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Classifying Modes (Guitar Lesson)


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David Wallimann

Classifying Modes

David Wallimann talks about how modes can be classified and thus used in a musical context. This is a valuable wrap-up lesson to the mini-series on modes.

Taught by David Wallimann in Theory and Improvisation with David Wallimann seriesLength: 13:24Difficulty: 2.5 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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rarebird0rarebird0 replied on August 29th, 2016

Righteous knowledge. I made flash cards out of all the illustrations and was able to literally see the distinguishing note for each mode. I had the major on one 8-1/2 x 11 card stock and minor on another. Time went by and I left Jam play for a year but I still had the cards. Re-doing this series now meets up with frames of reference I've developed since that year. So it's not just all Greek to me anymore. I have to wonder though, why all the harsh distortion on that Parker? It doesn't lend well to conveying deep theory.

roguewolfroguewolf replied on April 3rd, 2014

Hey guys - if you're struggling get a hang of the one key. I think David has explained it in a way to avoid confusing you and explaining a whole bunch of other stuff that goes with it. If you are in a particular key - the "magic formula" lesson helps. Say you're in C major, you would begin with Ionian (Major Scale) and change modes as you changed chords - E.G D minor (D Dorian) E minor (E Phrygian) F Major (F Lydian) G Major (G Mixolydian) A minor (A Aeolian) B dim (B Locrian)

itamar6587itamar6587 replied on July 28th, 2012

great lesson thanks, i join the above. how do you know what mode to play during a change of chords?

jayohhjayohh replied on November 2nd, 2010

Conclude our series?!!! Noooooo... Don't say this was it.... We need more theory. As I understand, most solos are in one key, but over a chord progression. And I'm still struggling trying to figure this out. How do I know which key to solo in over a given progression?? Your lessons have been great so far, but we ( I ) need more. Just an easy example. Lets say you have a riff with powerchords that goes E, G, F. Which key am I supposed to be soloing in?? Thanks.

marcelo1307marcelo1307 replied on December 16th, 2010

Because of the E F, E phrygian will sound nice over this! So, play a C major scale, and you will be fine.

clarke1966clarke1966 replied on October 24th, 2010

Thanks David, this is great! One thing that I'm not getting is how you would define which mode works for a song. In this lesson you give a great explanation for which mode would sound good over a particular chord, but as I understand it there are songs that you can solo within one mode (presumably in the key of the song) and it fits. How do I define a mode within the wider framework of a sequence of chords?

Theory and Improvisation with David Wallimann

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

David Wallimann will cover all of the topics necessary master the art of improvisation. He will cover theory, including intervals, scales and modes as well as techniques to improve ones improvisation.



Lesson 1

Understanding Intervals

Before one can truly understand music theory the concept of intervals must be introduced. This lesson covers that topic in great depth.

Length: 27:40 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 2

Minor Pentatonic Scale

David teaches the minor pentatonic scale. He explains its scale formula, various fretboard positions, and how it can be used.

Length: 20:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Major Pentatonic Scale

David Wallimann moves on to cover the the major pentatonic scale. He teaches its scale formula, all five patterns, and gives advice on how the scale can be used.

Length: 9:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

The Blues Scale

In this lesson, David covers both the minor and major blues scales. He explains the formulas and patterns for each scale. In addition, David has included a backing track for you to play along with.

Length: 9:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Minor Modes

David Wallimann introduces three minor modes. In this lesson he covers Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian modes.

Length: 11:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Major Modes

David Wallimann covers three major modes in this lesson. He covers the Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian modes.

Length: 8:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

The Locrian Mode

David Wallimann introduces the Locrian mode. He explains its formula in terms of scale degrees as well as its five fretboard patterns. A few fun arpeggio-based ideas are also demonstrated.

Length: 20:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

The Magic Formula

David Wallimann teaches a magic formula that will allow you to play each of the modes up and down the entire fretboard. He also teaches some exercises to help cement this knowledge.

Length: 11:49 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Classifying Modes

David Wallimann talks about how modes can be classified and thus used in a musical context. This is a valuable wrap-up lesson to the mini-series on modes.

Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Creating Chord Progressions

David Wallimann explains how to write diatonic chord progressions. This lesson features excellent practical music theory.

Length: 12:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Easy Outside Tricks

David Wallimann teaches a valuable fusion guitar technique that he calls "Easy Outside Tricks."

Length: 8:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Playing Modal with Pentatonic Scales

David Wallimann demonstrates how minor pentatonic scales can be used when improvising over the minor modes.

Length: 22:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Playing Modal with Major Pentatonic Scales

David Wallimann shows how the major pentatonic scale can be used in modal playing.

Length: 11:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About David Wallimann View Full Biography David was born in Aix-en-Provence, South France in 1977. At the age of 15, he picked up the guitar and started developing a true love for instrumental music and composition.

In 1999 he was recognized by Ibanez for his promising musical achievements and received an artist endorsement. That early recognition in David's musical career encouraged him to consecrate more time on crafting his musical art and apply to the school of modern music Artist' in Cavaillon, France. He received a full scholarship there where he graduated with honors.

In 2001, David won first place for the Tal Farlow French national jazz contest which gave him a full paid scholarship to the CMA school of modern music in Valenciennes, France. He graduated specializing in advance guitar with honors.

Following his school years, David spent the next 5 years working with several bands recording, writing and playing shows in France and Belgium. It's during that time that Wallimann was exposed to the world of progressive rock which opened new doors to his musical creativity.

Deep inside the Mind is his first release as a solo artist in which he exposes his Christian faith. The album was well received in the specialized press and was compared several times to some of Frank Zappa's approach to music adding an element of humor to deep subjects.

In 2005 he joined the internationally renown progressive band Glass Hammer based in Chattanooga, TN. He released several studio albums and live DVDs with the band.

David is today working on his next upcoming solo release and is also spending quite a bit of time teaching guitar in his studio and online at JamPlay.

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