Friday, October 21, 2011

4-String Mode Forms

The simplest single octave mode forms span three strings. We have looked at all of these forms in previous posts, and they are included in the iPhone App, Modes 101. All of the 3-string modes are played starting from the 1st or 2nd finger (or an open string). Now we'll examine some mode forms which span four strings.

It may be more practical within a particular riff to begin the mode on the 3rd or 4th finger, because of the hand position dictated by a previous chord or riff. All the 4-string mode forms begin on either the 3rd or 4th finger, and cannot start with an open string (but may begin with the 2nd finger if the mode includes open strings).

Let's start with the Ionian/Phrygian module spanning the upper four strings. The symmetry is clear;

Notice that the Phrygian mode begins with two notes on the lowest string of the pattern and ends with one note on the top string. The Ionian mode is exactly the opposite.

Next, the Mixolydian/Aeolian module;

These forms overlap in this view. Notice that the silhouettes of the modes are identical. They both begin and end with a single note on the low and high string. Starting on the 4th finger and ending on the 1st.

And here are the 4-string mode forms in the Lydian/Locrian Module on the 4 upper strings;

Dorian Mode, in these 4-string upper forms, would be rooted in the 12th fret or on the open 4th string in the key of C, which is not a very practical position. Below, it's shown in the key of G where it is rooted on the 7th fret;

All contents of this blog are © Mark Newstetter

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