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  • rbedwell3

The Ultimate Scale Workout

Those of you who have read M3 (Modal Method of Music) are familiar with The U.S.W. For those of you that haven't I shall lay out the basic process.

The U.S.W. is really what it says it is, it encompasses as many scales as you can muster, up to all 66 of them, and all of their modes. The 7 step process was settled upon after I realised the best way of learning the modes from a scale was in using them, and the best way of using them is to change key.

The first scale I cover is the Major scale. The modes: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian. Step 1 is to learn the modes in C Major on their respective roots: C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian and B Locrian. The modes should be played over one octave, up to the 9th and back. The reason the 9th is the last note is that it makes the mode root fall on the beat when it is repeated but also the 9th is often a note that is altered early and so the modulation is perceived by the ear early on in the bar.

Step 2: Now play the modes all on the root note of C: C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian etc. Not only does this force the mind to focus on the pattern of the modes rather than an extension of the scale they are from, but the ear will recognise the sound of the modes and how they differ from each other. See example below: To be continued..

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