#1
Hey guys, im working on writing a song in the key of G maj (GABCDEF#) and am trying to come up with a nice lead line.. however, im not sure what scale or mode to use when starting here. id like to come up with something heavy, but melodic. can anyone give me a few pointers at which mode/scale/etc would best be used?? thanks in advance as always!
#2
G major - simple as, if your chord progression is in the key of G then that's your scale.

If you don't have a chord progression yet I strongly recommend you do that before worrying about the melody. Also, you might want to look at writing your song in a minor key as you may find it easier to write the kind of piece you seem to be aiming for if you're resolving to a minor chord.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jan 9, 2009,
#4
Quote by Rational_Gaze
E minor or B phrygian


can you explain how you got those?? just curious, im starting to get into this stuff so it would be great if i could get a lil feedback/info on it. thanks guys!
#5
Quote by Rational_Gaze
E minor or B phrygian



TS, ignore that - technically those scales don't even exist in the context of a G major progression.
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#6
If the chord progression is in G Major, then the melody should also be in G Major, or perhaps G Pentatonic Major.

Ignore Rational_Gaze; his info is actually pretty irrational.

u c wut i did thar?!
#7
Quote by Rational_Gaze
E minor or B phrygian


these scales are just rearranged G major scales. they contain the same notes, but if you play them over a G major progression, you're just playing G major, but probably starting and ending your licks with different notes than G, which only sounds good once in a while, not throughout a song.

modes don't work very well over chord progressions in general. it's usually a fallacy to try to find THE mode that works over your progression, because none of them will. what you should be doing with modes is using them as a guide to figure out which accidentals will work best while still playing in key with a major or natural minor scale.

it might sound cool over one part of your progression to include a minor 7th... if you're playing a major scale, you could say that this is a "mixolydian" thing to do, and the resulting guitar lick would be comprised of the notes from the mixolydian scale. but unless your chord progression also features that minor seventh in every applicable chord, you're not playing modal music. you're just making educated use of a modal concept and adding an accidental to your major or minor (or pentatonic) scales.

so my advice is to use G major, but pay close attention to what the notes sound like over each chord. see if there are points in your progression where it sounds good to make notes sharp or flat. making the third flat will probably sound bad, since the 3rd is so integral to making the key major or minor. but mess around with making the 4th sharp (lydian), making the seventh flat (mixolydian), or you could experiment with the minor sixth as a passing note or what-have-you. and above all, remember that if it sounds good, it IS good.
#8
Quote by frigginjerk
and above all, remember that if it sounds good, it IS good.


Quoted for truth. In a melody line you can play fast and loose with the rules - more so than anything else in the song.
#9
Lead lines huh?

Forget modes. Not being mean or anything, but if you don't know what they are you're not ready to use them right (as in, you might think you're using them, but you'd most likely just be using the major/minor scale).

Study theory (everything helps), analyse songs, borrow a melody writing book from your local library, learn counterpoint.

It's pretty much just a matter of phrasing your melodies, copying little bits and developing stuff. That will get you a "melodical" sounding lead line. Then add distortion (and a heavy guitar rhthym) and you have a "heavy" sound.
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[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
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#10
Just put on the progression looped. Then play around until you find some nice notes and lines. Keep playing with them till they turn into something awesome. When you've finished writing it have a look at what modes or scales might be used to describe the result.

Best of Luck.
Si
#11
it'd use the B phyian mode but depending on what chords your using you may have to compensate for the key change
you are what you is
#13
G Major is definitely the way to go. Keep the resolution the same as the chord progression and the song will go well. You don't want a lead line that makes the progression sound wrong do you?

Never use a mode without knowing all of them inside and out. If you know that, you'd never need to ask.
#14
Quote by michal23
^ No, it wouldn't us the B phrygian mode at all.


why wouldn't it?
you are what you is
#15
Quote by mergapoot
why wouldn't it?


If the chord progression is in and resolves to G Major, then even if the notes you play are in B phrygian, the melody will still be in G Major. This is because modal music is defined by the harmony behind it, rather than the melody on top. To be able to play a melody in B phrygian over it, the chords would have to resolve Bm

For example, a chord progression in B phrygian may be a simple Bm - C#11 vamp.
#16
Quote by mergapoot
it'd use the B phyian mode but depending on what chords your using you may have to compensate for the key change


Also, modes are not their own key. There would be no key change, you'd be in G Major.
#17
Quote by michal23
If the chord progression is in and resolves to G Major, then even if the notes you play are in B phrygian, the melody will still be in G Major. This is because modal music is defined by the harmony behind it, rather than the melody on top. To be able to play a melody in B phrygian over it, the chords would have to resolve Bm

For example, a chord progression in B phrygian may be a simple Bm - C#11 vamp.


i understand what u r saying but if we used that reason for not using certain modes in all music most modes would be totally obsolete
you are what you is
#18
Quote by mergapoot
i understand what u r saying but if we used that reason for not using certain modes in all music most modes would be totally obsolete


It's not a 'reason', or an 'excuse', it's a fact. That's why the vast majority of music is not modal, why many people do not understand modes, and why modal music lost popularity at around the baroque period.
#19
Quote by michal23
It's not a 'reason', or an 'excuse', it's a fact. That's why the vast majority of music is not modal, why many people do not understand modes, and why modal music lost popularity at around the baroque period.


ok ok ok i accept my defeat:P
you are what you is
#20
Why do people who have no idea what they're talking about keep answering these threads!?
Practice. Play. Sleep. Repeat.

Quote by pearlJam_31490
i take it next your going to tell me that Cb is a note too!
#21
Quote by mergapoot
ok ok ok i accept my defeat:P


^ No problem.

I'm just trying to show you that no matter how hard you try to write a melody in B Phrygian over a G Major progression, it will still be in G Major.

EDIT:
Quote by MeltedMetal
Why do people who have no idea what they're talking about keep answering these threads!?


Usually because they think that they do.
#22
Quote by MeltedMetal
Why do people who have no idea what they're talking about keep answering these threads!?


just to piss you off
you are what you is
#23
Quote by mergapoot
just to piss you off

It's working :P
Practice. Play. Sleep. Repeat.

Quote by pearlJam_31490
i take it next your going to tell me that Cb is a note too!
#24
So just to clarify before the thread closes, do Modes have to do with the chord progression the piece has? That it has to resolve on its tonal center?

And to clarify tonal center, if we're playing a piece in G Phrygian, its tonal center is Gm, the chord I have to resolve to?
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#25
Quote by SilverDark
So just to clarify before the thread closes, do Modes have to do with the chord progression the piece has? That it has to resolve on its tonal center?

And to clarify tonal center, if we're playing a piece in G Phrygian, its tonal center is Gm, the chord I have to resolve to?


Yes, that's correct. Darren has a good lesson on how to construct modal chord progressions.
#26
Quote by michal23
Yes, that's correct. Darren has a good lesson on how to construct modal chord progressions.

All right, great! I'm happy.

So we should put in the sticky that modes have nothing to do with writing a melody in a certain mode.
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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It's like you read my mind!

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#27
Quote by SilverDark
All right, great! I'm happy.

So we should put in the sticky that modes have nothing to do with writing a melody in a certain mode.


Well, that's not entirely true either.

See, in the middle ages and the renaissance period, only modes were used, and music was often written by having two contrapuntal melodies play together in a certain mode. So while harmony was used, it was used only to harmonise melodies.

It is only nowadays that modal chord progressions have been developed and that melodies themselves don't really determine anything.
#28
Yeah, I remember my theory class...

I guess where the many misconceptions lie are in writing a C major chord progression and someone says that the melodic line is in G Mixolydian, with the piece resolving to C.

So, Chord Progressions > Modes
If you play guitar, please don't waste your time in The Pit, and please instead educate yourself in the Musician Talk forum, where you can be missing out on valuable info.
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#29
^ generally. Though when I write modal music, it tends to be reminiscent of the old version, rather than the new one