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Old 08-26-2015, 02:24 PM   #1
JackOnTheRocks
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Quick question about modes?

Hello everyone,

I am relatively new to modes and I think
I am getting the picture of how the
major modes work. But not sure about
when and if I am using them with the right
intention. Let me explain,

For example if a song I wrote is in the key
of B major and using a 1-IV-V progression and
when I get to the guitar solo I do
the following chord progressions:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: Using B major scale
Key: B Major

Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: B Minor
Mode: B Dorian
Solo: Using A major scale
Key: A Major

Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: B Lydian
Solo: Using F# major scale
Key: F# Major

Measure#4)
Underlying rythym chord: D Minor
Mode: C Dorian
Solo: Using C major scale
Key: C major

Measure#5)
Underlying rythym chord: G Major
Key: C major
Mode: G Mixolidian
Solo: Using C major scale

Measure#6)
Underlying rythym chord: A Minor diminished
(A, C and Db)
Key: B flat major
Mode: A Locrian
Solo: Using B flat major scale

Now assuming I got the above correct....
My lead solo part of my song would change
key 5 times ?? Is this ok..? Usually
most songs have their solo parts staying to
the same key as the rest of the song!!!!
So what gives with these modes....??? it seems
like whenever we use them we are forced to
change keys every time we want to switch mode.

From what I remember, most songs stay in
the same key during their guitar solos..... right?

So my question becomes.... is changing keys like this
during a solo frowned upon or is it accepted
so long the changes sound pleasing?

Thanks for your help, advice and feedback
cheers
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:49 PM   #2
crazysam23_Atax
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Let me simplify it for you. You're not ready for modes. Study the major and minor KEYS, the concept of non-diatonic chords/notes, chord construction, etc.

This sticky covers what you need to know before considering modes: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/foru...d.php?t=1042392
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:54 PM   #3
wolflen
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hi jack..i see your new to this forum...to say modes are mis-understood - could be our motto..

your saying you play over a I IV V progression..is it 12-bar blues based ?

no offense..your approach to modes is at best confusing..and unnecessary..without going into detail of exactly "what is wrong" .. let me say..and I am sure other members will agree...FORGET modes--for now..dig deeper into diatonic harmony and all its implications..and if you can some study of melodic principles..( it appears your approach does not consider melody-which in itself may dictate some "solo directions"

you may also read past posts on modes-you may find some insight in those...
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:06 PM   #4
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You shouldn't just decide "now I'm going to play this scale and now I'm going to change to this scale" randomly. If the key of the chord progression doesn't change, I see no reason in changing the scale you are playing. Also, your chord progression seemed pretty random to me (well, I didn't play it, but it just looks very random to me). How did you come up with it? Do you think it sounds good?

Your approach would just sound random, because the scales you are playing may have no connection. When you solo, you don't want to play scales. Play melodies. Scales are just a tool to find the notes you are looking for. If you just decide that you are going to use all of these different scales, I'm pretty sure your playing will also sound pretty much like scales. And you don't want to sound like you are playing scales.


But yeah, learn about keys first. The fact that you are adding accidentals doesn't change the key you are playing in. If the chord progression stays in one key, you are playing in one key. You are just playing some "outside" notes, but that's completely fine. Not every note you play have to belong to the key scale. But your approach to it seems pretty random.



Also, forget everything you have learned about modes. Modes are not in a key. D dorian is not in the key of C major.

If you want to learn about modes, learn them by comparing them to the parallel major and minor scales (ie, scales with the same root note). Compare A major to A mixolydian and A major. What do you notice? Compare A minor to A dorian and A phrygian. What do you notice?

Here's the tab. I'm going to only use one string to tab out the scales, so that the intervals of the scale are easier to understand. Everything only uses the A string.

A lydian:

0-2-4-6-7-9-11-12

A major:

0-2-4-5-7-9-11-12

A mixolydian:

0-2-4-5-7-9-10-12

A dorian:

0-2-3-5-7-9-10-12

A minor:

0-2-3-5-7-8-10-12

A phrygian:

0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12

What do you notice? Play them and listen to the sound. You want to know the sound of them.

But yeah, how to use these scales is a bit more complex, and you really need to understand keys and chord functions to really understand when to use what scale. Of course you can just trust your ears, and that's a good way. And if you just use your ears, that way you'll also come up with your own "rules" of how to use the scales.

First learn about chord functions and keys. Most of the time you'll be playing the key scale. So if you are in the key of A major, you should use the A major scale. You can always use accidentals (just trust your ears), but A major is the "vanilla sound" (as Jet Penguin would say) over a diatonic A major progression. So for example if your progression is A-F#m-D-Bm7-A/E-E7-A (all chords use notes in the key scale - in this case A major scale), just play A major over everything.



I'm pretty sure what I'm explaining sounds pretty complex. My main point is, stick with your major and minor scales for now. Learn about keys and chord functions. Use your ears.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:29 PM   #5
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I agree with all the above, but to address specific questions in case it helps:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
For example if a song I wrote is in the key
of B major and using a 1-IV-V progression and
when I get to the guitar solo I do
the following chord progressions:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: Using B major scale
Key: B Major
Yes....
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: B Minor
Mode: B Dorian
Solo: Using A major scale
Key: A Major
OK, following a B major tonic with Bm is unusual, but not breaking any rules.
The mode could well be B dorian. But you are still in the key of B (because B is still - so far anyway - the note that "sounds like home").
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: B Lydian
Solo: Using F# major scale
Key: F# Major
Again, this is possible, but you are deviating from a plain "I-IV-V in B major".
You are using what's known as "mode mixture" - different modes on the same keynote. If that's the sound you want, that's fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Measure#4)
Underlying rythym chord: D Minor
Mode: C Dorian
Solo: Using C major scale
Key: C major
Using the C major scale on a Dm chord will give you D dorian, not C dorian.
This is a very strange change from the previous B lydian. Not "wrong". Just strange...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Measure#5)
Underlying rythym chord: G Major
Key: C major
Mode: G Mixolidian
Solo: Using C major scale
Yes, C major scale on a G chord is G mixolydian.
But a Dm chord followed by G - one measure each, both using the C major scale - is going to sound like a ii-V in C major, so individual mode names are irrelevant. IOW, these two chords will act together to imply the key of C major, and an approaching C chord...
The exception would be if you returned to Dm, which would probably confirm a D keynote. (Dm-G, repeated over and over, 2 or 4 beats each, is a common "D dorian" vamp.)

Anyway... we're not in B major any more, Toto...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Measure#6)
Underlying rythym chord: A Minor diminished
No such chord.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
(A, C and Db)
Nope, no such chord.
Do you mean an A diminished triad, perhaps? That would be A C Eb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Key: B flat major
Mode: A Locrian
Solo: Using B flat major scale
OK, that scale will fit Adim and give an A "locrian" sound.
This chord progression is getting stranger..... Still, that doesn't mean "bad".... just very strange....
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Now assuming I got the above correct....
My lead solo part of my song would change
key 5 times ?? Is this ok..?
If you like the sound, then it's perfectly OK! The only rule is: it must sound good (in your opinion).

Its the terms you use to describe it that might then be an issue. (Your terminology is a little shaky, at least your use of the word "key".)

A change of key is a change in the perceived "home note". So your first 3 chords are all in the "key of B" - the mode just shifts from ionian to dorian to lydian.
The next 3 chords - Dm, G, Adim - have no clear key centre. Dm-G could imply D or C as key centre, but - in this context - neither very strongly.
Adim is an unstable chord, and A is not a "keynote" in that case - it contains a tension that "wants" to resolve elsewhere (possibly Bb, but other resolutions are possible).
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Usually most songs have their solo parts staying to the same key as the rest of the song!!!!
They do indeed...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
So what gives with these modes....???
Good question. Where did you get them all from?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
it seems like whenever we use them we are forced to change keys every time we want to switch mode.
You're not "forced" to do anything.
When you're composing, you choose the chords (and scales or modes) you want -whatever sounds you like. I guess you chose those chords (and modes), so you're only forcing yourself!
When improvising on other people's songs, you use the chords (and scales or modes) they used.
Of course, that means you have to determine what scales/modes they are - but that's pretty easy if you just follow the chords (use the notes in the chords).
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
From what I remember, most songs stay in the same key during their guitar solos..... right?
Right. Not all, but the vast majority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
So my question becomes.... is changing keys like this during a solo frowned upon or is it accepted so long the changes sound pleasing?
If it sounds pleasing it won't be frowned on!
As I say, those changes are unusual, and certainly deviate (in unexpected ways) from the key of B major. But if it sounds pleasing to you, and you made those choices carefully (judging by ear), then all is fine. Some listeners may raise their eyebrows when they hear it, but that may be no bad thing. (Many listeners out there could use some eyebrow exercise....)

Last edited by jongtr : 08-26-2015 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:32 PM   #6
JackOnTheRocks
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hello fellows,

I agree with you guys that the chords are not the best chosen ones as
this was a random choice of chords as an example.

All I wanted to know is if a solo wants to change from one mode to another
it will seem that we would be always change keys.

After all Isn't it what he is doing?



He's keeping one note as a background sound and playing all the modes
over it .... and everytime he is playing a different mode well, he's changing
key !! which was the reason for my question.... changing keys so many times
in one solo is weird no?

And he is holding the B note all along signifying perhaps a B major chord...
what if that B major chord becomes a D major chord .... so now the process
in the video would start all over again but this time over a 'D' note and
every mode will change the key .... all these key changes is what I am confused
about.

But anyways your recommendations have been noted.

thanks anyways
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:48 PM   #7
JackOnTheRocks
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Hi Jongtr,

Thank you for your in depth analysis , I haven't had a chance read everything
but will do soon enough.

Yeah everyone thinks that I am trying to write the next hit with those
progressions lol

No no. no.... after watching the video I posted in previous thread I simply
took any chords and wanted to know if I was able to correctly identify
the key according to a chord chosen at random... This was totally
a random selection of chords....I should of picked more like a A minor,
Gmaj, D min ect....

I called it a song but what a sad song that would of been lol.
I should of called it test#1 to test#6 instead of measures 1 to 6.

let read up your post and I will get back!

thanks

Last edited by JackOnTheRocks : 08-26-2015 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:49 PM   #8
jongtr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
hello fellows,

I agree with you guys that the chords are not the best chosen ones as
this was a random choice of chords as an example.
Ah...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
All I wanted to know is if a solo wants to change from one mode to another
it will seem that we would be always change keys.

After all Isn't it what he is doing?



He's keeping one note as a background sound and playing all the modes
over it .... and everytime he is playing a different mode well, he's changing
key !!
No he isn't. He's playing a different scale, on the same keynote.

He is demonstrating the principle of "parallel modes", in order to help you hear the different qualities of each mode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
which was the reason for my question.... changing keys so many times
in one solo is weird no?
It's weird, yes!
That's because he is not demonstrating an improvisation principle. Solos are not played like this.
One might write a song using parallel modes in this way - but one probably wouldn't use all 7 modes!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
And he is holding the B note all along signifying perhaps a B major chord...
The B note signifies nothing but a key centre.
The ionian, lydian and mixolydian modes imply a B major chord (because they all contain D#, the major 3rd)
Dorian, aeolian and phygian modes, meanwhile, imply a B minor chord (because they all contain D, the minor 3rd).
B locrian implies a Bdim chord.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
what if that B major chord becomes a D major chord .... so now the process
in the video would start all over again but this time over a 'D' note and
every mode will change the key .... all these key changes is what I am confused
about.

It's only an implied B major chord, and only on 3 of the modes.

But yes, in principle one could choose any of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale and play 7 parallel modes on each of them. That's 84 different modes! - but only 7 different scales (pitch collections).

Once again, this is only a demo of a principle - trying to let you compare one mode with another. Eg, you'll notice aeolian sounds "darker" than dorian. Lydian is "brighter" than ionian. etc. That's the point here. This is not about how one improvises on a piece of music!
Nothing to do with chord progressions.

BTW - I just watched the video, and he is quite misleading about key himself (so no wonder you're confused!). B dorian mode is not "in the key of A major", as he says. He is using "key" to mean the same thing as "scale" - which a lot of people do, but it's lazy and confusing. B dorian mode is "relative to" the key of A major, meaning it shares the same notes. But the keynote is B.
You should think of B dorian in relation to the B minor key, not the A major key. (He's right that the chord in question is Bm. But when you're playing "in B dorian mode", you're not "in A major". It's important to use words like "key" and "in" properly! )

Last edited by jongtr : 08-26-2015 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:02 PM   #9
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Modes are about harmonic relationships, not just melodic/scalar ones.

Melodies derive from chord tones, so you need first to look at your chords, and consider those as the most important ones. In a I IV V each chord has different notes that should be the foundation of any melody you play, even though the key and relevant scale are always the same. If you add up all the notes in a I IV V, you'll get the key/scale of the I.

When you decide to use a mode of a scale, rather than just the scale that matches the key, there needs to be a reason for it. Since melodies must relate to chord tones, the most obvious reason would be that the chords spell out a mode. Example: ||: A-7 D7 :||. Add up the notes, and they come out to A dorian. Your key is A minor, but the mode is Dorian, so you can use the A dorian scale.

Another reason is that a chord leaves an "opening" where there are undefined tones, which you can sometimes fill with non-diatonic non-chord tones. Example: ||A7 D-||. Undefined is B, so you can use either B natural or Bb over the A7 (not a general statement). In some cases, the 5th of a chord can be modified or omitted, which opens up further possibilities.

So the lesson is to always look first at your chord tones and build your melodies from those. That's how you get melodies that flow and sound natural. Modes are not necessary to get that basic level of competence and understanding.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:28 PM   #10
JackOnTheRocks
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Hi Jongtr,

This stuff is not easy.

Ok, if I may simply rewrite my original post with chords that are a little more musical for heavens sakes. I would like to construct
a solo with you from scratch and see exactly if I am starting to understand modes or not.

Let's take C major as our key. Let's give this tune three chords.... let them be C Maj, G Maj and A minor ( the latter 3 chords are mentioned just to show the
song is in C Major). Now comes the solo.... the first chord to the
solo will be C major so if this is fine for you, then here we go:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: C Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be C
Key: C Major

Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: D minor
Mode: D Dorian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be D
Key: C Major

Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: F major
Mode: F Lydian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be F
Key: C Major

Now here can I do the following:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Lydian
Solo: B major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: B Major Or C major (not sure)

B Maj scale:
B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B

Is this ok so far.... cause I'm not 100% sure !

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by JackOnTheRocks : 08-26-2015 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolflen
to say modes are mis-understood - could be our motto..


The motto is more like: "MT: There is no such thing as a 'quick' question." You could add "about modes" to the end or just end it there. Don't think that it matters too much.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:57 PM   #12
wolflen
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Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Lydian
Solo: B major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: B Major Or C major (not sure)


your in the key of C..by your own statement
Let's take C major as our key

giving that..Emi is the iii chord / Phrygian mode..B major is not in this harmonic structure -the notes in B major are going to clash against E minor...D# would make it a min with a maj7th..the G# is going to clash with the G note of E min..now if you were to use the C-augmented scale in a creative way..you might get away with it..as it contains some of the flavor you seem to be after and it sounds very cool ... C D# E G G# B..it contains both an E maj triad and E minor triad...and you would still be in C Maj
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:42 PM   #13
JackOnTheRocks
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Hi wolflen,

So for my example all I have to do is this:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Phrygian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: C major

Is that it ???

So then I'm always using the C scale and playing different chunks
of the scale over my C scale chords! similarly , If the song would be is let's say the
key of G major instead of C, then I would be playing different parts
of the G major scale over my G scale chords !

And that's all there is to it ....?? Can't be ?
this is too simple I am obviously missing something....
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:10 AM   #14
jongtr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Hi Jongtr,

This stuff is not easy.

Ok, if I may simply rewrite my original post with chords that are a little more musical for heavens sakes. I would like to construct
a solo with you from scratch and see exactly if I am starting to understand modes or not.

Let's take C major as our key. Let's give this tune three chords.... let them be C Maj, G Maj and A minor ( the latter 3 chords are mentioned just to show the
song is in C Major). Now comes the solo.... the first chord to the
solo will be C major so if this is fine for you, then here we go:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: C Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be C
Key: C Major
OK, but the first note in your solo doesn't have to be C. It can be any note from the scale; although, while on the C chord, the C chord tones (C, E, G) should be your focal points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: D minor
Just a moment. You said you had 3 chords, C, G and Am. Now you're adding Dm. Why? (You don't have to make this complicated, you know... )
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Mode: D Dorian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be D
See above. No need for 1st note to be D.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: F major
Why?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Mode: F Lydian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be F
Key: C Major
Ditto. (Correct terms, but no need to begin on F. And in fact, no real need for modal terms anyhow...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Now here can I do the following:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Lydian
Solo: B major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: B Major Or C major (not sure)
Whoah. E lydian is a major mode. It won't fit Em.
If you want to stay in key of C major, use the C major scale. (The E mode will be E phrygian, but you don't need to know that, nor start on an E note.)

If you're not bothered about staying in C major, other modes that would fit Em would be E aeolian (G major) or E dorian (D major). E harmonic and melodic minor would be other options.
But if you want SIMPLE - - stick with C major.

Or - if you actually want E lydian mode - use an E major chord.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:23 AM   #15
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The shortest and most useful answer is not to worry about modes. Learn how to deal with chord tones first.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Hi wolflen,

So for my example all I have to do is this:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Phrygian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: C major

Is that it ???
Yes, but still too complicated:

Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Solo: C major scale

That's all you need. That will produce an "E phrygian" sound for as long as the Em lasts, but it doesn't matter what note you start on, or how you play the scale.
And if the Em is only one measure, then the "E phrygian" sound will probably be less obvious than the sound of "iii chord in C major".
IOW, if your keynote is C, then the modal terms are somewhat meaningless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
So then I'm always using the C scale and playing different chunks
of the scale over my C scale chords!
Yes. In fact you could play the exact same "chunks", although - as I suggested - beginning from (and ending on) chord tones usually sounds best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
similarly , If the song would be is let's say the
key of G major instead of C, then I would be playing different parts
of the G major scale over my G scale chords !
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
And that's all there is to it ....?? Can't be ?
this is too simple I am obviously missing something....
Not really. Except maybe the idea of chord tones.
You should know which notes of the scale are in each chord in your sequence, so you can echo the changes as you play.
You still don't need to do that - random playing on the scale can sometimes sound OK - but it generally sounds better to work from the chord tones (the arpeggios of each chord).

So, eg, in key of C major, when you are on the Am chord, your main notes would be A C and E (Am chord tones), anywhere you can find them on the neck. Your secondary notes (passing tones) will be the other 4 scale notes (B, D, F, G).
On the G chord, your main notes would be G B and D, with A C E and F as passing notes.
No need to stick to any one scale pattern - but obviously the more places you know for your notes (and chord shapes) the better.

Naturally it CAN get more complicated than this! You can accent those non-chord tones, for more expressive effects. You can add "chromatics" - notes from outside the key - which is like adding spices to a recipe (careful with those...). You can bend notes (for bluesy effects).
But you begin from the chord tones, and the scale of the key. That's your foundation.

The difficult thing is not choosing your notes! They're all given to you (by the chord sequence). The hard thing is shaping them into musical phrases - using space and rhythm, dynamics, tone, expression, etc. That's where the creativity comes in - not in "applying modes", or any of that nonsense.

Last edited by jongtr : 08-27-2015 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:28 AM   #17
JackOnTheRocks
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Jongtr,

referring to the last line in your last post,
assuming we go with E major and E Lydian
we would solo with the notes in the scale of
A major Right?

A major is:

A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A

But:

if E major chord is E, G#, B , when I use the
A note in the solo won't this clash with the sound
of the G# in the E major chord?

my question is is it best to avoid the A note I think this case during solo?

just asking!

Last edited by JackOnTheRocks : 08-27-2015 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:38 AM   #18
jongtr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Jongtr,

referring to the last line in your last post,
assuming we go with E major and E Lydian
we would solo with the notes in the scale of
A major Right?
Wrong. B major. B C# D# E F# G# A#
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
But:

if E major chord is E, G#, B , when I use the
A note in the solo won't this clash with the sound
of the G# in the E major chord?

just asking!
Good question.
The non-chord tones each have distinctive effects. These can be experienced as "clashes", but also as expressive effects.
On an E major chord, the A note (in E major or E mixolydian) is a classic clashing note, if the G# is prominent lower in the chord. But you can still use it! It's just best not to linger on it. Jazz theory does refer to it as an "avoid note", but that only means as an extension to the chord (unless you get rid of the G#); in melodies or solos it's fine. It can sound very good as a tension, if you resolve it down to G#.

The best thing is to experiment and use your ears. Set up a backing track with an E major chord. Then try playing each note of the scale against the chord, listening for how it sounds. The chord tones (E G# B) will sound right "inside" - although each still has its own character.
You'll find other notes (from whatever scale is appropriate to the key, or whatever mode you choose if there is no key) all sound more "tense" than the chord tones, but to differing degrees and with different effects. You may like some and not others. Some are "sweet", some are more "sour" or "acid". (Try to develop your own characterisations. What does a C# sound like against E major? What about D#? Etc.)
Generally speaking, you only notice these effects when sustaining a note, or repeating it, over the chord. In scale runs (between chord tones) the effects can be imperceptible. But it's about learning when you want to accent a non-chord tone - to get the desired effect - and when you don't.

Last edited by jongtr : 08-27-2015 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:05 AM   #19
JackOnTheRocks
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Join Date: Aug 2015
JongTr,

now for the million dollar question....

I feel like changing key! As a matter
of fact everyone in this forum feels
like changing key I just know it

so let's say I crack up the following:

Measure #5)
Underlying rhythm chord: C# Major
Solo: F# Lydian

F#/Gb scale:
Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, F, G,b Ab

Now I am not sure how the key of C major to
C# would sound like (going from Eminor to C#major)
but that's not the point .... Is what I implied
correct in the sense that while I would be playing
the C# major chord I would be playing the notes
of the C# scale and this would be F# Lydian?

By the way I am open for any other recommendations
reading the choice of the key change.

thanks much appreciate your help.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:38 AM   #20
jongtr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
JongTr,

now for the million dollar question....

I feel like changing key! As a matter
of fact everyone in this forum feels
like changing key I just know it
Oh yes, nothing like a good modulation to get things moving....
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
so let's say I crack up the following:

Measure #5)
Underlying rhythm chord: C# Major
Solo: F# Lydian
On a C# chord, that will just sound like C# major. No point in calling it F# lydian - even if you do start on F#, which makes no difference.
(Accenting the F# note is possible, as a sus4 on C#, but that doesn't make it lydian.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
Now I am not sure how the key of C major to
C# would sound like (going from Eminor to C#major)
but that's not the point .... Is what I implied
correct in the sense that while I would be playing
the C# major chord I would be playing the notes
of the C# scale and this would be F# Lydian?
No, for reasons explained.

As before, this isn't about what you can and can't do, or what sounds good and what doesn't. It's only about finding the right terms for the sounds you're using.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOnTheRocks
By the way I am open for any other recommendations
reading the choice of the key change.

thanks much appreciate your help.
You can change to any key you want.
A rise of a half-step (as in C to C#) is sometimes called the "truck driver's gear change", because it's regarded as a crude way of injecting energy into a song just as it's starting to get boring. IOW, let's not write a bridge! Let's just shove the whole song up a half-step and play it again!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.p...iversGearChange

It doesn't have to be cheesy, of course. You get one in Otis Redding's "I Been Loving You Too Long", where it feels just right (and the song cleverly teases you that you're about to get another one, but you don't).

Changing key for a chorus or bridge is common, where the chord sequence is also different - but the key generally changes back afterwards. (In the TDGC above, the key never changes back; in fact in extreme cases it might keep on getting higher... check out Bobby Darin's Mack the Knife for sheer chutzpah.)
It's less common for a solo to use a different sequence (and key) from the rest of the song. Usually solos are based on existing (vocal) sections of the song.

There are several conventional ways of changing key - good summary here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modulation_(music)
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