If you can play a G maj scale, you can also play in D mixolydian, A Dorian minor, E Aeolian min, and F# Phyrgian min, because they are all the notes contained in the Gmaj scale. Just by starting, emphasizing and stopping in different places.
Mixolydian: I've heard it described as in limbo between Major and minor, leaning a bit toward major. Much energy in Mixo.
Dorian minor: a smooth light minor, commonly used in jazz, very fluid. Also applied to many other genre's.
Aeolian minor: otherwise known as true or pure minor. This is the sad/beautiful minor.
Phyrgian minor: I have 2 takes on this one. a very Spanish/Flamenco minor or can be turned rather ominous for heavy metal and such.
Locrian & Lydian are more jazz modes. I have some applications for Locrian. With Lydian, not so much. When inquiring of an excellent jazz/swing mandolin player, he said for Lydian think the theme from the Simpsons!?
Warning: for any interested in improv, if you start in on the modes, you might actually like it, and it may hook you.
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