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Lead Guitar Made Easy

[C major modes] [ C Ionian ] [ Dorian mode ] [ Phrygian mode ] [ Lydian mode ] [ Mixolydian Mode ] [ Aeolian mode ] [ Locrian mode ]

Basic major scale fingerings ] [ F major modes ] [ G Modes ] [ Constructing Scales ] [ Key Signatures and constructing major scales ] [ Modulation, cadence, progressions ]

The Aeolian mode and guitar modes in the key of C major

In this lesson we will be covering the Aeolian mode. The Aeolian mode is the 6th mode in the Major key. In the key of C, the Aeolian mode will be the sixth note in the major key. It is constructed from A to A in the key of C Major. The Aeolian mode is one of my favorite modes.

C major guitar modes
  • So far we have covered the C Major or Ionian mode. The Dorian mode or Dm mode, the E Phrygian or Em mode, the F Lydian mode and the
    G Mixolydian Mode.
  • Now we will learn the A Aeolian mode.
  • The notes of the Aeolian mode are shown below.
  • Try to memorize all the notes in the Am chord. Also, try to memorize all the notes that make up each chord. Remember, each section to the left has the notes of each chord in the key of C major. The notes for the Am chord are A, C and E.

The Aeolian mode is the natural minor to the key of C major. The Aeolian mode shares the same key signature as C major. There are no sharps or flats in the A Aeolian mode. If you were to play lead using the Aeolian mode, you could play it over the Am chords or an Am progression such as Am F and G. You can use the the A Aeolian mode to play over all the chords in the key of A minor or C major.

Look at the image below, this is the A Aeolian mode at the 5th fret position. The notes of the A Aeolian mode are A, B, C D, E, F and G. Notice there are no sharps or flats.

Aeolian guitar mode

The image below shows the A minor pentatonic scale at the 5th fret?  If you add the F and B notes to the A minor pentatonic scale you would have the A Aeolian mode. The Am pentatonic scale has the notes of A, C D, E and G. Compare the images of both of these scales and notice you just add the F and B notes.

A minor pentatonic scale

The tablature below illustrates how to play the Aeolian mode at the 5th fret.


A Aeolian mode, guitar modes

Aeolian guitar mode in C

Play the Am F and G progression and give this mode a try.



Fingers to use to play mode.

1 = Index finger
2 = Middle finger
3 = Ring finger
4 = Pinkie
T = Thumb

You can play the same Aeolian mode slightly different and the tablature below shows you how to do this. It's highly recommended to learn both fingering patterns to play this mode. You would play from the A note Low E string 5th fret to the A note high E string. The tablature for the A Aeolian mode is illustrated below.

Aeolian guitar mode

Here's another way to play the A Aeolian mode. The


The last mode we need to learn is the Locrian mode. The Locrian mode is a diminished mode.

Good Luck,

Guitar Secrets


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