Major scale mode formulas

I have decided to thoroughly learn the interval formulas for the modes on the major scale rather than just churning out 3 note per string patterns. This post is an aide-mémoire – just a quick reference – of those formulas.

All formulas are relative to the major scale (Ionian mode).

I have also added the modal chords – that is chords that express the unique quality of a mode – for reference.

Ionian

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Modal chords: A horrible major 11 chord made up of R, 4, 5, 3. You never hear it.

Dorian

1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7

Has a b3 and b7.

Modal chords: m9, m11, m13

Phrygian

1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7

Has a b2, b3, b6 and b7.

Modal chords: sus4b9

Lydian

1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Has a #4.

Modal chords: maj7#11

Mixolydian

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7

Has a b7.

Modal chords: dom9sus4, dom13sus4, dom11

Aolian

1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7

Has a b3, b6 and b7.

Modal chords: m7b6

Locrian

1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - b6 - b7

Has a b2, b3, b5, b6 and b7.

Modal chords: m7b5, m7b5b9

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