Magnatone Giveawya

August Issue
more... IntermediateLessonsSound SamplesMetalShredLeadScalesTab

The Modes, part 3: Modal Lines

The Modes, part 3: Modal Lines
The Series
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Welcome back! Hopefully now you know how to create modal vamps from my previous lesson, The Modes, part 2, and have experimented with the ones I gave you. This lesson I will be showing you some modal lines I came up with that you can play over the backing track progressions, or in any modal situation. Each example is played over a drone note so you can hear the sound of the modal flavor. The important thing is to be able to make up your own lines and chord progressions and apply them to your music.

Example 1
This first example is in the F# Ionian scale (F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E#). This modal line kicks off with a little string skipping in the first bar and then an F# major, two-string arpeggio after a one-string triplet pattern. The line winds down in Bar 3 with a descending F# major 7th arpeggio (F#, A#, C#, E#).


Example 2
This one is from the E Dorian scale (E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D) and it moves down the neck very quickly. The whole first bar is played using all legato, then the rest is alternate-picked with some quick slides. This one sounds cool with a lot of gain and can be used in many situations.


Example 3
Here is a line from the A Phrygian scale (A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G). The first bar makes a great picking exercise, so be sure to keep repeating it over and over until it is precise, and don't play it fast until both hands are in sync. Be sure to crank up the distortion for this one.


Example 4
Now let’s move on to the C Lydian scale (C, D, E, F#, G, A, B). This line uses some patterns that move in two octaves that incorporate the #4 to give it the Lydian flavor. You may notice some similarities with the one-string line in the first example, but this one uses straight 16th notes instead of 16th note triplets.


That does if for this month—be sure to make up your own lines and experiment. Visit to see how I incorporate these ideas into my own music.

Post a comment to this article