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Using the Mode De-coder (2)

 Above is a basic run through of some of the things you can do with your Mode Decoder. There are more videos under the Video / Blogs sections as well on our YouTube channel.

The Mode De-coder is clever little tool designed especially for guitarists. It contains a lot of complicated guitar theory behind the scenes, but thanks to this unique display, to use it, all you really need to know is how to:

  • play a major bar chord
  • play a minor bar chord
  • play the minor pentatonic scale 
    (first position only - the one we all know and love!)

By reading off the colour coded chords you can compose music in any key and any mode of any key and on the inside, also solo guitar in any key or mode.

Simply, what this means is that you can write songs and chord progressions in any key and mode AND solo along to any music track (once you've Googled or know the key).

Play in the 7 guitar modes: Ionian (the Major scale) Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aolian ( the Minor scale) and Locrian.

With the spin of it's wheel, The Mode De-coder reveals sets of chords and notes which all sound great together and which have the characteristic sound of your chosen mode.

  • shows all 7 notes of a major scale, minor scale or mode, in sequence (an improvement on the circle of fifths wheel)
  • shows which chords are major, which are minor and which are diminished
  • shows what other chords may be played in harmony, as well as the major and minor chords. e.g. major7, minor7, Dominant 7, 6ths etc (there are simple chord shapes to follow for these chord variations on the back)
  • shows 3 locations to place the minor pentatonic shape in order to play all the notes of the scale above. 

It's colour coding, and clear display windows allow guitarists to see, at a glance, 31 chords that can be played in harmony, for any mode, in any key. Ideal for song writing!

Turn the wheel over and the Mode De-coder will reveal 3 locations on the guitar where every note in the minor pentatonic shape is also in harmony. So once you know the pentatonic shape, you can play in up to six locations on the guitar neck, in  84 scales, and always be able to find sweet notes. Perfect for soloing over a backing track or jamming with friends!

  • Bypass guitar theory and play in 84 scales straightaway
  • Solo up and down the guitar neck in up to 6 locations, using the minor pentatonic shape
  • Write songs, solo, make backing tracks and jam easily
  • Expand your range of styles, with no extra learning or effort
  • Take your guitar playing to the next level
  • Slim and handy A5 size to fit in a guitar case
  • The perfect gift or stocking filler!

How it works:

outsideOnce you’ve chosen the key and mode in which you want to play eg C Mixolydian, the windows in the Mode De-coder will show you the chords in the C Mixolydian family eg. gSUS2gmin7C7CSUS4.  All the chords displayed on the wheel will be in harmony.

PLUS – The Mode Decoder ® will show you which of them are going to give you the most characteristic Mixolydian sound. These have a blue dot next to them eg. gmin7C7. There is a coloured dot for each of the modes, making it easy for you to see characteristic modal chords at a glance.

Turn over and The Mode Decoder ® shows you the three locations on your E string to place your minor pentatonic shape. You can then play all the notes in that pentatonic shape – and they will all be in harmony.

PLUS – because frets 1-12 are the same notes as frets 13-24, you can play up and down the guitar neck from up to 6 positions. Impressive!

Once you have located your pentatonic pattern, the solo character and root notes reference page will show you which notes will give the characteristic sound you are after eg - for Mixolydian, see the blue dots. The coloured dots correspond to their respective modal colours.

The Mode Decoder ® will take your guitar playing to the next level. It will give you the freedom to play in whichever style you want - rock, jazz, blues pop, country, anything! In no time at all you will have the confidence to jam and solo with friends, write songs or even join a band!