Modes Of The Rising Sun

by Cosmin Lupu

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  • Hey GMC guys and gals!

    Since a lot of you have asked about a good way of learning how to use modes, here's what I came up with:

    A lesson based around the idea of understanding and then modifying a chord progression, in order to emphasize various modes with it.

    The procedure is simple: I picked up a traditional song with an interesting original chord progression - "House of the rising sun" and after analyzing the original chord progression in the first two parts of this lesson, I came up with the modified versions, using Phrygian, Harmonic minor, Lydian, Ionian and Mixolydian, in the following parts.

    The result: modified modal progressions and note selection to fit them accordingly. This means that the melodic line stays pretty close to the original, but the notes which I changed are fitting the modes I have used. Trying to keep everything pretty simple and melodic, is supposed to improve focus on the actual concept, rather then learning difficult licks and missing the point of the lesson.

    Aside from all the applied theory (learning modes, ear training with the modes and learning the fretboard from the perspective of matching scales with chords), you will be able to hone your articulation chops (bending and vibrato, artificial harmonics and slides) and your melodic sense.

    Give this a try and let me know how it goes.


    Time signature: 6/8

    Tempo: 160 BPM

    Recording details:
    PRS Paul Allender guitar, AMT SS20, Crunch Channel (Bass - 10 O'clock, Mids - 9 o'clock, Highs - 1 O'clock, Gain - 2 O'clock) with added reverb/ delay in the DAW.


    A Dorian

    A Aeolian

    A Harmonic Minor

    A Phrigian

    A Lydian

    G Ionian

    A Mixolydian

    C Ionian

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