“I don’t use modes. Who needs modes? What good are modes anyway?!” 

Modes are the building blocks of improv! 

Modes are the notes that correspond with a chord; not using modes is like misspelling words. 

Certain letters make up words, you need to learn letters right? Certain notes from a scale correspond to chords. 

These are the notes you use to improvise with! 

People always ask me “Brenden, what notes do I play to improvise?”. I tell them that the notes come from modes. 

Once we learn these notes you’ll be able to solo over anything. 

I understand it’s the practical application that is important. We obviously can’t play up and down a mode to make it a sound. 

I’ll show you how to work with them in jazz piano.

Bullet Points

1. Modes are the building blocks of improvisation.

2. These is one mode and chord associated with each note of a major scale.

3. Use the notes within a particular mode to solo over the corresponding chord.

4. Still continue to focus on your chord tones and use your connecting notes from the mode to connect the chord tones.

5. Practice swinging your modes up to the 7th starting on each note of the scale, RH alone.

6. Add your LH chord in while swinging your modes.

How to Use Modes

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Brenden Lowe

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