Hopefully this series on modes have helped some of you readers that might have been confused on what exactly these mode things are. Move through all the strings to the high E string, playing from B to B. Locrian Mode Explained – Theory, CAGED Positions and Diagrams, It contains a ‘flattened’ (or ‘lowered’) 2, 3, 5, 6, 7. The Locrian scale, or mode, is the seventh of the seven musical modes. Let’s do an example. The notes of the Locrian mode are shown below. Locrian scale for guitar. That means that relative to the major scale, the 2nd note, 3rd note, 5th note, 6th note and 7th notes have been ‘lowered’ or ‘flattened’. F Major has the following notes: The 7th note of F major is E. Therefor, if we play F major but start on the 7th note, we will produce E Locrian: We have just produced E Locrian using the derivative approach. As you study these modes, remember you can play them at different locations. Check out individual Locrian mode keys. Try to come up with some other places to play all of these modes. This mode is rarely used and often argued about. So far we have covered the C Major or Ionian mode. We can further hear this when we build a chord progression on the unstable-sounding B diminished chord (or Bm7b5): Bm7b5 – G – Am – F. Sounds weird, huh? The locrian mode contains the following ‘lowered’ or ‘flattened’ notes: The locrian mode is quite a dark sounding mode. Remember, unique sound of each mode is dictated by the chord progression it is played over. If it goes to a C, you are not really playing in B locrian, but C Ionian, since that is where the harmony is going. Remember all of the modes in the key of C major have the same notes. I'm trying to build this site up to be a valuable resource for guitar students and teachers. The B Locrian is a seven-note scale, it is also called a mode. Again the best way to demonstrate the theory is to look at some examples. All Rights Reserved. Funny, while doing some research for this article, I came across several blogs that mentioned songs like YYZ, Enter Sandman, and the song Black Sabbath as examples of Locrian, but other than the flat five note common in each one, they are all built on single note riffs (pretty awesome ones at that) but with no chordal harmony suggesting the Locrian mode. Yes, there are a few composers who have used it, but both rock and jazz prefers chords to resolve, more than anything. The A major scale contains the following notes: The 7th note of the A major scale is G#. I like making music. Of course, B flat major contains A as the 7th note: Therefor, to play A Locrian, we simply need to play the B flat major scale and start on A: We have just produced 3 examples of the Locrian scale using the derivative approach. It might sound complicated but it really is not. Modes of the harmonic and melodic minor scale get pretty strange names too. As you study these modes, remember you can play them at different locations. B Locrian mode tablature starting at the 7th fret position. The key to truly understanding modes, including the locrian mode, is to understand that both approaches produce the exact same result when used to construct a given mode. It isn’t as weird as the first chords I played, and it seems like the tension of this mode is softened (just a little) this way. There has been an enormous amount of information presented to you. Cool thing is that any scale can have modes- we call the 5 modes of the pentatonic scale ‘boxes’. Now let’s move onto the parallel approach: The parallel approach involves playing the desired mode by altering the existing notes of a certain major scale. You need to be able to understand major scales from a conceptual point of view and you need to be able to construct them in any key. This is why the Locrian mode is sometimes called a ‘theoretical’ mode: it isn’t used much in our Western harmony system. Because it features a major 3rd and centers on a major chord, it’s considered a major mode. It is a very dark sounding minor scale. This will not be a scale you will use often. It contains a b2, b3, b5, b6 and b7. Because we're thinking modally here we're looking at the individual chords you might use this scale over not the Chords In The Key of the Melodic Minor Scale.. Free Guitar Scale Charts And Fingering Diagrams. Chords And Extensions. It is just a C major scale like the others, but this one starts on the letter B… C major: C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C B Locrian:                          B  C  D  E  F  G  A  B Or we can say: Major:   1 2     3  4  5   6    7 Locrian: 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 Yeah, a lot of flats to remember! Here you find links to every Locrian mode and all the positions along the guitar fretboard. Remember all of the modes in the key of C major have the same notes. That’s a nice breakdown. Do you work out solos crafting exactly the right notes or do you tend to improvise more? For more about the modes, I would recommend any books or videos (or old magazine articles, if you can find them) by Frank Gambale. This can be a very dark mode. Here is a great way to play this mode using 3 notes-per-string: Notice the strange unfinished quality of this mode. They are not too hard to understand, and it only works if you can practice them over chords. Remember, the locrian mode is the 7th mode of the major scale. It is of course E flat major: Therefor, if we play Eb major, but start on D, we get the following: As you can see, both approaches have produced the same result for D Locrian. You would start this mode off with the Low E string, 7th fret, 1 finger. Both approaches have worked well for lots of guitarists in the past. Another progression would be Adim Bb Dmin. All for only $19.95 – Instant online access, Order today! This still sounds strange, but strange is good, right? We have just produced G# Locrean using the derivative approach. If you have any questions, send us an email. The problem with this mode comes from its use in Western harmony. Here is a list of the Locrian in every key: I play guitar. It’s a diminished mode, the other modes are either major or minor. Let’s assume we want to play the D Locrian mode. The Dorian mode or Dm mode, the E Phrygian or Em mode, the F Lydian mode, the G Mixolydian Mode and the A Aeolian mode. This means that it is built upon the 7th note of the major scale. This is the last mode we have to learn in the key of C major. Being built off of the seventh scale degree of the C Major scale, the Locrian mode already tells us a lot about itself. It is almost as if it resists having B as the tonic note, because the ear really wants the notes to resolve. One use is the bass line in the Bjork song Army of Me. This one isn’t tough to play, though. As the name suggests it's easiest to think of this as a Locrian Mode with a natural 2nd. The Locrian mode is the least used, and probably the most misunderstood out of all of the modes of the major scale. Now, let’s try to do the same using the derivative approach. The Locrian mode is the 7th mode of the Major scale. Basically, there are two different ways of producing the one mode. We will construct it using the parallel approach first. The derivative approach involves constructing a mode by playing a certain major scale and starting on a different note. Using the derivative approach, we need to know which major scale contains A as the 7th note. The Locrian mode is the least used, and probably the most misunderstood out of all of the modes of the major scale. Now the problem with this Locrian mode is that it has this same unresolved quality.

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