Nomad's Modal Magic Show

Skill Building Guitar Course from Michael Ripoll

Learn how to use modes in your playing with Nomad's simple 3 step process! Get the knowledge, apply the knowledge and start playing some sweet solos!

36 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

92% Appoval

128 of 133 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

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Full Course Breakdown

Hearing a guitar player enter in to modal bliss can seem like magic to those who do not yet have the tools use the modes in their own playing. Modes have been mystifying guitar players of all ages and styles for too long! Nomad's Modal Magic Show will detail a simple 3 step process that, combined with hard work, will have you playing modes in a musical way... And you'll know what you are doing! Once the modes are understood and applied, the magic facade falls away leaving you with simply awesome guitar playing It's not magic after all!


Series Intro: Modes Are Not Magic!

The modes may look and sound like magic, but once you have the tools to practice and apply them, they actually become quite approachable. Nomad demystifies the modes in this extensive and fun series. Learn how to apply the modes in any style and in any song!

7:12 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Learn the Notes!

Before getting too deep into the modal mysteries, Nomad lays down some groundwork. Before you can use the modes, you need to know the notes on the fretboard! Nomad offers up a simple drill to get everyone on the road to note memorization!

6:50 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Learn Accidental-y

Add sharps and flats into the note learning drill. Take it slow, and take your time! Learning the notes on the fretboard will pay great dividends in all areas of your playing.

9:34 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Chomp

Get the hands nice and warm before the scales come. When you're warmed up, you think less about the mechanics of playing and more about the notes and the music.

11:05 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


The Caterpillar

Take on this finger twisting warm up after trying "The Chomp". Add a few more warm ups of your own and then...on to the modes!

6:59 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Trilogy

Further laying the groundwork for modal magic, Nomad introduces a way to practice position playing that includes going over the scale, the chord, and the arpeggio. When you're approaching an area of the fretboard, think "S-C-A"!

13:25 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


CAGED and the Fretboard

Now that you've practiced your scales, chords, and arpeggios in open position, it's time to apply "SCA" down the entire fretboard in the key of C. This way of looking at the notes you play will open up many new phrasing ideas as you tackle the modes.

7:08 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Greece Wasn't Built in a Day

Before you scale modal mountains, you need to know the patterns! Nomad takes you through basic modal terms and theory and then teaches each modal pattern from a 6th string root.

16:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


SCA & Modal Magic

Now apply the "SCA" method you learned with the CAGED major scale patterns to the modal patterns from the last lesson. This is a great way to look at different areas of the neck in a modal context!

9:42 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Be a Little Cooler

You can only sound so cool with the basic major and minor sounds. Nomad invites you to be just a little cooler by applying the "SCA" method and modal positions to major 7th chords and arpeggios!

9:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Play Them from the 5th String

Now take the same concepts you've been practicing with the modal patterns based on the 6th string and apply them to patterns based on the 5th string. Oh, what fun!

13:26 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Two String Modal Runs

Breaking out of box patterns is difficult for any guitarist at one point or another. Learning these two string modal runs will help you break out of the box and fly around the neck!

14:07 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Rest of the Runs

Nomad finishes demonstrating and explaining the two string runs on the lower two sets of strings. He offers advice on practicing and stresses the importance of naming your notes while you play!

9:00 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Three Octaves of Fun

Take the two string runs and apply them in three octave sequences! This is another great way to break out of the box as well as familiarize yourself with the notes on the fretboard!

9:33 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Three Octaves of Arpeggio Fun!

Nomad introduces this new, challenging exercise in which you take each mode in series and play its corresponding arpeggio in three octaves.

7:10 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Modal Patterns in 3rds

In this next mini series of lessons, Nomad explains how to play the modal patterns in all of the diatonic intervals! In this lesson, we begin with 3rds.

21:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Modal Patterns in 4ths

The fingering of this sequence is tricky! Nomad presents the modal patterns played in diatonic 4th intervals.

11:38 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Modal Patterns in 5ths

We're working our way up! There are bigger gaps and more stretches here. Make these drills count so that you are dexterous and ready to go when the flood of musical backing tracks comes!

8:07 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Modal Patterns in 6ths

The 6th interval is one of the most musical and sweet sounding note relationships to be played on the guitar. Combine the 6th with superb modal playing, and you'll come up with some amazing stuff! Get the patterns under your fingers with this lesson!

8:09 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Modal Patterns in 7ths

This won't be fun, but it will be useful! The 7th interval is awkward and weird sounding at times, but work it into the rest of your playing, and you'll add some nice unresolved spice to your lines.

8:29 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Modal Patterns in Octaves

This is the last lesson of its kind in this series...We promise! There are not as many notes in this exercise, but there are more awkward stretches and string skipping situations. Get this one down and then comb over the last series of lessons. Combine them for one large practice routine!

7:21 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Parallel Universe

If you've made it this far, CONGRATULATIONS! You've graduated from the realm of modes in series to modes in parallel! Learn how the two universes are related and start digging into the musical nature of each mode!

13:00 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Let's Major on the Minors

Continuing in the introduction to your new parallel universe, Nomad shows you the theory behind going from a basic major scale to the two most common minor modes.

5:34 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Stranger Qualities

Each mode has 'key tones' that give the mode its signature sound. Nomad continues to explore these notes in some of the stranger sounding modes.

14:43 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Living in Harmony

Just like modes have unique scale tones that define their sound, they also have a chord harmony structure that defines them. When can you play a minor i chord and then go to a dominant IV chord?...when you're playing a Dorian chord progression! Nomad dives into each mode and its respective harmony so that you can identify and write modal chord progressions!

18:20 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


The Reveal

This is where it all comes together! Commit the 3 simple steps shared in this lesson to memory and then practice applying them. You'll be well on your way to modal bliss in no time!

4:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Play Those Modes!

Ok! You've graduated into the realm of real modal understanding! Now it's time to play some real modal music. Cut your teeth on tracks from the first two modes of the major scale: Ionian and Dorian. See how Nomad applies all the aspects of this course over these tracks.

13:25 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Phun with Phrygian

Nomad walks through the three 'magical' steps while working with a Phrygian track. Watch the b2!

9:50 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Love Me Some Lydian

Ahh, the ethereal and slightly spooky nature of Lydian... Move right along with Nomad's spoon feeding session with a track and examples for each mode. Pour in to these because after he works through each mode with you, he passes the baton to you in a series of 'modal mystery' examples!

7:19 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Lydian Has a Cousin

Well, maybe their names sound similar, but their tonalities can sound quite different! Ladies and gentlemen...Let's hear it for Mixolydian! Get jazzy and groovy with this example.

8:19 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Good Ol' Minor...Aeolian

'Tis one of the most recognizable sounds in guitar history, but with your new found modal knowledge, you are better prepared than ever to tackle this track! Take what you will from Nomad, and then solo away!

6:35 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Save the Weirdest for Last

The uncommon and just plain strange sounding mode finishes off this segment of the series. You won't use it everyday, or even every month, but knowing how to apply it will round out your modal mystique and make you a better player!

8:05 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Modal Mystery #1

And now...YOU get to put all your modal knowledge to work in these last lessons! Nomad will play a track and jam over it, and YOU will get out your scribble pad and figure out what is going on modally. At the end of each lesson, you can check your work against Nomad's explanation. Have fun!

8:46 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Modal Mystery #2

Are you warmed up yet?...Good! You'll learn NOTHING about the track Nomad is to play over. Instead, you must listen and analyze as he plays. See if you can figure out all the modal twists by the time the track ends. Loop it if you have to!

5:07 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Modal Mystery #3

They're getting trickier! Continue to test your own modal mind with this third example. See how many times it takes you to get it without listening to Nomad's explanation!

7:36 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Modal Mystery #4

This is the final test (but not the final lesson) in Nomad's Modal Magic Show! Figure it out and then make up your own modal jam to the provided backing track!

6:18 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

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  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Playing since 1984
  • 133 lessons at JamPlay
Michael "Nomad" Ripoll is a consummate professional in the music industry with a list of credits and accomplishments that span decades. Best known as a masterful guitar virtuoso who has played with a seemingly endless list of the most respected names in the music world, Michael has always strived to exceed the boundaries of a traditional musician’s career by proactively seeking and securing opportunities to excel in other facets of the industry.

While he remains an artist and singer-songwriter first, Michael also operates as the Musical Director for world renowned artist and friend Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, has launched an innovative online format for guitar instruction, and has even contributed to major motion picture film scores. Working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sting, Natalie Cole, the American Idol Tour, the Pussy Cat Dolls, India Arie, and countless others, Michael is regarded as one of the industry’s most sought after session players and touring musicians.

Michael earned the nickname "Nomad" after he started posting pictures and videos of his travels around the globe on his website and YouTube. Follow Nomad everywhere his guitar takes him here at JamPlay and at
Reviews & Feedback 92/100 with 133 ratings

"Don't fret" lmfaooo


thank you.


Very nice.


great idea for exercises


Great teacher


Nomad is without a doubt a teacher, a mentor, a professor, a PhD; able to provide understanding of a difficult subject. Thank you


should i stick with this and practice for hours or should i move on?


Wonderful guy, lovely to hear him explain the things.


You are a naturally gifted teacher-brilliant