A mode is a scale. Scales which produce distinct sounds. We can create them in different ways. One way is to think in terms of a parent key; from where it can be derived. Another is to use a common shell and add tones [but also touch-in with where this lives – was derived – in a parent key].
Quick Points about Modes
- Modes are portable. We can use any where they fit [even outside their key center], and also think in different ways to organize them and apply them to the fretboard.
- We can play music [a song] that is based in a mode other than Ionian or its Natural minor. Songs can be based in D Dorian, etc.
- The number of tones in a scale is the number of modes it can produce [7 tone scales mean that there are 7 modes – each tone can be a ‘starting point’].
- The names follow Greek tribal names, not necessarily that each tribe played the mode as its trademark sound. We don’t have to go too in depth with modes right now. Each tone in a scale is a root of scale [and a chord].
- The minimum number of names [scales] that a scale can have is based the number of tones it has. So, if a scale has 7 tones, it has a minimum of 7 names [just as the pentatonic has 5 names]. Each member of the group can be its own starting point. Sometimes, scales have more than one name [at simplest level…C Major is C Ionian – same thing, two names].