Improving your modal feel Modes are really cool tools to use in writing and playing. I think the way in which I learned modes was a bit confusing and left me unable to really applying them correctly. I learned modes from a scale book. It gave good instructions on what they were and looked like, but lacked in application. I would practice them as if they were just another scale. For a long time I would try to play them interchangeable with a the major scale. I would be playing over a simple GCD progression. Of course an ionian mode works perfectly. Then, since a lydian is a major mode I would attempt to play a G lydian over the same GCD progression. It sounded horrible. I later came to realize that to play a G lydian you needed a lydian type progression. So I would play GDA progression which is a proper progression but my "feel" was still not very lydian it was more D ionian. I was play the correct notes and the correct chords, but in me was still a very ionian (major scale) feeling. What was happing, I was play D ionian. In my playing a GDA progression, my soloing was really playing over the chords in the wrong order. GDA was becoming DAG. I would start and stop on the correct chords and it sounded okay, but not a lydian feeling. If you want to get more of that modal feeling, practice your modes over a progression that illmates the root chord of the ionian equivalent. Practice a G Lydian over a progression that is G A Bmi. This illmates a D chord and forces you to not to concentrate on the D chord, the ionian equivalent. Your modes will sound more interesting and you will have stronger modal feeling.