Ninebuzz are a software company that make mobile apps specifically for guitarists. Their latest app is called ‘Modal Buddy’ and as you can probably guess is designed to be a complete tutorial on learning and using the diatonic Modes.

There are two parts to this app labelled ‘Learn’ and ‘Practice’. Learn is divided up into 6 sections, one of those is just a quiz so you can make sure you have fully understood the other sections. The main sections explain and demonstrate how the modes are constructed using box and interval diagrams and with audio examples so that you can hear how each mode sounds which is a very important part of learning about Modes.

The Practice section is a quick and easy way to see each mode in the 5 different fretboard box positions, simply swipe left and right to see them all. Also in the center of the screen is the interval explanation for the mode which looks like RHWWWHWW (R=Root, H=Half Tone, W=Whole Tone), this is Phyrgian for example. Also there is a play button which gives you an instant backing track loop that you can practice the Mode over.

Modes are often a confusing subject, I know when I was doing my music degree the only people that fully understood Modes where the guitar players, the lecturers would just say “Dorian is just the major scale starting on the second note” which made everyone think “huh?! that’s the same scale?”. Never once did I see anyone demonstrate the different distinct sounds and feels that you get from the various Modes. Modal Buddy covers all of the theory you need to start learning and applying modes to your improvising and composition but with plenty of audio references and jam tracks to help you memories how each mode sounds.

For more info or to download Modal Buddy check out the Ninebuzz website.