#1
sometimes i'll see a song and talk about what key it's in, and somebody will say it's in, say, g mixolydian. couldnt this also be interpreted as c major, or c ionian? is there a difference at all in what i play? i know c ionian has the same notes as g mixolydian, so does it sound any more "in place" if i start out with g mixolydian starting on g than c ionian? please help!
#2
Delete this thread and read the damn sticky.
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
The difference is defined by where the music 'resolves'.

If the tonal centre is C, then it would be in C major and have nothing to do with modes.
If the tonal centre is G, then using the 'c major scale' would actually be G Mixolydian.

I wouldn't get too hung up on this stuff, it is as good as useless to you right now.
#5
i read the sticky and even though my question technically was addressed, the answer just didn't quite "click" with my head right. chill. and why is it as good as useless to me right now? just becuase i'm not good at forum reading doesnt mean i'm new to guitar.
#6
I would disagree that modes are useless to a new guitarist (although I don't mean to imply you are one) as chords are constructed from modes wouldn't you say it could be greatly beneficial to any new guitarist interested in theory to learn about it? Also, a beginning guitarist shouldn't only be interesting in what theory they can apply, if they want to learn more, they should! As should anyone at any stage in playing.

With the initial question, if the key or chord is G mixolydian (or G7 with the chord if you prefer) then yes C Ionian would work, however when attempting to play over it, it's helpful to consider it as G mixolydian as it helps with phrasing and suchlike because the G should feel like the root rather than the C. It's more convenience because although modes seem complex they are incredibly useful when thinking about what would sound good. I hope that helps a bit?
#7
Quote by FbFrEeK82
i read the sticky and even though my question technically was addressed, the answer just didn't quite "click" with my head right. chill. and why is it as good as useless to me right now? just becuase i'm not good at forum reading doesnt mean i'm new to guitar.


In which you need to mention that you've read the sticky and ask a specific question. "I don't get it" doesn't help us at all, especially when the thing that you don't get is something that even a cursory understanding of diatonic harmony will teach you. Do you know the difference between C major and A minor? If your answer is "no" or "one starts on A", you need to read through the Crusades articles.
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.
#8
You need to think in a number of different ways.
First try comparing parallel modes instead of focusing on relative modes and not seeing a difference.

G Mixolydian will sound more like G Ionian than it will C Ionian.

The root note will be the same and in fact six of the seven degrees will be the same. You might think that C Ionian has the same seven notes as G Mixolydian but this is a misleading idea. C Major is very different than G Mixolydian - let me show you why.

Scale Degree      | 1  | b2 | 2  | b3 | 3  | 4  | b5 | 5  | b6 | 6  | b7 | 7  | 8  |
C Major (Ionian)  | C  |    | D  |    | E  | F  |    | G  |    | A  |    | B  | C  |
G Mixolydian      | G  |    | A  |    | B  | C  |    | D  |    | E  | F  |    | G  |
G Major (Ionian)  | G  |    | A  |    | B  | C  |    | D  |    | E  |    | F# | G  |


Now look at this and compare the three. The similarity that jumps out first is G Mixolydian and G Major. C Major looks very different. It looks more similar to G Major because of the same structure than it does to G Mixolydian.

Yes C major and G mixo use the same group of seven notes but they are used in a completely different way. In fact that the only similarity. The structure of the scale is different and when you think of notes in their right place as scale degrees not a single one is the same between the two scales/modes.

When you compare C major and G major you see that the structure or step pattern of both scales are the same. When you consider the pitch classes used six of the seven notes are the same. But when you think of those notes in their right places for each scale once again none of them are the same.

When you compare the G Mixolydian and G Major you see that they not only share six of the same seven notes but those six notes appear in the same place in both scales.

For these reasong G mixolydian and G major are far more similar than C major and G mixolydian. The only difference between G mixolydian and G major is one note lowered a semitone. The difference between G mixolydian and C Major is vast. Each note is displaced seven semitones - except the seventh which is displaced six semitones.

As Sam Vines has said it all has to do with the root. If G is the root it sounds like the root. C sounds like a perfect fourth. If C is the root then it sounds like the root and G sounds like the perfect fourth.

The different modes are different interval structures heard in relation to the root note.

Now that you know relative relationships forget them and focus on parallel relationships to really understand the way in which modes can flavour a piece of music.
Si
#9
i think it should be pointed out that it's not usually correct to say a song is a "modal key." This would mean that every single note of the song, without exception, is within that mode. This may seem fine initially, but you have to realize what happens when you apply a mode to a standard major or minor key.

at least one of your main triads (your I, your IV or your V) will have it's root or fifth altered, which makes is extremely hard to use in most situations where you would normally play that chord. also, at least two other chords which are normally major or minor will have their thirds altered. normally these chords would help to reinforce the main chords as being representative of the key, but now they will create strange resolutions that don't sound "right" to most people's ears.

technically speaking, besides the Ionian mode itself, the Aeolian mode (aka the minor scale) is the only major scale mode where you can take the flatted notes and substitute them in when harmonizing the scale to form triads that sound "right." This is because the Aeolian features a whopping THREE altered scale degrees. When you apply the modal notes towards forming triads, every single triad is affected, and we get the chords in minor keys. Modes with fewer than three degrees yield alterations only on 3 or 4 chords, and cause the key to become unstable.

as for the ThreadStarter's initial question... i think what you're running into is that when someone says "G Mixolydian" they assume you are more familiar with modes than you are. They most likely mean to play a G major chord progression, with a melody line on the lead guitar that uses a b7 instead of a regular 7th. This is not technically modal music, it's just using modal theory to make an educated guess about which accidentals will sound musical and intriguing when used over a standard major or minor key.
Last edited by frigginjerk at Jan 27, 2009,
#10
Quote by FbFrEeK82
just becuase i'm not good at forum reading doesnt mean i'm new to guitar.

sorry, no offense. What i was trying to say is that for some reason in the guitar world (only) 'modes' have been hyped up to be something they really aren't. I think it is mainly due to poorly written guitar books that people write to make money and pack them out with scale 'shapes'. Shapes are fine so long as you know what they mean... only problem is, people learn the shape before the theory. This is an easy way for people to sell guitar books because the 'student' thinks they have learnt something good by playing the F Phrygian scale.

There are far more useful things to look into if you want to write any songs yourself, this is basically the chords built by the major scale and different progressions using these chords.

Quote by Sam_Vimes
I would disagree that modes are useless to a new guitarist (although I don't mean to imply you are one) as chords are constructed from modes

Chords are not built from modes. Chords are built by stacking 3rds through the major scale.

I agree that knowing the modes helps to remember the different chord alterations... ie Phrygian m7b9 etc. So you do make a good point there.
#11
Quote by frigginjerk
i think it should be pointed out that it's not usually correct to say a song is a "modal key." This would mean that every single note of the song, without exception, is within that mode. This may seem fine initially, but you have to realize what happens when you apply a mode to a standard major or minor key.

at least one of your main triads (your I, your IV or your V) will have it's root or fifth altered, which makes is extremely hard to use in most situations where you would normally play that chord. also, at least two other chords which are normally major or minor will have their thirds altered. normally these chords would help to reinforce the main chords as being representative of the key, but now they will create strange resolutions that don't sound "right" to most people's ears.

technically speaking, besides the Ionian mode itself, the Aeolian mode (aka the minor scale) is the only major scale mode where you can take the flatted notes and substitute them in when harmonizing the scale to form triads that sound "right." This is because the Aeolian features a whopping THREE altered scale degrees. When you apply the modal notes towards forming triads, every single triad is affected, and we get the chords in minor keys. Modes with fewer than three degrees yield alterations only on 3 or 4 chords, and cause the key to become unstable.

as for the ThreadStarter's initial question... i think what you're running into is that when someone says "G Mixolydian" they assume you are more familiar with modes than you are. They most likely mean to play a G major chord progression, with a melody line on the lead guitar that uses a b7 instead of a regular 7th. This is not technically modal music, it's just using modal theory to make an educated guess about which accidentals will sound musical and intriguing when used over a standard major or minor key.



This is right;

Quote by branny1982
sorry, no offense. What i was trying to say is that for some reason in the guitar world (only) 'modes' have been hyped up to be something they really aren't. I think it is mainly due to poorly written guitar books that people write to make money and pack them out with scale 'shapes'. Shapes are fine so long as you know what they mean... only problem is, people learn the shape before the theory. This is an easy way for people to sell guitar books because the 'student' thinks they have learnt something good by playing the F Phrygian scale.

There are far more useful things to look into if you want to write any songs yourself, this is basically the chords built by the major scale and different progressions using these chords.


Chords are not built from modes. Chords are built by stacking 3rds through the major scale.

I agree that knowing the modes helps to remember the different chord alterations... ie Phrygian m7b9 etc. So you do make a good point there.


This is sort of right, but misleading.

If you say chords are built by stacking 3rd from the major scale, then all the outside notes get counted out

If you wanna learn how to build chords, learn intervals. Once you understand this + the formula's, you can basically make every chord, and you only have to learn about stylistic conventions.

And modes are not overhyped, but misunderstood. A lot of the popular guitar virtuoso's use the term modes to describe the note choices over given passages of their songs.

This gets mixed up with modal music. Because a lot of modern music is beyond standard chord progressions, and often feature modulations and harmonic alterations everywhere, that just learning the major key, won't help you with writing stuff in those styles.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Jan 28, 2009,
#13
Branny is right. Chords are described according to their relationship to the major scale. Non-diatonic tones are fine, but even those are describes according to how they deviate from the major scale.
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.
#15
Quote by branny1982
Just to elaborate on my leading question 2 posts up... no notes are left out.

Chords are built in this order-

r 3 5 7 9 11 13

that is 7 degrees (all which may be altered b # etc).

This is why chords are called Maj11 or m13

Maj11 chords very rare, cuz of the semitone clash.

The closest you'll get to a "major sounding" 11 chord is a dominant 9sus4.
#17
I think I mostly understand it now, but not completely. I suppose I DID first learn it in patterns, and I while soloing I think of them more in patterns than in a certain order of notes, if you know what I mean. I just don't understand this: if you solo in something assumed to be "G Mixolydian" and move up the neck, you will eventually move up to a pattern that IS C Ionian. What is the difference? Do you make it clear that it is still G Mixolydian by hanging on the G notes more than the C's? Thanks for all the answers.
#18
i just want to let everyone know that the sticky is an epic turnoff to me, just oo many words, and seeing as we guitarist, are usually doesnt read as much as the english literacyman, maybe it makes sense why we would rather ask a simple question to get a response, rather than read through an epic sticky.
#19
Quote by dmirtygorachyov
i just want to let everyone know that the sticky is an epic turnoff to me, just oo many words, and seeing as we guitarist, are usually doesnt read as much as the english literacyman, maybe it makes sense why we would rather ask a simple question to get a response, rather than read through an epic sticky.


read the sticky(ies) and don't be so ****ing lazy. Don't try to generalize guitar players as dumb, in fact you'll find most of the people around here wanting to help are indeed (or at least seem) very intellectual. Really though if you are not willing to read, you really are not going to go any further than knowing the basics.

This may seem like a harsh post but I hate it when people try to undermine the hard work of others, if you don't find the stickies useful (who doesn't find them useful??), then don't read them but don't try and put others off reading them.

Also most of the stuff explained in the stickies came about because the question was being asked to many times and most require more than a simple answer.
Last edited by Helpy Helperton at Jan 28, 2009,
#20
Quote by dmirtygorachyov
i just want to let everyone know that the sticky is an epic turnoff to me, just oo many words, and seeing as we guitarist, are usually doesnt read as much as the english literacyman, maybe it makes sense why we would rather ask a simple question to get a response, rather than read through an epic sticky.



My mode explanation features video on every mode except locrian, and is no more then 2 pages long.

You call that long?

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#21
i just wrote an extensive response to FbFreEk but the server stole it from me. i hate the UG - IE interface....

Sorry, i don't think i will be typing it up again!

Basically, the harmony determines the function of the music. Your lead guitar notes will be 'named' relative to the harmonic tonal centre.
#22
Quote by FbFrEeK82
I think I mostly understand it now, but not completely. I suppose I DID first learn it in patterns, and I while soloing I think of them more in patterns than in a certain order of notes, if you know what I mean. I just don't understand this: if you solo in something assumed to be "G Mixolydian" and move up the neck, you will eventually move up to a pattern that IS C Ionian. What is the difference? Do you make it clear that it is still G Mixolydian by hanging on the G notes more than the C's? Thanks for all the answers.
IF you solo in G mixolydian and move up the neck you will eventually move to a pattern that is still G mixolydian.

You can stay in the same pattern while the harmony modulates from G Mixolydian to C Ionian and the same pattern that was G mixolydian becomes C Ionian - there's no need to change positions.

What makes it that mode is that all the notes are heard in relation to the G in the case of G Mixolydian. And in the case of C Ionian all the notes are heard in relation to C.

The easiest way to create this relationship or establish the tonic is through the harmony. A pedal bass note, or simple chord vamp will do the trick.
Si
#23
So to make a G mixolydian solo over a G major progression "sound" like G mixolydian, do I just "emphasize" the G more?
#25
A previous poster said that G Mixolydian and G ionian had more similarities than G mixolydian and C ionian. I can understand that if you say the scale top to bottom, because they both start on G and only have one variation with the flatted 7th. However, G Mixolydian and C ionian share the EXACT same notes, just in a different order. If musical solos were all played scales top to bottom, they would be boring. Solos are scales played in different combinations, orders, and times. A solo in C ionian could end up being the same exact solo as one played in G mixolydian. Maybe somebody has already explained it well and i just have some kind of mental block, but WHY aren't songs that are expressed as "G Mixolydian" instead expressed as C major?
#26
Ok,

Your friend has a guitar. He plays this over and over-
Cmaj - Gmaj - Am - Cmaj (if you do not know that this is a I - V - vi - I in C major then stop learning modes now)

This chord progression resolves to C. It is a C Major progression.

Now, you play any combination of the notes A B C D E F G that you can think of, for example, you could use this shape if you wanted-


-7-8------
---8---10-
-7---9-10-
-7---9-10-
-7-8---10-
---8---10-


You are playing C Major.


Now comes the modal bit.

The backing chords are-

G7 - G7 - F - G7

This resolves to G.

If you play the exact same notes as before, even using the same shape, you are playing G Mixolydian.

It is the underlying harmony, or the tonal centre that distinguishes the mode.
Last edited by branny1982 at Jan 28, 2009,
#27
okay, so the scale you play technically IS the same thing, it's just the sound you get out of it that distinguishes it. thanks.
btw, yes I did know it was a I V vi I. hah
#29
alright, thanks everybody. branny even though your messages seemed to be laced with sarcasm, they did help alot hha thanks
#30
Quote by FbFrEeK82
alright, thanks everybody. branny even though your messages seemed to be laced with sarcasm, they did help alot hha thanks


lol that's just his style, but I can assure you he's right.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
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