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Christy Bannerman

Guitarist, Musician and Teacher

Examples of Modes in songs and rock music

Modes song examples

When you’re trying to learn the Modes, one of the most important things is to have examples of real music that use them so that you can get their sound into your head. Having these examples will really help you recognise the unique sound quality and distinctive “attitude” of each Mode.

So, without further ado, here are over 75 examples of the Modes in action in famous Rock, Blues and Metal songs, taken from my new book Modes For Rock Guitar Players. These examples will give you a bunch of real life ‘reference points’ for each Mode, in a Rock context, so that you can hear their sound and get inspired.

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Ionian Mode Song Examples

Ionian Mode | Modes in songs

Dorian Mode Song Examples

Phrygian Mode Song Examples

Phrygian Mode | Song examples for modes

Lydian Mode Song Examples

Lydian Mode | Modes in songs

Mixolydian Mode Song Examples

The Mixolydian Mode | Modes for guitar

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Sweet Home Alabama (D Mixolydian)
Guns n Roses – Sweet Child O Mine (verse) (Db Mixolydian)
Steve Morse – Highland Wedding (D Ionian, A Mixolydian)
John Petrucci – Glasgow Kiss (E Mixolydian)
Joe Satriani – Summer Song ( A Mixoyldian
The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction (E Mixolydian)
ACDC – Thunderstruck (E Mixolydian)
Led Zeppelin – Thank You (D Mixolydian, B Dorian)
Massive Attack – Teardrop (A Mixolydian; A Dorian on the darker phrases)
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son (G Mixolydian)
Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl (D Mixolydian)
Steve Earle – Copperhead Road (D Mixolydian)
Extreme – Decadence Dance (Ab Mixolydian/Dorian)
Iron Maiden – The Number of The Beast (D Mixolydian
Free – Alright Now (A Mixolydian)
ACDC – Thunderstruck (B Mixolydian – Intro lead)

Aeolian Mode Song Examples

The Aeolian Mode | Rock guitar modes songs

Locrian Mode Song Examples

Locrian Mode devils note

Rush – YYZ (intro) (C Locrian)
Slipknot – Left Behind (main riff notes) (B Locrian)
Metallica – Sad But True (Intro) (G Locrian)
Metallica – Enter Sandman (main riff is Blues/Locrian) (E)
Judas Priest – Painkiller (main riff notes) (E)
Saxon – Attila The Hun (main riff notes) (Bb Locrian)

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Christy Bannerman is an electric guitarist from Scotland, UK, on a mission to demystify rock music and help guitar players around the world.

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