Greece Wasn't Built in a Day (Guitar Lesson)

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Michael Ripoll

Greece Wasn't Built in a Day

Before you scale modal mountains, you need to know the patterns! Nomad takes you through basic modal terms and theory and then teaches each modal pattern from a 6th string root.

Taught by Michael Ripoll in Nomad's Modal Magic Show seriesLength: 16:01Difficulty: 2.5 of 5

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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

gdfe08agdfe08a replied

I like your series so far very much, I am used to the CAGED System, and the different scale forms you have listed in the earlier module "CAGED and the Fretboard" -- the misunderstanding I am having is with this lecture , I see the forms, but no relation to that last lecture "CAGED and the Fretboard" - was I supposed to, or are these new forms I need to learn... Thanks Steve

jaredleejaredlee replied

i love this lesson series and all the stuff i am learning in these lessons! thanks so much for doing these lessons. it has given me a lot to practice

foxboyfoxboy replied

I found the different ways of approaching the modes is a nice new set of musical vocabulary. You may be able to express the same thing in other words, but some are smarter, sleeker or simply more fitting. I learned the modes first in the Eric Madis Blues Lessons with a nice compact, efficient fingering. Then Chris Liepe came up with his 3-on-a-string-thing, and now Michael with his "always start with the middle finger-thing". At first, this was confusing. But in the end, some mode fingerings are just "the thing" for a certain kind of lick or melody. Thank you Michael Rippoll!

rwa1rwa1 replied

love it! thanks Michael. my original training was with the 7 modes and for me this is a great refresher course and a new perspective for them. my teacher didn't quite explain it the way you were which left unanswered questions about...why this and why that. thanks and looking forward to the next lesson!

rwa1rwa1 replied

love it! thanks Michael. my original training was with the 7 modes and for me this is a great refresher course and a new perspective for them. my teacher didn't quite explain it the way you were which left unanswered questions about...why this and why that. thanks and looking forward to the next lesson!

WheelerWheeler replied

This is a great lesson series. Thanks Michael!

nomadsplacenomadsplace replied

As well, these patterns are just helpful for soloing over the different chords within the diatonic scale. In other words: use A Dorian to solo over an Am7 chord, use B Phrygian to solo over a Bm7 chord, use C Lydian to solo over a Cmaj7+11 chord etc... PLs see the supplemental packet to access all of this info in detail.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! I just took a quick peak at the supplemental content section. There are three different ways to group or conceptualize the way you play scales and modes. The symmetric scales (diminished and augmented aka whole tone) scales are the only exceptions. Here's the list: 1. You can play any scale or mode in all 12 keys in a single fretboard position. In other words, you could play A, A#, B, C, C#, etc. Dorian in 1st position. In total you would have 12 different fingerings - one for each key. 2. A lot of people like to compartmentalize chord/arpeggio/scale information with the CAGED system. With this system, there are 5 scale patterns or shapes that will span the full fretboard. 3. With the diatonic scales (major, harmonic minor, melodic minor, and all of their corresponding modes) you can play what are commonly referred to as "3 notes per string" patterns. There are 7 "3 notes per string" patterns - each one corresponds to a mode derived from the parent scale. So, from this list, you can hopefully see that there are numerous possible ways to conceptualize and play scale patterns. That's why you might see some differences in the way that various players choose to practice scale patterns. I think it's important to be comfortable with all three options. They all have their distinct advantages. 1. This method allows you to change keys while staying in the same fretboard position. 2. The CAGED system ties all of your scales, arpeggios, and chords into one nice, neat system of visual shapes. 3. 3 notes per string patterns are great for playing 'legato' material (licks with numerous hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides) since you have three notes on each string within each pattern. In other words, it's easier to play horizontally across a string with these patterns vs. some of the CAGED patterns.

nomadsplacenomadsplace replied

Ok Matthew, you've established pointing out how you like to visualize it, and that makes sense. IS there a specific question you have for me? Let me say this: I'm a real world professional player and have been for a very long time. In my experience I've noticed one major thing - GET THE JOB DONE! In other words, the producer or artist that you're playing for does not care about your process, just as long as you're a killer player and do an awesome job! So in this regard, what I've done here in this lesson series, is present to you "My Process". Now this doesn't mean it's right for everyone, it's a little peak into how I've been able to ingest, digest, and re-purpose all of the accumulative information that I've gathered over the years. Again, there is no Right or Wrong way if the individual is happy with the end result of their process! :) Keep the comments/thoughts/ideas coming, very good perspective my friend!!!!

dennis.hodgesdennis.hodges replied

it looks like he was replying to rckmsn

rckmsnrckmsn replied

These patterns are different from what i have learned over the last few years,could you please explain this?

nomadsplacenomadsplace replied

Enter your comment here.

nomadsplacenomadsplace replied

Oops, sorry about that blank reply. Pls see the above comment to Matt. That's the best way I can describe this information. Remember, as long as you diligently apply yourself on a regular basis, you can overcome and playing hurdle you might have. Just be patient with yourself even if the new material seems difficult to master. And always try to combine new information with what you already know to make is a hybrid of knowledge that you feel comfortable with!

Nomad's Modal Magic Show

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learn how to use modes in your playing with Nomad's simple 3 step process! Get the knowledge, apply the knowledge and start playing some sweet solos!

Series Intro: Modes Are Not Magic!Lesson 1

Series Intro: Modes Are Not Magic!

The modes may look and sound like magic, but once you have the tools to practice and apply them, they actually become quite approachable. Nomad demystifies the modes in this extensive and fun series. Learn...

Length: 7:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Learn the Notes!Lesson 2

Learn the Notes!

Before getting too deep into the modal mysteries, Nomad lays down some groundwork. Before you can use the modes, you need to know the notes on the fretboard! Nomad offers up a simple drill to get everyone...

Length: 6:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Learn Accidental-yLesson 3

Learn Accidental-y

Add sharps and flats into the note learning drill. Take it slow, and take your time! Learning the notes on the fretboard will pay great dividends in all areas of your playing.

Length: 9:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The ChompLesson 4

The Chomp

Get the hands nice and warm before the scales come. When you're warmed up, you think less about the mechanics of playing and more about the notes and the music.

Length: 11:05 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The CaterpillarLesson 5

The Caterpillar

Take on this finger twisting warm up after trying "The Chomp". Add a few more warm ups of your own and then...on to the modes!

Length: 6:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The TrilogyLesson 6

The Trilogy

Further laying the groundwork for modal magic, Nomad introduces a way to practice position playing that includes going over the scale, the chord, and the arpeggio. When you're approaching an area of the...

Length: 13:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
CAGED and the FretboardLesson 7

CAGED and the Fretboard

Now that you've practiced your scales, chords, and arpeggios in open position, it's time to apply "SCA" down the entire fretboard in the key of C. This way of looking at the notes you play will open up...

Length: 7:08 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Greece Wasn't Built in a DayLesson 8

Greece Wasn't Built in a Day

Before you scale modal mountains, you need to know the patterns! Nomad takes you through basic modal terms and theory and then teaches each modal pattern from a 6th string root.

Length: 16:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
SCA & Modal MagicLesson 9

SCA & Modal Magic

Now apply the "SCA" method you learned with the CAGED major scale patterns to the modal patterns from the last lesson. This is a great way to look at different areas of the neck in a modal context!

Length: 9:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Be a Little CoolerLesson 10

Be a Little Cooler

You can only sound so cool with the basic major and minor sounds. Nomad invites you to be just a little cooler by applying the "SCA" method and modal positions to major 7th chords and arpeggios!

Length: 9:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Play Them from the 5th StringLesson 11

Play Them from the 5th String

Now take the same concepts you've been practicing with the modal patterns based on the 6th string and apply them to patterns based on the 5th string. Oh, what fun!

Length: 13:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Two String Modal RunsLesson 12

Two String Modal Runs

Breaking out of box patterns is difficult for any guitarist at one point or another. Learning these two string modal runs will help you break out of the box and fly around the neck!

Length: 14:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Rest of the RunsLesson 13

The Rest of the Runs

Nomad finishes demonstrating and explaining the two string runs on the lower two sets of strings. He offers advice on practicing and stresses the importance of naming your notes while you play!

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Three Octaves of FunLesson 14

Three Octaves of Fun

Take the two string runs and apply them in three octave sequences! This is another great way to break out of the box as well as familiarize yourself with the notes on the fretboard!

Length: 9:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Three Octaves of Arpeggio Fun!Lesson 15

Three Octaves of Arpeggio Fun!

Nomad introduces this new, challenging exercise in which you take each mode in series and play its corresponding arpeggio in three octaves.

Length: 7:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Modal Patterns in 3rdsLesson 16

Modal Patterns in 3rds

In this next mini series of lessons, Nomad explains how to play the modal patterns in all of the diatonic intervals! In this lesson, we begin with 3rds.

Length: 21:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Modal Patterns in 4thsLesson 17

Modal Patterns in 4ths

The fingering of this sequence is tricky! Nomad presents the modal patterns played in diatonic 4th intervals.

Length: 11:38 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Modal Patterns in 5thsLesson 18

Modal Patterns in 5ths

We're working our way up! There are bigger gaps and more stretches here. Make these drills count so that you are dexterous and ready to go when the flood of musical backing tracks comes!

Length: 8:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modal Patterns in 6thsLesson 19

Modal Patterns in 6ths

The 6th interval is one of the most musical and sweet sounding note relationships to be played on the guitar. Combine the 6th with superb modal playing, and you'll come up with some amazing stuff! Get...

Length: 8:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modal Patterns in 7thsLesson 20

Modal Patterns in 7ths

This won't be fun, but it will be useful! The 7th interval is awkward and weird sounding at times, but work it into the rest of your playing, and you'll add some nice unresolved spice to your lines.

Length: 8:29 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Modal Patterns in OctavesLesson 21

Modal Patterns in Octaves

This is the last lesson of its kind in this series...We promise! There are not as many notes in this exercise, but there are more awkward stretches and string skipping situations. Get this one down and...

Length: 7:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Parallel UniverseLesson 22

Parallel Universe

If you've made it this far, CONGRATULATIONS! You've graduated from the realm of modes in series to modes in parallel! Learn how the two universes are related and start digging into the musical nature of...

Length: 13:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Let's Major on the MinorsLesson 23

Let's Major on the Minors

Continuing in the introduction to your new parallel universe, Nomad shows you the theory behind going from a basic major scale to the two most common minor modes.

Length: 5:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Stranger QualitiesLesson 24

Stranger Qualities

Each mode has 'key tones' that give the mode its signature sound. Nomad continues to explore these notes in some of the stranger sounding modes.

Length: 14:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Living in HarmonyLesson 25

Living in Harmony

Just like modes have unique scale tones that define their sound, they also have a chord harmony structure that defines them. When can you play a minor i chord and then go to a dominant IV chord?...when...

Length: 18:20 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
The RevealLesson 26

The Reveal

This is where it all comes together! Commit the 3 simple steps shared in this lesson to memory and then practice applying them. You'll be well on your way to modal bliss in no time!

Length: 4:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Play Those Modes!Lesson 27

Play Those Modes!

Ok! You've graduated into the realm of real modal understanding! Now it's time to play some real modal music. Cut your teeth on tracks from the first two modes of the major scale: Ionian and Dorian. See...

Length: 13:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Phun with PhrygianLesson 28

Phun with Phrygian

Nomad walks through the three 'magical' steps while working with a Phrygian track. Watch the b2!

Length: 9:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Love Me Some LydianLesson 29

Love Me Some Lydian

Ahh, the ethereal and slightly spooky nature of Lydian... Move right along with Nomad's spoon feeding session with a track and examples for each mode. Pour in to these because after he works through...

Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lydian Has a CousinLesson 30

Lydian Has a Cousin

Well, maybe their names sound similar, but their tonalities can sound quite different! Ladies and gentlemen...Let's hear it for Mixolydian! Get jazzy and groovy with this example.

Length: 8:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Good Ol' Minor...AeolianLesson 31

Good Ol' Minor...Aeolian

'Tis one of the most recognizable sounds in guitar history, but with your new found modal knowledge, you are better prepared than ever to tackle this track! Take what you will from Nomad, and then solo...

Length: 6:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Save the Weirdest for LastLesson 32

Save the Weirdest for Last

The uncommon and just plain strange sounding mode finishes off this segment of the series. You won't use it everyday, or even every month, but knowing how to apply it will round out your modal mystique...

Length: 8:05 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Modal Mystery #1Lesson 33

Modal Mystery #1

And now...YOU get to put all your modal knowledge to work in these last lessons! Nomad will play a track and jam over it, and YOU will get out your scribble pad and figure out what is going on modally....

Length: 8:46 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Modal Mystery #2Lesson 34

Modal Mystery #2

Are you warmed up yet?...Good! You'll learn NOTHING about the track Nomad is to play over. Instead, you must listen and analyze as he plays. See if you can figure out all the modal twists by the time...

Length: 5:07 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Modal Mystery #3Lesson 35

Modal Mystery #3

They're getting trickier! Continue to test your own modal mind with this third example. See how many times it takes you to get it without listening to Nomad's explanation!

Length: 7:36 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Modal Mystery #4Lesson 36

Modal Mystery #4

This is the final test (but not the final lesson) in Nomad's Modal Magic Show! Figure it out and then make up your own modal jam to the provided backing track!

Length: 6:18 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Michael Ripoll

About Michael Ripoll View Full Biography Michael "Nomad" Ripoll is a consummate professional in the music industry with a list of credits and accomplishments that span decades. Best known as a masterful guitar virtuoso who has played with a seemingly endless list of the most respected names in the music world, Michael has always strived to exceed the boundaries of a traditional musician’s career by proactively seeking and securing opportunities to excel in other facets of the industry.

While he remains an artist and singer-songwriter first, Michael also operates as the Musical Director for world renowned artist and friend Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, has launched an innovative online format for guitar instruction, and has even contributed to major motion picture film scores. Working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sting, Natalie Cole, the American Idol Tour, the Pussy Cat Dolls, India Arie, and countless others, Michael is regarded as one of the industry’s most sought after session players and touring musicians.

Michael earned the nickname "Nomad" after he started posting pictures and videos of his travels around the globe on his website and YouTube. Follow Nomad everywhere his guitar takes him here at JamPlay and at

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