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-   -   What are modes? (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1576106)

johnyere 12-03-2012 02:20 PM

What are modes?
 
Modes keep coming up whenever im on these forums, and i wanted to know what they are and what their purpose is.

will42 12-03-2012 03:01 PM

Short Answer: Don't ask.

Long Answer: Please don't ask.

Helpful answer: They are a fairly outdated method of musical analysis. Don't concern yourself with them. Focus on learning theory, keys, chords and intervals before you get anywehre near the modes.

AeolianWolf 12-03-2012 03:05 PM

1) the number that appears most often in a set of integers.

show


2) a way or manner in which something is experienced or done.

show


3) a big pile of ****.

show

will42 12-03-2012 03:08 PM

That too ^

Xiaoxi 12-03-2012 03:31 PM

I love betty.

Junior#1 12-03-2012 03:35 PM

Modes are completely useless unless you have an extremely, EXTREMELY good understanding of at least the major scale. Until you learn that, forget you ever heard the word 'modes'.

wolflen 12-03-2012 03:40 PM

mixolydian b2, double harmonic, superlocrian b2 nat.7, betty, lydian dominant

now...betty must be the benny golson "along came betty" person...sheryl bailey does a hot rendition of it...who is sheryl bailey you might ask... http://www.sherylbailey.com/ a very nice surprise...and she does not modal on the first date....

wolf

johnyere 12-03-2012 03:43 PM

lol, i should've probably included that i always see negative things about modes whenever im on these forums...

Pierre-Claude 12-03-2012 04:10 PM

Modes are BASED of of the mafor scale. They are used to evoke diferent feelings than your typical minor (sad) major (happy) scales

AlanHB 12-03-2012 04:19 PM

Johnnyere, to turn the table back on you, what are keys? Can you listen to a song and identify what key it's in?

helltothee 12-03-2012 04:19 PM

Something like playing a certain key in another key signature?
Like playing an F major with a B natural (so the "other" key signature is C)
That's my understanding of it. I may be wrong.

AeolianWolf 12-03-2012 04:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre-Claude
Modes are BASED of of the mafor scale. They are used to evoke diferent feelings than your typical minor (sad) major (happy) scales


haha no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnyere
lol, i should've probably included that i always see negative things about modes whenever im on these forums...


it's not that there's anything bad about modes. there isn't really. but so many musicians (by far, the majority are guitarists) think that they're the holy grail of music. then again, a lot of guitarists think of music as using seven million different scales with absolutely no prerequisite musical knowledge, so there's that.

modes are actually good to know, but you're far better off working with the key system we have in place today. it obsolesced the modal system of the renaissance/early baroque eras for a reason.

but to be helpful, i will actually give you a definition of what a mode is.

if you take a scale (say, the major scale, for simplicity's sake), you rearrange the notes (from C D E F G A B to D E F G A B C) and you change your tonic (home note) to a different note (instead of having C as the tonic, you'd make D the tonic), you now have a mode. since there are seven notes in a major scale, there are seven possible modes of the major scale (one for each note as the tonic).

if you're playing in C major and you start a run on E, you are not playing E phrygian. it does not work that way.

people will say that you can have modal music, and that's true, but ultimately it's far more beneficial to think in keys. leonard bernstein can say what he wants about there being more than two keys (which 20T mentioned in the other thread [and which leonard bernstein never actually said, lol, but for the sake of the argument i'll assume it to be true]), but, ultimately, the opinion of a few educated and talented musicians simply is not going to be enough to change the way the everyday person hears something. western music has been in keys for over three hundred years, and it's a control that we, as humans, have become accustomed to, subconsciously or otherwise.

modes are very simple things that are glibly touted by some, and blindly bashed by others. but then there are those of us who see them for what they are while not losing sight of the big picture, understand their use, and who also understand that they're not really important. ultimately, it's important to get to know them, if only because it's how some musicians choose to communicate (be it correct or otherwise).

but there are more important things to focus on first.

johnyere 12-03-2012 04:25 PM

AlanHB, from my understanding, the key note is "home base." and no im not at the level where i can listen to a song and identify the key.

johnyere 12-03-2012 04:30 PM

AeolianWolf thanks for the reply... just one question, what do you mean when you're referring to the "key system we have in place today"? are you just talking about regular keys (for example, this song is in the key of G).

MaggaraMarine 12-03-2012 04:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnyere
lol, i should've probably included that i always see negative things about modes whenever im on these forums...

There are negative things about modes in this forum because when you start talking about modes, some stupid will start a "mode war." There's always somebody that says that a song is modal and even if people argue against it, he just doesn't listen to them. (We had the worst mode war I have seen in the weekend. But it really wasn't even a mode war, it was something about being homeless :) but it started with modes.)

I think it's still good to know how different modes sound, even if you weren't using them "the original way."

AeolianWolf 12-03-2012 05:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnyere
AeolianWolf thanks for the reply... just one question, what do you mean when you're referring to the "key system we have in place today"? are you just talking about regular keys (for example, this song is in the key of G).


yep. once you know keys (and i mean really know keys), you're pretty much set. nothing wrong with learning modes after that, but for the love of god, don't do it before learning keys.

z4twenny 12-03-2012 05:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMariine
We had the worst mode war I have seen in the weekend. But it really wasn't even a mode war, it was something about being homeless :) but it started with modes.)

Moral of the story being that modes will make you homeless

Hail 12-03-2012 05:58 PM

i wonder what the 7 modes are of being homeless

CryogenicHusk 12-03-2012 06:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by z4twenny
Moral of the story being that modes will make you homeless


91RG350 12-04-2012 02:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AeolianWolf
if you take a scale (say, the major scale, for simplicity's sake), you rearrange the notes (from C D E F G A B to D E F G A B C) and you change your tonic (home note) to a different note (instead of having C as the tonic, you'd make D the tonic), you now have a mode.

wording is everything... a noob, not paying attention and reading every word in context, will think "If I start on D then Im playing a mode".... the original step pattern of the major scale also comes into play.... which results in an accidental, passing note, mode note, grail note, whatever the frick you want to call it.... because its got to be called something.... just gotta....be called..summin...


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