#1
Hey,

So I understand the concept of modes pretty well, what I am more interested in are licks that I can apply to the modes. I find that when i try to improvise with them, I just end up random doodling. Any links to sites/books/anything is greatly apprectiated.

Thanks
#2
Licks won't help you to stop doodling. What you have to do is really think about the chords underneath what your playing.

Ex. If your playing over a vamp in Mixolydian, let's say D Mixolydian. So your vamp is D7 - Am, your jammin, and it's all going good. All of a sudden you feel you need to make it interesting. What do you do? Well, you could make use of the flat seventh, which is contained in both chords, so would sound good no matter where you play it. You could use the flat seventh in a more interesting way, putting it in a lick and then bending it up to the root to finish it off which on the D7 chord.

The point of this is, whipping out a lick might work sometimes, but what is proven to always work is a mixture of feel (feeling you need to spice it up) and a level head (using your knowledge of the mode.

Hope I helped.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#4
Use the flavours of the mode to really bring out it's sound.

E.g. if you were in D Dorian, try putting a Dm6 underneath instead of a Dm7. Because dorian is the only minor mode that doesn't have a flat 6. So use this to you're advantage.

Or if you were in D Phrygian, I like to use hammer-ons from the D to the Eb as the minor second can bring out the phrygian sound alot more. Hope some of that helps.
#5
Quote by Volvic
Use the flavours of the mode to really bring out it's sound.

E.g. if you were in D Dorian, try putting a Dm6 underneath instead of a Dm7. Because dorian is the only minor mode that doesn't have a flat 6. So use this to you're advantage.

Or if you were in D Phrygian, I like to use hammer-ons from the D to the Eb as the minor second can bring out the phrygian sound alot more. Hope some of that helps.


This guy is right.

You must wonder urself, what does the mode have that the minor or major scale hasn't?

These are the characteristics of the mode.

I made a short guide on it, 2nd link in my signature "how to make modal chord progressions"

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#6
Quote by Volvic
E.g. if you were in D Dorian, try putting a Dm6 underneath instead of a Dm7. Because dorian is the only minor mode that doesn't have a flat 6. So use this to you're advantage.
Dm7 would typically be played under a D Dorian progression. The nat6 will come from the melody or another chord, likely G7.

Modes are unstable and want to resolve to their relative major scale (D Dorian --> C major). The key to using them is not permitting them to resolve to their relative major scale. This is done with one or two chord vamps involving the chords in the scale with the modal tone (nat 6 in dorian, #4 in lydian...) such as Dm G7 for D Dorian.

There's also the idea of just playing the scale over a modally neutral progression. An example would be shifting between A natural minor and A dorian over an Am G Am G progression.
#7
I find that when i try to improvise with them, I just end up random doodling.


Some of the advice here is pretty good, but it won't necessarily stop you from 'doodling' because this is a phrasing and idea problem. When you go to improvise I find it is most convenient, and most musically satisfying, to stick with the melody at first and to merely embellish it. To practice this in the context of modes, either find a modal melody (there are plenty of folk tunes) or transcribe an otherwise tonal melody and make it modal, and then start screwing with it. For example, add some passing tones inbetween leaps, some turns on the usually sustained notes, or play an arpeggio up to a note, or down as may be the case, but make sure the original melody is still essentially in tact (same pitches, same rhythms).

Once you grow comfortable with that kind of improvising, then you can start adding and subtracting parts from the melody and work on making your own improvised frakenmeldoy. You'll soon become very familiar with melody making till the point where you can just pop in your own whenever you feel like it. It's a process btw and doesn't happen over night. Good luck though.
#8
Quote by Erc
Some of the advice here is pretty good, but it won't necessarily stop you from 'doodling' because this is a phrasing and idea problem.


Absolutely.

Generally this is the underlying reason why everyone says learn to use the major scale
well first. If you don't understand how to pull ideas out of scales and construct
phrases with them, you're just going to be doodling no matter what scale you use.

There's nothing wrong with doodling either, per se. You'll start picking up what you
like and sounds good to you and associating with your fingers. However, a more formalized
methodology will really open up a lot more of what you can do with scales. Practicing
scale studies is a good way of doing that.