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Old 09-12-2002, 07:44 AM   #1
miele
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Pot Modes over chords

I was wondering...how can i know what mode i have to use over a certain progression. Some modes sound good over major chords, some don't.
Are there any "rules" for this?
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Old 09-12-2002, 09:59 AM   #2
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ahhhhhhh , nice .... a new theory thread w0000t

yes certain modes work over certain chords and don't work over others.

lets take the chords/modes of the Major scale for example.

ok ... first off, as I?m sure you are well aware of miele, but for those of you that don't..... the chords of the Major scale appear in this order

(for this example I?m using 7th chords, as they really demonstrate the underlying harmony of the chord/scale relationship than basic triads)

I chord is Maj7
ii chord is min7
iii chord is min7
IV chord is Maj7
V chord is Dom7
vi chord is min7
vii chord is min7 b5

so if we're in the key of A major for example .... our chords are gonna be ...

Amaj7 - Bmin7 - C#min7 - Dmaj7 - E7 - F# min7 - Gmin7 b5

now, these chords coincide with the respective modes

1st mode: Ionian
1-2-3-4-5-6-7

2nd mode: Dorian
1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7

3rd mode: Phrygian
1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7

4th mode: Lydian
1-2-3-#4-5-6-7

5th mode: Myxolydian
1-2-3-4-5-6-b7

6th mode: Aeolian (aka. natural minor)
1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7

7th mode: Locrian
1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7

so in essence you compare chords with modes ....

I chord = 1st mode (ionian)

ii chord = 2nd mode (dorian)

iii chord = 3rd (Phrygian)

IV chord = 4th (Lydian)

V chord = 5th (Mixolydian)

vi chord = 6th (Aeolian)

vii = 7th (Locrian)

so if you're in one central Key ...like A major .... and you have a progression like Bmin7 : A Maj : E7 : F# min : Bmin : .... seeing as how all those are all chords from the A Maj scale .... then you could just solo out of A Ionian really..... kinda the slacker approach , but it'll sound ok .....

That?s the most basic explanation of it .... NOW .... Here?s the real humdinger of it all .... each mode has specific character traits that are specifically UNIQUE TO THAT MODE ..... therefore.... to get to real deal concept and sound of the modes and how they work .... you must go beyond tetradic harmony (7th chords) and look at chord progressions that are not all in ONE key

for example ....

you see there are 2 chords that are Maj7 chords (the I & IV chords) so how do you know which mode to properly apply ?....well lets look at the intervals in the modes

the first mode, Ionian is built like so ..... 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 so basically a Maj 7 chord is the overall underlying chord of this mode .... "yeah but what about the IV chord .... That?s a Maj7th too" .... yes it is but it has a tone that makes it completely different from Ionian.... the #4 (or #11 as its also called)

Lydian is constructed as:
1-2-3-#4-5-6-7 .... so the chord that you would most commonly associate this with is a Maj7 #11 ..... now, that?s not to say you can't play Lydian over a Maj7th chord that doesn't have that #11

see the thing about Ionian , is the 4 (aka the 11) is known as an "avoid note" because it clashes with the Major 3rd in the chord, because it creates the interval of a b2 (minor 2nd) between the 3rd and 4th ..... very harsh sound in a major chord . so you will very, very rarely see a natural 11 played in a Maj7 chord. so its safe to play the Lydian mode over a maj7 chord cause the 4th won't be present in the chord anyway so the #4 won't clash .
but it doesn't work the other way around....... you wouldn't play the Ionian mode over a Maj7 #11 because the Ionian has a natural 11, and the natural 11 played over a Maj7 #11 will make it sound like ****.....

so say you have C maj7 .... then Bb maj7 .... you wont find those 2 chords together in any key , so you are changing keys , that?s where modes come in handy and are most applied, cause if you're just staying in one key, then its all really one scale regardless of the chord .....

so in this example you could solo over the Cmaj7 with C Lydian ... the over the Bb Maj7 you could use Bb Lydian (or Ionian .... both are considered "major" modes in their tonality .... but that dang Ionian has the damn natural 4 , which once again easily clashes )

ok now that i set my example .... lets look at the rest of the chords and their full harmonic value. some other chords

we said earlier that it was

I chord is Maj7
ii chord is min7
iii chord is min7
IV chord is Maj7
V chord is Dom7
vi chord is min7
vii chord is min7 b5 (half diminished)

but that?s only considering the root 3rd 5th and 7th intervals of each mode .... what about their other notes, Which are much more important to identifying the UNIQUENESS OF EACH MODE

BEFORE I MOVE ON ..... YOU SHOULD LEARN TO DO ONE THING MORE THAN ANY OTHER IN ORDER TO FULLY GET THIS WHOLE THING .... START THINKING "KEY" ... NOT CHORD ...
like if you see Maj7 #11 .... you should automatically think lydian.... chord/key should become one in your thinking, when im talking to a pianist and they say whats the next chord i can say D lydian ... and to them that means D Maj7 #11 .... cause that is the harmony that is a lydian scale/chord.... lets move on

Ok ? in a chord, the defining notes are the 3rd and 7th ?. The 3rd tells you if its major or minor, and the 7th tells you if its dominant or not. (and of course the 5 if flatted lets you know if it is a diminished chord J )

Here are the combinations
Maj3rd + Maj 7th = Maj7th chord
Min3rd + min 7th = min7th chord
Maj3rd + min7th = Dominant
Min3rd + b5th + min7th = min7 b5 (half diminished)

And also ?. For future reference for those that don?t know, and may have wondered about it in the past.

2 is also called a 9
4 is called an 11
6 is called 13

this is where we start getting more towards your question miele


1st mode: Ionian
1-2-3-4-5-6-7

Ok so we have a Maj3rd and a Maj7th ?. This is very basic ? it?s a Maj7 chord. All other notes are natural

2nd mode: Dorian
1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7

Here we have a min3rd and a min7th ?. Hence a min7th chord once again pretty basic, over min7th chords this is a good scale to use. It differs from the natural minor scale in the sense that it has a natural 6th , which makes it more ?.well? light so to speak, this mode is sometimes referred to as the ?happy minor?

3rd mode: Phrygian
1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7

Ok ? here we go?.. min3rd and a min 7th ?. So a min7th chord , so wouldn?t we play Dorian ? ? naahhh ?this mode has 2 intervals that a Dorian mode doesn?t have, a b2 and a b6, which makes this scale sound rather exotic. Normally you wouldn?t play this mode over a min7th chord, yes I know the underlying 7th chord harmony is a min7th ?.. BUT ? the defining tones of the mode makes it more applicable to another chord ?. The Susb9 . A Sus chord (not to be confused with Sus2 and Sus4 ) is constructed of a root a 4th and a b7 ?. 1-4-b7 ?? add a b9 to that (another name for the b2) and you have the chord tones that really define the Phrygian sound, so that?s why it would be applied over this chord most often. Now ?the mode also has a b6 (aka b13) but the b6 isn?t only in the Phrygian mode?. It is also present in the Aeolian and locrian mode, so its not THE defining quality of the Phrygian mode ?.. The b2 is. And yes the locrian mode also has a b2 , but the Locrian mode has a b5 as well, so the Phrygian is the only mode with a b2 and a natural 5th (perfect 5th) in the same mode ?? see , all the modes really are very unique, hence the different harmonies that you would use them over ?

4th mode: Lydian
1-2-3-#4-5-6-7

Maj3rd and a Maj7th ?. Ok, so here we have a Maj7th chord use Ionian right ? ? nope because building a chord using the notes of a Lydian scale you?re going to have a Maj7 #11 , play the Ionian mode (which has a natural 11) over a chord that has a #11 in it and you won?t be invited back to that jam session lol ?.

5th mode: Myxolydian
1-2-3-4-5-6-b7

Ok , the wonderful mixolydian mode ?.. We have a Maj3rd and a min7th ?.. So now we have a dominant 7th chord. Ionian and Lydian have Maj3rds ? but the also have Maj7ths as well , so they would sound like utter crap being played over a Dom7 chord cause the Maj7ths would clash with the b7 of the dom chord. So we use mixolydian over dominant chords

p.s. Dominant chords are highly subjective to almost anything you wanna play over them due to the inherent tension within the chord. A whole 6 page reply could be written about what you could play over a dominant chord because almost anything goes, seeing as how it already functions as a tension chord, further dissonance usually always works very well over this chord.

6th mode: Aeolian (aka. natural minor)
1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7

Min3rd and a min7th ?.. That gives us a min7th chord right? ? well, we gonna use dorian over a chord built from the notes of this mode? ? nope , why ? Cause dorian has a natural 6 ?. Aeolian has a b6 so that would sound like **** as well. An Aeolian chord would be a min7 b6 ?. If you come across a min7 b6 chord, Aeolian is your choice.

7th mode: Locrian
1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7

Heres the ****ing oddball of the bunch lol ??Min3rd and a min 7th ?.. So , minor 7th chord right ? ? nope ?. We also have a b5 (among other notes ??. But I?ll get to them shortly). This is where the min7 b5 (a.k.a half diminished ) comes in. if you played Aeolian, Phyrgian or dorian over this the 5th?s in those scales would just sound like utter trashe when you?re playing over a chord that has a b5th in it. Now you may be asking about all the other flatted notes in their, see?. They add more to the sound, but they?re not solely unique to that mode?. Phrygian has a b2 , and a b6, ?? Aeolian has a b6.?. So the only note in Locrian that really makes it stand out is the b5 ?? so , over min7 b5 chords ?. Locrian is your mode.
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Old 09-12-2002, 10:00 AM   #3
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ok ... sorry .... my post was apparently 20000 characters to long so i had to post it in 2 sections ... so heres the rest
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whew ?. Lol , ok with that out of the way lets look at more of the function of those modes and where they come in handy.

Like I said earlier ?.. If you are in one key for a progression , then it?s really all one key (whatever major scale all the chords are from) although it?s still good to think modally even if you?re in one central key .

However if you goutside that key, or your bouncing all over keys, then the modes are gonna be you?re best friends .

Another example ? ? don?t mind if I do J

Ok ? in one key , your chords , in order from first to last, would look like this (I?ll use C major as an Example)

Cmaj7 - Dmin7 - Esusb9 - Fmaj #11 - G7 - Amin7 b6 - Bmin7 b5

So if you had a progression with just some of these chords, well ? then you?re gonna be in one key

But say you?re chord progression goes like this ?.
Cmaj7 : Dmaj7 : Amin7 : D7 : Gmaj7: well, only one of those chords are in that one key ?.. So what do you do ? ? well, alls you need to know is what chord goes with what mode , which I have listed above.

In this instance you would play C Ionian or C Lydian for the first chord ? D Ionian or D Lydian for the 2nd chord, A Dorian for the 3rd chord , D myxolydian for the 4th chord , and G Ionian or G Lydian for the last chord

Well I hope that all made sense ?. It really comes down to a proper memorization of what chords go to what modes, kinda like put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole?? just gotta know what goes where !

p.s.

Some final notes ?.. All that I listed above was for tertiary harmony (7th chords and above) . If simple triads are in use, then you?re options are much broader. Like if someone where simply playing an A minor chord , you could use any one of those Modes that has a min3rd in it ( minor chord has minor 3rd in it ?. Hence a mode with a min 3rds will work over it , and vice versa ?. Over Major chords, play modes that have a Maj3rd in it ) . An A minr only has a 1-b3-5 in it , so playing any one of these modes over it would produce some cool sounds (cept that locrian scale , cause it has a b5 ) seeing as dorian,Phrygian , and Aeolian all have
1-b3-5 in them then they?ll all work, but they?ll produce very different sounds , which of course is what we?re looking for . So practice different modes over different basic triads to get a good feel of how different modes can completely change the feel of a minor or major chord. If you have a 4-track just jam on a major chord ?. Just a simple major chord for like 5 minutes. Then play it back and jam over the chord in Ionian, then Lydian, Then Myxolydian (all those modes will work over a basic major chords cause they all have maj3rd?s in them )

Example?.

Play a D Maj chord for like 5 minutes, play it back and over that play the Ionian mode for like 2 minutes, then play the Myxolydian mode for 2 minutes, then play the Lydian mode for the last minute?.. Really get a feel for how they sound over major chords

Then do the same with a minor chord and the minor modes, and finally a diminished chord with the locrian mode J

And ?. With power chords, or pedal note , its even broader seeing as how power chords don?t even have Major or Minor qualities, yes a power chord progression can come from a specific key, but the power chords themselves don?t really have inherent tonalities. Record yourself playing 1 power chord for a couple of minutes, just riff on it , then play it back and jam on anymode you feel like, and you?ll see what I mean (hopefully lol )

As well with a pedal point (just on single note ringing out ) with one note as your root ?. You can play any mode you like!! ? this is how I learned to identify the sounds of the modes by ear and get familiar with what kind of sound they create. Once again, record yourself just droning 1 note over and over, then over it play all the modes for various length ?.

Example. Drone the low E string ?. Just play the low E-string over and over ?. Then play it back , and pplay E Ionian over it , then E Dorian , then E Phrygian and so on ?.. Then try comparing all the modes that have major qualities to them (I.e. Ionian, Lydian, Myxolydian ) etc?



Well, I hope that answered some if not all yer questions about that , if you?re confused about anything I said or just need me to give you more examples, feel free to leave your questions here J , I understand what im saying , and it?s easy to not explain it to the fullest extent when you already understand?. So like I said. If theres any question to any of that . Post away !


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Old 09-12-2002, 10:28 AM   #4
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Old 09-12-2002, 11:17 AM   #5
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*gives casualty a pat on the back*

the best post(S) ive seen by miles, well done
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Old 09-12-2002, 12:24 PM   #6
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Well, i've haven't read your whole post yet casualty...but i will tomorrow. My last exam is tomorrow (=friday the 13th...uh-oh)
But seen the lenght of it...i will be a lot with all this information.

Soloing is what i like best on a guitar, so this should keep busy for a while.

Thanks x 1000 !!
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Old 09-12-2002, 12:56 PM   #7
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Heh, i read it afterall. F.uck the exams
Really interesting. I think i understand most of it (if not all), although i was wondering a bit in the beginning why you explained it all over 7th chords and min7 b5 chords and all that.

But i re-read some parts, and now understand that it was to show how the maximum of notes in a scale (which form these chords) relate to the modes. (i don't know if you know what i mean, but that's probably becuz i don't speak english good enough to explain what i mean )
But after that i read that over an ordinary major-chord (1 3 5) you can use all modes which consist of (1 3 5 ...) and that's what i wanted to know most, as i don't use min7 b5 chords a lot

Thx!!

Tomorrow after my exam, i'll test all this for sure! I'll keep you informed...
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Old 09-12-2002, 01:35 PM   #8
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awww, what a cute little post, cas

it's your smallest one to date.
I'll be absorbing this one for at least a week.
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Old 09-12-2002, 04:35 PM   #9
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Casualty should have his own seperate Q and A forum.
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Old 09-14-2002, 01:21 PM   #10
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Old 09-14-2002, 02:02 PM   #11
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yeah what causlty01 said.
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Old 09-15-2002, 10:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by miele
Heh, i read it afterall. F.uck the exams
Really interesting. I think i understand most of it (if not all), although i was wondering a bit in the beginning why you explained it all over 7th chords and min7 b5 chords and all that.

But i re-read some parts, and now understand that it was to show how the maximum of notes in a scale (which form these chords) relate to the modes. (i don't know if you know what i mean, but that's probably becuz i don't speak english good enough to explain what i mean )



Quote:
Originally posted by miele
But after that i read that over an ordinary major-chord (1 3 5) you can use all modes which consist of (1 3 5 ...) and that's what i wanted to know most, as i don't use min7 b5 chords a lot

Thx!!

Tomorrow after my exam, i'll test all this for sure! I'll keep you informed...


Your welcome bud glad i could help.

and im looking foward to hearing how its going



Cas-
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Old 09-15-2002, 10:44 AM   #13
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Interesting...hmmm...I'm gonna try doing all that tomorrow...can't wait



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Old 09-16-2002, 12:17 AM   #14
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man, its going to take me a while to read all of that, cas, good job
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Old 09-16-2002, 12:21 AM   #15
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wow, where do you get all of your info?
you are the most amazing theory guy I've ever seen.
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Old 09-16-2002, 12:24 AM   #16
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wow, where do you get all of your info?
you are the most amazing theory guy I've ever seen.

trying to out praise me eh?

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Old 09-16-2002, 05:13 AM   #17
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Hey guys, you can thank me too...
After all, who asked the question??

Hehehe...
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Old 09-16-2002, 08:22 PM   #18
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Hey guys, you can thank me too...
After all, who asked the question??

Hehehe...



thanx for the good question............

spammer!
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Old 09-17-2002, 12:43 PM   #19
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LOL dmal,

Wow, that must have been my first 'small' spam-thingie there.
And this my second
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Old 09-18-2002, 10:03 PM   #20
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wow, u know casualty01 i live in staten island, and im suddenly getting serious thoughts of moving to new jersey now...oh yeah and thanks for the chord soloing explaination
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