Fareed Haque's Modal Improvisation Survival Guide

18-year old Miles Davis told jazz pianist, composer and theorist George Russell that his musical aspiration was to "learn all the changes" and go beyond the traditional harmony of jazz at the time. That remark led Russell to ultimately develop The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization, a liberating theory of harmony based on jazz rather than European music. Subsequently, 33-year old Davis shattered the harmonic structure of bebop putting that theory to work in "modal jazz" recordings like Kind of Blue, one of the top-selling jazz records of all time.

Modal jazz focuses on modes rather than chord progressions as a harmonic framework. Any scale has as many modes as it has notes, thus a major scale has seven modes -- play the scale starting on any of its seven notes and you play that note's mode. Modal jazz provides a wide open landscape to improvise over, which as Art Farmer said, "opens the door to countless means of melodic expression." Ready to step through that door? Fareed Haque's Modal Improv Survival Guide is the key -- turn it and get busy!

Video Introduction

Click below for a sample video from the course

About the Guitar Lesson Plan

Interactive Video Guitar Instruction

box artLet's get two things straight right off the bat; don't use modes to play bebop (see the Bebop Improv Survival Guide if that's your calling); and secondly, you won't find any Greek references in Fareed's teachings. "When's the last time you saw or heard a toga-wearing ancient Greek jazz musician?"

Throughout the Modal Improv Survival Guide, Fareed demonstrates how to use the notes in each mode to build chords and melodies to create moods. "Early jazz and bebop players used a chromatic, arpeggio-based approach to build melodies, while the more modern players used modes to limit their note choices and set a mood for their improvisations."

Good news; you will grasp the concept of modal playing very quickly, especially under Fareed's tutelage. There's no complicated chord changes to solo over; often times you're improvising over simple one and two-chord vamps. Plus, if you already know the major scale, you already know all the modes. The challenge with modes is making your improvisations dynamic and interesting. Fareed's got you covered there as well.

In the first section, Fareed introduces you to the modes of the major scale and then shows you how to easily build chords and scales from those modes. You then get a little ear training experience as Fareed performs several examples to help you tune into the modal sound.

Next up, Fareed generously passes on his widely respected Fretboard Mastery System, an intuitive approach for developing your ability to move from key to key, mode to mode, effortlessly and seamlessly (this is BIG!).

In the next series of lessons, Fareed takes you through a truckload of one and two-octave modal workouts and playalongs, across a variety of keys. This is where and how you'll start developing your modal improvisation chops, developing your own fingerings, sound and fretboard awareness along the way. The perpetual motion workouts in this section further hone your skills.

In the last section, you bring it all together and improvise over a full modal arrangement, working out the modes and lines for each section of the arrangement, and then playing along with Fareed trading measures. This last series of lessons completes your modal training and qualifies you to take on any modal setting.

True to Fareed's inimitable educational approach, you will not be spending a lot of time studying theory or working through tedious exercises -- you'll play your way through the Modal Improv Survival Guide and have a blast doing it. Stay cool.

P.S. Can't get Cherokee out of your head? Check out Fareed Haque's Bebop Jazz Survival Guide!

About Your Instructor

Fareed Haque

Fareed HaqueGuitar virtuoso and master educator Fareed Haque has worked with Sting, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Joe Zawinul, Ramsey Lewis, Nigel Kennedy, Bob James, David Sanborn, many symphony orchestras and dozens of other well-known artists. He's performed all of the major guitar concertos and has had numerous modern works dedicated to him. Fareed currently holds an associate professorship in jazz and classical guitar studies at Northern Illinois University, tours extensively with his jam super-group, Garaj Mahal and has released nine recordings as a leader in various configurations.

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What you Get:

Video software (Windows and Mac) with TrueFire's Lesson Player, PIP, full-screen, looping, slow motion, plus...

  • - 185 Minutes of Video
  • - Text Commentary
  • - Tab
  • - Notation
  • - Power Tab
  • - Guitar Pro
  • - Jam Tracks


Early Intermediate - Advanced

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Modes?
    - Modes of the Major Scale
    - Building Chords
    - Modes of the Major Scale
  2. Modal Playing Examples
    - Voyage Chords
    - Building the Rhythm Track
    - Soloing Example 1
    - Soloing Example 2
    - Soloing Example 3
    - Modal Playing Examples
  3. Learning Modes & Scales
    - Fretboard Mastery System
    - 2 Octave Maj. Mode Workouts
    - Key of C: 2 Octave Workout
    - Play-along
    - Changing Keys In Position
    - Key of F: 2 Octave Workout
    - Play-along
    - All 12 Keys
    - Voyage Keys: 2 Oct. Workouts
    - Dsus9: 5th Mode - Key of G
    - Fsus9: 5h Mode - Key of Bb
    - Ebsus9: 5th Mode - Key of Ab
    - C#min11: 2nd Mode - Key of B
    - 1 Octave Maj. Mode Workouts
    - Key of C: 1 Octave Workout
    - Key of F: 1 Octave Workout
    - Voyage Keys: 1 Oct. Workouts
    - Dsus9: 5th Mode - Key of G
    - Fsus9: 5h Mode - Key of Bb
    - Ebsus9: 5th Mode - Key of Ab
    - C#min11: 2nd Mode - Key of B
    - Perpetual Motion
    - Dsus9 to Fsus9: G to Bb
    - Fsus9 to Ebsus9: Bb to Ab
    - Ebsus9 to C#min11: Ab to B
    - C#min11 to Dsus9: B to G
    - Perpetual Motion Workout
    - Learning Modes & Scales
    - Summary
  4. Modal Improvisations
    - Dsus9: 5th Mode of G Major
    - Dsus9 to Fsus9: G to Bb
    - Ebsus to C#min11: Ab to B
    - Voyage Changes

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