Jazz Piano School Ep 29 : How To Use Modes

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“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.

The Big 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

Practice-Exercises

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Brenden Lowe

Brenden Lowe

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