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Chapter IV: 3 Chords - Modal Chord Progressions |


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The Ultimate Guide To Guitar. Chapter IV: 3 Chords..., date: september 21,

2009
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The Ultimate Guide To Guitar. Chapter IV: 3 Chords -
Modal Chord Progressions
author: ZeGuitaristdate: 09/21/2009category: the guide
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Part IV - Chapter 3
"Chords - Modal Chord Progressions"
Hello all, and welcome to the last of all theory chapters in
the Ultimate Guide to Guitar! After we covered a gigantic heap

of theory last week, I'm sorry to inform you that this week's
article isn't going to be any shorter or easier... Chords is
our subject this week. We learned a lot about chord
progressions already in previous theory chapters, but we
haven't touched on 2 important subjects ... Those subjects
are: how to make a chord progression in a modal setting, and
how to change the tonal centre or key of a chord progression
to another, or "modulate" the progression. Those 2 subjects
are what we're going to discuss in this chapter and the next
respectively!
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Last week, you already came into contact with the concept of
modal chord progressions. You should already know that modal
chord progressions are different from "regular" (tonal)
progressions, in that the chords in the progressions possess
extensions that accentuate the modal notes of the played mode,

thereby declaring the whole progression to be set in that
mode. We're going to look into this again, by first learning
how to harmonize the seven diatonic modes, and then how to
construct proper modal progressions from these harmonized
modes. After this lesson you should be able to write your own
modal vamps to play over!
So, here's what we're going to cover in this chapter:
1. Harmonizing modes: how to harmonize the seven diatonic
modes!
2. Modal progressions: how to construct progressions in each
mode, using the chords from the harmonized mode!
Let's go, on to the final pieces of theory in the Ultimate
Guide to Guitar!
Harmonizing Modes
Last week, we studied modal melodies played over short modal
progressions to get to know the sound of each of the modes.
How these modal progressions or "vamps" were formed, though,
we did not discuss, since we focused on the melody only.
However, in the following sections we'll be looking into the
construction of those modal vamps in more detail!
Like in tonal (Major and Minor) progressions, the chords that
can be used in a modal progression come from the harmonization

of the notes in the mode in question. So, if we want to know
what chords are available to us to create modal progressions
with in each mode, we should start off by harmonizing each
mode first! This is only half of the work if we want to create

a modal progressions, though, but very important nonetheless.
So, let's start off by harmonizing the seven diatonic modes...

You'll find it to be pretty easy!
A. The Ionian Mode
We'll start off by harmonizing the Ionian mode, the first of
the seven diatonic modes. How do we go about doing this? Well,

we learned how to harmonize the Major scale (without
extensions) in Chapter II-3, so if you don't remember how to
do it, I suggest you check out that lesson again. Luckily for
us, the Major scale and the Ionian mode consist of identical
intervals, so the harmonized Major scale will be the same as
the harmonized Ionian mode! So, which chords are found in the
harmonized Ionian mode?
I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi - vii
Hopefully, you remember how this Roman numeral system for
naming chords works. A short recap: the above scheme shows the

7 chords belonging to the harmonized Ionian mode, numbered
from the root (I) upwards. The chords that are indicated with
uppercase letters are Major chords, and those indicated with
lowercase letters are Minor, except the one with a -mark
over it; this indicates a Diminished chord. The intervals
between the chords are of course given by the intervals
between the notes in the mode.
Got that? If you did, we can move on to the harmonization of
the next mode!
B. The Dorian Mode
Harmonizing the Dorian mode works in the exact same way as
harmonizing the Major scale, or the Ionian mode... But we
don't even need to harmonize each note in the Dorian mode
manually, to find the Dorian harmonized mode! There's a much
easier way to find it: we can simply deduce it from the
harmonized diatonic Major scale!
How does this work? Well, we learned in Chapter IV-1 that we
can view each mode as a derivation of the diatonic Major
scale, as the result from a shift in tonal centre. The Dorian
mode, as we know, is derived from the diatonic scale by
shifting the tonal centre to the second note; well, similarly,

we can derive the harmonized Dorian mode by shifting the root
chord in the harmonized diatonic Major scale to the second
chord! This will be the result:
i - ii - bIII - IV - v - vi - bVII
Finding this scheme was very easy: we simply took the
harmonized Major scale and shifted the tonal centre to the
second chord. So, we changed the "ii" to "i", the "iii" to
"ii", the "IV" to "III", and so on... Easy enough! Remember,
though, that by shifting the tonal centre, the intervals
between the chords changed as well, as we learned in Chapter
IV-1... So, we mustn't forget to indicate the characteristic
flat 3rd and 7th intervals of the Dorian mode!
And voil , we have our harmonized Dorian mode! Pretty easy,
huh? Now, we're going to do the same for all the other modes
as well!
C. The Phrygian Mode
Constructing the harmonized Phrygian mode is just as easy as
finding the harmonized Dorian mode... We will do exactly the
same: we take the harmonized diatonic scale, we shift the
tonal centre from the first to the third chord, assign new
numerals, and we're done! Here's the result from the shift in
root chord:
i - bII - bIII - iv - v - bVI - bvii
Compare this harmonized scale to the harmonized diatonic scale

(or Ionian mode). You can see how this one has been derived
from the harmonized diatonic scale: we used the "iii" as root
chord and renumbered it to "i", we renumbered the "IV" to
"II", the "V" to "III", and so on... Note that the flat 2nd,
3rd, 6th and 7th intervals that distinguish the Phrygian mode
from the diatonic Major scale must be indicated as well. And
there we go, another mode has been harmonized, on to the next!

D. The Lydian Mode
You know the drill! We take the harmonized diatonic scale and
shift the tonal centre to the fourth chord, and we have our
harmonized Lydian mode! Easy enough... here is the harmonized
Lydian mode, resulting from the shift in tonal centre:
I - II - iii - #iv - V - vi - vii
By now, you should know how this scheme is formed: we take the

"IV" chord from the harmonized diatonic scale and renumber it
to "I", then we renumber the "V" to "II", the "vii" to "iii",
and so on... Next, we indicate the raised 4th interval that is

distinctive to the Lydian mode, and we're done! We're getting
the hang of it!
E. The Mixolydian Mode
Once more, we take the harmonized diatonic scale, and shift
the tonal centre to the fifth chord. The result is the
harmonized Mixolydian scale, which looks like this:
I - ii - iii - IV - v - vi - bVII
As you know by now, the above scheme is the result from a
shift in tonal centre followed by a renumbering: we changed
"V" to "I", "vi" to "ii", and so on. Not forgetting to
indicate the flat 7th interval, we now have our harmonized
Mixolydian mode!
F. The Aeolian Mode
Since the Aeolian mode shares its intervals with the diatonic
Minor scale, the harmonized Aeolian mode will look exactly the

same as the harmonized Minor scale we studied in Chapter
II-3... Let's have a look and compare:
i - ii - bIII - iv - v - bVI - bVII
We take the "vi" chord from the harmonized diatonic scale as
our root chord, and rename it to "i", and proceed to rename
the other chords: "vii" to "ii", I to III, and so on...
Then, we indicate the flat 3rd, 6th and 7th intervals that
distinguish the Aeolian mode from the diatonic Major scale,
and we have our harmonized Aeolian mode, which is indeed
exactly the same as the harmonized Minor scale we learned
about before!
G. The Locrian Mode
That leaves us with only one mode left to harmonize, which is
the Locrian mode. Of course, we know what to do by now: we
take the harmonized Major scale and shift the tonal centre
around to the seventh chord! This is the result:
i - bII - biii - iv - bV - bVI - bvii
Surprisingly, all we need to do to construct this scheme is do

the exact same thing we did for the other 6 modes... We start
by shifting the root to the "vii" chord, renumbering it to
"i" in the process; then, we renumber the other chords; and
finally, we indicate the flat 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th
intervals that are distinctive to the Locrian mode.
And we're done! We succesfully harmonized each of the 7
diatonic modes, simply by deducing each harmonized mode from
the harmonized diatonic Major scale! Here's a quick overview
of the 7 harmonized diatonic modes, as a brief summary of this

paragraph:
Ionian: I - ii - iii - IV - V - vi - viiDorian: i - ii - bI
II - IV - v - vi - bVIIPhrygian: i - bII - bIII - iv - v - bVI - bviiLydi
an: I - II - iii - #iv - V - vi - viiMixolydian: I - ii - iii - IV
- v - vi - bVIIAeolian: i - ii - bIII - iv - v - bVI - bVIILocrian:
i - bII - biii - iv - bV - bVI - bvii
Harmonizing the seven modes was an easy enough task! However,
creating modal progressions is more difficult than that, we
can't just go and combine random chords plucked out of the
harmonized mode and call it a modal progression in said
mode... How does it work then? The next section will provide
the answer!
Modal Progressions
Like I said, modal progressions are not merely random
combinations of chords taken from a harmonized mode and put
together in a random order. First of all, we need to consider
that not all chords can be taken from a harmonized mode and
combined to form a "modal sounding" progression, while other
chords from the same harmonized scale create a perfect modal
sound in said mode. Secondly, chord extensions are added to
most of these chords in order to create an even more
pronounced modal setting. So, there are still a number of
questions that need to be solved:
What chords from the harmonized scale can we combine to form a

"modal" sounding progression in each mode?
What extensions should each chord possess in order to make the

entire progression "declare" the mode it's in?
If we can answer these questions, we know how to create modal
progressions in each of the seven modes. So, we're going to
look into each of the seven modes individually again, trying
to answer the above 2 questions! As an illustration, we're
going to look into the construction of progression in the
modes of the E Major scale. Let's have a look at the first of
the diatonic modes, and how we can create modal progressions
in that mode, using the chords from its harmonized form.
A. The Ionian Mode
We harmonized the Ionian mode in the above section already, so

we know the 7 chords that are available for us to build chord
progressions with. But what chords can we choose and combine
from this harmonized scale, and why? And what extensions
should we use with each chord?
Well, both these things are determined by the characteristic
modal notes of the mode we're playing in. Like I said, a
progression needs to declare the mode it's in clearly; well,
the best way to do this is to use chords built from the modal
notes that are distinctive to said mode! Got that?
To illustrate how this works, we're going to look at the mode
of E Ionian. First, let's look at the harmonized E Ionian
mode:
E - F#m - G#m - A - B - C#m - D#dim
The above set of chords is easily found by just filling the
notes in the E Ionian mode into the scheme of the harmonized
Ionian mode we constructed in the previous paragraph. Now,
which of these chords can be used in an E Ionian modal vamp,
and which extensions need to be added? Like I said, that
depends on the modal notes that are characteristic to the
Ionian mode. In E Ionian, the following modal notes are
important:
The root: Of course, the root note that we're using (E) needs
to be explicitly established as our root note, and there's no
better way to do that than to use the root chord (E Major
chord) as the basis of our chord progression! Furthermore, the

Major triad that is present in the root chord declares the
mode we're in to be Major, because of the expression of the
major 3rd and perfect 5th intervals (G# and B). And thirdly, a

major 7th extension can be used with this chord to declare the

major 7th interval (D#), which is distinctive to the E Ionian
mode! Because of these 3 reasons, the root chord with major
7th extension (EMaj7) is the single most important chord in E
Ionian modal vamps!
The perfect 4th: This interval (A) is characteristic to the E
Ionian mode, so using the chord from the harmonized mode that
is based around this interval (A Major chord) is a good way to

make your progression "sound Ionian". With a major 7th
extension, this chord also expresses the Ionian mode's major
3rd interval (a major 7th interval up from A is G#, which is
the major 3rd up from the root). So, the 4th chord with major
7th extension (AMaj7) should be a great chord to declare the
Ionian mode in an E Ionian progression!
The perfect 5th: Another very usable chord in Ionian
progressions, since it's built from and therefore naturally
declares the perfect 5th (B) and major 7th (D#). Furthermore,
with a minor 7th extension, the Ionian mode's distinctive
perfect 4th interval is expressed (a minor 7th interval up
from B is A, which is a perfect 4th up from the root). So, the

5th chord with minor 7th extension (B7) is another great chord

to fit into a Ionian vamp!
So, the chords in the harmonized Ionian mode that are most
suitable to create Ionian progressions with, are the EMaj7,
AMaj7 and B7 chords. Do those chords look familiar? Indeed,
the E Ionian progression I showed you last week consisted of
the EMaj7 and AMaj7 chords! We must be doing something right
then...
In general, this means we could use the chords IMaj7, IVMaj7
and V7 in our progressions. Why not the chords built on the
major 3rd or major 7th, though, you may ask? Well, even though

both these notes are distinctive Ionian intervals, the chords
built on these notes are a Minor and a Diminished chord
respectively... And since the Ionian mode is a Major mode, it
sounds better to accentuate this Major quality using Major
chords! That doesn't mean the iii or vii chords, or any of
the remaining chords in the harmonized scale for that matter,
can't be used in Ionian progressions at all, though! Just make

sure the progression keeps sounding Ionian, by resolving to
the root chord after every few beats.
B. The Dorian Mode
Right, now that we know how to find out what chords can be
used in Ionian modal progressions, we can can do the same with

all of the other modes to find the right chords to build modal

progressions with... Let's get going with the Dorian mode, the

second of the seven modes! We'll use the same example in E as
an illustration: below is the harmonized E Dorian mode.
Em - F#m - G - A - Bm - C#dim - D
Now, which of the above chords can be used in E Dorian
progressions, as well as which extensions should be added to
those chords, is determined by the Dorian modal notes. The
important modal intervals in E Dorian are:
The root: Obviously, the root chord (E Minor chord) will be
the most important chord in every Dorian progression. It
declares the chosen root (E), as well as the minor 3rd and
perfect 5th intervals (G and B) forming the Minor triad that
the Dorian mode is based upon. With a major 6th extension,
this chord will also declare the major 6th interval (C#) that
distinguishes the Dorian mode from the other Minor modes...
So, the root chord with major 6th extension (Emadd6 or Em6) is

the most important chord in E Dorian vamps!
The natural 2nd: Not only does the natural 2nd interval
distinguish the Dorian mode from the Phrygian mode (both are
Minor modes), the chord built on the natural 2nd (F# Minor
chord) expresses the major 6th (C#) and is therefore a good
chord to declare the Dorian mode in progressions with. A minor

7th extension can be added to declare the root note again (a
minor 7th interval up from F# is E, our root note)... This
makes the 2nd chord with minor 7th extension (F#m7) great for
Dorian progressions.
The perfect 4th: This is not exactly an interval that is
distinctive to the Dorian mode, but the chord built around it
(A Major chord) is used often in Dorian vamps because it
expresses the major 6th (C#). Furthermore, it can express the
minor 3rd interval (G), and therefore the Ionian mode's Minor
quality, with a minor 7th extension (a minor 7th interval up
from A is G, which is the minor 3rd up from the root). Because

of this, the 4th chord with minor 7th extension (A7) works
perfectly in Dorian vamps!
So, in E Dorian, the chords that declare the Dorian mode the
best in a chord progression are Em6, F#m7 and A7... these look

familiar again, don't they? Yes indeed, last week's Dorian
vamp was constructed from the Em6 and A7 chords!
In general, Dorian chord progressions often possess the i6,
ii7 and IV7 chords, since these are great chords to declare
the Dorian character of the progression. Remember that you can

also use any of the other chords in the harmonized Dorian
mode; the chords listed above are usually the most prominent
chords in Dorian progressions though.
Notice that the chord built around the Dorian mode's most
distinctive interval, the major 6th (C# in E Dorian), isn't
used... Why not? Well, this chord is a Diminished chord, which

will not create a good "Dorian sound" when used in a Dorian
chord progression, since Diminished chords sound so unstable.
Dorian vamps rely on the chords listed above to declare the
major 6th, rather than on the vi chord itself...
C. The Phrygian Mode
On to the next mode, the Phrygian mode! Again, we'll use the E

Phrygian mode as our example... Let's look at the chords in
the harmonized E Phrygian mode:
Em - F - G - Am - Bdim - C - Dm
Just like we did before, we now want to know which of these
chords can be used in Phrygian modal progressions, and which
extensions we need to add in order to create our Phrygian
modal setting. Both these things are, as we know, determined
by the characteristic Phrygian modal notes:
The root: Like in every modal progression, the root (E) needs
to be declared... And of course, using the root chord (E Minor

chord) as the basis of our progression is the best way to do
this! With the Minor triad formed by the minor 3rd and perfect

5th interval (G and B), this chord clearly establishes the
Minor quality of the Phrygian mode... Also, a minor 7th
extension can be used, so that this chord also declares the E
Phrygian mode's minor 7th interval (D). It's also possible to
add a flat 9th interval, to express the Phrygian mode's
characteristic flat 2nd interval (a flat 9th is a flat 2nd
raised by an octave); but this extension makes the chord sound

very unstable, so we'll rely on other chords in the
progression to express the flat 2nd interval. The 2nd chord
with (possible) minor 7th extension (Em7) is therefore the
best chord to provide a Phrygian modal setting in E.
The flat 2nd: Like I said, we need to express the
characteristic flat 2nd interval (F) that defines the E
Phrygian mode... And conveniently, it's very possible to use
the chord built on that interval (F Major chord) in our
Phrygian progressions! Not only does this chord express the
flat 2nd, it can also confirm the root (E) with a major 7th
extension (a major 7th up from F is E, which is the root).
This makes the 2nd chord with major 7th extension (FMaj7)
ideal for our E Phrygian progression!
And there we go! The most important chords in E Phrygian chord

progressions are Em and FMaj7. Remember those from last week's

Phrygian vamp? The other chords from the harmonized Phrygian
mode can be used as well, though, but these two chords will
always be the most prominent ones in Phrygian progressions.
From our example, we can deduce that in general, the i and
bIIMaj7 chords are the most important chords in Phrygian modal

vamps.
D. The Lydian Mode
The Lydian mode is next in line... We'll look at the E Lydian
mode as our example again, and examine how constructing an E
Lydian modal progression works. We'll start off by looking at
the E Lydian harmonized mode:
E - F# - G#m - A#dim - B - C#m - D#m
So, we now have our set of 7 chords, and we want to know which

of these chords fit in a Lydian progression... Let's take a
look at the Lydian mode's characteristic modal intervals:
The root: This one is obvious. The root chord (E Major chord)
expresses our root (E), and possesses a major 3rd and perfect
5th (G# and B) to declare the Lydian mode's Major character.
Since the major 7th interval (D#) is one of the Lydian mode's
characteristic intervals, it can be expressed in the root
chord as an extension. So, a good chord to base an E Lydian
vamp on would be the root chord with major 7th extension
(EMaj7)!
The natural 2nd: Although this isn't a very characteristic
Lydian interval, the chord based on the natural 2nd (F# Major
chord) expresses the raised 4th interval (A#) that sets the
Lydian mode apart from all the other modes! Furthermore, with
a minor 7th extension, this chord can express the root of the
progression (a minor 7th up from F# is E, which is the root).
That makes the 2nd chord with minor 7th extension (F#7) a
great chord for our E Lydian progression!
The perfect 5th: The chord built on the Lydian mode's perfect
5th (B) is one great chord to use in a Lydian modal vamp! Why
is that? Because it possesses the two intervals that set the
Lydian mode apart from the other 2 Major modes: first of all,
the major 7th (D#), and second of all, the raised 4th (A#), if

we add it as a major 7th extension (a major 7th up from B is
A#, which is a raised 4th up from the root). Because of this,
the 5th chord with major 7th extension (BMaj7) is a great
chord to use in our E Lydian vamp!
In our E Lydian vamp, the following chords are the most
prominent and useful chords: EMaj7, F#7 and BMaj7. In general,

that translates to the IMaj7, II7 and VMaj7 being the chords
that are suited best for Lydian vamps. Notice that the chord
built on the characteristic raised 4th interval of the Lydian
mode isn't one of them; this is because this chord is a
Diminished chord, and as stated before we tend to avoid these
chords in our modal progressions. Keep in mind that, even
though the listed chords are the most suitable and therefore
the most common chords in modal vamps, the other chords in the

harmonized Lydian mode can be used as well.
E. The Mixolydian Mode
And on we go, to the next mode: the Mixolydian mode. In E
Mixolydian, the following set of chords results from the
harmonization of the E Mixolydian mode:
E - F#m - G#dim - A - Bm - C#m - D
The chords that we can choose from the above set to build a
Mixolydian progression with, are determined by the Mixolydian
modal notes... As if we didn't know that already by now! Let's

look at the chords that can be used in an E Mixolydian
progression:
The root: As in every other modal progression, the root chord
is the most important chord of all. The root chord in E
Mixolydian (E Major chord) expresses the Major quality of the
Mixolydian mode, through the major 3rd and perfect 5th (G# and

B). With a minor 7th extension, it can also express the
distinctive minor 7th that clearly declares the Mixolydian
mode... this makes the root chord with minor 7th extension
(E7) a perfect choice for our E Mixolydian vamp!
The minor 7th: We want to express the characteristic
Mixolydian minor 7th interval in our progression, and what
other chord than the minor 7th chord (D Major chord)itself,
being built on the minor 7th interval(D)? Even without
extensions, the 7th chord is a good option for our E
Mixolydian vamp.
There we go, we worked out that there are two prominent chords

that we can use in an E Mixolydian vamp: E7 and D. Now, if we
look at last week's Mixolydian vamp that I provided, you will
see that I used a different chord than the 2 chords listed: an

AMaj7 chord, the chord based off the perfect 4th of the
Mixolydian mode! This illustrates that modal vamps can work
even without each chord explicitly declaring all the important

modal notes; as long as you keep the whole piece, i.e. melody
and progression together, sound sufficiently "modal", you'll
be fine!
We deduce from the above example that in general, the usable
chords in Mixolydian progressions are I7 and bVII. Remember
that, as I illustrated above, not only these chords are
suitable for Mixolydian progressions, though they are the best

options to retain the optimal Mixolydian sound to your
progression!
F. The Aeolian Mode
With only 2 modes left to assess, we're nearly there! On to
the second to last mode, the Aeolian mode! This mode is
constructed from the same intervals as the Minor scale as you
know it, but since modal music and tonal music are not the
same, constructing Aeolian progressions is vastly different
from constructing Minor progressions. Let's take a look at the

harmonized E Aeolian mode as an example:
Em - F#dim - G - Am - Bm - C - D
Now, the construction of Aeolian progressions differs from the

construction of Minor progressions in that it's bound to the
same rules as the construction of progressions in the other
modes. We know we have to accentuate the characteristic modal
notes of this mode; so, let's find out how to do that in E
Aeolian!
The root: Of course, using the root chord (E Minor chord) to
express our root note, as well as the Minor character of this
mode caused by the minor 3rd and perfect 5th intervals (G and
B), is vital to creating an Aeolian vamp. This makes the root
chord (Em), with or without extensions, a good place to start!
The perfect 4th: The chord built on the perfect 4th (A) of the

Aeolian mode (A Minor chord) contains the mode's minor 6th
(C), which needs to be accentuated in order to differentiate
the played mode from the Dorian mode, which is also a Minor
mode, but with a major 6th interval (C#)! A major 6th
extension can be used to declare the Aeolian mode's natural
2nd (a major 6th up from A is F#, which is a natural 2nd up
from the root); using this extension isn't necessary, but it
can help establish the mode you're in as Aeolian, as opposed
to Phrygian which is a Minor mode with a flat 2nd. So, the 4th

chord with major 6th extension (Am6) chord is great for our E
Aeolian progression!
The perfect 5th: There's not much to say about this chord,
except that it works great in Aeolian progressions since it
naturally contains the Aeolian mode's natural 2nd (F#), so
using the 5th chord (Bm) (without extensions even) is a good
way to make our progression sound Aeolian!
We now know that the Em, Am6 and Bm chords are good chords for

us to build an Aeolian progression with... There are other
options, though, as you can see by the Aeolian progression I
provided last week: it contains a GMaj7 chord, expressing the
natural 2nd (F#) just like the Am6 chord. So, in general, the
most prominent chords in Aeolian progressions are the i, iv(6)

and v chords, but keep in mind that these chords are never
your only options!
G. The Locrian Mode
All right, only one more mode to go: the Locrian mode! This
one has always been a bit of an outsider, and regarding the
construction of its modal progressions, this is no
different... Let's take a look at the harmonized E Locrian
mode first, so you can see what I'm talking about:
Edim - F - Gm - Am - Bb - C - Dm
Notice that, since the Locrian mode is a Diminished mode, the
root chord of the harmonized Locrian mode is a Diminished
chord. This will affect the way we construct Locrian modal
vamps: we'll want to emphasize the Diminished character of the

Locrian mode, and the only way to do that is to use the root
chord (Edim), and only the root chord! We can add a minor 7th
extension to the chord to express the minor 7th (D), but
that's about it: the only chord we can use in our Locrian vamp

is the root chord with minor 7th extension (Edim7 or Em7b5)!
This holds true in general: the i chord is the only truly
valid chord in Locrian progressions!
Now, what about the Locrian vamp I showed you last week?
Didn't that one consist of more than just the root chord? Yes,

and no. The Gm6 chord that I used in that progression
consisted of the exact same notes as the Em7b5 chord, but it
used a different note as the bass note. This is called an
inversion, and the inverted chord received a different name...

but basically, the chords consist of the same notes, so
they're pretty much identical!
And there we go, we succesfully covered the construction of
modal progressions in each of the seven diatonic modes! To
make it easier for you to remember this massive chunk of
theory, here's a quick recap of the most used chords in modal
vamps in each mode:
Ionian: IMaj7 - IVMaj7 - V7Dorian: i6 - ii7 - IV7Phrygian: i
- bIIMaj7Lydian: I - II7 - VMaj7Mixolydian: I7 - bVIIAeolian: i
- iv(6) - vLocrian: i
Once more, I'll remind you that the chords listed above aren't

the only chords that should ever be used in a modal
progression in the listed mode... the other chords from each
harmonized mode can be used as well, as I demonstrated a
couple of times by showing you that the modal progressions I
provided last week were "off" sometimes, but still valid modal

vamps!
Conclusion
And that's it! With the knowledge of how to harmonize each of
the seven diatonic modes, and what chords from this harmonized

mode to use in your progressions, you're all set to make your
own modal vamps to play melodies over! Next week, we'll be
looking into the last piece of theory the Ultimate Guide to
Guitar has to offer to you... Until then, keep practicing
vigorously!
Cheers!
ZeG
PS: Once again:
RATE AND COMMENT: Please, give me as much feedback as you can,

so that I can improve! If you have thoughts, remarks, or just
want to say you liked it, please take 2 seconds to give my
article a rating, and 2 more minutes to comment!
SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOGS: I will post updates regarding the
Ultimate Guide in my profile blogs, so if you want to keep
informed, just go to my profile and subscribe to my blogs!
CONTACT ME: For questions: zeguitarist@ultimate-guitar.com

More ZeGuitarist's columns: + The UG Xmas Awards
2010features12/24/2010
+ The Ultimate Guide To Guitar. Epiloguethe guide
to10/12/2009
+ The Ultimate Guide To Guitar. Chapter IV 5: Technique
- Sweep Pickingthe guide to10/05/2009
+ The Ultimate Guide To Guitar. Chapter IV: 4 Chords -
Modulationthe guide to09/28/2009
+ The Ultimate Guide To Guitar. Chapter IV: 2 Scales -
Diatonic Modes In Practicethe guide to09/14/2009
+ view all
comments policy 16 comments posted

reply
Colohue
m posted on Sep 21, 2009 09:59 am #
Wow, you really weren't kidding. This is huge.
reply Christian Davisposted on Sep 21, 2009 12:14 pm #
I agree fully with Colohue. Looks like I have some work to do.

All for the better though!
reply
ZeGuitarist
m posted on Sep 21, 2009 12:39 pm #
Colohue wrote:
Wow, you really weren't kidding. This is huge.
Indeed, I told you so... After all, the subject is very
extensive, as you well know!
reply Sewe Daeposted on Sep 21, 2009 01:31 pm #
Very cool, thanks for some more dirt on modal progressions...
reply GITARdud391posted on Sep 21, 2009 02:07 pm #
Great lesson man. I think you made a mistake though...when
discussing the E Ionian progression you said that G7 would be
the V7 in E Ionian...if I'm not mistaken though wouldn't B7 be

the V7 chord?
reply
ZeGuitarist
m posted on Sep 21, 2009 02:31 pm #
GITARdud391 wrote:
Great lesson man. I think you made a mistake though...when
discussing the E Ionian progression you said that G7 would be
the V7 in E Ionian...if I'm not mistaken though wouldn't B7 be

the V7 chord?
You're absolutely right. I'll have that fixed ASAP! Thanks!
reply Howitusposted on Sep 21, 2009 03:36 pm #
Oh man, this is exactly what I've been looking for months.
Unfortunately I need to sleep now and only had time to glance
through this text, but tomorrow I'll study this stuff. Thank
you, thank you, thank you!
reply Gabysguitarposted on Sep 21, 2009 04:41 pm #
I havent read this one but I m going to think is going to be
like the others, GREATTTT!!!
+1 reply CommBreakDownposted on Sep 21, 2009 08:44 pm #
this is the ****in SHIT DUDE!!!
reply Rain Lancerposted on Sep 22, 2009 12:13 am #
I can't even begin to explain how informative and awesome this

article was, nothing even comes close to it. Great job! I
can't wait to see more from you!
reply Steigerposted on Sep 22, 2009 04:45 am #
Suggest you start writing the book now! - this stuff is
invaluable :
reply rockgodmanposted on Sep 22, 2009 07:15 pm #
I have been studying music theory for many years and i am now
studying it in college and never have i seen a lesson on modal

progressions. I have been waiting a long time to learn how
they would be formed so thank you for finally putting up a
lesson about a useful topic such as this and opening up
another world of using modes.
reply Paul Tauterouffposted on Sep 22, 2009 10:32 pm #
Totally massive! A perfect 10!
+1 reply Darkpsyde213posted on Sep 25, 2009 08:37 pm #
This article was informative, but I'm still not seeing exactly

how E phrygian, for example, is different from C Major (C
Ionian). I've noticed that most articles about "modes" tend to

use the same root note for all the modes, but that's not very
helpful when you want to compare all the "modes" using the C
Major/A nMinor scale. Perhaps I just need more exposure.
reply Darkpsyde213posted on Sep 25, 2009 09:36 pm #
Belay my last. I searched your previous articles and found the

answers there. Thank you for your contributions.
reply slowlybillyposted on Apr 25, 2011 02:53 pm #
Good lesson bro.
CommentsBIU:)


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