Major Scales And Modes Software
This is another update to the Major Scales And Modes For Guitar Software. This one is Version 3. It’s been completely rewritten and is more compact with a much friendlier user interface. It now also lists the chords that can be played over each key and mode. Although this is an update, you can still keep the earlier version if you like the look of that one too.
As with the previous version, I’m not going into any music theory. There’s no mention of intervals or scale degrees. This software program shows all the notes played on the guitar for all modes of the major scale.
The diagram below shows the first screen when the program has loaded. The top left corner shows the key we are in, in this case C Major. Underneath, it shows the mode C Ionian. Below this is the chords that can be played over this key and mode. For the C Ionian, the chords are C major, C major 7, C major 9, C major 11, and C major 13.
The two columns below the chords are the buttons to select the key and the mode. You select the key Ab, A, Bb, B, C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, F#, or G with the key buttons. You use the mode buttons to select Ionian mode, Dorian mode, Phrygian mode, Lydian mode, Mixolydian mode, Aeolian mode, or Locrian mode for the key you have chosen.
Right at the bottom is the quit button that exits the program.
The right hand side of the screen shows three diagrams. The top one shows all the notes for the key / mode selected up to the twenty fourth fret with the root note highlighted in red. Below that is a diagram showing a three note per string pattern with the root note on the sixth string. The last diagram at the bottom shows a three note per string pattern with the root note on the fifth string.
In the diagram below, I’ve clicked on the A button. Note that when you select a different key, it always starts in the Ionian mode. You can see that the notes of the A major scale are A, B, C#, D, E, F#, and G#. The chords that can be played over the A Ionian mode are A major, A major 7, A major 9, A major 11, and A major 13. There’s nothing surprising there.
In the diagram below, I’ve selected the D Lydian mode of the major A scale. You still get the three diagrams showing all the notes and the three note per string patterns with the root notes on the fifth and sixth strings. This time the chords are D major, D major 7, D major 9, D major 9(#11), and D major 13(#11). As you explore the different keys and modes, you will come across some strange sounding chords but the easiest ones are always listed first.
Right Click the link below and select Save As to download Major Scales And Modes For Guitar to your computer. Unzip and run the file and follow the instructions to install it.
I have to thank Scott Collins for his input to the software. We seem to think along the same lines and he preferred the screen layout of this one to the previous version. “It makes it easier for the user to see everything.”
He also suggested adding the chords. “Also, are you adding in associated chord voicings for the modes? It might help people to have triad or 7th chords to play the chords over. I hate to offer suggestions to add extra work, but as a teacher I get questions all the time like, “So I have this Phrygian thing. What do I do with it?” So having some guide posts might help as well. “
“Are you thinking about incorporating Melodic or Harmonic minor in or releasing them individually?”
“You may want to add a 1-string scale if you add anything graphically. The big graphics can be useful – but beginning players might find it overwhelming. Having a 1 string option gives them something they can manage.”
I’m hoping to add the minor scales and single string patterns to later updates.
Just in case you don’t know who Scott Collins is, he is an extremely talented guitarist and prolific writer of guitar articles. My software will show you the notes that make up the scales but Scott will show you how to use them.
A car mechanic doesn’t learn how repair engines by looking at pictures of the parts. He has to know what each part does and how it works. The same goes for guitar scales. Learning a scale is of no use to you unless you know how to use it.
Scott has his own website at Guitarchitecture. Check out his articles and lessons. Definitely make sure you check out his PDF Ebooks. He has these ebooks priced ridiculously low. The ebook bundles are great value for money. If you prefer real books that you can hold, he has those too.
Scott also writes regularly for Guitar-Muse and recently did an interview with Steve Vai here:
I’m hoping that Scott can write me a few lines here in the future about guitar playing and scales, all subject to his hectic workload.
There are some bugs in the program. Firstly, when you first load the software, you might see the buttons down the left hand side of the screen first and then have to wait for a few seconds before the text and images load. Once loaded, the program is quite responsive and the screen updates fairly quickly when a button is pressed.
Secondly, the menu items at the top. The only item under file that works is the Quit item and works the same as pressing the quit button at the bottom of the screen. Under the Edit menu, the About item works but has no useful purpose. The Register item will show a register screen but does nothing.
I plan to completely rewrite the program again to show the melodic and harmonic minor scales as well as the major scales. I might also add single string scale patterns.