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MAURICIO ZAVALA JAZZ LESSON

THE IONIAN MODE

Part 1

Before we begin, it is important to remark that it is absolutely necessary to study this mode due to its importance as the basis of Western music. Later on, well discuss how this scale and its fingerings divide to become the Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolean and Locrian modes. The Ionian mode, also known as Major scale, has a structure of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, where each of these numbers represent a degree of the scale. For example, if we refer to the C major scale, we can say: Example 1

See the structure of tones and semitones between their degrees.

T = Tone ST= Semitone

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If we referred to the D major scale, we would say: Example 2

As we can see, even when changing the root note, we still keep the structure of tones and semitones between their degrees.

This is why the C scale has no altered notes unlike D or any other major scale, then it is necessary to apply the Tones and Semitones structure to any scale we want to play. As an example, if we play from D to D without altering the notes in between, well see that our third note, F, is three semitones from D (Ex. 1) and not four semitones as we saw in example 2, which is the correct interval to get the Major scale or Ionian mode. Then we can conclude that the structure of the Ionian mode is: Interval Degree T T T T T

ST

ST

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Seven patterns can be used to play the different Modes. For the ones presented here we will be playing 3 notes per string. It is important to know that there are some variations of these patterns you can find in different books and / or web sites. We will use the pattern of 3 notes per string for all modes. In the following example, we will study in detail the seven patterns in the key of A. The rules indicated below can be useful when playing them. 1- The fingering of patterns 1 to 3 starts on the 6th string. 2- The fingering of patterns 5 to 7 starts on the 5th string. 3- The fingering of pattern 4 starts on the 4th string. 4- Fingers 1, 2, and 4 of our left hand are used to begin playing the patterns. These rules apply to any key we play or study. Examples in the key of A
Numbers below circles indicate the grades of the scale.. The circled numbers, the suggested fingerings.

Pattern 1

E B G D A E
1 1 1 1
2nd fret

1 1 2 2 3 3

2 2 4 4 4 4

Root Note on 6th string Fingering for the first note of the pattern starts with finger 4

Track 1

Play /Stop

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Pattern 2

E B G D A E
1 1 1 1
4th fret

1 1 3 3 2 2

2 2
4

4
4

Root Note on 6th string Fingering for the first note of the pattern starts with finger 2

4 4 4

Track 2

Play /Stop

Pattern 3

E B G D A E
1 1
5th fret

1 1 1 1
2

4
Root

Root Note on 6th string Fingering for the first note of the pattern starts with finger 1

3
4 4 4 4

2 2 2

Track 3

Play /Stop

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Pattern 4

E B G D A E
1 1 1 1
7th fret

1 1
2

Root Note on 4th string Fingering for the first note of the pattern starts with finger 1

2
4 4 4 4

2 2 3

Track 4

Play /Stop

Pattern 5

E B G D A E
1 1 1 1
9th fret

1 1 2 3 3 2

2 2 4 4 4 4

4 4

Root Note on 5th string Fingering for the first note of the pattern starts with finger 4

Track 5

Play /Stop

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Pattern 6

E B G D A E
1
10th fret

1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3

2 3 4

Root Note on 5th string Fingering for the first note of the pattern starts with finger 2

4
4 4 4

Track 6

Play /Stop

Pattern 7

E B G D A E
1 1 1
12th fret

1 1 1
2

Root Note on 5th string Fingering for the first note of the pattern starts with finger 1

2
4 4 4 4

2 2 2

Track 7

Play /Stop

In our next lesson, well learn how to transport this scale to different tones and how to practice their fingerings. We will also show some examples in a musical context.

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