Modal Interchange


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rich2k4
03-29-2005, 09:05 PM
Modal Interchange

by rich2k4


Modes, it's something all musicians need to learn sooner or later, if they want to become better overall players.
Some players love em, others are afraid of them, but do the experienced really know how to use them?

for the sake of this lesson, we will be working within the key of C. Most players know the basic major scale, and in the case of C, it is

C, D, E, F, G, A, B if we were to apply this to the modes (if you don't know the modes yet, look at the other mode lessons on this site.) it would look like this.


Ionian - C

Dorian - D

Phrygian - E

Lydian - F

Mixolydian - G

Aeolian - A

Locrian - B




Ionian, Lydian, and mixolydian are major modes. Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian are minor modes.

and Locrian is a dimished/half dimished mode.

Now here is where the miscommunication comes in. Most players think that if they are in the key of C, and they go from C Ionian to D Dorian, they are playing 2 different scales.
they are wrong. C Ionian and D Dorian are the same scale, the only difference is Ionian starts on C and Dorian starts on D, but if played over each other, they sound the same.
the same goes for all the other modes in the key of C, they are descendants of the C major scale, therefore sounding the same.
So that said, if you want Dorian to sound like Dorian, or any mode to sound like the mode they say they are, you are going to have to take the patterns of each of the modes, and transpose them to the I note of the key, in this case C. This is Modal Interchange.

lets take a look. Each mode has its own pattern consisting of whole steps and half steps. W being whole steps and H being half steps.

Ionian - C

W W H W W W H

Therefore the notes in a C Ionian scale are:

C D E F G A B C
-----------------------------------------------

Dorian - D

W H W W W H W

so the notes in a D dorian scale are:

D E F G A B C D
-----------------------------------------------

Phrygian - E

H W W W H W W

Notes:

E F G A B C D E
----------------------------------------------

Lydian - F

W W W H W W H

Notes:

F G A B C D E F
----------------------------------------------

Mixolydian - G

W W H W W H W
Notes:

G A B C D E F G
----------------------------------------------

Aeolian - A

W H W W H W W

Notes:

A B C D E F G A

Important Note: Aeolian mode is also the Natural Minor scale. since aeolian is a minor mode, and is the natural minor scale, then Am is the relative minor of C
----------------------------------------------

Locrian - B

H W W H W W W

Notes:

B C D E F G A B
----------------------------------------------

Now that we know the patterns of the modes, we can get to work on modal interchange. Like I said before, if you want a mode to sound like a mode, then you got to take the pattern, and transpose it to the I note of the entire key.

for example, I am going to take the first 3 mode names and I am going to transpose them to the I note of the Key. since were in the key of C the I note is C.


Ionian - C

W W H W W W H

Notes:

C D E F G A B C
---------------------------------------------

Dorian - C

W H W W W H W


Notes:

C D Eb F G A Bb C
---------------------------------------------

Phrygian - C

H W W W H W W

Notes:

C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C
---------------------------------------------

Notice how I took the patterns of the first 3 modes and applied them to the first note of the key. Thus changing the notes, and the sound.

so now that we know this piece of information, lets actually put it to use.

Here is a chord progression I took diatonically out of the key of C. it is a II,V, I progression.

imma add a little flavor to the chords so this is what they will be

Dm9

G7add 13

and a Cmaj7

the chord progression will go in this order Dm9, G7add13, Cmaj7

straight out of the key of C, totally in key, but here is how it all comes together and this is the cool part about all of this.

lets take a look at the notes in C dorian

C D Eb F G A Bb C

and lets compare it to the C ionian notes.

C D E F G A B C

by looking at these 2 scales we see that the 3rd is flatted, and so is the 7th. This should trigger something to the theory buffs.

by stacking 3rds in the dorian scale, we get a 1 b3 5 which is a minor chord, which is also why the dorian is a minor mode.

however we also have the 7th flatted so that adds more flavor and makes it a 1 b3 5 b7, or C Eb G Bb. and we know that if you have the 3rd flatted and the 7th flatted, you have a Minor 7th chord.

so lets borrow a chord from C dorian to add to our chord progression earlier. in this case since we have a 1 b3 5 b7 ill borrow a Cm7 chord.

so now our chord progression is:

Dm9, G7add13, Cmaj7, Cm7

now im going to borrow another chord from the C dorian scale. I'm going to go up to the 4th chord, which is F.

now to flavor it, normally in the C ionian scale you would do a F major 7 chord. however you can not do this when borrowing an F chord from the C dorian scale.

since you have the Eb and the Bb. in a F major 7th I have a F A C E. but since its from C dorian, I can't have the E in there. so I need to make it F A C Eb.

if I wanted I could sharp the A and make it a Bb, which I am going to do. so now I have F Bb C Eb which is a D7sus chord.

now my chord progression is:

Dm9, G7add13, Cmaj7, Cm7, F7sus.

I am going to finish off the progression with 2 chords from the C ionian scale, Dm and Cmaj

so the final progression is:

Dm9, G7add13, Cmaj7, Cm7, F7sus, Dm, Cmaj.

3 bars of ionian, 2 bars of dorian, and 2 bars of ionian.

now the key thing to remember, is that when soloing over this progression, on the first 3 chords use the C ionian scale. When the Cm7 and F7sus come in, switch to C dorian, and then on Dm and Cmaj go back to C ionian.

if you try to solo over the Cm7 and F7sus using the C ionian scale, it will not work, so make sure the dorian is being used.

this is the key to using modes, and this is where they get there sounds. You don't need to borrow from the dorian scale; you can borrow from any mode depending on the sound that you want. Just make sure you transcribe the mode patterns over to the first note of the key, which is the note of the key that you are in.

the way this differs from a key change is that while it is necessarily a key change, its just for a few bars, and you can say that most of the song is in the key of C, but you borrow a few chords from other modes to give a little flavor.

I hope this lesson was helpful and educational. Thank you for your time.

SilentDeftone
03-29-2005, 09:32 PM
if I wanted I could sharp the A and make it a Bb, which I am going to do. so now I have F Bb C Eb which is a D7sus chord.
There's no D, I think you mean Fsus.

A lot of stuff you seemed to assume (chords in key), and I think you should have put the modes' intervals in relation to the major scale (e.g. Dorian is 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1) as well as the WWHWWWH stuff.

the way this differs from a key change is that while it is necessarily a key change :confused: Fix! :p:

-SD :dance:

rich2k4
03-29-2005, 09:37 PM
ah, thanks for pointing it out. i dont really read over these thigns again :p: i just do spell check lol.

i mean F7sus not D.

slash_pwns
03-29-2005, 10:03 PM
Seems good for the most part.

You'll end up editting your first post 999,999,999 times before you get it right, and revising your lesson like 50 times. It all takes time.

Good article, though.

slash_620
03-30-2005, 05:41 AM
i don't like the way you say that D dorian and C ionian are the same scale.they aren't. just because they have the same notes doesn't make them the same scale,they sound totaly different and so teaching that they are the same scale is wrong IMO.

liked the rest though

SilentDeftone
03-30-2005, 10:49 AM
I agree, they should be treated as separate scales.
The modes don't all sound the same because they have different intervals.

rich2k4
03-30-2005, 12:19 PM
they don't sound the same when playing em diatonically from the root note. but if you were to be soloing in C ionian, and then slide into D dorian, you wouldn't be able to tell a difference.

slash_620
03-30-2005, 02:48 PM
^ahh,i get your point.

but you should point that out in the article.