darker phrases)
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son (G Mixolydian)
Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl (D Mixolydian)
Steve Earle – Copperhead Road (D Mixolydian)
Extreme – Decadence Dance (Ab Mixolydian/Dorian)
Iron Maiden – The Number of The Beast (D Mixolydian
Free – Alright Now (A Mixolydian)
ACDC – Thunderstruck (B Mixolydian – Intro lead)

Aeolian Mode Song Examples

Locrian Mode Song Examples

Locrian Mode Song Examples

Rush – YYZ (intro) (C Locrian)
Slipknot – Left Behind (main riff notes) (B Locrian)
Metallica – Sad But True (Intro) (G Locrian)
Metallica – Enter Sandman (main riff is Blues/Locrian) (E)
Judas Priest – Painkiller (main riff notes) (E)
Saxon – Attila The Hun (main riff notes) (Bb Locrian)

If you are confused by the Modes then you might like to check out my book Modes For Rock Guitar Players, available now on Amazon.com. You won’t believe how easy it can be to start using the Modes in your playing, with a modern approach designed especially for electric guitar players. Click below to find out more:

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Frets on Fire provides world-class Rock, Blues and Heavy Metal Guitar Tuition, in-person and online. We demystify the secrets of the greatest guitarists of all time, and show you how to play with the same confidence and freedom as your heroes.

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