#1
Do i actually need to understand modal theory? every lesson I look on it sums it up as "basically you just play the major shape but start at a different position". I just don't get what the big hoo-ha about guitar soloing through modes is.

I'm not saying modes are pointless altogether, I'm just pondering if there is more to modes than - in essence - just learning a 12-fret wide scale box?
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You don't play your scales "out of the box", you just play them in a really big box.
#2
its not really about learning scale boxes, it more about learning the notes inside the scale and applying those notes everywhere on the fretboard.
#3
Quote by SamboSkull
Do i actually need to understand modal theory? every lesson I look on it sums it up as "basically you just play the major shape but start at a different position". I just don't get what the big hoo-ha about guitar soloing through modes is.

I'm not saying modes are pointless altogether, I'm just pondering if there is more to modes than - in essence - just learning a 12-fret wide scale box?

Let's say you have a song in the key of C, but you want it to sound really bluesy. You could play the C Mixolydian scale over your progression, which is the same as the G Major scale. It's not just playing the C major scale from a different initial tonic.
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#4
Think of modes as an overall sound.

If you play a G note on a keyboard and was able to sustain it for some time with a pedal or something, and you played G ionian, G dorian, G phrygian, etc. etc. over that G note, you will get a sense of the overall sound of the mode which gives a different perspective than just looking at modes in a purely academic way.
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#5
See now you just point out what I initially thought, which is, am I meant to break the scale with the mode, but none of the lessons indicate to do that. I know that by doing that you can achieve a great sense of shift in atmosphere of the song, however it is the equivalent of playing bum notes and then playing other bum notes to make it sound correct in a way, right?

Haha, weird fact for ya. I haven't been on this forum since I joined and actively posted early 2006. And my sig mentions that you don't play out of the box, you just play a 12 fret scale box. Wow, I can't believe for three years I've been playing the same way.

I can play that scale very fast by the way. But it just lacks feel. I practice hours a day and it just lacks any real groove. Like if I play funk, it feels like funk, but it doesn't FEEL like funk, if you know what I mean. I'm sure modes is a way to break the habit. So okee dokee, whats he best way of practising them?
Vice president of the I Watched Eon8 End Club!
And what a big f****** let down that was.

You don't play your scales "out of the box", you just play them in a really big box.
#6
I could post, but theres at least 5 other regulars that can explain better then me.

But just for reference, you really should think of each mode as an individual scale, not a certain scale starting in a different place. The same way you dont think of the C and Am as the same chord/scale, you shouldnt thing of D dorian/F lydian as the same scale.
#7
Quote by SamboSkull
Do i actually need to understand modal theory? every lesson I look on it sums it up as "basically you just play the major shape but start at a different position". I just don't get what the big hoo-ha about guitar soloing through modes is.

I'm not saying modes are pointless altogether, I'm just pondering if there is more to modes than - in essence - just learning a 12-fret wide scale box?
I might be assuming wrong here but...

I think you've assumed that modes are just elaborate names for patterns/shapes on the fretboard for each postition of the major scale. This is completely wrong.

Let's say you have a song in the key of C, but you want it to sound really bluesy. You could play the C Mixolydian scale over your progression, which is the same as the G Major scale. It's not just playing the C major scale from a different initial tonic.
No, you'd just be playing out of key. If you want to use only ONE mode over a WHOLE progression, that progression needs to be modal.
I don't think T/S is ready to be writing modal progressions, but here's one for T/S: Dm7 - Dm7 - G7
That progression is in D dorian. Play D dorian over that progression.

REad these articles:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?s=crusade&w=columns
Than read these posts by Darren:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=997405
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=999592

Modes are an advanced theory topic, they are NOT shapes/patterns on the fretboard. Theory is not learning patterns and scales, theory is learning how to describe whether it be piano music, saxophone music, jazz music, stringed quartet music.
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#8
the modes produce different emotions than the major and minor scales, instead of just being happy or sad.
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#9
No, otherwise you'll suffer from silly delusions that you're playing in D Dorian over a C Major progression or something.

EDIT: And yes, the practical application of modes is often overhyped, largely through misunderstanding of modal theory. Thinking "F# Dorian shape" while playing over an E major progression, is perfectly fine and, maybe in different cases, will make finding in-key notes easier. You just have to realize that you're not actually playing in F# Dorian because you've arbitrarily designated the most comfortable/convenient/etc. note as your "root".
Last edited by grampastumpy at Dec 31, 2008,
#10
Short answer - if you want to learn how to play modally then yes, you need to learn mode theory.

If you don't want to then you really don't need to bother.
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#11
Quote by steven seagull
Short answer - if you want to learn how to play modally then yes, you need to learn mode theory.

If you don't want to then you really don't need to bother.


Yes, but define that. What does it mean to play modally. Is it to play an entire song in a specific mode? Or is it to use the modes as a method of adding other notes to the key you're playing in to make the music more interesting.

I vote for the second option.
#12
Quote by Gizzmo0411
Yes, but define that. What does it mean to play modally. Is it to play an entire song in a specific mode? Or is it to use the modes as a method of adding other notes to the key you're playing in to make the music more interesting.

I vote for the second option.



Modal music as a term means "playing in 1 mode".

But that's not the point.

Learning modes in general is very useful, cause u become aware of the other notes (colours) other then major or minor that you can use over chords. You will develop an ear for their characteristics.

Of course you can use other notes over chords already. The point is to be aware exactly WHICH notes you play over a chord.

Just making progressions like I do WILL expand your ability to write and play solo's. This is because you isolate special chord tones which will be ingraiend in ur mind if you play long with them in isolation, so you get to use the "Characteristic" mode notes in 10000 different ways which inevitably results in new licks.

Check link 2 in my signature for a lesson and a starting point.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Dec 31, 2008,
#13
Havent read all posts. But basically, major scale shapes on the fretboard have nothing to do with modal theory. Basically a shape is just a shape it is not an aspect of theory.
Andy
#14
Like if I play funk, it feels like funk, but it doesn't FEEL like funk, if you know what I mean. I'm sure modes is a way to break the habit.


You and a lot of people, mate. Modes are not the "fix my lack of feel" button, I'm afraid. That's studying timing, phrasing and vibrato.

Modes sound different, just like major and minor sound different. Each mode has a unique sound, although it's generally subtler than a plain minor/major key. Imagine taking the "white light" of the major scale and splitting it into it's constituent colours - that's a good way to describe the way modes are derived from the major scale.