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Lead Guitar Made Easy
The Aeolian mode and the 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 and the most important to learn.
The Aeolian mode is also referred to the natural minor or relative minor scale. This is because it shares the same notes as the major scale. A Aeolian is related to C major and has the exact same notes and chords. It is also referred to by the natural minor or relative minor. This is basically in my opinion, the most important mode to learn.
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.
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 to the left, 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.|
The image below shows the notes of 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.
The tablature below illustrates how to play the Aeolian mode at the 5th fret.
Play the Am F and G progression and give this mode a try. Fingers to use to play the 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. 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.
| Here’s another way to play the A Aeolian mode.
The image illustrated below shows the notes of the A Aeolian mode. The notes that make up the Am chord are filled in, the yellow notes are the A notes, the blue notes are the C notes and red notes are the E notes. Try to play each note in the order as shown in the image below. Don’t forget to use the proper fingering pattern. Move around the fret-board and start with the 1 finger on the yellow note, then switch in up and start on a different A note with the 2 finger and so on.
The last mode we need to learn is the Locrian mode. The Locrian mode is a diminished mode.