22 September 2015

Modes and guitar

I find the use of modes in guitar instruction generally unhelpful.

The first problem is when modes are used simply to name positions. A mode is what notes get emphasized, not where on the fretboard you are playing them. You can play Mixolydian in the position that’s called Ionian. Using the mode names for positions simply confuses things for no reason.

The second problem is that modal playing is one style. And not a style for beginners. Modes should be introduced much later than they often are and only if the student is interested in that sort of style. Just as in music theory courses. Introducing modes early simply creates confusion for no good reason.

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