Watch the Week 1: Ionian | Introduction online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Modal Mother Lode Alpha

The Ionian Mode
The sound, the cell, the substance

The Ionian mode - AKA the major scale - should be considered the giver of life within a parallel comparison environment. Not only is it the parent scale to the diatonic series of modes, it's where it all starts. It's the only scale formula that has no alterations. Every mode including the three other parent scales formulas are assessed from Ionian. It's our first step down the parallel comparison path. It's the most pure and goes like this:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

When you start to learn about the other 27 modes and their formulas they'll be based from these three style-based template ideas. Get that concept understood and you're off to a good start. Making it an even better start is getting the one octave cell and its extenders under your fingers to the point where it's second nature. That's the ground zero template come to life. Once you're there, you're ready for the templates. They are...

The Rock Lick
Kicking off the rock vibe is this killer lick played in the 17th position (Did someone say, "screaming rock star lick!?") that will be morphed and played again and again note-for-note throughout this course. You'll introduce your ears to the sound of Ionian and its fretboard architecture to your hands through this lick as learn where all the bends and pull-offs are while getting hip to the various rhythmic devices. Be sure to bend in tune and watch the corresponding Breakdown & Analysis video for the slightly tricky legato placements so you'll always play the lick with the intended style. In the final bar look out for the modally cool Cmaj7sus2 intentionally voiced for the gobs of gain I'm using!

The Funk Vamp
Here in Ionian the stacked 4ths will be both perfect and augmented. Their sound is infectious and a great additive to this course's goal, which is to provide invigorating playing environments for you to deeply key in on the sounds of the modes by way of parallel comparison. Here you'll learn what will be the common syncopated 16th-note feel employed throughout all the following funk vamps. At the close of this eight bar vamp will be a modally appropriate Cmaj7 6/9 chord to cap things off with style.

The Blues Solo
The blues solo will introduce modally kosher lick ideas that will get the modal morph treatment throughout the course. Those licks will also serve as templates in another way as subsequent blues solos based in other modes require derivatives of these licks to better suit the mode. No matter what the lick turns out to be, be sure to key in on the phrasing and, of course, the scale degrees. They are what I will use throughout all three style templates to give names to the sounds we're chasing!