I'm learning the position shift of the modes. I have two down so far. As soon as I got into one of the ways Lydian mode is used, I immediately recognized one of the types of chord progressions that I could use it on (the piano outro on Layla). I tend to learn better both in memory and practical use through my ear. Is this a typical method for using modes? Or do most people memorize the possibilities in terms of theory and work that out on the fly? In other words, during a chord progression you're improvising on, do you say "Oh, I hear a melody in my head that's in ____ mode that will work over this", or do you say "ok, this progression ends on a dominant 7th, so I believe this mode will theoretically fit here".