Ionian Mode – The First Position of the Major Scale

Ionian Mode Fretboard PatternBefore you get started, let me point out that the last lesson ended with an example of the major scale in G. I’ll will continue to teach you the rest of modes of the major scale based in G. I will be sticking to G because it’s a very popular key. Not only that, but E is the relative minor of G, so once you can play the entire key of G, you will also know how to play the entire key of E minor! Nice! A VERY popular key as well. But, don’t forget. These patterns can be easily transposed to any key just by moving the first pattern (the Ionian Mode) to the desired first note.

If you read the initial major scale lesson you know that the Ionian Mode is the Major Scale. The Ionian Mode is the first of 7 positions of the major scale. There is one position for every note, therefore there are 7 modes. I’m going to teach you each mode separately. Simply follow the order of the lessons as the modes are in that order. Eventually you will notice that although there are 7 modes there are actually 5 different patterns since 2 modes share the same pattern and then 2 other modes share a different pattern. Don’t get confused by this. I’ll point those out as they come up.

When you play the tab at the end of this page you’re basically playing this same pattern below, only you are going from root to root. So the last note is not played. You can play it if you want, because it still belongs to the scale, but I’m simply trying to get you to play the mode starting and ending on the same note. For each of the modes, the pattern diagram will be all the way to the end, but the tab will have you play the mode from the initial note to the same note 2 octaves up. Since the Ionian Mode is the Major Scale, you will be playing the following pattern with the first note starting at the 6th string 3rd fret G. Be sure you understand how to read these diagrams. Otherwise, click here to learn how.

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