Ionian

The Ionian mode belongs to the I chord

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A Ionian scale shapes

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I think the material is excellent. I’ve benefited so much. I’ve now begun to improvise with some confidence and have written songs that feel authentic. I can now develop musically in a broad and rich way. Your work has illuminated an exciting path forward.– Roger

Ionian is the modal name for the major scale (Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do).

The majority of hit songs composed in the popular music tradition take place in the Ionian mode as home, using the other modes to support it.

You must practise this scale extensively, do not underestimate the importance of being able to solo and write in major!

By starting with the Major Pentatonic and adding notes you will discover the true sound of the scale. Practise like this and the important intervals that make up the mode will pop out. See below.

Major Pentatonic:
1
2
3
5
6
Ionian:4
7

To learn how to write and improvise with Ionian you must first learn all five shapes individually.

Following this, connect the shapes and finally run them through the cycle of 4th using the concept of closest shape possible.


Connect Ionian scale shapes

This exercise will teach you how to connect the Ionian shapes in the key of A.

If you get stuck on a particular shape, go back and practise it as an isolated shape.

Also, consider how you can vary this connect shapes exercise.

It doesn’t have to be triplets as in the video. Why not try one of the rhythms from the chromatic exercises you’re practising right now.

When you can do it in A as the video demonstrate, try it in D, G, C, F and all other keys.


Cycle of 4th

This exercise takes the Ionian mode and runs it through the cycle of 4th using closest possible shape.

If you struggle with this exercise, go back and practise scale shapes individually.

This final Ionian exercise flows like this:

A Ionian – E shape, D Ionian – A shape, G Ionian – D shape, C Ionian – G shape, F Ionian – C shape.

This is then followed by the same shapes, one fret up the neck, start on a Bb.


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