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Old 11-11-2008, 07:35 AM   #1
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**The Modes** Summary & Examples **NEW**

***The Modes***
Summary of Modes & Examples
Written by xxdarrenxx, and rewritten with proper grammar & spelling by pannenkoeken

I've been seeing a lot of mode related topics here. So I decided to make a short list of their different characteristics and the way how I feel about them. Feel free too add Examples (especially in different genres)

Stop Hearing & Start listening!
This is what my guitar teacher told me when I played horribly out of scale through key changes. I was like wtf is the difference, to which he replied: everything.
Hearing music or sound is hearing a plane flying overhead, or the sounds of cars passing by. Listening to music is instead of hearing a car, hearing what the engine is (v8, v12 etcetera).

If you want to learn modes, you really have to listen to music. Hum every note of the melody along with the song (or follow along in your head if you’re not a good singer), whatever you prefer. Determine at which note u get the "mode" feeling. This worked for me. When I really listened, note by note, I could hum the modes (and/or hear them in my head) within a week or 2, because I had them linked with the modes in my mind.

This is easier then it sounds, you just have to open your mind.


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[ x1 ] - My Theory on modes-
(explanation to why they are difficult for 1 and easy for others)
[ x2 ] - The Modes of the Major Scale -
[ x3 ] - Dominant 7th Option - by demonofthenight -
[ x4 ] --------

x1My Theory on modes

This is my personal view on modes. It may not be the same as your view. If your personal view of modes works for you: that’s fine. I just felt like sharing my own.


I want to compare modes to colours. They have a lot in common. You probably learned about colours in school.

You have the 3 primary colours (red, blue and yellow), 3 secondary colours (green, purple and orange), and the outsider, black.

In music you have 3 Major modes (Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian), 3 minor modes (Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian), and the outsider, Locrian.

Colours are all derived from 1 colour (white) and the modes are all defined from 1 scale: The major scale. Both colors and modes are used to make the final composition more interesting and expressive.

We learned colours at a young age, and that's why we can acknowledge them as easy as saying 1 2 3 (which wasn't so easy before u learned to talk ). When you were young, your father probably never said “Look that's a fire engine and it is Vermillion.” Similarly, you probably never had your dad saying “Listen to that song, son, it is Phrygian dominant!” He either said it's a happy song or a sad song. I believe this to be the reason why anyone (even people with zilch musical knowledge) can understand these as if they were born with the fact that majors and minors exist.

On to the "Difficult" modes
Phrygian Dominant and melodic minor etc. aren't so easy to "hear" because they aren’t popularly used. Unless you listen to a lot of jazz records, there's a good chance u never heard them in your life. In the "Colours" perspective, if you aren't a painter and you see Vermillion, Scarlet, and Crimson, you'd probably just call them all red. Just like modes, you will probably call them all minor or major, but subconsciously they do play on your feelings. You can probably hear a Mixolydian song and think it's amazing, even if u don't know the theory behind it. Same with painting, you can see different shades of red (like in a sunset) and find it beautiful, yet you can't name all the colours beyond referring to them as different shades of red/yellow/orange. The key here is to listen to the songs that I listed as examples of the modes, and connect them to the mode's theory or sound so you can tell when they are being used as well as apply them. It takes a lot of repetition for it to truly sink in.


X2The Modes of the Major scale

Here are the modes. The flavour notes are the ones that colour it, and are based on their respective root note (the new root of the mode). I included the relationship between the notes on a few modes when they are also based on a chord made of their respective root notes and other chords/notes in the mode/scale. I also included the intervals behind the names based on the major scale (you take the major scale, and you flatten/raise the notes from it as described in the intervals behind the mode name).


**Ionian**
(R, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
(Major Scale, Happy, full of joy, 1 of Satch his favourite in his melodies and most of his legato runs)
Flavour note: Maj3rd (4 half steps from the root) relation to Maj7th (11 half steps from the root)

Joe satriani - Friends
Joe satriani - Always with you, Always with Me
Joe Satriani - Starry Night (Main melody)
John Petrucci - Wishfull Thinking
Yankee doodle
Happy B'day


**Dorian**
(R, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7)
(Hope, soulful, very "emotional" in the stereotypical way of emotional, used a lot in solo's by rock guitar players)
Flavour note: Maj6th (9 half steps from the root)

David Gilmour - Marooned (especially this version reflects dorian very well)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W6h...feature=related)
Miles Davis - So What
Joe Satriani - Made of tears (Main melody)
The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
Greensleeves (traditional)


**Phrygian**
(R, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7)
(spanish, mysterious in a dark way)
Flavour note: min2nd (1 half step from the root) relation to the perfect 5th (7half steps from the root)

Joe Satriani - War (main melody mixed with a bit of phrygian dominant)
The Doors - not to touch this earth
Al Di Meola - Race with devil on spanish highway
Paco de lucia - Bulerias (this song is not true phrygian but also adds other tones borrowed from the spanish 8th tone scale, but it definitely has some phrygian qualities to it;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCtH...feature=related
Steve Vai - Building the church ( Main melody&riff mixed with a slight lydian at a few points)
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
Zelda tune - Spirit Temple (OoT)


**Lydian** (R, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, 7)
(mysterious in a more of happy/innocent way, typical Vai sound, it's happy but " Out there" as if it sounds like ur searching for something)
Flavour note: Tritone (6 half steps from the root) relation to a maj7th (11 half steps from the root)

Steve Vai - Triple neck guitar solo especially the first 5 minutes or so and especially the riff/chord progression that he's soloing over has a very strong lydian sound)

Joe Satriani - Flying in a blue dream; main melody is lydian in different keys.
Steve Vai - Balls of Gold (Intro Riff + Main melody)
John Petrucci - Curve (the very first riff and the first melody) Heavily borrowed from Satriani's Flying in a blue dream from a compositional view(lydian in various keys and going in a big legato run which is also lydian at about 1:43 in the linked video):



**Mixolydian** (R, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7)
(Happy in an uplifting way, Cool way, not as "cheesy over the top happy" as ionian)
Flavour note: Maj3rd (4 half steps from the root) relation to a min7th (10 half steps from the root)

Joe Satriani - Summer song; main melody and solo's
John Petrucci - Glassgow kiss (intro riff and some of the melody)
Eric Johnson - Cliffs of dover (Main melody and most of the song)
The Cult - She Sells Sanctuary
The Beatles - Dear prudence (verse)
Roy Orbison - Pretty Woman (main riff, as well as the general feel)


**Aeolian**
(R, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7)
(the minor scale, melancholic, sometimes sad)
Flavour note:min6th (8 half steps from the root)

Iron Maiden - Almost any song of them (Fear of the Dark, number of the beast)
Judas Priest - Breaking the law
Frank Gambale - Little Charmer (intro riff and first melody)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf39...feature=related
Buckethead - Soothsayer
Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
Dream Theater - The Ministry of the Lost Souls (intro synths + Following arpeggiated clean guitar riff) as well as most of the song.
Dream Theater - Forsaken


**Locrian**
(R, b2, b3, 4, b5, b6, b7)
(b5 note, diminished, dissonant sounding)
I'm sorry to say that I don't know any songs which strongly represent locrian. Maybe death metal like necrophagist. If someone here has a good example of a strong locrian sound, then please tell me and I will put it here.
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Last edited by xxdarrenxx : 01-29-2009 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:35 AM   #2
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X3Dominant 7th Options

*lydian dominant (fourth mode of the melodic minor scale), Superlocrian (seventh mode of melodic minor scale) and Phrygian Dominant (fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale) also work in special occasions.


Lydian dominant
is just your usual Lydian mode, but with a flat seventh. This is preferred by some musicians as they believe it's more consonant. They get this belief from the fact that the two tritones made by this mode makes a third with the seventh (which is essential for that dominant feel) and the #4, which is actually a good triton, as it moves well to the perfect fifth. Whether it is or isn't a good choice is up to you.
Scale Formula: R 2 3 #4 5 6 b7

Phrygian dominant only works over a functioning dominant chord in a minor progression. This is more common in Caribbean style jazz (You know, the kind with calypso style rhythms). Phrygian dominant sounds eastern, sort of spicy and sort of dark. This is due to minor sixth (spiciness) and the minor second (darkness).
Scale Formula: R b2 3 4 5 b6 b7


Mixolydian flat sixth
works in the same situation as a Phrygian dominant, but some people prefer it as this mode does not contain the dissonant b2. Once again, it is completely your choice to use this.
Scale Formula: R 2 3 4 5 b6 b7

Superlocrian works too. As that b4 of the Superlocrian mode is enharmonic with the M3 of the dominant chord. This mode can give a dominant chord (which is naturally bright) a darker, bluesier feel. The augmented seconds (enharmonic to minor thirds) over dominant chords generally sounds very bluesy and so does the flat fifth. I'd recommend you avoided the minor second (too dark) and used a perfect fifth (even if the mode's formula doesn't include it). This mode works best over non-functioning dominant chords and altered dominant chords (x7b9, x7#9 and so on).
Scale Formula: R b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:36 AM   #3
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:39 AM   #4
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It'd be nice if you included more of the stuff I wrote... Still your thread

**will delete post if more stuff needs to be added**
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonofthenight
It'd be nice if you included more of the stuff I wrote... Still your thread

**will delete post if more stuff needs to be added**


Yes, I maybe will, but this is aimed for the beginner. And i Know when I started out playing guitar; All the theory guides I know see as "yes I know this"/ easy etc. were so hard to understand because they focused on all the aspects of the modes. They were so detailed and their's a saying in the netherlands (maybe it's the same in english)

" I couldn't saw the forrest through the trees" Because all those details are, unless u have a high iq or a fair knowledge of theory already, shrouding the view on the main essence.

To much to take in 1 go.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:38 AM   #6
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Only thing I have a problem with is... 'Superlocrian sort of works too. As that b4 of the superlocrian mode is enharmonic with the M3 of the dominant chord.'

What do you mean sort of works? It does work. I see no reason for the words 'sort of' here.

Also, the line about b4 being enharmonic to the M3 is redundant. The b4 IS the M3 as it applies to this scale. There is no reason to look at it as being a diminished 4th. I really don't understand why anyone would look at it like that given you already know it 'sort of works' over a dominant chord. Do yourself a favour get rid of the ridiculous notion that this contains a b4 and a b3. They are a major 3rd and augmented 2nd respectively.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
Only thing I have a problem with is... 'Superlocrian sort of works too. As that b4 of the superlocrian mode is enharmonic with the M3 of the dominant chord.'

What do you mean sort of works? It does work. I see no reason for the words 'sort of' here.

Also, the line about b4 being enharmonic to the M3 is redundant. The b4 IS the M3 as it applies to this scale. There is no reason to look at it as being a diminished 4th. I really don't understand why anyone would look at it like that given you already know it 'sort of works' over a dominant chord. Do yourself a favour get rid of the ridiculous notion that this contains a b4 and a b3. They are a major 3rd and augmented 2nd respectively.
Lets be frank, a scale with an augmented second also with a minor second? That can't be right

To be perfectly right nomenclature wise, as each new note has its own degree, that note is a diminished fourth. You'd never write G# superlocrian as G# A Ax C D E F, so why would you describe it like that degree wise, as if they share the same place as the second degree? Its G# different degree A different degree B. Sure it's being pedantic, but it's also being technically correct.

But practically you'd never use it as a diminished fourth, you'd always use it as a major third, as it's context is almost always with a dominant chord.

*hides scared behind a flame shield*
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonofthenight
Lets be frank, a scale with an augmented second also with a minor second? That can't be right.


Yes it can, and it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by demonofthenight
To be perfectly right nomenclature wise, as each new note has its own degree, that note is a diminished fourth. You'd never write G# superlocrian as G# A Ax C D E F, so why would you describe it like that degree wise, as if they share the same place as the second degree? Its G# different degree A different degree B. Sure it's being pedantic, but it's also being technically correct.


Where does this 'each new note has its own degree' thing come from? Each new note has its own function would be more along the right lines. This is why we write the majority of scales with each new note having its own degree, because that's how they function. Scales aren't written with a new note for a different degree for the sake of looking pretty, it's because that is their function. The same applies to altered dominant, we write it to describe each notes function.

Given this, and given the 'diminished 4th' of 'super locrian' functions as a major third, then you are completely technically incorrect.

You would write it G# - A - Ax - B# - D - Dx - F. I don't know why there is a C in your example if you're trying to disprove my claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by demonofthnight
But practically you'd never use it as a diminished fourth, you'd always use it as a major third, as it's context is almost always with a dominant chord.


Then why do you insist on calling it a diminished fourth? The note IS a major third, so call it a major third. Anything else is just completely illogical. You're completely contradicting yourself, on one hand you insist on giving each new note a new name (I'm assuming this is because this is how they function, right? You wouldn't call the major 7th of G, Gb for example - we do this to accurately describe function, it has nothing to do with just 'giving each note a new letter'), and then you insist on calling the major third of altered dominant a diminished 4th, which doesn't describe its function?

I apologise if I am (and I am) being an asshole here, but it boggles my mind that anyone would call a note which is a major third, a diminished fourth.

I know everyone, including me, is sick of these function arguments - so I apologize to the OP for turning his thread into one. My original intention was just to point out to you that you were wrong and your sentence made no sense.

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Old 11-11-2008, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
Yes it can, and it is.
Well, Um, ah fuck it never mind.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
Where does this 'each new note has its own degree' thing come from? Each new note has its own function would be more along the right lines. This is why we write the majority of scales with each new note having its own degree, because that's how they function. Scales aren't written with a new note for a different degree for the sake of looking pretty, it's because that is their function. The same applies to altered dominant, we write it to describe each notes function.
Exactly that. It looks pretty when writted down and when scored on a musical staff. Otherwise we have double sharps and other oddities.
Keep in mind our music theory was devised by guys who obviously had either OCD or asperger's and were obsessed with order and form.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
Given this, and given the 'diminished 4th' of 'super locrian' functions as a major third, then you are completely technically incorrect.
Just because it functions as a major third and just because guys like ellington (was it him who started using superlocrian this way?) used it as such, doesnt mean its technically written as such.
Keep in mind the melodic minor was devised 400 (?) years ago by a guy (bach?) who had no use for the superlocrian scale or for augmented seconds. He would have noted the scale as I have suggested it to be noted. Why would he note is as anything different? He didnt even have a name for this mode as the "locrian" concept came to music centuries later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
You would write it G# - A - Ax - B# - D - Dx - F. I don't know why there is a C in your example if you're trying to disprove my claim.
Yeah I made a mistake there, thanks for the fix. BTW, can you honestly say that scale doesnt look messed up? Two fifth degrees (neither of which a perfect fifth) and two second degrees?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
Then why do you insist on calling it a diminished fourth? The note IS a major third, so call it a major third. Anything else is just completely illogical. You're completely contradicting yourself, on one hand you insist on giving each new note a new name (I'm assuming this is because this is how they function, right? You wouldn't call the major 7th of G, Gb for example - we do this to accurately describe function, it has nothing to do with just 'giving each note a new letter'), and then you insist on calling the major third of altered dominant a diminished 4th, which doesn't describe its function?
Because when playing a piano there is no Cb button, but there is a Cb note everywhere else in music. So why not call that note a B? Because it's wrong.
It's the same situation here. Just because it seems illogical in the practical sense, doesnt make it illogical in the theoretical sense.
The strictest of strict nomenclature says each new note has a new degree. This means the degrees of the supelocrian scale are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. This makes the most sense when writing it out (can we only use double sharps when we have to). This makes the most sense when we see it written on a music staff. Why cant it make the most sense now? Once again, keep in mind our nomenclature was devised by some OCD ridden guy from like 400 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnljones7443
I apologise if I am (and I am) being an asshole here, but it boggles my mind that anyone would call a note which is a major third, a diminished fourth.
Nah man. I respect your opinion. Hell, this is probably one of the only things we disagree on. I think. It's cool.

I'm probably making no sense (as in less than usual). So sorry in advance. I'm tired, hungry and on a down. I'm just not having fun.
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Old 11-11-2008, 11:54 AM   #10
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Ugh, the original post could use some grammar and spelling fixes.

So, this all is very nice, but why does it talk about various modes without explaining what they actually are...?
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Pannenkoeken
Ugh, the original post could use some grammar and spelling fixes.

So, this all is very nice, but why does it talk about various modes without explaining what they actually are...?



Define "what they are". I'm showing how they sound and about their characters.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by xxdarrenxx
Define "what they are". I'm showing how they sound and about their characters.

Like, what notes do they include?

edit: Interval information would be nice in this summary.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pannenkoeken
Like, what notes do they include?

edit: Interval information would be nice in this summary.



kk ty, yes I will add that too. I just wrote it yesterday so it isn't perfect yet. Thanks for the help.

I know my grammar isn't very good. I dunno, is there something like a grammar checker or something?
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:18 PM   #14
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kk ty, yes I will add that too. I just wrote it yesterday so it isn't perfect yet. Thanks for the help.

I know my grammar isn't very good. I dunno, is there something like a grammar checker or something?

Want me to type up a version with proper grammar and send it to you?
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:25 PM   #15
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Want me to type up a version with proper grammar and send it to you?


Oh that would be awesome. I added the intervals behind the modes. I think this is the best way, since I assume that if u wanna learn about modes, you probably know at least the major scale.
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Old 11-11-2008, 12:30 PM   #16
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Oh that would be awesome. I added the intervals behind the modes. I think this is the best way, since I assume that if u wanna learn about modes, you probably know at least the major scale.

Yeah, that's good enough to help people apply the modes.

Okay, I'll send you it in a little bit.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:35 PM   #17
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Just a minor touch, you could add "Irish-sounding and funk-inspired" to mixolydian description. Also, "bluesy" for dorian.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:57 PM   #18
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Just a minor touch, you could add "Irish-sounding and funk-inspired" to mixolydian description. Also, "bluesy" for dorian.


Yes but these don't define the modes. It's the other way around, the modes defined the sounds in their genre's. I was thinking about adding genre's to where these are used, but passively. I don't want it too sound like they are or can only be used in those genre's.
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:22 PM   #19
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kk ty, yes I will add that too. I just wrote it yesterday so it isn't perfect yet. Thanks for the help.

I know my grammar isn't very good. I dunno, is there something like a grammar checker or something?

I'm pretty sure microsoft word has a grammar check. Copy and paste?
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:05 PM   #20
xxdarrenxx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20Tigers
I'm pretty sure microsoft word has a grammar check. Copy and paste?



Already rewritten by Pannenkoeken

And MY windows is illegal, so I don't have word.
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