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Old 02-06-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
Valix
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Question Do I understand this right? (need input)

Up until not so long ago I usually just tried to cover songs I'd like to hear when playing guitar. But lately I've been making my own music which is so much more pleasing.

I've read a lot about some theory, but there are some items that confuse me still, most recently song structure. I'll give you an example:

I want to write a full song (guitar only atm). I've been writing a lick in E Aeolian. It's about 1minute long and it sounds, to me, really good, but I've hit a stop. It feels like I can't really go on in that lick anymore, like it's reached its end.

If I understand things correctly, do I continue in my song with the next rhytm part and move on to E Locrian and abandon E Aeolian? And when progressing from Aeolian to Locrian to first move up to the root note (as a transition between the two modes) ?

I could really use some input as on how to procede with this. It would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for reading my post though.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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What genre of song?
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oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:20 AM   #3
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Blues
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:20 AM   #4
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oh my god i give up lol
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hail
oh my god i give up lol


? I've read most of the sticky and browsed posts here, but if you feel I missed a certain post or part of a post I would be much obliged if you'd point me in the correct direction. That would help me as well and I will thank you for it.

A post like that however helps me jack squat.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:26 AM   #6
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there aren't modes in blues. get back into reality and learn the fundamentals of theory.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:30 AM   #7
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Aeolian mode as a scale is identical with the natural minor scale.


Last I read the natural minor scale is used in blues. As I've only written a lick up until this point I guess it's used like that. But as I said I could use some input on the whole. Plus it sounds good to me, isn't that the most important thing?
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:31 AM   #8
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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I looked through that one, it's an amazing thread with a lot of information. But I feel I need to put my question differently as this isn't about modes at all. It's about writing a song.

I've written a lick using a certain mode, but after writing a lick of about 1minute long I feel like I've hit a dead end. How do I continue? (theory-wise)
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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If your problem is structural it's hard to give specific advice. Write a big letter B on the next line and see what your fingers come up with. See what your voice wants to do. Sit at a keyboard and let your left hand go Ouija board with the bass line.

Structure is about making decisions and then making those decisions work. Theory helps you solve little problems ("how do I make this key change sound smooth?"), but it's really up to you to decide whether you want to go louder or softer; faster or slower; major or minor...

Really just do a quick subjective analysis of your A section - note the feel, mood, rhythmic pulse, tonality, tempo - and then decide how your B section is going to contrast or reinforce those qualities.

RE: Blues

Don't mix modes and blues.

To sound convincing with the blues, start by playing only the notes from the chords. That is, over the A7 play notes from A7; over D7 play notes from D7 and so on. Once you can do that confidently, add in the blue notes (b3 and b5) over each chord. Make to sure to really nail that dominant sound on the turnaround.

You can also do a minor blues where the I and IV are m7 chords, but make sure to keep the V dominant.

If you don't know what those terms mean, go back and review your basic chord spelling and roman numerals.

Last edited by cdgraves : 02-06-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:40 AM   #11
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"this isn't about modes. this is about writing a song. with modes"
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valix
Blues

I'm interested to know how much blues music you have in your collection?
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:52 AM   #13
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To cdgraves: Thank you very much for that post. Both parts really help me a lot. I'll try it that way and see what I come up with, cheers!

To Hail: Yes, you like to be condescending, I get it. Just saying I'm wrong without telling me why doesn't make you smart. I hope you're not this way to everyone "less-smart" than you on this forum.

To mdc: I have quite some BB King, SRV, Albert King and Eric Clapton in my collection. I saw a video on youtube a while back with someone playing blues and he talked about a scale he was using to do so, which led me to the natural minor scale. I read that as a scale it was the same as aeolian, which is why I was thinking modally for a moment
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #14
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You're making something simple far more complicated than it needs to be. The blues can be complex but at heart it's just the same chord progression repeated over and over, often with short instrumental breaks between sections.

Try this for starters. Chord Progressions For Songwriters
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valix
How do I continue? (theory-wise)

Study blues solos. It's evolved over decades, and they didn't know theory. They learnt by ear and copying each others licks and phrases, and you should do the same.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valix
To Hail: Yes, you like to be condescending, I get it. Just saying I'm wrong without telling me why doesn't make you smart. I hope you're not this way to everyone "less-smart" than you on this forum.


after a year of dealing with dumbasses on the same questions it becomes quite a comfy position to be in if you ask me
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valix
Up until not so long ago I usually just tried to cover songs I'd like to hear when playing guitar. But lately I've been making my own music which is so much more pleasing.

I've read a lot about some theory, but there are some items that confuse me still, most recently song structure. I'll give you an example:

I want to write a full song (guitar only atm). I've been writing a lick in E Aeolian. It's about 1minute long and it sounds, to me, really good, but I've hit a stop. It feels like I can't really go on in that lick anymore, like it's reached its end.

If I understand things correctly, do I continue in my song with the next rhytm part and move on to E Locrian and abandon E Aeolian? And when progressing from Aeolian to Locrian to first move up to the root note (as a transition between the two modes) ?

I could really use some input as on how to procede with this. It would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for reading my post though.

As far as the bit in bold goes, what is it in your current knowledge and understanding of music that brought you to that potential conclusion. That's not a dig, it's a genuine question.

It does look like your understanding of theory is somewhat incomplete and possibly incorrect, understanding where and why you went wrong will help people point you in the right direction, even Hail can be helpful, he just believes in tough love.

One thing I'll often said round here that i'll repeat is that that theory is descriptive, not prescriptive, it isn't a set of cookie cutter shapes for you to cement together when composing, it's simply a way to understand what you've written and describe it to other musicians. You should always be using your ears to decide what to play and whether or not it's "right".
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valix
To mdc: I have quite some BB King, SRV, Albert King and Eric Clapton in my collection. I saw a video on youtube a while back with someone playing blues and he talked about a scale he was using to do so, which led me to the natural minor scale. I read that as a scale it was the same as aeolian, which is why I was thinking modally for a moment

I'm dead sure none of those guitarists gives modes even the briefest of thoughts when they play/compose. Stop thinking about theory and rather play what you hear in your head. Theory is good, but not the way you're currently using it, get a solid understanding of functional harmony.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:25 AM   #19
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To Sleepy_Head: Thanks for the link, I'll have a read.

To mdc: I don't really like to copy other people when making my own music, but it's a good idea to break others' solos down and see how they went about on doing it, cheers.

To steven seagull: Yeah, I guess I'm too hung on theory being prescriptive instead of being descriptive at the moment, I'll try to change that way of thinking.

Well, I know that when one would play the modes in the correct order, in the key of C for example, that the notes would make up the C major scale. That made me believe that if you progress through modes you'd have to respect that order, locrian being next in my case.

Why I thought I needed to progress from one mode to another: I believe playing in one mode or scale even is too difficult for someone like me. Satriani can do it, but he's .. yeah Satriani :p
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valix
To Sleepy_Head: Thanks for the link, I'll have a read.

To mdc: I don't really like to copy other people when making my own music, but it's a good idea to break others' solos down and see how they went about on doing it, cheers.

To steven seagull: Yeah, I guess I'm too hung on theory being prescriptive instead of being descriptive at the moment, I'll try to change that way of thinking.

Well, I know that when one would play the modes in the correct order, in the key of C for example, that the notes would make up the C major scale. That made me believe that if you progress through modes you'd have to respect that order, locrian being next in my case.

Why I thought I needed to progress from one mode to another: I believe playing in one mode or scale even is too difficult for someone like me. Satriani can do it, but he's .. yeah Satriani :p

Yeah that's not really how it works at all.

The one thing you need to get fixed in your mind about modes, before worrying about anything else, is this - modes are about how things sound. Where you start playing, what order you're playing in, what shape or pattern you use - none of that has any bearing on whether or not you're using modes. It also doesn't follow that doing somethinf different from a physical point of view will change the sound - remember there's only 12 notes on the guitar and they repeat multiple times, so you can play the exact same sound in several places.
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