Mp3s at my Patreon:
Thank you to Klos!
This is the sixth video in a series on how to write riffs using the modes of major. Being the sixth in the episode, this lesson focuses on the Aeolian mode, which is identical to the natural minor scale. There is an argument to be made that there is a difference between Aeolian tonality and Minor tonality, which I touch on at the end.

The first style is a dancey funk song in the style of Daft Punk or Chromeo. In addition to basic music theory and songwriting advice, quite a bit of detail is mentioned on the audio production itself. Next, the riff is transformed into a Tool style crushing riff. Then lastly, a classic acoustic rock style intro that sounds all too recognizable.

Some videos you should have seen to be able to follow this one-
Minor Scale and Chords:
Seventh Chords:

A few details I forgot to mention or want to clarify-
-ANY interval can funk in proper context. It’s purely subjective- please don’t pretend I’m citing fact when I say the flat seventh is the funkiest.
-The minor chords played in the background were inevitably going to become minor sevenths since I was writing funk. I don’t know how or why I neglected to mention this!
-If Aeolian had a signature sound, it would be the minor fifth chord (v). I’m slightly disappointed I didn’t feature it, since it is a unique sound of Aeolian. It’s very sad, and still usable. I may just make a video on the v chord so it doesn’t get ignored, but it really should have made an appearance here.
-I have met educated teachers who consider the fifth chord of a minor key to be major, even though it contains the leading tone which is out of the key signature. A lot of confusion about aeolian vs minor occurs because traditionally, the minor key is NOT thought of as a strict diatonic collection of only seven notes. Though clearly, if one were to build triads from the natural minor scale and not include the natural seventh, the fifth chord would be minor.
There is only one more Riffing with Modes lesson left – Locrian. It’s going to be weird.
Until then, thank my amazing patreon subscribers for making these lessons and videos possible! Joining there means monthly live Q+A lessons, exclusive videos, and lots of charts and mp3s. The following members deserve special thanks:

Adam Granger
Bradley Bower
Brandon Combs
Christopher Swanson
Daniel Danciu
Darrin Goren
Donal Botkin
Don Dachenhausen III
Don Watters
Erik Lange
Joe Buote
John Arnold
jon reddish
Kip Ingram
Linas Orentas
Lord of the Chords Live on Indiegogo Now!
Marc Bulandr
Marek Pawlowski
Markos Zouganelis
Michael Galli
Morgan M.
Nick White
Patrick Ryan
Philip Sharp
Stephen Marz
Tyler Sherkin

Table of contents:
00:00 Intro
00:32 Writing a Funk Riff
08:52 Adding Vocals
10:20 Musical Pockets
13:46 Writing Tool Riffs
19:30 Writing Acoustic Intros
26:24 Aeolian vs Minor

Jake Lizzio

After performing in highschool bands and talent shows, I began teaching during my Senior Year in highschool at Crystal Lake South in 2004.

I went on to teach at Piano Trends Music Company in Crystal Lake, and there I began expanding my skills outside of just the guitar and began performing for weddings and private events. After leaving to teach privately, I began recording my students and myself.

This hobby eventually turned into a profession after I acquired the experience and equipment needed to produce quality audio and music. My goal now is to provide the highest quality online music lessons available and within reach to all who are interested.

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Music Theory and Songwriting Course FAQs

Probably! Only about 15% of this course is dedicated to the guitar, while the remaining concepts are taught in a way that can easily be applied to any other instrument. However, since all the theory taught is viewed through the lens of the guitar, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that you own a guitar before pursuing this course to finish.
This is not a course on guitar playing or technique, but on theory and songwriting. The only skills you are expected to know is how to read guitar tablature, and the absolute basics of guitar playing (how to fret a note, open chords, etc)
I can confidently say that this method of learning will be more effective and valuable for many types of students. Since there is no wasted time or filler, it is more time-efficient than real life lessons where the teacher or student can get distracted. The printable materials are of a higher quality than most private lessons. And the ability to replay a lesson over and over is invaluable for students struggling to understand difficult topics.
Not quite- my YouTube channel explores more advanced topics without explaining the prerequisites. 95% of the content in this course is totally unique and unexplored on my channel, and is taught in a linear fashion as to make sure you’re totally competent by the end. There are only two lessons that include cross over with my YouTube channel. However, after some lessons, Design and Develop by Inbox Technologyyou are directed to specific YouTube videos I’ve produced to help expand on your understanding of the previous topics and to help weave my channel in with the course.
Nope! Once purchased you’ll have access for life, including any additional lessons or worksheets that get added in over time.
Currently, no. But I am working on getting a physical version of the course made instead of digital-only. Stay tuned!
If you are not satisfied with the course content or accessibility, you may request a refund within 30 days of purchase.
The sale price of $200 will only be available during special holiday promotions. Sign up to my email list to know when the next sale begins.
Reach out to me directly on my email and let me know your situation, I might be able to help =)