Modes for guitar: The Locrian mode (the 7th and the last mode)

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The Locrian mode is the 7th and the last mode of the major scale, it is based on the 7th note of any major scale and it's the less used among all modes for guitar. This mode has a very dissonant sound because it has a lot of flats in it. The interval structure of the Locrian mode is: 1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 (diminished 5th) - b6 - b7.

The Locrian mode is considered as a minor mode or scale because it has the b3 note in it and it is used in some heavy metal songs. Because it doesn't have a perfect fifth that gives the scale stability, it's very hard to use it alone so most musicians use it with the Phrygian mode. If you want to know what is the major scale of the Locrian mode you're playing you just have to go 1 half step forward and that's it!

The whole and half steps formula of the Locrian mode is: H - Wh - Wh - H - Wh - Wh - Wh.

You can play the Locrian mode especially over m7b5 chords because it's the triad that contains the most notes of that scale, unfortunately you will not be using that chord much.

Major scale   G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G

The seventh and last mode (Locrian mode), we begin with the seventh and the last note of the G major scale F#


Now you have a clear picture of the modes of the major scale and their use, while they have the same notes of the major scale, they sound very different, because what makes the difference is the order of the notes not the notes themselves.

A small advice from me:

I advice you to learn and apply these modes (when and how to play them all over the neck) and not only playing one octave. Learning guitar scales is the secret to understanding the theory, so by the time you've learned some scales and all modes for guitar, you'll be able to write your own songs in a specific key that will blow your friends or audience's minds.

See also: All Modes For Guitar

1- The Ionian mode "The major scale" (The first mode).
2- The Dorian mode (The 2nd mode).
3- The Phrygian mode (The 3rd mode).
4- The Lydian mode (The 4th mode).
5- The Mixolydian mode (The 5th mode).
6- The Aeolian mode "The natural minor scale" (The 6th mode).
7- The Locrian mode (The 7th mode).

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