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Understanding & Mastering Modes for the Cuatro

Expand your musical scales vocabulary by adding modes to your improvisations

The concept of modes can be a bit daunting for many beginners. The truth is that you’re already playing modes without realizing it. If you know how to play a major scale, you’re playing an Ionian scale. The first of seven modes we’ll be discussing on this course. We'll also discuss how to incorporate these into your jam sessions.

At the end of the course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify and play 7 modes on the instrument
  • Execute modes in different position of the fretboard using three-notes-per-strings
  • Create simple modal melodies and play-along to chord progressions
  • Identify modal characteristics and tonal colors

This course is for anyone looking to learn the modes in an easy-to-understand manner--without all the technical jargon.


Your Instructor


Samuel Ramos
Samuel Ramos

Samuel Ramos is currently the Instructional Technologist for the University of San Diego in Southern California. He holds a Bachelors in Music Education from Antillean Adventist University, and his Masters in Educational Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University.

He has served as a music teacher for 14 years and as Assistant professor in the Guitar Department at the Inter-American University of San German, Puerto Rico. Recently served as the Instructional Designer for Taylor Guitars in San Diego, California, designing online content for their internal and external learning platforms.

Between teaching jobs, Samuel authored several instructional books and guides for learning several instruments including the Puerto Rican cuatro, guitar, and mandolin among many others.

In his spare time, Samuel designs instructional content for his online community and blog at 4jibaro.com, a place where Puerto Rican music is the focal point. He constantly strives to increase awareness of Puerto Rican music and its heritage. With music as his wand, he attempts to transform the world, one cuatro at a time!


Course Curriculum


  Terms To Know Before You Start Learning Modes
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  Modal Harmony: Building Chords from Modes
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  Check Your Knowledge
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
It is a completely self-paced online course—you decide when you start and when you finish. We'll provide you with a study plan to follow and track your progress. You'll be able to submit performance videos for feedback from the instructor.
Do I get access to everything with the "membership"?
Immediate access to every video lesson, 300+ interactive sheet music, live Q&A sessions and access to the community. You’ll also get your questions answered through live lessons, discussion boards and chat.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.