How to make Modal Chord Progressions


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xxdarrenxx
11-14-2008, 01:38 PM
I know there are a lot of articles on this. But most if not all are purely theory. Most people start playing guitar because of playing guitar, not how the the guitar works in theory. This is what led me to believe to make a lesson on direct approach with examples and where to start.

2 kinds of people
You have people that work better from learning from the books, and people who learn better in practice. This article is intended for the latter, but maybe some of the former will get new ideas from this too.

On top of that I added Video's of me improvising over the progressions, with an explanation of what I play and why I play it. I haven't included the rhythms of the progressions, cause they are loosely based and don't matter very much; that's more a "feel" thing.

All The progressions are in the key of E, so I can use the open strings for simplicity. These progressions work in any key of course.

If you wanna go through with this lesson you need at least basic knowledge of modes(knowing how to play em on guitar) and basic understanding of slash chords.

Okay here it goes:

Ionian:

The Ionian mode is a major scale with it's characteristic 7th note, so I will take a maj7th chord as the tonic, so we have the Emaj7th chord. Now I need another chord. Since it's a major mode, I will take another major chord. I will take the iv chord, since it's naturally also a major7th chord which will be AMaj7th. The Ionian mode is very strong and doesn't really need an altered bass note to sound major, but since i'm trying to explain slash chords I will use 1, in this case an AM7/E. While I was messing around with it, I found using an EM7th without the A as a bass note a stronger progression, so I used that instead. (Remember it's still music, and you should go with what ur ears tell you) I'm just writing a good place to start, and to make aware how you could approach it.

EM7 Amaj7th
e|-----------------|-----------------|
B|-9---------------|-5---------------|
G|-8---------------|-6---------------|
D|-9---------------|-6---------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-|
Here's a link to a thing what I might play over such a thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0OxOklCCLA

What I did in that video, was putting emphasize on the Maj7th note and the maj3th note. I "abused" the bends on the maj7th note a half step up to the tonic (D# to E) for a classic major sound, and also a bend on the maj3th note a half step up to the fourth (G# to A). Play small licks (motifs) with a G# and/or a D# in them, to learn how to use those colours. I played 3 major 7th bends in 3 different octave and after those I ended with 3 harmonics which are the notes b, e and b an octave higher. I messed up the last harmonic, because, well.. shit happens when u improvise and u gotta live with it.
Anyways, Up to the next one :)

Dorian:

The Dorian mode is a minor mode with it's characteristic major 6th interval. So what am I going to do here? I make a chord with a maj6th in it! I take the root (E), a minor 3th (G) and the maj6th (C#). Hmmm I played it on my guitar, and it sounds too much like an A dominant 7th chord. (If I add the A as a bass note it would indeed be a an A7th chord). Once again I let my ears judge, so I decide to change the chord. I can't change the root obviously, but I also want the MAj6th in it. So I use The Sus4 chord!. This chord works wonders and it has no minor or major tonality. So I change the G note in an A note, this gives me an Esus4maj6th chord. This is a rather absurd chord name, so we are allowed to also call this A/E.

For the 2nd chord I will try something creative:
I read today somewhere on the internet that Dorian is perfectly symmetrical, and that the scale steps going up from the root are notes which are also in the mode when u go down. For the first chord I used a maj6th interval ascending, now I go down a maj6th, and land on a G, which is indeed a note in E Dorian, Woohoo! It is major, so I will make it an G/E chord, which contain the same notes as a Emin7th, so you may name it like this too. (it's actually an inversion, but I don't wanna lead away from the initial mode concept, but I don't want any theory purist to bitch to me that it is:P:, so I will let it be)

I have the following progression:
(You can either use the first names or the 2nd names, but you cannot mix em together to avoid confusion)

Esus4Maj6th Emin7th
A/E G/E (1st inversion of a Gmaj chord)
e|-----------------|-----------------|
B|-2---------------|-0---------------|
G|-2---------------|-0---------------|
D|-2---------------|-0---------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|
When I played this I recognized this as the same (or almost the same) progression as "So What", a jazz tune by Miles Davis. I don't think he used the same thinking method as me, maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but it's pure coincidence.

Videolink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L0mQNqMHEU

Okay So I started this off with a E, F# and G with a funky D motif in between for 4 times. After that there is a 2nd melody with a bend on the C# to D (C# being the flavour note in Dorian). Too ease things up for you guys and know when I use the "dorian" note; All the bends in the vid are a maj6th(the flavour note of Dorian). After the 2nd melody there's a lil string skip melody which starts on the C# note to further emphasize E Dorian. After that it's little pentatonic fun and funky stuff etc. to give it some other flavours too. On to the next mode.

Phrygian:

The Phrygian mode is a minor mode and it's dark sounding. It's sound seems to come out best when using a minor i chord and at least 1 major chord. So I decided to use a major and minor chord.First chord will be E minor, simple huh? Since the flavour note in phrygian is a b2 (F), I will build my 2nd chord on that note, which will be F maj. I won't use an E in the bass cause F is also the flavour note of phrygian, and too my ears it sounds nicer, but too each his own. So far we had progressions consisting of 2 chords, but I'm feeling a bit ambitious so I decide to add a 3rd chord in it. We already established the mode, so I went with my ears and added a Gmaj to it just for fun.

Here's the progression I came up with:

Eminor Fmaj Emin Fmaj Gmaj
e|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
B|-0---------------|-1---------------|-0---------------|-3-------1-------|
G|-0---------------|-2---------------|-0---------------|-4-------2-------|
D|-2---------------|-3---------------|-2---------------|-5-------3-------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|-3-3-3-3-1-1-1-1-|
Videolink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs49-lNhv-A

What I did here is something I stole from a Vai video. I start on the b2 degree (F note) then I fret the E note and almost immediatley do a half step bend back up to the F. This creates a weird sound, which to me sounds exotic. After that comes the 2nd melody which consists of the same technique but on different notes, to spice it up a bit.

After that hell breaks loose and I incorporate string skip tapping arpeggios. I start with an e minor arpeggio. Then when the Fmaj chord comes I stay on a Eminor arpeggio like thing, but I sneakily add the b2 on the G string as well as an G note so I don't mess the shape up. On the g chord I play a regular tapping thingy on just 1 string with a b2 as a pedalnote. So u get the idea; b2 is the key to succes here ;-). Pedal note will be explained in The next mode which is Lydian.

Lydian:

Lydian is a Major scale with a tritone (#4) note, and in the key of E this is an A#. It has a major sound, but the dissonant tritone gives it an "out of place" sound. Because of the strong maj3th and maj7th interval it gives it a mysterious, exotic, and maybe spiritual sound.


What I did since it's a major key was picking a major chord as my i chord, which is an Emaj chord in this case. Just as simple as that. The flavour note is the #4 which is A#. I try making a chord with that as it's root, but it turns out I end up with a diminished chord. I don't like that sound, cause I think it draws attention away too much from the major feel. So I check which chord in E Lydian has it's 3th interval as an A#. This would be F#major. I will take this chord since it's major, but to still imply Lydian, I will change it's root to E. This will give us an F#/E chord.


E F#/E
e|-----------------|-----------------|
B|-0---------------|-2---------------|
G|-1---------------|-3---------------|
D|-2---------------|-4---------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|
Videolink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1piRCC-5rTg

What I did here was using bends on the A# to the 5th (B in this case). All of lydian's sound come from the A#, but wit major notes added. So I played a tapping lick on the high e string with an E as the *pedal point and adding major notes as well as the A#. It's hard not to sound Vai-ish, since he basically played every Lydian idea humanly as well as outerworldly possible. Who knows, maybe ur more creative and come up with new ways of using it.

*pedal point is where u play notes while using another note as a drone or as a tonal centre. Another example would be the intro legato/pull-off lick in thunderstruck by ac dc, which is mixolydian since all the notes are from B mixolydian with the open B note as the pedalpoint.

xxdarrenxx
11-14-2008, 01:41 PM
Mixolydian

The mixolydian mode is a major mode and widely used by Joe Satriani and in blues & rock music. It is the only mode that has a dominant7th chord as it's first chord. So u might guess what my first chord will be, the E Dominant 7th (E7)! The 7th note (D) is also the 1 that flavours this mode.

For my 2nd chord I will use a major scale, because it's a major mode. Off course u don't need to go strictly with the idea "major mode = major chords". This is just what I find good sounding. I also find that a maj6th (C# in mixolydian) gives a nice sound. You might think, 'isn't that the note that flavours Dorian'? This is true, but in dorian it gives it it's distinctive sound over a minor i chord, here we use a dominant and major chord, which will change how it sounds. However, the 3th of a chord with the maj6th as it's root isn't major. So I will use it as an Amajor chord with a C# as root up to a Dmajor chord. This gives us a very common progression in both rock and pop music.

We get the three chords: E7, A(1st inversion) and D. Don't get put off if u don't understand inversions. You can also play a regular A chord. I just prefer the sound of this chord. (once again ears come first).

E7 A(1st) D
e|-----------------|-----------------|
B|-9---------------|-5-------7-------|
G|-7---------------|-6-------7-------|
D|-9---------------|-7-------7-------|
A|-----------------|-4-4-4-4-5-5-5-5-|
E|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-|-----------------|

Videolink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3meiCpb-cqU

I totally took a different direction with the rhythm. I made a more of a "song" like structure of it, just by changing rhythms with the same 3 chords, and make different melodies and creating tension with the lead played over it.

I start with a repeating lick which is basically an arpeggio of E7 without a 5th (arpeggio is NOT a sweep, as many people think)It basically means a lick containing the chord tones. In this case it contains the Root (E), the maj3th (G#) and the 7th (D) which works nicely on the first chord. I then go into a melody and make use of pentatonic notes(F# Pentatonic) mixed with maj3th's and dominant 7ths respectively of E Mixolydian. I end the solo with an funkish motif consisting of a D5 diad and Db5 diad, (*which are again the maj3th and dominant7th note with an A note thrown in).
On to the next 1 called aeolian!

Aeolian:

Aeolian is a minor mode, and in this case the natural minor scale. For the chord progression I take on a different approach. I go for the 1-5-4 progression, or in roman numerals: i - v - iv. These chords are (in the key of E) Em, Bm and Am. This is a nice progression, and aeolian will work perfectly over this 1.

Em Bm Am Em
e|-0-------2-------|-0--------0------|
B|-0-------3-------|-1--------0------|
G|-0-------4-------|-2--------0------|
D|-2-------4-------|-2--------2------|
A|-2-------2-------|-0--------2------|
E|-0---------------|----------0------|
Videolink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_26GhEcDaqY

Meh sloppy on this 1, didn't liked it much. Anyways, I start of with an Emin arpeggio with some added notes, and put in some bluesy bends in it to. You should mess around with the maj2nd note and the min6th, which I don't really do. But it's the most used Scale in rock and metal, so I think you know what to do with this scale.
It;s funny how it's the most used scale, yet I use it the least of all :p:
Now for the last mode...

Locrian

Locrian is one weird mode. It's mostly used in Jazz, and some Death metal. It's almost impossible to get a "nice" sounding progression with it.

The reason why this mode is so weird, is because of the intervals. It has a b2 same as phrygian, but in phrygian it gets compensated by a natural 5th. Locrian however has a b5.

I maybe come back on this 1 later. But it's use is not intended for a modal progression.

musicTHEORYnerd
11-14-2008, 02:14 PM
(im not sure if im "allowed" to post in this bulliten because its a lesson, but if im not supposed to, ill delete my post)

xxdarrenxx you're my new best friend.
ive been trying to figure out what the hell "modal" means for so long and you just taught me it perfectly.
im improvising over a phrygian progression right now and its sounding pretty decent.
thanks so much for doing this thread, it actually has helped me alot.
=]

Peaceful Rocker
11-14-2008, 02:16 PM
This should help alot of the people that are confused about modes, should be a must read before anyone makes a topic.

Well done

xxdarrenxx
11-14-2008, 02:19 PM
Ty very much, I been rambling on about modes for past couple days to almost the point of insanity (lol). But I still see mode questions, and it's in my personality to help other people; I can't help that (no irony intended)

On topic, the problem lies in people don't know where to start.

Just like cooking; You have all these flavours, and you won't start with pepper or salt (lol). U might be laughing about that, but if u don't know that, then you could potentially start with that in ur recipe.

I'm tryin to explain the foundation and how u add the "ingredients" to that.

Retro Rocker
11-14-2008, 02:26 PM
Excellent lesson, thanks for this.
:cheers:

Alter-Bridge
11-14-2008, 07:15 PM
Fantastic lesson, well done.

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 10:02 AM
Fantastic lesson, well done.

Ty, I've added the remaining modes now too(mixolydian, aeolian and locrian)

mdc
11-15-2008, 10:16 AM
Darren, see if you can get this moved to UG Contributions, along with your other Mode thread, as it may get approved.

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 10:17 AM
Darren, see if you can get this moved to UG Contributions, along with your other Mode thread, as it may get approved.

Hmmm okay, how do I do that? And I was thinking of putting this together with the other thread. But I put it apart to see what u guys thought about this part.

mdc
11-15-2008, 10:21 AM
Hmmm okay, how do I do that? And I was thinking of putting this together with the other thread. But I put it apart to see what u guys thought about this part.
I have no idea lol! You may just have to copy and paste it in to the other forum, and request a mod to review it or something.

It's good btw. Kudos for your efforts.

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 10:22 AM
I have no idea lol! You may just have to copy and paste it in to the other forum, and request a mod to review it or something.

It's good btw. Kudos for your efforts.

aaah okay, I will check it out. Ty for the reply.

JakdOnCrack
11-15-2008, 11:04 AM
:golfclap:
This is an excellent lesson. I bookmarked it because this will really help me

JamesDouglas
11-15-2008, 11:51 AM
I like my modes to sound like Monks chanting in the mountains while wearing robes, not power metal.

Still a very helpful lesson though, well done :cheers:

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 03:10 PM
I like my modes to sound like Monks chanting in the mountains while wearing robes, not power metal.

Still a very helpful lesson though, well done :cheers:

Ah that's all cool; It's about the note/chord relationship anyway :cheers:

blueriver
11-15-2008, 04:12 PM
Wouldn't the second inversion of a G chord be G/D???

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 04:18 PM
Would't the second inversion of a G chord be G/D???

whoops ur right. I took regular G as first. Fixed. Ty :)

blueriver
11-15-2008, 04:32 PM
One more thing, Wouldnt the first inversion be G/B? With the third moved into the bass? E is the sixth degree in G and isn't in the major triad.

metal4all
11-15-2008, 04:50 PM
I like this thread a lot.


I'll add this short dealie I typed up to try and add to this:






How do you make a modal vamp?



You use chords that accentuate the mode. It’s not as hard as it sounds, believe me.


That brings us to the question: What makes one mode different from another? Well look at the intervals. Example:


Dorian: 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7

Hmm... it looks a LOT like the minor scale (1,2,b3,4,5,b6,b7). The thing that sets it apart is the fact it has a natural 6. So now you

know what makes it different, what chords do you use?

First: Use any chords that are diatonic (in "key" - not key based music but in the scale). If you're making a vamp for A Dorian, use

any chords in the key of A Dorian (same chords as relative major, G major) because the scales are relative. But, since you want to

accentuate the mode, you want to use chords that contain the interval that defines it (in this case, the natural 6).

Chords in A Dorian:
Amin7 - A C E G
Bmin7 - B D F# A
Cmaj7 - C E G B
D7 - D F# A C
Emin7 - E G B D
F#min7b5 – F# A C E
Gmaj7 - G B D F#


When using modes, you ALWAYS have to make sure what you play doesn't want to go to the relative major/minor (in this case G major/E

minor). You do that by only using chords with the modal note (in this case, F#) and by eliminating chords that lead to the relative

major/minor.

Diminished chords resolve a half-step up so if you played F#min7b5, even though it has the modal note, it'd want to go to G major

which wouldn't make it Dorian.

Dominant chords like to resolve V-I to make a perfect cadence so that dominant chord wouldn't be too helpful in this case. The good

part is, the F# is in the D major triad so you don't need the b7 in the extension. Not having the C note in the chord will help make

sure it doesn’t want to resolve to the G. The C would like to go down a half step to the B in G major. Without the C, it doesn’t want

to go to G as much, helping keep the vamp around A.
You could keep the b7 if you want though.


So without the diminished chord or the relative major, the best chords you could use are:
D major - D F# A
…Haha, 1 chord. That's because modes are so unstable.
That makes the progression: Amin7-D major



You could use other chords as well:
Since A is the root, use an A chord (to keep it simple) but get that modal note F# in there...

A C E F# = min 6 chord

Another trick you can do is throw the root as the bass note for chords to keep everything stable. That means slash chords. Staying in A Dorian- you could use a chord that's diatonic but is a little sketchy because it wants to move to the relative major or something by throwing A as the bass note.

Example: If you're good, you can use the relative major chord (in this case, Gmaj). Put A in the bass to make a Gmaj/A chord.


Do that with any mode and you can make a vamp for it in no time.

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 05:15 PM
To user post above. Have u read entire lesson? :p:

What u typed is already in the first post. Check Dorian of my first post. The minor 6th interval, how to use the characteristic mode notes in modal chord progressions, slash chord usage. It's all there ;)

U only typed another example which is good. I just gave the basics *what tonic chord to use and how to think.

I didn't make slash chord progressions for every mode. I tried to be a lil different to show more musical possibilities.

There are endless possibilities. My lesson is the very basic, and I trust in that once you learned the basic stuff you can keep experimenting with it to come up with own creative modal ideas.

Freepower
11-15-2008, 06:02 PM
^ please feel free to PM me when these threads leave the first page and I'll make links to them in the FAQ.

ED:

And btw, seen your youtube stuff, very nice chops and decent phrasing too. If you could tighten the screws on the slop a little that'd be some scary stuff. :cheers:

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 06:06 PM
^ please feel free to PM me when these threads leave the first page and I'll make links to them in the FAQ.

Ah okay I will. I'm still cleaning the original post up a bit, cause I tend to use "street" language alot. But I live in a "rowdy" neighbourhood in Amsterdam, and I grew up with that languagestyle. But i'm getting better with my grammar & spelling :)

Edit:

Thanks for comments. I know i'm sloppy in some places. I been playing guitar for only 3 years, and what I what I wanna do musically is way further then my psyichal ability (i feel crippled sometimes). But I learn alot around here :p:

It's weird it seems the faster stuff is more in time then the slower stuff.

EDIT2: IT does seem I got sloppier since my band broke up. Miss my Drummer :(

metal4all
11-15-2008, 06:21 PM
To user post above. Have u read entire lesson? :p:

What u typed is already in the first post. Check Dorian of my first post. The minor 6th interval, how to use the characteristic mode notes in modal chord progressions, slash chord usage. It's all there ;)

U only typed another example which is good. I just gave the basics *what tonic chord to use and how to think.

I didn't make slash chord progressions for every mode. I tried to be a lil different to show more musical possibilities.

There are endless possibilities. My lesson is the very basic, and I trust in that once you learned the basic stuff you can keep experimenting with it to come up with own creative modal ideas.I read the entire thing. I just thought it was harder to understand. I had a little trouble following what you were saying even though I know how to do this. I was hoping my post could help contribute to the thread for which it's purpose is to help people understand modes, not insult you. Sorry if you thought I was trying to hijack it or some shit.

xxdarrenxx
11-15-2008, 06:23 PM
I read the entire thing. I just thought it was harder to understand. I had a little trouble following what you were saying even though I know how to do this. I was hoping my post could help contribute to the thread for which it's purpose is to help people understand modes, not insult you. Sorry if you thought I was trying to hijack it or some shit.

Oh no not at all. I'm learning proper grammar and spelling. And I'm still fixing it up a bit.
:cheers:

Freepower
11-15-2008, 07:06 PM
Yeah, I'll touch it up when it "goes to print" in the FAQ.

6_months_N
12-15-2008, 02:58 PM
Great Lesson!

demonofthenight
12-15-2008, 10:01 PM
^You bumped to say that?

Whatever, it deserves a bump. Bupmity bump darren.

Seeing as FP's on holidays, could psych or danny make sure that there's a link to this in the sticky? I don't think there is.

MOOSE_CCR99
12-22-2008, 02:06 PM
Awsome lesson, Ive been looking everywhere to find the relationships between modes and chords (if that makes sense) and this lesson explained it very nicely. Im finallly getting a recorder for xmas so Ill be able to further explore how different notes & modes sound over chords but this lesson was a great starting point.
ps. nice playing too!

CHOCOmoney
12-28-2008, 11:12 PM
The only thing about modes that confuses me is why people are confused by them. I take weekly lessons, and maybe its the personal contact, but i nailed it 4 lessons. so could some one explain what is so frightening about modes?

xxdarrenxx
12-29-2008, 03:46 AM
The only thing about modes that confuses me is why people are confused by them. I take weekly lessons, and maybe its the personal contact, but i nailed it 4 lessons. so could some one explain what is so frightening about modes?

Some people Can lay the link easier between sound - theory. It's based on how fast u learn and how deep u relate to music. If you heard alot of lydian songs in ur life, then there's a big chance that you understand lydian as easy as the major scale.

When I learned them I found Mixolydian, Lydian and Phrygian very easy (as well as Ionian and Aeolian). Dorian was a bit harder to "hear", but came quite fast as well. Locrian is just an odd one, but I understand it's other uses.

Also if I teach this in person, I can let other people play improvisation's and give a real-life steering on what or what not to play. If you understand how they sound then it comes like 10 times as easy.

deleriumtrigger
12-31-2008, 02:48 AM
I just don't understand modes. If you know the major or minor scale in the key of ___ up and down the fretboard you shouldn't need modes. Someone explain.

Helpy Helperton
12-31-2008, 06:30 AM
^ you'll need to read up on the major scale, and really have a thorough read of what darren has written here in his first few posts. Modes are not limited to major and minor, there are 7 modes each with an idividual sound. Some modes are minor in quality some are major in quality (in that they have some shared intervals with their Major and minor scale cousins), playing them in certain contexts give you a different sound other than straight major or minor.

Darren, great work. I've understood modes for a while now and have been slowly working on using them in a practical way (thanks to another of your posts). I think people can grasp the concept of modes but just not how they are supposed to be used and I think this thread will help a lot, shame i've only spotted it now when I could have been reading through like a month ago :p:

xxdarrenxx
12-31-2008, 06:52 AM
^ you'll need to read up on the major scale, and really have a thorough read of what darren has written here in his first few posts. Modes are not limited to major and minor, there are 7 modes each with an idividual sound. Some modes are minor in quality some are major in quality (in that they have some shared intervals with their Major and minor scale cousins), playing them in certain contexts give you a different sound other than straight major or minor.

Darren, great work. I've understood modes for a while now and have been slowly working on using them in a practical way (thanks to another of your posts). I think people can grasp the concept of modes but just not how they are supposed to be used and I think this thread will help a lot, shame i've only spotted it now when I could have been reading through like a month ago :p:


LOl ye thnx, I figured because of like the average 7 mode threads a week. :p:

I was lucky that my first love for music was game music, which really helped my ear for harmony development (A use where midi is good, cause everything gets from 1 sound and if ur ear is not very developed you can hear the difference between "midi pieces" better as opposed to sloppy/over-distorted/fx-infused guitarsounds :p: )

Through that I have a natural affection with the sounds of modes and I don't know why people think about scales like alot of people do, but I always found it logical that it doesn't matter which notes u use but how u use them. Just like a painting; 1000's of painting using the same red, but all different objects/people etc.

I really don't understand why people think Scale = solo :confused:

^^to deleriumtrigger;

Read my lesson? I explain which notes make the modes, and what makes them different from each other.

If all my examples "sound the same (Scale) to you", then you haven't developed ur ear yet, which is no problem. Let it rest for a while and come back when your ear is developed more.

All my examples use notes from a major scale, no other notes added. But they don't sound all major do they? That's what modes are.

Modes are more a category of interval to root relations (Every scale is actually like this, but major/minor/pentatonic scales are in general explained in a "vague" or somewhat misleading/incomplete fashion)

:cheers:

deleriumtrigger
12-31-2008, 09:30 PM
But if you run a mode up and down the fretboard, it will sound the same as a major scale. A mode is the major scale with a different tonal center. How do they not run into each other and sound like a dorian phrase?

werty22
12-31-2008, 09:58 PM
Isn't "So What" a vamp over a min7add11 chord? Forgive me if I'm wrong, I've only heard the tune a couple of times.

deleriumtrigger
12-31-2008, 11:53 PM
But if you run a mode up and down the fretboard, it will sound the same as a major scale. A mode is the major scale with a different tonal center. How do they not run into each other and sound like a dorian phrase?
Am I doing something wrong? When I am trying to use a mode, say dorian in C, I should start on D correct?

I guess, what I am trying to ask is how do I make sure something sounds modal and doesn't just contain all notes of the key?

Archeo Avis
01-01-2009, 12:58 AM
Am I doing something wrong? When I am trying to use a mode, say dorian in C, I should start on D correct?

It doesn't matter what note you start on.
"Dorian in C" has a tonal center of C.

I just don't understand modes. If you know the major or minor scale in the key of ___ up and down the fretboard you shouldn't need modes. Someone explain.

Modes have absolutely nothing to do with being able to play the entire length of the fretboard.

deleriumtrigger
01-01-2009, 02:21 AM
It doesn't matter what note you start on.
"Dorian in C" has a tonal center of C.



Modes have absolutely nothing to do with being able to play the entire length of the fretboard.
But when I am in the key of C and I want to play something in dorian shouldn't I start on ii, which is D?

demonofthenight
01-01-2009, 07:15 AM
But when I am in the key of C and I want to play something in dorian shouldn't I start on ii, which is D?Out of curiosity, how do you expect to use modes? I think something might be wrong with your application of modes.

michal23
01-01-2009, 07:31 AM
Hey, quick question guys. Which chords in a lydian mode help to resolve back to the tonic? I'm having quite a hard time finding some :/

demonofthenight
01-01-2009, 07:42 AM
^Keeping in mind modal progressions (these days) are generally simple.

Darren used an I - II progression. Not sure if I like that.

I think you would need to use the seventh note and the second note of the lydian mode in the second last chord (as a sort of cadence), so I'm thinking a vii chord or a V chord. I wouldn't really like a V-I progression if I was trying to write a lydian progression, so that leaves vii.

I'd resolve in lydian by: vii-I

Your choice though.

michal23
01-01-2009, 07:47 AM
^ Yeah, that seems like the best option to me as well. Thanks for your help :cheers:

xxdarrenxx
01-01-2009, 08:55 AM
Am I doing something wrong? When I am trying to use a mode, say dorian in C, I should start on D correct?

I guess, what I am trying to ask is how do I make sure something sounds modal and doesn't just contain all notes of the key?

Read the lesson? English is not my first language, but I think I wrote pretty clear on which notes to emphasize in each mode.

To Demon.

I literally came up with all the progressions while I was writing to try to emulate my thought process to the fullest, that's why I ended up with "So What" kind of progression on the Dorian example. I wouldn't use any of the progressions on it's own as songs, it's more a thing to practice ur modal awareness and to emphasize "mode notes" and not a song writing lesson :p:

Although on Lydian it was more a stylistic Idea. I interprete Lydian as mysterious, which I translated in a not (strong)resolving progression, so that it "hangs" on that #4.

People shouldn't take this progressions as the only way. The progressions are as much improvised as the leads.

Freepower
01-01-2009, 01:56 PM
But when I am in the key of C and I want to play something in dorian shouldn't I start on ii, which is D?

You've got it all messed up.

Don't think of D Dorian as "C major starting on ii" - because that way you will inevitably play "C major" sounds.

It's got a tonal center of D. That means it's going to be D something.

A much better way to get a feel for this mode is to think of it as D minor with a major 6th, a much sweeter and brighter interval than the b6th.

Archeo Avis
01-01-2009, 02:58 PM
But when I am in the key of C and I want to play something in dorian shouldn't I start on ii, which is D?

If you're in the key of C major, you're not going to be playing dorian (or any mode). You don't seem to understand what modes are. I suggest ignoring them completely until you have a firm grasp on the theory behind the major scale and diatonic harmony.

michal23
01-01-2009, 02:59 PM
^ I don't understand why one of the first things people want to learn, theory-wise, is modes. They're very rarely actually applied to modern music, and there are many things that are far more beneficial to the guitarist.

GuitarMunky
01-01-2009, 03:19 PM
^ I don't understand why one of the first things people want to learn, theory-wise, is modes. They're very rarely actually applied to modern music, and there are many things that are far more beneficial to the guitarist.


In many cases I think it's because it makes them feel more "advanced" to say they know modes. It's another "achievement"/more "XP points"..... not unlike being able to play a particular number of notes in 1 second, or being able to employ a celebrated shred technique like sweep picking or string skipping. "check me out, look what I can do.... look how advanced I am" !!!.

xxdarrenxx
01-01-2009, 03:53 PM
I see modes as a learning experience.

Even if you don't use modes in a "modal songwriting" context. Playing around with them is a challenge, and once you learn the characteristics sounds of them, they will also help in non modal progressions as to which notes you choose over chords in soloing and/or writing.

With this lesson you take the INTERVALS as the MAIN focus, and I'm certain that if you play around with this you will develop ur ear into hearing all those (beautiful) interval relations outside of ur regular major and minor (and "Blues"), cause you really emphasize the other notes of the major scale.

The key word here is Aural Awareness and is intended for people that "Think in scales" and not intervals/intervallic relationship.

I don't know if this lesson will help everyone/anyone, but it helped me in being "aware" that it's all about the interval relations and not "The scale".

GuitarMunky
01-01-2009, 03:57 PM
I see modes as a learning experience.

Even if you don't use modes in a "modal songwriting" context. Playing around with them is a challenge, and once you learn the characteristics sounds of them, they will also help in non modal progressions as to which notes you choose over chords in soloing and/or writing.

With this lesson you take the INTERVALS as the MAIN focus, and I'm certain that if you play around with this you will develop ur ear into hearing all those (beautiful) interval relations outside of ur regular major and minor (and "Blues"), cause you really emphasize the other notes of the major scale.

The key word here is Aural Awareness and is intended for people that "Think in scales" and not intervals/intervallic relationship.

I don't know if this lesson will help everyone/anyone, but it helped me in being "aware" that it's all about the interval relations and not "The scale".

Well, you definitely put a lot of work into it, and there is some good info there. have you made this into an official lesson? It might be easier for people to learn in that format, so they don't have to sift through all the replies/opinions from people here in the forum.

xxdarrenxx
01-01-2009, 04:12 PM
Well, you definitely put a lot of work into it, and there is some good info there. have you made this into an official lesson? It might be easier for people to learn in that format, so they don't have to sift through all the replies/opinions from people here in the forum.

How do u mean official?

michal23
01-01-2009, 05:21 PM
You can submit it in the "Ug Contribution" forum near the bottom of the main forums page.

deleriumtrigger
01-02-2009, 05:04 AM
If you're in the key of C major, you're not going to be playing dorian (or any mode). You don't seem to understand what modes are. I suggest ignoring them completely until you have a firm grasp on the theory behind the major scale and diatonic harmony.
Could you explain what a mode is without using the metaphor of colors and just use plain english? Everywhere I go for knowledge of modes gives me a different definition.

xxdarrenxx
01-02-2009, 07:00 AM
Could you explain what a mode is without using the metaphor of colors and just use plain english? Everywhere I go for knowledge of modes gives me a different definition.

In the most plain english;
A mode is a scale/set of notes.

Q; What's the difference between scales?
A; They have different notes in relation to the root note.

Same notes = same scale, so modes are all major scale?

WRONG; It's all about the relation ship between root notes and it's intervals.

Really my Colour theory comes closest to "plain English". It's either that or the musical terms to describe it.

Freepower
01-02-2009, 09:51 AM
Could you explain what a mode is without using the metaphor of colors and just use plain english? Everywhere I go for knowledge of modes gives me a different definition.

It's a scale derived by changing the tonic of another scale.

demonofthenight
01-02-2009, 09:57 AM
In many cases I think it's because it makes them feel more "advanced" to say they know modes. It's another "achievement"/more "XP points"..... not unlike being able to play a particular number of notes in 1 second, or being able to employ a celebrated shred technique like sweep picking or string skipping. "check me out, look what I can do.... look how advanced I am" !!!.Agreed.

Modes are actually pretty useless in modern western music. Unless you're writing modal progressions, the ability to use accidentals in modern music (something mostly unheard of in pre-baroque music, when modes were used alot) sort of means modes are useless for melodies and improvising. That's my belief anyway.

Archeo Avis
01-02-2009, 10:39 AM
Could you explain what a mode is without using the metaphor of colors and just use plain english? Everywhere I go for knowledge of modes gives me a different definition.

Who said anything about colors (or used any sort of metaphor)? The simple truth is that you just aren't ready to be worrying about modes.

mdc
01-02-2009, 11:28 AM
not unlike being able to play a particular number of notes in 1 second, or being able to employ a celebrated shred technique like sweep picking or string skipping. "check me out, look what I can do.... look how advanced I am" !!!.
Only, there's nothing advanced about it really is there? Everything is just a basic technique, it's just been sped up a little.

xxdarrenxx
01-02-2009, 02:42 PM
Agreed.

Modes are actually pretty useless in modern western music. Unless you're writing modal progressions, the ability to use accidentals in modern music (something mostly unheard of in pre-baroque music, when modes were used alot) sort of means modes are useless for melodies and improvising. That's my belief anyway.

I Disagree.

Knowing modes also helps in understand interval relations. You can compose a song with different progressions which are modal or use parallel modes.

You call this modulation's, but this doesn't take away the fact that modes can potential broaden ur melodic sense.

Even if not the whole song is in 1 mode, it's stupid to say that you ignore what goes on in the middle of the song and only check what the first chord and the last chord resolve to.

deleriumtrigger
01-02-2009, 03:04 PM
In the most plain english;
A mode is a scale/set of notes.

Q; What's the difference between scales?
A; They have different notes in relation to the root note.

Same notes = same scale, so modes are all major scale?

WRONG; It's all about the relation ship between root notes and it's intervals.

Really my Colour theory comes closest to "plain English". It's either that or the musical terms to describe it.
Thank you, I feel this description is much better. :D

Majin Gaara
01-27-2009, 11:26 AM
Very cool! Kudos to OP.

This will help in the writing.

bornfidelity
02-25-2009, 07:15 AM
idugedit

slappyx
05-08-2009, 02:19 PM
nice thread ! :D