#1
I'm leanring the major scale and I'm on the Dorian position and I've had just about enough of the " 1 3 5" fingerings. They are hard to play, how do you finger them? Because I'm using my index for the 1st,ring for the 3rd, and pinky for the 5th and it always ****s up.. Should I just slide down my ring finger or what?

By the way, I haven't had any trouble with barre chrods or anything, but this ****ing scale is pissing me off.
#2
There's not really any such thing as "the Dorian position", it's all just the major scale. Ignore mode names, they're don't apply here and will just confuse matters. Instead, look at the scale over the whole fretboard and see how the notes of the scale fit into that pattern, and also pay close attention to the chords derived from the scale and how they fit with the scale pattern.

And don't simply play scales for the sake of playing scales...instead concentrate on learning how the scale sounds, how it works musically and figuring out how you can use it. Don't "learn to play a scale", that's not really going to benefit you much in the greater scheme of things.
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#3
What the seagull said. If you call it Dorian position you're just setting yourself up for a whole load of confusion later on. Just call it second position of the major scale if you feel you need to name that 'shape'.
#4
well you both sort of skipped over his question.

Play it how it's comfortable; when you do learn what these guys are talking about and see how everything attaches together you won't need to worry about big stretches and proper fingerings as much as setting your hand up to play the right notes conveniently to get sound you want. I don't really know how technically correct you want to be but if you really can't stretch it then just slide it. I'm no expert.
#5
I do alot of my1-3-5 patterns with my index, middle, and pinky.

But once I get over the 12th fret I use my index, ring, and pinky.
#6
Also, serious question.

Why would you not call it the Dorian mode of the major scale? I mean that's what it is right? Second position is Dorian and he's playing the major scale?
#7
Because that's not what modes are...they aren't shapes, they're the same notes as the major scale where the underlying harmony shifts the tonal centre away from the relative major or minor.

Where you play them or what note you start from has nothing to do with it.
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#8
Quote by steven seagull
Because that's not what modes are...they aren't shapes, they're the same notes as the major scale where the underlying harmony shifts the tonal centre away from the relative major or minor.

Where you play them or what note you start from has nothing to do with it.


Hmm...I will have to re-read my Guitar Grimore book.

I swear it has modes as a shape for either major, minor, etc... and you just play that shape in a different position depending on what key you were in

So if you are playing the first mode of the Cmaj scale it would be called C Ionian.
Would the next mode be called D Dorian?
#9
Dont slide, thats bad. You should be able to do the stretch with practice.

....on to the modes thing. It really doesnt matter how you think of it, as long as you can make it work. I would call it the dorian position- as it does start on the second scale degree of the major scale, and if you look at it on its own it has all the intervals of the dorian scale.

Theres nothing wrong with calling it the second position either, but I find this confusing- he could mean the second position going up the neck, or the second position he happened to learn.

Either way.
#10
Quote by srob7001
Hmm...I will have to re-read my Guitar Grimore book.

I swear it has modes as a shape for either major, minor, etc... and you just play that shape in a different position depending on what key you were in

So if you are playing the first mode of the Cmaj scale it would be called C Ionian.
Would the next mode be called D Dorian?

The guitar grimoire is sadly full of crap, it's just a big book of patterns - it's terrible as far as theory goes...modes are not shapes.

If you're playing the notes C D E F G A B over a chord progression in the key of C major then they're the C major scale irrespective of what note you start on or what pattern you play.

However, if you play the notes C D E F G A B over a harmony that suggests a different tonal center, for example a static Dm7 chord, then they're D Dorian, again irrespective of what note you start on or what position you play.
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#11
Quote by srob7001
Also, serious question.

Why would you not call it the Dorian mode of the major scale? I mean that's what it is right? Second position is Dorian and he's playing the major scale?
Because he's not playing it as dorian - he's playing it as the major scale. If you're learning the major scale you're not ready to understand modes, and if you learn the shapes of the major scale as mode names its just likely to make life more confusing when (if) you do start trying to learn about modes. Much simpler to just call it position x of the major scale.
#12
Quote by zhilla
Because he's not playing it as dorian - he's playing it as the major scale. If you're learning the major scale you're not ready to understand modes, and if you learn the shapes of the major scale as mode names its just likely to make life more confusing when (if) you do start trying to learn about modes. Much simpler to just call it position x of the major scale.


I get you,but position 2 of the major scale or any scale for that matter is called Dorian, correct? So to say it right you would call it the D Dorian mode of the Cmaj scale?

Or if you were playing the Gmaj scale, the second position would be called A Dorian?

Am I naming these correctly? That's how I understand it from my Guitar Grimoire book, and my Music Theory for Dummies Book.
#13
Quote by srob7001
I get you,but position 2 of the major scale or any scale for that matter is called Dorian, correct? So to say it right you would call it the D Dorian mode of the Cmaj scale?

Or if you were playing the Gmaj scale, the second position would be called A Dorian?

Am I naming these correctly? That's how I understand it from my Guitar Grimoire book, and my Music Theory for Dummies Book.
I'm no theory expert, so I wouldn't like to claim to know what 'correct' names for things are, but I do think its confusing calling a position of one scale by the name of another. And whilst I am in no way saying the books are wrong (I'm sure their authors knew a darn sight more than I do on the matter), I wouldn't assume they are 100% correct either.

If you are playing the notes of C Major in the context of tonal music and the key of C, then no matter what note you start on your are playing C Major.

If you play the same notes in a modal context with the 2nd acting as the tonic, then you are playing dorian mode no matter what order you play the notes in.

Edit:
Quote by srob7001
I swear (my Guitar Grimore book) has modes as a shape for either major, minor, etc... and you just play that shape in a different position depending on what key you were in
If that were the whole picture you would only be able to play any scale in one position on the neck - you'd never be able to use more than 2 octaves of any scale.

Thats why I don't like thinking of scales in terms of shapes on the fretboard. They are made of notes and intervals, and you can play them wherever you can find those notes and intervals, provided the context is appropriate.
Last edited by zhilla at Jul 9, 2009,
#14
Quote by zhilla
I'm no theory expert, so I wouldn't like to claim to know what 'correct' names for things are, but I do think its confusing calling a position of one scale by the name of another. And whilst I am in no way saying the books are wrong (I'm sure their authors knew a darn sight more than I do on the matter), I wouldn't assume they are 100% correct either.

If you are playing the notes of C Major in the context of tonal music and the key of C, then no matter what note you start on your are playing C Major.

If you play the same notes in a modal context with the 2nd acting as the tonic, then you are playing dorian mode no matter what order you play the notes in.

Edit:If that were the whole picture you would only be able to play any scale in one position on the neck - you'd never be able to use more than 2 octaves of any scale.

Thats why I don't like thinking of scales in terms of shapes on the fretboard. They are made of notes and intervals, and you can play them wherever you can find those notes and intervals, provided the context is appropriate.



The books have 7 or 8 different patterns, which they name Phyrigian, Dorian, etc...
The pattern never changes shape but depending on what key you are in the name and location on the fretboard were you play that shape changes.

I consider a C major scale this(1st mode, Phrygian): C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C
The Dorian mode of the Cmaj scale is this: D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D

Now the Dorian mode of the Cmaj scale( D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D) is also the Phrygian mode of a D maj scale (D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D)

It's only a Cmaj scale because the 1st mode (Phrygian) starts on the C note and follows the major scale intervals, which would still be the same shape regardless of what note yousarted on. All other modes just move depending on what note your major scale starts on.

At least thats how i have been understanding it for a a while now.

Be a lot easier to explain if I had a guitar to show you on.
#15
D Maj is D E F# G A B C# - so the phrygian scale with D Maj as its parent scale would be F# phrygian, and would be F# G A B C# D E

D Phrygian has the parent scale of Bb Major, and has the notes D Eb F G A Bb C

Phrygian is normally considered to be the 3rd mode, as its root is the 3rd degree of its parent major scale. It could also be considerd the 6th mode though I guess if you are looking at interval structures...but that probably just complicates things right now...

Now I'm confused lol
#16
Basically the Guitar Grimoire contains does more bad than good...I've seen the shapes referred to by modal names in other places, no doubt influenced by the Grimoire, and quite simply it's wrong.

Modes are a separate musical system, it just so happens things have interesting names that guitarists have fixated on. People get a hard-on for modes and seem to think that chucking a load of greek names at something somehow makes them a better guitarist. In musical terms modes are entirely dependent on harmony, they have absolutely nothing to do with shapes, "what note you start on" or what order you play things in. That's why it's incorrect to use the mode names to describe scale shapes, because those names already refer to something else and the two contradict each other.

For example, according to the Grimoire if you play the Dorian shape starting at the 10th fret it's "D Dorian". However, if you play that shape over a C major chord or progression then you're not actually playing in D Dorian, you're playing in C major...those notes only become the Dorian mode in the correct context.

Likewise if you play your Phrygian shape starting at the 12th fret over a C major chord or progression you're not actually playing in E phrygian despite what the Guitar Grimoire says, you're playing in C major still. Play your Phrygian shape at the 12th fret over a static Dm7 and you're again not actually playing the Phrygian mode, you're playing in D Dorian.

See how the Grimoire's approach leads to confusion? Call the shapes Shape 1, Shape 2 etc, name them after cheeses or members of S Club 7 but don't give them mode names because modes are something else - all that happens is you overcomplicate matters and think you're "playing in D Dorian, then moving to E Phrygian" when actually all you're doing is "playing in C major".

By all means use the Grimoire as a quick reference for patterns and stuff, but don't try to actually learn anything from it.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 9, 2009,
#17
But if you start your major scale on an E note it is no longer a C major scale, it is an E major scale?

I feel like I now need to relearn the theory that I thought I knew and understood.
#18
If you start from E and play WWHWWWH its an E Major scale.

If you play the notes E F# G# A B C# D# in the context of tonal music with E as the root you're playing the E major scale.

If you play the notes E F G A B C D in the context of tonal music you'll probably be playing C Major. If it resolves to C you'll be playing C Major. If it resolves to A you'll be playing A minor.

If you play the notes E F G A B C D in a modal context and you're resolving to an E, then you will probably be using E phrygian - which is a minor mode, as it has a b3
#19
Quote by zhilla
If you start from E and play WWHWWWH its an E Major scale.


Exactly, as long as it stays correct with the major scale intervals.

Quote by zhilla
If you play the notes E F# G# A B C# D# in the context of tonal music with E as the root you're playing the E major scale.

If you play the notes E F G A B C D in the context of tonal music you'll probably be playing C Major. If it resolves to C you'll be playing C Major. If it resolves to A you'll be playing A minor.


If it is played as such it is the 3rd mode of the Cmaj scale. Right?

Quote by zhilla
If you play the notes E F G A B C D in a modal context and you're resolving to an E, then you will probably be using E phrygian - which is a minor mode, as it has a b3

Lost me with this part.
#20
Originally Posted by zhilla:If you play the notes E F# G# A B C# D# in the context of tonal music with E as the root you're playing the E major scale.If you play the notes E F G A B C D in the context of tonal music you'll probably be playing C Major. If it resolves to C you'll be playing C Major. If it resolves to A you'll be playing A minor.
Quote by srob7001
If it is played as such it is the 3rd mode of the Cmaj scale. Right
No - if you're playing those notes in the context of tonal music, you are still playing either C Major or A minor. It doesn't matter what order you play the notes in, or what note you start on - if you are playing over a C maj progression the scale is C major. If you are playing in the key of C the scale is C major. If you are playing over and A minor progression or the key is A minor then the scale is A natural minor. [Edit: its tonal, not modal]

The only time those notes are anything to do with E is if you are playing modal music. For example if you are playing over a Em7 vamp, or a Em7 F/E G/E vamp, THEN you will be using those notes as E phrygian.

Modes only work in context - out of context its just the parent scale. You need to know what note you are resolving to as well as the key sig before you can tell what the actual scale is, but the vast majority of the time it will be either major or minor, not modal.

It might help if you look at scale structures rather than just notes - eg Dorian is a major scale with a b3 (which makes it minor) and a b7, Lydian has a #4, Mixolydian has a b7 etc. Look at them as individual scales rather than just the major scale starting from a different note. They are related to the major scale, but they are no more the same than major and minor are the same.

Edit: just formatted the quote to try and make it make sense
Last edited by zhilla at Jul 9, 2009,
#21
Quote by srob7001
But if you start your major scale on an E note it is no longer a C major scale, it is an E major scale?

I feel like I now need to relearn the theory that I thought I knew and understood.

That's true yes, if you transpose the entire pattern up or down the fretboard then you'll get the major scale in a different key - however the shapes are simply an aspect of the scale that happens to occur on the guitar, they aren't the whole story.

However, the major scale isn't simply the notes in sequence - for example if you use the notes C D E F G A B in any order over the correct chords it's stll C major. It's important to understand that the shape doesn't define the scale, the scale defines the shape.
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#22
zhilla and seagull...thank you for the help, it's starting to make a little more sense now.
#23
Maybe this will help. These are some of the relative modes:

A B C D E F G

C Ionian
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian
B Locrian

A Bb C D Eb F G

C Dorian
D Phrygian
F Mixolydian
G Aeolian
A Locrian

Ab Bb C C# Eb F G

C Phrygian
F Aeolian
G Locrian

A B C D E F# G

C Lydian
D Mixolydian
E Aeolian
G Ionian
A Dorian
B Phrygian

A Bb C D E F G

C Mixolydian
D Aeolian
E Locrian
F Ionian
G Dorian
A Phrygian

Ab Bb C D Eb F G

C Aeolian
D Locrian
F Dorian
G Phrygian

Ab Bb C C# Eb F F#

C Locrian
F Phrygian

A B C# D E F# G

D Ionian
E Dorian
G Lydian
A Mixolydian
B Aeolian

A B C# D E F# Ab

D Lydian
E Mixolydian
A Ionian
B Dorian

A B C# Eb E F# Ab

E Ionian
A Lydian
B Mixolydian

Bb B C# Eb E F# Ab

E Lydian
B Ionain

Bb B C# Eb F F# Ab

F Locrian
B Lydian


So if what you are playing has the notes A B C# Eb E F# Ab, you are either playing E major (ionian), A lydian, or B mixolydian.
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#24
So, Seagull, if books like the guitar grimoire (which I sadly ordered before this thread was made >.< ) are teaching the theory wrong...

... do you have any suggestions on solid books that teach it right?

I'd like to build on the theory that I learned 16 years ago in grade 9, and would prefer to learn it the right way.... I also need to relearn that grade 9 theory since it's long since been replaced
#25
^^that's not particularly useful, it's incomplete for a start but it's also presented out of context.
Quote by havokca
So, Seagull, if books like the guitar grimoire (which I sadly ordered before this thread was made >.< ) are teaching the theory wrong...

... do you have any suggestions on solid books that teach it right?

I'd like to build on the theory that I learned 16 years ago in grade 9, and would prefer to learn it the right way.... I also need to relearn that grade 9 theory since it's long since been replaced


That's the problem, the Guitar Grimoire doesn't actually teach any theory, it overwhelms you with raw knowledge without ever helping you to actually make use of it. It's just full of shapes and patterns...but it has a cool name and looks badass. Check the customer reviews on Amazon, they dispel most of the hype around this book.


Something like Music Theory for dummies would be a great thing to start with, also the lesspns on UG such as Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the columns section and all the other stuff in Freepowers sig.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 10, 2009,
#26
Yea the Music Theory for Dummies book I have and I was comparing that with my Guitar Grimoire last night and the Theory for Dummies book explains it so much better.
#27
I'll have to give'r a go - This is the one, right?

Also I had also started to take a look at the crusade articles, but didn't get terribly far before I got distracted by something shiny, so I'll have to revisit them and check them out again.

Thanks guys =)
#28
Quote by havokca
I'll have to give'r a go - This is the one, right?

Also I had also started to take a look at the crusade articles, but didn't get terribly far before I got distracted by something shiny, so I'll have to revisit them and check them out again.

Thanks guys =)


That's a good one and so is The Idiot's Guide to Music Theory, which comes with a "Perfect Pitch" CD that's supposed to help you learn how to transcribe by ear.
#29
Quote by Lollage123
Should I just slide down my ring finger or what?

I once saw a box diagram where only the first three fingers were recommended for use, and tried it myself for awhile - what I got from it was a lot more work to do for only three fingers!

I'm a grown man of 6' height, but have always had to struggle with little girl's hands - still, many, many hours of practice have made that pinky-finger one which I can really lean on, and I have plenty of strength in that scrawny pinky for long, fast trills! Do some experiments in terms of which fingers you will use for specific box-related motions, but don't avoid stretching - practice will get you there!
#30
I use index for 1, middle for 3, and pinky for 5, it helps me move pretty agile across the fretboard.