Modal Jam Pack #1

Exercise
Related Materials & Downloads

What You'll Need For This Exercise...

In this exercise, you can either play along with the jam tracks using the embedded audio players below OR you can download the audio files for yourself (from the “Related Materials & Downloads” tab above) and play them on your own device (or software).  Either way, all you need to do is follow the steps below to practice playing agains these modal chord progressions.

How to Complete This Exercise...

Below are 3 jam tracks:

  1. A Dorian
  2. G Ionian
  3. E Aeolian

Press play and then play along using the 5 major scale patterns in the key of G major.  When you do this, you’ll find that different notes within the G major scale seem to “make sense”… With A Dorian, you’ll notice that the A’s seem to sound more grounded.  With the G Ionian, you’ll notice the G’s sound more grounded.  With the E Aeolian, the E’s will sound like “home base”.  This is the magic of modal harmony and melody.

Continuing to Improve...

Here are some things to notice as you do this exercise:

  • Notice that the 5 scale patterns in the key of G major always work musically.  This is because A Dorian, G Ionian and E Aeolian are all modes of G Major (and there for share the same 7 notes).
  • Listen for the “mood” of each mode.  For example G Ionian will sound “cheerful”, A Dorian might sound “curious/optimistic” and E Aeolian will sound melancholy.  These are common associations that many listeners hear with these modes, but you may also define these “moods” slightly differently.  That is fine 🙂