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Once you’ve narrowed down your choice to the group of major or minor modes, here are some additional ideas & concepts that will help you determine which particular major or minor mode might work best against the song or progression that you’re playing over:

Ionian

Ionian mode is the same as the Major scale, which we covered at the outset of this article. In the key of F Major, the “tonal center” or the bass note that would seem to fit against our entire progression would be F. When this happens, we get Ionian mode.

Here are some examples of songs which sound in Ionian mode for either the entire song or significant sections of the song: “American Pie” by Don McClean, “Angel Eyes” by Jeff Healey, “Authority Song” by John Mellencamp, “Beast of Burden” by the Rolling Stones, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Bubble Toes” by Jack Johnson, “Call Me Al” by Paul Simon, “Cliffs of Dover” by Eric Johnson, “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls, “Down on the Corner” by CCR, “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray or Uncle Kracker, “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, “Family Tradition” by Hank Williams Jr., “Fool in the Rain” by Led Zeppelin, “Free Falling” by Tom Petty, “Friend of the Devil“ by The Grateful Dead, “Glycerine” by Bush, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day, “Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys, “Hey Good Lookin” by Hank Williams, “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar, “Island in the Sun” by Weezer, “Jack and Diane” by John Mellencamp, “La Bamba” by Richie Valens or Los Lobos, “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam, “Let It Be” by the Beatles, “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan, “Mama I’m Coming Home” by Ozzy Osbourne, “Margaritaville“ by Jimmy Buffet, “Never Let You Go” by Third Eye Blind, “Red Red Wine” by UB40, “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash, “Satellite” by Dave Matthews Band, “Sister Golden Hair“ by America, “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynard Skynard, “The Joker” by the Steve Miller Band, “Under the Boardwalk” by the Drifters, “Under the Bridge” by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “We Just Disagree” by Billy Dean, “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, most of “Your Body Is A Wonderland” by John Mayer, … and countless other songs.

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