The literature about the mass associated with a certain mode, usually denoted as the modal mass, is sparse. Moreover, the units of the modal mass depend on the technique which is used to normalize the mode shapes, and its magnitude depends on the number of degrees of freedom (DOFs) which is used to discretize the model. This has led to a situation where the meaning of the modal mass and the length of the associated mode shape is not well understood. As a result, normally, both the modal mass and the length measure have no meaning as individual quantities but only when they are combined in the frequency response function. In this paper, the problems of defining the modal mass and mode shape length are discussed, and solutions are found to define the quantities in such a way that they have individual physical meaning and can be estimated in an objective way.