#1
I was brainstroming last night after learning chords in music theory. I was wondering if there was a way to create the same floating feeling that you get from modes in chord form, not just in melodic writing.
I brought this up and my teacher basically yelled at me so the main question is there such thing as modal chord progressions? So that the chord kind of float around the tonal center and make it harder to pick out, just like modal music
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#2
I'm not entirely sre what you mean, since modes have fairly well defined tonal centers. I suggest reading the sticky.
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#4
your teacher sounds like a dick and an idiot for yelling at you and not answering your question.

Basically if you look at the modes, they go major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. Those are your triads. If you want to play 'big chords' it gets a bit more complicated. Is that what you meant?
#5
I think what you are asking is whether or not there are chords that can create feelings like modes can. The answer is yes, chords also have emotional connections to them, obviously major is happy, minor is sad (generally). I think you will find that a Maj7#11 chord has a lydian feel associated to it.
#7
Quote by Myung-trucci
I think what you are asking is whether or not there are chords that can create feelings like modes can. The answer is yes, chords also have emotional connections to them, obviously major is happy, minor is sad (generally). I think you will find that a Maj7#11 chord has a lydian feel associated to it.


The sound of a chord is entirely dependent of context. They do not have moods.
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
I too think your teacher is a dick. Asking questions is a sign of interest and curiosity if he yelled at you for asking a question it's probably because "When he gets home at night his fat and psychopathic wife will thrash him within inches of his life."

You can have progressions that are "tonally ambiguous" - that is they don't seem to resolve somewhere in particular or they seem to drift back and forth between different tonal centres.. This kind of gives that floating around.

The modes, as Archeo mentioned, have fairly defined tonal centres. Paradoxically it is precisely the strong tonal root that allows the floating feeling. It provides an anchor so to speak and the rest of the song seems to float around it but is always tied to the anchor. Pitch Axis is good for this. Or simply have the bass play a steady D and experiment freely with D mixolydian over the top.

You can also play with timing and rhythm to create a sort of floating feel too. The same idea - a rock solid anchor - say in a simple and steady eighth note drum rhythm in 4/4 but phrase your melodic ideas over it in a kind of whole note triplet feel and it will sound kind of like it's floating. (EDIT) use a kind 3/4 feel for your phrasing. This way the beats fall on the same time but they are working of different number of notes to each measure. I don't know if this is technically correct, whether you would just write the whole thing as 12/4 or even if it makes any sense but I have the start of something that I haven't been able to finish and it kind of works like that.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jan 9, 2009,
#11
YEs, I even made an Article on it (2nd link in my signature)

Guys; I think he means by "Floating" a non resolving vamp aka modal vamp.

For instance, the Lydian Vamp in my lesson;

I - II progression endlessly repeating both with an F in the bass, could be described as floating.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 10, 2009,
#12
you can use individual chords to include notes that could be pulled from modal scales, but you will find it VERY difficult to write a chord progression using a mode (or multiple modes) that sounds stable and still fits the modal requirements, AND conveys the sound of a particular mode when you play the chords.

your best bet is not to think of modes in this manner... you are not likely to write a lot of good-sounding chord progressions where anyone will be able to listen to it and say "oh, those chords sound very lydian." though it's possible to use modal theory to choose the notes you use in your chords, they don't become modal just because of that.

for example... how would you play a phrygian chord progression? it would sound like ASS to have a b2 in your chord, and that's the only note that makes it phrygian. you could try a b9, but that's a bit different of a sound. or locrian would be even tougher, since you'd have to use a diminished-5th chord as your root.

or look at it this way... what if you wanted to write some chords that sound like "A Dorian?" If you have a I-IV-V progression, you've got Am, Dm, Em. Adding a major sixth to make things dorian would mean that you'd have one or all of the following... an A minor chord with a minor third and a major sixth, which, besides sounding harsh, is HARD to grip. Your Dm would have to become D major, since F# is the modal note for A Dorian, and F is the minor third in Dm. And your Em would have to have a sus2 if nothing else, which is a pretty tense chord in most cases already.

and then if you decide to switch modes to accommodate each chord, you end up with a jumble of melodies that don't sound like they go together, since you'd be changing the key AND the "colour" that the mode provides. you can still play tonally ambiguous, floaty-sounding music, but modes are only fully applicable and appreciable as a melody device. they tend to gum up the works if you try to form chords with them, as I was saying earlier.

i'm not gonna say "don't try it" and i agree that your teacher is a dick if he actually yelled at you... but prepare to find out that modes are best used as a way to add interesting accidentals to the standard major and minor scales, and are only truly applicable as modes if you are playing them as a melody line over a one or two-chord vamp.

naturally, it will all depend on the listener... maybe what sounds like atonal noodly crap to the average person will sound like advanced free-jazz to someone else. i just got the feeling that the TS was looking for an obvious answer, or a "trick" to writing modal chord progressions, and there isn't an easy or universally accepted method for it.
Last edited by frigginjerk at Jan 10, 2009,
#13
Of course chords have moods... at least moods related to it by your own expression. You can play a chord in many different ways, bringing about its said moodiness in all different ways... but that would be you creating it. A note is not just a note as there is a flavour added to it from your fingers as such. Music is not black or white but how we interpret it. It is food for the soul as such hence it carries with it emotions otherworldly.

Fenderuser, Rick Peckham from Berklee has a lesson/workshop on modal voicings. Frank Gambale also has a book on improv where he has modal voicings underneath his frantic but brilliant soloing. Its best to check these out as they will answer all your questions and give you much pleasure in playing them.

Hope this helps, good luck, enjoy
#14
Quote by xxdarrenxx
YEs, I even made an Article on it (2nd link in my signature)

Guys; I think he means by "Floating" a non resolving vamp aka modal vamp.

For instance, the Lydian Vamp in my lesson;

I - II progression endlessly repeating both with an F in the bass, could be described as floating.


this was exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

Also my teacher is admittedly crazy and she knows it

Also I guess I wasn't clear in my definition. In my class we use floating as a means to describe a vamp or peice of music that doesn't resolve often and it's hard to find the tonal center, therefore gives a sense of floating or just going back and forth between a few ( or many notes)
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Last edited by fenderuser93 at Jan 11, 2009,
#15
Quote by fenderuser93
this was exactly what I was looking for, thanks.

Also my teacher is admittedly crazy and she knows it

Also I guess I wasn't clear in my definition. In my class we use floating as a means to describe a vamp or peice of music that doesn't resolve often and it's hard to find the tonal center, therefore gives a sense of floating or just going back and forth between a few ( or many notes)


exactly what I thought.

The closest thing what comes to a resolvance is if ur melody lands on or passes by a "mode" note.

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#16
Quote by frigginjerk
you can use individual chords to include notes that could be pulled from modal scales, but you will find it VERY difficult to write a chord progression using a mode (or multiple modes) that sounds stable and still fits the modal requirements, AND conveys the sound of a particular mode when you play the chords.

your best bet is not to think of modes in this manner... you are not likely to write a lot of good-sounding chord progressions where anyone will be able to listen to it and say "oh, those chords sound very lydian." though it's possible to use modal theory to choose the notes you use in your chords, they don't become modal just because of that.

for example... how would you play a phrygian chord progression? it would sound like ASS to have a b2 in your chord, and that's the only note that makes it phrygian. you could try a b9, but that's a bit different of a sound. or locrian would be even tougher, since you'd have to use a diminished-5th chord as your root.

or look at it this way... what if you wanted to write some chords that sound like "A Dorian?" If you have a I-IV-V progression, you've got Am, Dm, Em. Adding a major sixth to make things dorian would mean that you'd have one or all of the following... an A minor chord with a minor third and a major sixth, which, besides sounding harsh, is HARD to grip. Your Dm would have to become D major, since F# is the modal note for A Dorian, and F is the minor third in Dm. And your Em would have to have a sus2 if nothing else, which is a pretty tense chord in most cases already.

and then if you decide to switch modes to accommodate each chord, you end up with a jumble of melodies that don't sound like they go together, since you'd be changing the key AND the "colour" that the mode provides. you can still play tonally ambiguous, floaty-sounding music, but modes are only fully applicable and appreciable as a melody device. they tend to gum up the works if you try to form chords with them, as I was saying earlier.

i'm not gonna say "don't try it" and i agree that your teacher is a dick if he actually yelled at you... but prepare to find out that modes are best used as a way to add interesting accidentals to the standard major and minor scales, and are only truly applicable as modes if you are playing them as a melody line over a one or two-chord vamp.

naturally, it will all depend on the listener... maybe what sounds like atonal noodly crap to the average person will sound like advanced free-jazz to someone else. i just got the feeling that the TS was looking for an obvious answer, or a "trick" to writing modal chord progressions, and there isn't an easy or universally accepted method for it.



This answer is basically what I found out when I tried it. I knew it would sound like crap when I tried it but I just wanted to prove my teacher wrong that it was possible (but not practical)
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