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Choosing a mode - Lesson 5


Modes to use over Jazz or Jazz fusion
Jazz and Jazz fusion is the most demanding style to play when it comes to modes. In other styles of music you can often get away with using one mode in one key over the entire chord progression - but in most Jazz and Fusion music, you not only have to change the mode very often, you also have to change the key you're playing in. So you need both skills on a high level:

1. The ability to play any mode
2. The ability to go from key to key rapidly.

In this way the skill you're after becomes 2 dimensional. But there are some modes that will be more useful to you, in the beginning, than others. There are really 3 things to focus on and learn:
  • The Ionian mode
  • The Aeolian mode
Since these are the root sounds of the Major and Minor keys, they are very very useful to master. If you Jazz is your style you already know that the II-V-I progression is widely used in Jazz and therefore it's worth working on it's corresponding modes as a good place to start. These would be:
  • The Dorian mode (II)
  • The Mixolydian mode (IV)
  • The Ionian mode (I)
Being able to go from Dorian to Mixolydian to Ionian in any of the 5 shapes will serve you immensely when you solo. 


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