I’m the first to admit I’ve been slacking on my scales practice, mainly sticking to pentatonic (because I’m lazy). So while reading through my Scales and Modes book and I stumbled across something obvious, yet I’d never recognized. Each scale has a mode for each note in the scale- Major scale having 7, pentatonic scale having 5, etc. That I was remotely aware of, but didn’t think much of it.

I never really bothered with the major scale since it’s sorta boring, and felt overwhelmed by all of the basic scales (ionian, dorian, phrygian, etc) knowing that I’d have to learn their modes as well. Then the book pointed out that the first mode of the major scale was called the Ionian scale- wait, what? It turns out that all of those scales I feared learning didn’t have modes- they were modes- of the major scale!

So here’s the following:

Ionian In C:   C D E F G A B 
Dorian In D:     D E F G A B C
Phrygian In E:     E F G A B C D

This means, rather than learning 7 scales with 7 modes each, I just have to get down the 7 modes of the major scale. So simple, yet I never put it together.