MEAT & POTATOES: IONIAN MODE

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Mark Morton

Mark Morton

Mark Morton is lead guitarist with US hard rock band Lamb of God.

Mark Morton: Dominion #1 Guitar Lesson

Mark Morton: Dominion #2 Guitar Lesson

Mark Morton: Dominion #3 Guitar Lesson

Mark Morton: Dominion #4 Guitar Lesson

Lamb of God

Mark Morton collaborated with Jackson to produce the Mark Morton Dominion™ D2 guitar. Mesa Boogie take care of his amplification needs.

Hal Leonard produce a number of tablature books from their Guitar Recorded Versions series for Lamb of God albums Wrath, Ashes of the Wake and Sacrament.

Wrath tab book cover

Jackson Mark Morton


C major scale box shapes

To paraphrase the ancient Chinese proverb -

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

The guitar equivalent would be -

"Show a guitarist a riff and he plays it for a day.
Teach him how to understand a scale and he makes music his whole life"

With this ancient wisdom in mind let's learn the Granddaddy of ALL scales - the MAJOR SCALE.

CAGED octaves logo

The table that follows lists BLOGoZON issues where the MAJOR SCALE MODES are detailed:-

BLOGoZON ISSUE No.
MODAL FORMULA
MAJOR SCALE MODE NAME
BLOGoZON No.24
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Ionian
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Dorian
-
1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Phrygian
1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
Lydian
-
1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Mixolydian
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Aeolian
-
1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7
Locrian

This issue demonstrates the perfect mode to improvise guitar solos over the chords listed in the next table - the IONIAN MODE.

CHORD SYMBOL
CHORD NAME
FORMULA
C C major 1 3 5
Cmaj7 C major seventh 1 3 5 7
Cmaj9 C major ninth 1 3 5 7 9
Cmaj9 C major ninth 1 3 5 7 9 11
Cmaj13 C major thirteenth 1 3 5 7 9 11 13

The reason this mode works over these chords is that they are both essentially the derived from the same thing i.e the Cmaj13 chord IS the ionian mode stacked in thirds.

The easiest example of the ionian mode is rooted on C natural - as it is really the C major scale.

Hence the CAGED octaves sequence is shown for C natural in the diagram that follows:-

C natural CAGED octaves

GuitarPro6 C natural octaves

The diagram that follows shows all of the C ionian mode notes plotted over the 6-string guitar's

fretboard in both the Guitar Pro and CAGED octaves styles:-

GuitarPro6 fingerboard

C ionian note names

A more long term solution to fretboard navigation is to see scales/modes/arpeggios as INTERVAL shapes rather than note names - as these are universal to all scales, modes, arpeggios and chords rather than specific to one particular root note - with this in mind the intervals for the C ionian mode are detailed below in the CAGED octaves manner:-

C ionian intervals

All modes (and scales for that matter) have an underlying triad - 3 note chord - that defines their tonality.

In the case of the C ionian mode this the C major arpeggio - hence the notes for an C major triad are shown the CAGED octaves style in the next diagram.

C arpeggio notes

Similarly the intervals forming a C major arpeggio are shown next:-

C arpeggio intervals

The C major arpeggio box shapes are explored in detail in BLOGoZON No.28.

The table and tabbed panel below detail all five box shapes for the C ionian mode in the CAGED octaves style.


CAGED octaves - C major scale box shapes

Guitar Pro 6 icon

5C2 pdf
5A3 pdf
6G3G1 pdf
6E4E1 pdf
4D2 pdf
5C2 at 12 pdf

  • 5C2
  • 5A3
  • 6G3G1
  • 6E4E1
  • 4D2
  • 5C2 at 12

5C2 box

5A3 box

6G3G1 box

6E4E1 box

4D2 box

5C2 at 12 box


Mark Morton

A Devil in God's Country....Zon Brookes

Ashes of the Wake


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