#1
So latley I've been analyzing modes, and trying to use non-diatonic modes in my songs, while keeping a consonant, ear-pleasing sound. I have been focusing on using modal shapes, and playing them over songs where I think the common tones would fit.

So I was working on a new song for my solo project the other night. The song is in the key of G major. After changing to the IV chord, I then change to the IV chords parallel minor, which is C minor. When I played the major IV chord, I played a C Lydian shape, hitting the notes 'C-E-F#-G'. Now C minor is C-Eb-G. So to get a nice mixture of chromatic and diatonic notes to the key of G, and in the chord of C minor, I played an Eb Lydian shape, hitting the notes 'Eb-G-A-Bb,' then back down to A, followed by a slide back up to B when the song resolves back to the one chord.

It sounded pretty cool, and was interesting seeing as Eb Lydian is not diatonic to the key of G. Keep in mind I'm not saying I was EVER PLAYING IN Eb, just using that modal shape. I realize the actual song was in G major. I think what sets it off so well is that the G and Eb pitches fit well over the C minor chord, and the Bb chromatic note promotes a bit of dissonance

Thoughts on this? And anyone else care to share any unconventional uses of modes in their compositions, or opinion on non-diatonic modes or modal shapes?
#2
well. im actually quite interested in hearing this do you have a recording. anyways, i think but im not sure that you may have some trouble wording this. it just sounds like youre changing scales lol simply put going from C lydian to C minor, theres actually alot you could to with this. idk if youre a jazz guy but it may be worth investing some time into jazz playing to get more acustomed to playing over changes and then applying it to rock like a fusion type thing.

but idk keep me posted and maybe clarify a bit...
#3
The iv chord is "borrowed" from the parallel minor as you say.

So you're playing in G major. You borrow Cm from the parallel minor (G minor scale).

Do you know what the relative minor scale for Eb Lydian is?? It's G minor. You are simply borrowing the iv chord from the parallel Gm scale and playing Gm over that chord.

The C Lydian also is just G major. You played G major over a G major progression and when you borrowed a chord from the parallel Gm scale you played Gm over it. Fairly straight forward stuff.

I'm sorry to say but there is no need to use modal terms in what you are doing.

I get the feeling though that you learned that a mode is a shape i.e. a pattern on the fretboard. I'm sorry to say that you learned wrong.

One thing that struck me though - "It sounded pretty cool." I like this. That is all that really matters.. Keep it up and good luck.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Jan 24, 2009,
#4
^+1

Modes aren't shapes. You don't need to learn the shapes of modes to play modally.
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
        |
        L.
#5
Thanks for the replies guys. In my analysis of modes, I have used them in different ways, and yes, I do have some pretty advanced knowledge of modes and no, they are not shapes. But there are modal "shapes" on the fretboard, just as their are scale "shapes" where as scales are not shapes either. If you're not getting what I'm saying about "shapes." It takes a while for some people to see what I'm getting at here. The pattern of notes I played resembled an Eb Lydian "shape" although it wasn't nessecarily Eb Lydian mode.
#6
Borrowing from the parallel minor is pretty cool, and you can get some cool sounds out of it.

You can do a similar thing over a progression such as I - vi - ii iv6, for example in C major, you would play an F minor, which is simply the iv chord taken from C minor.

In fact, this is pretty much exactly what you did, so this didn't explain much to you...

But it's a cool idea nonetheless.
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#7
Quote by 6DgOfInTb
Borrowing from the parallel minor is pretty cool, and you can get some cool sounds out of it.

You can do a similar thing over a progression such as I - vi - ii iv6, for example in C major, you would play an F minor, which is simply the iv chord taken from C minor.

In fact, this is pretty much exactly what you did, so this didn't explain much to you...

But it's a cool idea nonetheless.


Very cool idea, and thanks for your reply bro.
#8
I like borrowing the bIII and bVI in a major key. They got a really cool rocky sound to them.

So E G A B would be pretty basic I bIII IV V

Or I bVII bVI V.

Another cool use of the borrowed minor iv is in a return to the tonic a IV iv I has really got a great feel.

To keep this on topic I'm sending you a PM.
Si
#9
Quote by Axe720
Thanks for the replies guys. In my analysis of modes, I have used them in different ways, and yes, I do have some pretty advanced knowledge of modes and no, they are not shapes. But there are modal "shapes" on the fretboard, just as their are scale "shapes" where as scales are not shapes either. If you're not getting what I'm saying about "shapes." It takes a while for some people to see what I'm getting at here. The pattern of notes I played resembled an Eb Lydian "shape" although it wasn't nessecarily Eb Lydian mode.

That's exactly why this kind of discussion is of limited value - you see an "Eb Lydian shape" because you've at some point made the association between that shape and that mode. However the shape itself isn't inherently Eb Lydian...it isn't inherently anything, it's just a shape. Obviously you need to break the fretboard into manageable chunks and it helps you keep things organised if you give things labels but those reference shapes and their respective labels will be different for everyone, they're our own personal way of organising and recalling the information.

You see an Eb lydian shape, others will see the 4th major scale position, someone else may be looking in the context of the parent relative major and "see" an Eb Lydian shape as A locrian....other people break the fretboard up into compeletely different chunks like edg's "hamburgers. However, the fact remains that there are absolutes in theory...things have names and definitions. If you want to modify that thinking to suit your own needs then that's fine but it's important to maintain the distinction between facts and your own personal interpretation of them. Iif a relative newbie is asking for theory advice telling them your own idiosyncratic way of utilising the theory knowledge you already understand isn't likely to help them.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jan 24, 2009,