Mode Patterns

Finger interval phone numbers for dialing up MAJOR and natural minor modes and scales.  All patterns begin with the ROOT note designated with an R.

MAJOR PATTERNS

The following MODE patterns hold true no matter the starting note or KEY.  Probably obvious, but I thought I’d better mention it anyway.

Ionian
R2212221
1  2  3  4  5  6  7
Dorian
R2122212
1  2 b3  4  5  6 b7
Phrygian
R1222122
1 b2 b3  4  5 b6 b7
Lydian
R2221221
1  2  3 #4  5  6  7
Mixolydian
R2212212
1  2  3  4  5  6 b7
Aeolian
R2122122
1  2 b3  4  5 b6 b7
Locrian
R1221222
1 b2 b3  4 b5 b6 b7

NATURAL MINOR PATTERNS

Starts on the Aeolian MODE of the MAJOR scale above.  Check this section on relative KEYS for a graphic example.

Aeolian
R2122122
1  2 b3  4  5 b6 b7
Locrian
R1221222
1 b2 b3  4 b5 b6 b7
Ionian
R2212221
1  2  3  4  5  6  7
Dorian
R2122212
1  2 b3  4  5  6 b7
Phrygian
R1222122
1 b2 b3  4  5 b6 b7
Lydian
R2221221
1  2  3 #4  5  6  7
Mixolydian
R2212212
1  2  3  4  5  6  b7

 CONNECTIONS / COMMONALITY

Because the MAJOR mode and NATURAL minor modes are ENHARMONIC, it only makes sense that they share the same patterns – which they do.  They just do it in a different order.  Knowing this little factoid allows you to learn a single set of finger patterns and use them with both the MAJOR and NATURAL minor modes!

SUMMARY

Remember, anything that starts with R22 is a major mode, anything that starts with R21 or R12 (with the exception of LOCRIAN which is diminished) is a minor mode.  It’s the difference between being a MAJOR 3rd (4 half-steps) and a minor 3rd (3 half-steps) between the TONIC and the SUB-DOMINANT scale degrees.

See Scale Anatomy 101 is you’re not sure what those are.

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