#1
I think I've been looking at these all wrong. I think I understand the basics of how they work now and I want to know if someone can clarify whether or not I am saying this right.

Okay, so say you have the notes of the C Major Scale. I have been reading the different modes have different qualities to them, like sad or happy etc. and I thought it was because of the note they focus around, but I think that that's not the case. Is the reason modes have different qualities based off the chords they are played over?

For example, The notes of C Major, A B C D E F G over a chord progression in C sound happy, but over a chord progression in A would sound sad, and THATS why the Aeolian Mode sounds sad? Like if you are playing A B C D E F G over a chord progression in B, then you are playing the B Locrian mode, and it will sound dark?

EDIT: I don't mean in that order, I just mean using those notes.
#2
I'm not entirely sure exactly what you're trying to say, but you don't seem to understand how modes are used. The Crusades articles cover this topic (and others) in detail. I strongly suggest reading them.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#4
Quote by Archeo Avis
I'm not entirely sure exactly what you're trying to say, but you don't seem to understand how modes are used. The Crusades articles cover this topic (and others) in detail. I strongly suggest reading them.


Okay, I will. Thanks ,
#5
You're right, the harmony plays a big part of the modes, but not only that. It's the same way an A minor natural scale is different from a C major scale.

-The note it starts on
-The intervals used in the scale

However, playing modally and playing tonally is very different, and takes a bit of time to understand and get used to. Modal harmony is "dysfunctional", and the conventions of constructing chord progressions is different.

There's a few threads here about modal harmony.

Quote by blakkin
Like if you are playing A B C D E F G over a chord progression in B, then you are playing the B Locrian mode, and it will sound dark?


When you say "B", do you mean that it's B Major or B minor, or simply that the tonal center is B? Locrian is the wierd one out of the bunch because it's "tonic" chord (and I put tonic in quotations because there has been some debate over whether or not it can be called a tonic chord since diminished chords are unstable, some substitute other chords to get a "locrian tonality".) is diminished, and not minor or major, like the rest (with the optional exception of phrygian which sometimes uses the susb9 chord).

If you have a progression in D dorian that goes Dm7 - G7 (a vamp, really) and you play the notes D E F G A B C D over it, you'll probably end up sounding "Dorian", but it still depends on your note choice. Like I said, modal harmony is unstable, and this puts a lot of pressure on you to tie the harmony and melody together to avoid resolving to the wrong note.

If any of this is wrong/misleading, I apologize, it's late, and I have to study.

EDIT: Someone here had a thread in their sig about "How to Construct Modal Chord Progressions", I think it was Darren, check that out.
Last edited by one vision at Dec 8, 2008,
#6
thats not the order for the notes in the c major scale.

c-d-e-f-g-a-b-c

the order is important, because it denotes what scale it is.
but since you asked, modes are really easy if you know the major scale.

Ionian=
c to c
(c-d-e-f-g-a-b-c)
dorian=
d to d
(d-e-f-g-a-b-c-d)

Get it? Modes are really just the major scale starting and ending at different places.
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#7
and as far as sound goes, it's all about experimentation, and implementation. Minor doesn't always sound sad, major doesn't always sound happy, and diminished doesn't always sound dissonant.
Quote by vintage x metal
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#8
Get it? Modes are really just the major scale starting and ending at different places.


Very misleading. The note you start and end on is irrelevant; what matters is the tonal center. Thinking of modes as the major scale starting on a different note is confusing and doesn't at all explain how they're used.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#9
Quote by Archeo Avis
Very misleading. The note you start and end on is irrelevant; what matters is the tonal center. Thinking of modes as the major scale starting on a different note is confusing and doesn't at all explain how they're used.

This.

It explains a shortcut on how to form them, nothing more. TS, you can use this approach to build a mode/scale, but make sure you understand how to actually use them.
#10
Quote by Archeo Avis
Very misleading. The note you start and end on is irrelevant; what matters is the tonal center. Thinking of modes as the major scale starting on a different note is confusing and doesn't at all explain how they're used.



+1 learn the intervals in realtion to the root
song stuck in my head today


#13
Quote by Archeo Avis
Very misleading. The note you start and end on is irrelevant; what matters is the tonal center. Thinking of modes as the major scale starting on a different note is confusing and doesn't at all explain how they're used.

true, but its also good for him to understand each modes relative major scale.
#14
Okay, so I was reading through those Crusades articles and got to a part where it mentioned modes. The example it used was that if you have a chord progression in G Major, you can play the G Major Scale over it, but also any of G Major's modes.

So depending on which mode you use, it kind of focuses around a different note and provides a different quality to the music?
#15
#16
Quote by blakkin
Okay, so I was reading through those Crusades articles and got to a part where it mentioned modes. The example it used was that if you have a chord progression in G Major, you can play the G Major Scale over it, but also any of G Major's modes.

So depending on which mode you use, it kind of focuses around a different note and provides a different quality to the music?


It says that? It shouldn't.
Over a G major progression, you would play G major. Modes don't factor into it at all. I really dislike recommending the theory sticky, since it really needs to be rewritten, but it contains (relatively) accurate information on modes. You might check there.

To be honest, I would strongly advise ignoring modes until you have a firm grasp on the theory behind the major scale and diatonic harmony. Everything will make sense once you do.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#17
Quote by Archeo Avis
It says that? It shouldn't.
Over a G major progression, you would play G major. Modes don't factor into it at all. I really dislike recommending the theory sticky, since it really needs to be rewritten, but it contains (relatively) accurate information on modes. You might check there.

To be honest, I would strongly advise ignoring modes until you have a firm grasp on the theory behind the major scale and diatonic harmony. Everything will make sense once you do.



well kinda you can look at dorian in blues
song stuck in my head today


#18
Check out 2nd link in my sig, to see a practical approach in chord construction, and which notes help to set a tonal centre.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

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#19
Quote by blakkin
Okay, so say you have the notes of the C Major Scale. I have been reading the different modes have different qualities to them, like sad or happy etc. and I thought it was because of the note they focus around, but I think that that's not the case. Is the reason modes have different qualities based off the chords they are played over?

For example, The notes of C Major, A B C D E F G over a chord progression in C sound happy, but over a chord progression in A would sound sad, and THATS why the Aeolian Mode sounds sad? Like if you are playing A B C D E F G over a chord progression in B, then you are playing the B Locrian mode, and it will sound dark?

EDIT: I don't mean in that order, I just mean using those notes.


Modes have their particular "mood" because of the interval structure in relation to the root. It is to do with the "note they focus around". All the progression/harmony does is influence our ear in our perception of which note is the focal point.

What a progression/harmony can do is establish a sense of where the "root" lies. Once we have a "root note" all other notes will sound in relation to this perceived "root note". The notes you play over top will create a specific set of interval distances based on this root note and that's what creates the feeling of the mode.

So to use your example if you're playing the notes of C major over a chord progression in C then C will be percieved as the root note and all the other notes notes, D E F G A B, will sound in relation to the C root. The intervals between C and each note will be perfect or major in quality.

If however you played the notes of C major over an Am progression then your ear will hear A as the root note and all the other notes will now sound in relation to the A root note. You will then hear the C not as a stable root note but as a min3rd the B will not be a leading tone but a maj2nd. The F will not sound like a perfect fourth as it did against C it will now sound as a min6th against the A root established by the Am rooted progression and the G will no longer be a powerful perfect fifth but a mellow min7th.

As far as moods go we can basically split them into two categories - major and minor. We all know that Major and Minor have different feels to them. Exactly what these "moods" are is debatable. Some describe it as happy vs sad. Some bright vs mellow. Some capital vs lowercase. Each type of description has it's problems since there are always examples of how a major progression can sound sad or mellow. But that's a different thread. I like the idea of capital vs lowercase. Even better is simply Major vs Minor.

However you describe the basic major or minor quality the modes are just incremental adjustments to these basic qualities. They are unique "flavours" of the basic major or minor sound.

So Mixolydian is a major mode. It sounds major, happy, bright, capital - whatever kind of description you want to use to describe that "major" sound. However it adds a slightly different "flavour" to the major scale by using a flat seventh tone. So though it is still "major" in quality it has it's own unique feel because of that "modal note" the b7.

I posted some notes on modes in another thread. It was fairly comprehensive so rather than repost it here is a link if you're interested - detailed explanation of modes
Si
#20
Quote by 20Tigers
Modes have their particular "mood" because of the interval structure in relation to the root. It is to do with the "note they focus around". All the progression/harmony does is influence our ear in our perception of which note is the focal point.

What a progression/harmony can do is establish a sense of where the "root" lies. Once we have a "root note" all other notes will sound in relation to this perceived "root note". The notes you play over top will create a specific set of interval distances based on this root note and that's what creates the feeling of the mode.

So to use your example if you're playing the notes of C major over a chord progression in C then C will be percieved as the root note and all the other notes notes, D E F G A B, will sound in relation to the C root. The intervals between C and each note will be perfect or major in quality.

If however you played the notes of C major over an Am progression then your ear will hear A as the root note and all the other notes will now sound in relation to the A root note. You will then hear the C not as a stable root note but as a min3rd the B will not be a leading tone but a maj2nd. The F will not sound like a perfect fourth as it did against C it will now sound as a min6th against the A root established by the Am rooted progression and the G will no longer be a powerful perfect fifth but a mellow min7th.

As far as moods go we can basically split them into two categories - major and minor. We all know that Major and Minor have different feels to them. Exactly what these "moods" are is debatable. Some describe it as happy vs sad. Some bright vs mellow. Some capital vs lowercase. Each type of description has it's problems since there are always examples of how a major progression can sound sad or mellow. But that's a different thread. I like the idea of capital vs lowercase. Even better is simply Major vs Minor.

However you describe the basic major or minor quality the modes are just incremental adjustments to these basic qualities. They are unique "flavours" of the basic major or minor sound.

So Mixolydian is a major mode. It sounds major, happy, bright, capital - whatever kind of description you want to use to describe that "major" sound. However it adds a slightly different "flavour" to the major scale by using a flat seventh tone. So though it is still "major" in quality it has it's own unique feel because of that "modal note" the b7.

I posted some notes on modes in another thread. It was fairly comprehensive so rather than repost it here is a link if you're interested - detailed explanation of modes


Your post you linked was incredibly helpful, thanks!

I think I was getting too caught up in the fact that all of the modes come from the same notes instead of focusing around the different roots. But in all honesty, how is it even useful to think of them as all being derived from one parent scale when you just use them as ways to portray what you want to over certain chords? It seems like thinking of them as in no way related to their parent scale wouldn't affect their use at all...

EDIT: I realize I didn't say this... that post answered what I needed to know. I understand the basic use of them now. Much more helpful then any of the stickies or articles I saw

Thanks again!