Guitar Lesson

Identify Modes - Fretboard

Difficulty: intermediate

Let's take a look at some guitar fretboard fingerings for the modes. All fingerings are based on the first, Ionian mode (major scale). For example, if a mode has a b6, the sixth note of the mode is one fret below the sixth note of the major scale. If a mode has a #4, the fourth note of the mode is one fret above the fourth note of the major scale.

All diagrams below are all based on the root of C.

C Ionian

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Notice on our staff that we have no sharps or flats. This reflects the key of C Major. This first mode in C Major is C Ionian.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

C Dorian

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1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1

C Phrygian

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1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

C Lydian

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1 2 3 #4 5 6 7

C Mixolydian

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1 2 3 4 5 6 b7

C Aeolian

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1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

C Locrian

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1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7