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Watch the Tonal Centers online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Guitar Interactives


A tonal center is where your ear tells you that a progression or melody resolves. We can be playing in the key of G, for example but this may not be where the chord progression resolves to within the key. There are 7 tonal centers within each key. In order they are Ionian - resolving to the I chord

Dorian - resolving to the II chord

Phrygian - resolving to the III chord

Lydian - resolving to the IV chord

Mixolydian - resolving to the V chord

Aeolian - resolving to the VI chord

Locrian - resolving to the VII chord

I’ve prepared a backing track for each mode and tonal center to illustrate how this works in practice...of course these tracks are perfect to learn some cool rhythm parts and then you can use your modes to jam over each modal track resolving to each of those tonal centers.