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Announcing the LAUNCH of
Going Modal!
An Alternative Approach to Scales and Modes

I see a lot of confusion on the subject of modes. It's constantly brought up in various guitar groups on the many social media platforms on which Master Guitar School has a presence. This lesson series is my attempt to address this issue and to give you my approach which I hardly ever see in the many answers and responses to the questions that people pose. It appears that my methodology, though not exclusive to myself, is somewhat rare.

One of the most common questions I see is,

“What is the difference between scales and modes?”

If you google this question you will typically find,

  • A scale is an ordered sequence of notes with a start and end. A mode is a permutation upon a scale that is repeatable at the octave, such that the start and end points are shifted.

As far as I'm concerned, the distinction between scales and modes is a finely-split hair, if even that.

That's because I think of a mode as its own key, or its own tonality, regardless of the “parent” scale from which it's derived, or as put above, the scale from which it is a “permutation.” Therefore, “scale” and “mode” are functionally synonymous.

For instance, if we're dealing with the Dorian Mode, you need to be able to "think" in Dorian, "hear" in Dorian and visualize your Dorian patterns on the fretboard, independently of the “scale” from which they're derived.

Having said all that, it is important to understand the scale/mode derivations, but I teach that last instead of first. But before we get to that, you will know various modes in-and-of themselves, as their own key or tonality. If you can do that, understanding those modes relative to a “parent” scale is a very easy concept.

Furthermore, the fingerings for various modes can be derived from only two archetypal patterns or templates.


Table of Contents:

The Going Modal lesson series is a PDF download that has:

  • 18 lessons

  • 47 pages

  • 71 Fretboard diagrams

  • 14 Notation examples

  • 18 video links

Here's how the PDF looks:

Screen Shot 2022-07-12 at 11.42.25 AM.png

I said above that the fingerings for various modes can be derived from only two archetypal patterns or templates. I'm going to give you one of the archetypes and show you how a mode can be derived from it.

Scales and modes fall into 2 categories; major and minor. The two archetypal scales are the Major Scale (Ionian Mode) and the Natural Minor Scale (Aeolian Mode). All the other modes and scales fall into one of these two categories.

  • Note: The common exceptions are what are known as, "symmetrical" scales. There are 3 lessons in this series on symmetrical scales; I won't go into them here.

So what I'm going to do in the first video below is give you the Natural Minor Scale. Then I'm going to show you how to get the Dorian Mode by altering a single note of the Natural Minor.

Natural Minor

In the next video, to get the Dorian Mode, all you have to do is sharp the 6th of the Natural Minor Scale:

See the methodology? You learn the Major Scale and the Natural Minor Scale: to get any other scale or mode, you alter a single note of one of those scales, depending on whether the mode you want is major or minor.

This lesson series will give you 14 different scales/modes along with 2 positions (6th-string root and 5th-string root). With these two positions you can play any of the scales/modes in any and every key!

Also included in the PDF are links to songs that illustrate the mode in question so that you can hear real-world examples of the mode you're working on. For instance, in the lesson on the Dorian Mode you have:

  • Wicked Game – Chris Isaak

  • Oye Como Va – Santana

  • Evil Ways – Santana

  • So What – Miles Davis

  • Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix

  • Eleanor Rigby – the Beatles

  • Scarborough Fair – Simon & Garfunkel

  • Impressions – John Coltrane


The retail price for this lesson series will be $99.

The Site Member discount price will be $49.

This limited-time once-only launch price is $39!

 This special launch price is good for 5 days only - 

 launch ends midnight Friday, August 19, 2022, CDT. 


Odds are, if you're interested in learning scales and modes, you're interested in improvising solos &/or playing lead guitar. To that end, I have another lesson series called, "Concepts for Basic Improvising." In this lesson series you will learn to improvise guitar solos from Pentatonic Scale patterns.


Includes soloing from basic Minor Pentatonic Scales, adding Passing Tones, adding the Dorian and Aeolian 6, playing through changes, soloing over the Minor Blues, Major Pentatonics and much more!

Concepts for Basic Improvising is a PDF download with:


  • 56 pages

  • 22 lessons

  • explanatory text

  • 156 fretboard diagrams

  • 31 demonstration video links.

Here's what the PDF looks like:

The lesson series is called, Concepts for Basic Improvising. Here's a short demonstration of how to make real music with a very simple, easily fingered pattern using 2 fundamental concepts; phrasing and inflection:

Here's a demonstration of creating an improvised 24-bar solo over a backing track using only the 4-note pattern given in the above video and applying the concepts of phrasing and inflection:

Then double your vocabulary with a concept - without learning new fingerings, technique or scale patterns:

Believe me when I say, "This is just the tip of the iceberg!" 

There are 22 lessons and 31 videos in this series; each one dealing with a simple concept, adding a single thing to what went before.

Everything is related to the Minor Pentatonic Scale in a Blues context; no fancy chords or confusing modal theory - just easily applicable concepts to a scale you probably already know, and if you don't, well... you just learned it in the first demonstration video above!



  • Concepts for Basic Improvising retails for $99

  • With Site Member discount: $49

  • The special launch price was $39


With the purchase of Going Modal, you can get it for only $20 more!

Get BOTH Going Modal & Concepts for Basic Improvising Combo-Pak for only $59!

The Combo Pak download is available for 5 days only - ends midnight Friday, August 19, 2022, CDT. 


5-Lesson Foundational Series for FREE!

The 5-Lesson Foundational Series teaches the Circle of Keys as an organizational mechanism by which you ensure that whatever you learn is drilled in every key in all possible positions.


It also gives you a method to find any note, anywhere, without memorizing note names on every string. That is a beautiful thing!

All guitar lessons produced by Master Guitar School presuppose a working knowledge of these 5 lessons.

This is a separate, self-contained FREE download. No purchase necessary!

To Sum Up!

Going Modal! 

An Alternative Approach to Modes for the Guitar

​Going Modal / Concepts for Basic Improvising - Combo Pak

5-Lesson Foundational Series - FREE!

No other purchase required

Launch Ends Friday, August 19 at Midnight CDT

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