What you want to know about modes

    Take a look at the results of a survey about what people want to learn about modes, and add your own input in the comments below.

    I was inspired to make this post right after I run a survey among EMP mailing list subscribers. The survey was on the subject of modes, because at the time I was preparing my premium course "SFS Modes", (and also a shorter, free version called "SFS Modes Crash Course"), and I wanted some input in order to choose what to include in it. That's because I have taught students on this subject for a long time, and developed a lot of teaching material, so I wanted to figure out what to prioritize and what to leave out for a later time.

    Some of the responses I got where exactly what I expected, but some others kind of caught me by surprise. At any rate, I realized that all these responses represent issues and questions that many more guitar players have, so I decided to publish the results here on the EMP blog.

    By the way, I am planning to make lessons that address all of these subjects, so if your favorites didn’t score very high, don’t worry about it. It’s just that I will probably get to them later than the ones that scored higher.

    In the few days that the survey was up, around 200 people visited the page, and 56 people answered the questions. That’s not a huge sample, but still it’s a good indicator of trends in the EMP community. So look at the results and please use the comments section to voice your thoughts. I’m always monitoring the comments, so this post can be a ongoing platform for thoughts and input from the EMP Community on the subject of modes.

Survey Results:


Question 1:

What do you want to learn about modes? (you can select more than one)


- How to move freely on the fretboard: 73%

- Theory (difference between scales and modes, where to use each mode, etc.): 70%

- How to smoothly change keys according to chord changes: 66%

- How to improvise by ear: 58%

- How to learn all fingerings quickly and effectively: 56%

- How to connect adjacent fingerings: 56%

- How to apply melodic patterns: 51%

- Technique (speed, accuracy): 32%


Question 2:

What kind of fingerings do you prefer to use for 7-notes scales and modes?


- Both 3NPS and Hybrid: 49%

- I don't really know the difference: 23%

- 3NPS (3 Notes Per String): 14%

- Hybrid (3 and 2 Notes Per String): 10%

- Other (4NPS, positional, diagonal, etc): 4%


Question 3:

If you have any other questions or ideas on this subject please use this space to let me know


    In this one, the most prominent theme was “How to learn and apply modal harmony". I must admit that this one surprised me, but very pleasantly so, because I thoroughly enjoy teaching on this. I will have some material coming out as soon as possible.


    Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer.

    Stay tuned, I will update this survey soon!