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Modes For Rock Guitar Players by Christy Bannerman

Mythbusting The Modes

The Modes...

The keys to the musical Ferrari. The secret knowledge of guitar virtuosos. The Holy Grail of being able to play anything you want.

You’re here because you’ve heard guitar players talking about something called “Modes”, but you don’t understand what they are, how to play them, or where to use them in your own playing.

You want to understand, but they seem so confusing

Teachers say things like “If you start a C major scale from the D note, then that’s the Dorian Mode”, or “D Dorian is the same as E Phrygian”… but what on earth does that actually mean? What is the point of Modes? What do they sound like? Where are they used? What do I do with them?

You’re not alone in having these questions – I got nowhere with understanding Modes for so many years because of how they were explained. There’s so much confusion and bad information out there.

Let’s bust some of the most common myths you might have heard about the Modes:

Myth #1 – Modes are exotic, unusual or rarely heard in popular music

Modes are extremely common, and are heard all the time in virtually every style of music. Modes can be used to create exotic or unusual sounding music, but you’ve already heard the Modes many times before in many popular songs.

Myth #2 – Styles like Blues, Rock and Metal are too simple or primitive to use Modes

That’s not the case at all. Modes are everywhere in Rock music. Let me give you a few examples:

Some of the most popular rock songs of all time, like “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Sweet Child O Mine” by Guns n Roses both use the Mixolydian Mode (and Sweet Child O Mine changes mode to Aeolian halfway through). Hendrix is fusing the sound of Mixolydian and Dorian together in “Red House”. “Wherever I May Roam” by Metallica uses the Phrygian Mode, and 80’s Rock legends like Van Halen and George Lynch are using Dorian all over their solos. You’ve also heard the otherworldly Lydian Mode before, from dreamy Pink Floyd to the futuristic alien sound of Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. If you’re a fan of Heavy Metal you might have heard the harsh dissonance exemplified by the Locrian Mode. 

If you want to play basically any style of music, then NOT knowing about Modes is like hearing and playing in black and white vs full colour.

Myth #3 – Modes are only for advanced players

It’s actually the other way around – understanding Modes is a necessary part of becoming an advanced player, both musically and technically. You can’t get advanced until you understand Modes. You can use and apply Modes in really cool ways even if you are not a very technical player yet, and in the process of learning them you will improve every aspect your playing, including your technique.

Myth #4 – Modes are complicated or hard to learn

Learning to play a Mode is actually no harder than learning any other scale like the Minor Pentatonic or Blues scale. It’s the way Modes are taught that makes things so hard and confusing for so many people, and most of this needless confusion is caused by the next myth…

Myth #5 – Modes are a completely different thing from Scales

Instead of showing you what Modes actually are, and why they’re so cool, a lot musicians like to start off by mysteriously telling you that they’re ‘not scales’. But that’s not helpful, and just adds more confusion. You can’t define a thing by listing things it’s not. What is a scale in the first place? A scale is a simply set of notes that produce an identifiable musical mood. That’s all a Mode is too. In practice, Scales and Modes are exactly the same thing. There is a technical difference between the two terms, but it’s purely academic, and it’s not required to start learning Modes. The really silly thing about starting things off like this is that in order to understand the relationship, you need to already have a thorough understanding of Modes… so when it’s approached in this backwards fashion, it’s no wonder most people get hopelessly confused!

The truth? Modes ARE just like Scales

Let’s cut through all the secrecy and semantic BS that does nothing except confuse people, and break things down. There are 7 Modes — that means 7 scales to learn. You just need to learn 7 scales. That’s all there is to it, and that’s all you need to do. You can totally do that. Despite what you might’ve thought in the past, there’s no mystery, magic or dark arts involved.

And they’re EASY if you take the right approach

The really cool thing is that you don’t even need to learn 7 new scales – it’s actually much easier than that. You see, the 7 Modes are NOT 7 totally different scales. They divide into two basic groups, and the Modes within each group are so similar to each other that the difference between them is only one or two notes. This means that as soon as you have learned even a couple of Modes in the right way, it’s extremely easy to learn all the others.

Getting started with Modes does NOT need to be a struggle if it’s approached in the right way!

Discover the answers you’ve been searching for

Modes For Rock Guitar Players by Christy Bannerman

I have created the instructional book Modes for Rock Guitar Players to show you the fastest and easiest way to learn The Modes Of The Major Scale. What you will find inside Modes For Rock Guitar Players is nothing like the traditional approach to Modes you might have seen before. What you will find here is a unique system that makes the Modes easy to understand and start using, no matter how long you’ve been playing. You won’t believe how easy Modes actually are when they’re presented in a way that anyone can understand.

In Modes For Rock Guitar Players, I will show you how to:

1: Learn The Modes in the BEST way for playing styles like Rock and Blues

There is more than one way to approach learning Modes, and some are more effective than others depending on what you want to do. If you play a rock guitar style, it’s vital to learn the Modes in a way that fits together and builds on what you already do — otherwise you’ll find that you simply get stuck between two different “settings” of Rock/Blues Playing and Modal Playing. This is a VERY common trap to fall into. Everything should integrate fully together, so that you find it effortless to transition between Pentatonic playing and Modal playing, or totally blend them in any way you like. That’s exactly what you will get with this approach.

2: Finally understand what your favourite players are actually doing

Most guitar teachers will tell you that “rock solos just use the Pentatonic Scale”. Yet when you actually look up the solos you want to learn, you see they’re constantly using notes “outside” the standard Pentatonic Scale, even in classic rock era solos. This isn’t something reserved to virtuoso players like Joe Satriani — players like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Angus Young and Slash are doing it all the time too. What are all these “extra” notes, and why are they being used when they are? It’s all to do with Modes. Now you’ll no longer be in the dark about what’s going on, and you will be able to start understanding your favourite players in a way like never before.

3: Know when and where to use The Modes in your own playing

You can learn how to play the Modes, but that doesn’t mean you can just play any Mode you feel like at any time. You need to understand which Modes fit with what kind of chords and progressions you’ll be playing over, otherwise there’s no point in even knowing them. This essential information is usually overlooked, but in this book you will learn a very easy method to correctly match Modes with songs and progression, so that you can actually start to use your new knowledge in a musical context.

4: Add extra expression and flavour to your soloing and improvising

The pentatonic and blues scales are staples for good reason – they’re incredibly versatile, and they sound great. Even so, if you’re anything like most guitar players, you’ll reach a point where you just want to change things up and be able to do something different. You’ll also find musical situations where these scales either just don’t fit, or they seem to be ‘lacking’ something. As soon as you start learning Modes, you’ll start to imagine new ideas and see all sorts of new possibilities opening up. Once you’ve mastered them, you’ll be able to create literally any kind of sound you want.

5: Easily transform your favourite rock licks into exotic ‘modal’ licks

One of the biggest problems electric guitar players encounter with Modes is that they try to learn them in a way that’s completely counter-intuitive and ill-fitting for rock and blues playing. Everything you already know – like your favourite licks and phrases – goes out of the window, and you have to get used to a whole new style of playing. Not with this method. With this method you’ll see immediately how easy it actually is to make small tweaks to any rock or blues licks and utterly change their sound. With this method your licks will sound Modal, but they will also rock!

Here’s what you WON’T find any of in this book

  • Ivory tower musician talk that makes you feel like an outsider
  • Myths, misinformation and ridiculously confusing explanations
  • Superficial “shortcuts” that are useless in real-life playing
  • Dense jargon and pedantic hair-splitting over musical terms
  • Assumptions that you already know tonnes of music theory
  • Examples of music you haven’t heard, don’t play, and don’t care about

Here’s what you WILL find in Modes For Rock Guitar Players:

  • A simple and logical step-by-step method to learn all 7 Modes
  • The best way to visualise the Modes for playing Rock, Blues and Metal
  • Clear, plain language that’s easy to read and fast to review
  • Practical knowledge that you can start using immediately
  • The things you need to know, and none of the things you don’t
  • 100% accurate tab and beautiful scale diagrams
  • Extensive examples of Modes being used in great music

Order your copy of Modes For Rock Guitar Players in Paperback or Ebook

Modes For Rock Guitar Players by Christy Bannerman

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About Me

I’m Christy. I’m a musician and educator with a passion for Blues, Classic Rock and Heavy Metal styles of guitar.

I help aspiring players unlock their talent and reach their musical goals through no-BS articles, resources, instructional books and online guitar lessons.

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