#1
I've studied modes for over a year now, and with no formal education in music theory, it's been a little confusing. I know Aelian and Mixolydian well enough to create sounds similar to classic rock, I can recognize the sounds of the the Greatful Dead cult while running through Dorian, and I hear tribal war drums in my head when playing Phrygian, but I'm still a little confused with matching chords to specific modes (and vice versa).

What I do know about chords and modes is that the notes covered by the chords which are paired with a mode should be the same as the notes within that mode, but from what I gather this isn't quite enough. The chords should emphasize the specific notes (like when the III, VI, and VII are flattened). And then I am aware of the I IV V progression which is the first progression pitched on any beginner's pages, and am wondering if it influences me too much in deciding progressions in other modes. Set to Ionian melodies (or no-melody diddies like "Wild Thing", this relationship builds strong tension and resolution when they are emphasized, but are the relationships known to be different in other modes?

Question: Should the I IV V chord relationship be emphasized (with the 6th used sometimes, and even some of the others as bridge chords) when setting chords for melodies in modes besides the Ionian, or be considered ever of any use with these? Or, should different chord relations be emphasized, depending on the mode?

I decided to find out if it's even possible with a couple of the modes, and the answer was pretty much what I expected - it seems possible to make any chord progreesion fit any mode through altering them (minor, major, 7th, suspended and augment chords, etc,), but I don't know if I could always bring out the best in a mode with the same progression, or any inversion of it. Last night I picked out a real nasty melody in E Phrygian in the upper octaves, which I felt compelled to play to one of the chords Em, Dm, and C every four beats (not in that order, but it shocked me that they run adjacent in relation). I was happier with the melody and rhythm which ran through me while in Phrygian (I saw frenzied, trance-glazed dancers, and heard thumping tribal drums pounding to it), I suspect that if I knew better theory, I would have found better chords for it, and then I could more easily know which mode to start picking in when I hear certain chords of any song. Can anyone give me some clues on chord relations which are generally emphasized when playing modes (any of them) ?

Thanks to all who try to help.


Last edited by 123four!!! at Jul 19, 2009,
#2
I IV V are always good. The only problem would be in the lydian and locrian mode that don't really have a stable IV and V chord respectively. You can try other chord extensions though. I was playing keyboard on one of my band's songs that goes I vii* vi, but it's done in power chords. So I can't play a normal vii* chord because it clashes with the guitar and I can't just play it as a minor chord because then it just sounds out of key. My solution was to play a 6 chord, so a chord composed of the root, 3rd, 6th. It sounds in key and doesn't clash as much.

So I IV V is good but include chord extensions whenever necessary.
#3
Quote by pwrmax
I IV V are always good. The only problem would be in the lydian and locrian mode that don't really have a stable IV and V chord respectively. You can try other chord extensions though. I was playing keyboard on one of my band's songs that goes I vii* vi, but it's done in power chords. So I can't play a normal vii* chord because it clashes with the guitar and I can't just play it as a minor chord because then it just sounds out of key. My solution was to play a 6 chord, so a chord composed of the root, 3rd, 6th. It sounds in key and doesn't clash as much.

So I IV V is good but include chord extensions whenever necessary.



Thank you!

Now, by power chords,

1. By power chords, do you mean chords with stacked fifth intervals? I think these are what Pete Townshend, who is credited for starting a trend with these, used in "Won't Get Fooled Again"

2. Do you mean use power chords for the vi and vii chords, just the vii, or all three chords? I was toying around in the minor Phrygian (Dm), and may go trying to concoct i vi vii chords for this, as I can only think of the G and A power chords which were used by Townsend and so many others.

3. Speaking of "Won't Get Fooled Again" (if I haven't misunderstood the "power chord" concept), I think this is an example where I run into confusion on the modes. It seems to follow the Mixolydian mode, and with it a progression which I often hear along with that mode - A, G, and Dmaj, or i iiv iv. Curiously, I notice that the i and the iiv are the power chords (the i!), and then they aren't a i iv v relationship either. So I guess I need someone to list popular progressions for any mode which their familiar with, and maybe explain how they work, so that I can stop trying to reinvent the wheel before I've learned from the masters, and get that down before I've spent so much time trying to hack it out.
Last edited by 123four!!! at Jul 19, 2009,
#4
A power chord is just a root and the fifth, so for example a C power chord is C and G.

When i make modal progressions i take the chords IV and V from the relative major and use them over the root of the mode im using. For exmaple in E lydian i would take the IV and V chords of B major and play them with a E in the bass:

E -> F#/E

Notice how the F#/E chord contains the 'flavor note" of the mode, in this case the #4 of lydian.

In general you don't want to use too many chords as there is more chance of them pulling towards the relative major/minor.

Hope that helped a bit.
Last edited by griffRG7321 at Jul 19, 2009,
#5
Sorry - didn't read your whole post as I've got a stinky headache and the words keep going all wobbly when I try and read them :S

However - xxdarrenxx wrote an awesome lesson on modal chord progressions... links in his sig I think
#6
Just don't fall into the trap of looking for modes where there aren't any.
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#7
Quote by griffRG7321
A power chord is just a root and the fifth, so for example a C power chord is C and G.

When i make modal progressions i take the chords IV and V from the relative major and use them over the root of the mode im using. For exmaple in E lydian i would take the IV and V chords of B major and play them with a E in the bass:

E -> F#/E

Notice how the F#/E chord contains the 'flavor note" of the mode, in this case the #4 of lydian.

In general you don't want to use too many chords as there is more chance of them pulling towards the relative major/minor.

Hope that helped a bit.


Yes, it does - I like that effect of those chords, and I may even understand a little about how they go together - thanks!

So, the iv and v chords used are relative to the root which makes E lydian (B), not actually E? Is the use of E, A, and B to be avoided while in E lydian, or is it just considered more sophisticated to use the above? Also, is it common to use just two chords in a mode before the song moves to a different mode? Part of my confusion is seeing such short progressions in some mode information posts, after noticing that "Won't Get Fooled Again" has at least 4 chords in it, and I think (may be wrong) that they're all in Mixolydian.

The danger which you alluded is what I've heard something of before, which is why I'm seeking some sort of guidelines in modal progressions. I'm afraid I could easily fool myself into believing I'm into one mode when I'm really trailing off into another.

So, I guess I need pointers from both perspectives, for developing chords to go with the solos I build out of my mode practice rambles, and for knowing by the chord patterns I hear which mode to begin soloing in when I'm trying to jam with somebody. I think any pointers which people could give on common modal chord patterns would help to both ends.
Last edited by 123four!!! at Jul 19, 2009,
#8
Quote by zhilla
Sorry - didn't read your whole post as I've got a stinky headache and the words keep going all wobbly when I try and read them :S

However - xxdarrenxx wrote an awesome lesson on modal chord progressions... links in his sig I think


Thanks - I read that a while back, and it's great, but I need more spelled out for me. That's the one I read, and went .....wwwwwhhhhhaaaaaaaaaat? Chord progressions with only two chords, and then where's the i iv v principle which I've been told to look for - am I supposed to see that in these? I think Griff's example cleared up some of that, but more sure would be golden.
Last edited by 123four!!! at Jul 19, 2009,
#9
There's not really anything Mixolydian about Won't Get Fooled Again, it's just in A minor - which kind of illustrates my point about not looking for modes where there aren't any. The problem isn't thinking you're in the wrong mode, it's mistakeny thinking that modes even exist in a piece. Songs don't often "move between modes", they aren't something you can shoehorn into your thinking - a song is either modal or it isn't. You can "see" modes anywhere if you look hard enough in terms of simply matching up notes with chords, but it's never as simple as that - you need to consider the piece as a whole. It doesn't really matter how many chords there are or how many notes "fit" with a mode shape or formula, it's all about where everything wants to resolve.

Modes are harmonically unstable, that's why you have to make an extra effort to create a harmony that manages to keep the tonal centre away from the much stronger relative major or minor. If you just chuck a bunch of standard major or minor chords together 9 times out of 10 it's going to resolve to the relative major or minor, it's just what our brains are conditioned to expect of music.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 19, 2009,
#10
Quote by steven seagull
There's not really anything Mixolydian about Won't Get Fooled Again, it's just in A minor -

**uh**...Ok. I have no formal training on this, so I don't really know anything, but I came up with these chords, which I think sound like the theme in the chorus for "Won't Get Fooled..." - A (with open bass a, two i and two v), G (with likewise open power chord effect, and then open D. The verses use Emaj, and some version of A, but not Am. So, I don't know what you mean by it being in Am, unless you mean that these are the chords of Am with a power chord substituted for the minor root - is that the logic behind songs like that?

which kind of illustrates my point about not looking for modes where there aren't any. The problem isn't thinking you're in the wrong mode, it's mistakeny thinking that modes even exist in a piece. Songs don't often "move between modes", they aren't something you can shoehorn into your thinking - a song is either modal or it isn't. You can "see" modes anywhere if you look hard enough in terms of simply matching up notes with chords, but it's never as simple as that - you need to consider the piece as a whole. It doesn't really matter how many chords there are or how many notes "fit" with a mode shape or formula, it's all about where everything wants to resolve.


Ouch - someone else told me that modern songwriting isn't really modal at all, and hasn't been since the Baroque era, so guess I'm not sure what either of you mean! What I need to nail down in a jam session is the right notes for the chords which are being played, and if the song resolves in the Mixolydian, well I need to know when I need to play Aeolian or Dorian notes. I've seen how that song happens in "Norwegian Wood", which has both a Dmaj AND a Dmin! I went looking for "best fit" notes for the Dmaj verse, and found that the notes for the two words "she once" in "she once had me" defined that part of the song as Mixolydian. Anyway, is it correct to refer to the song as "Major", "Minor", "Mixolydian", "Aeolian", "modeless", or something else altogether? Where have I gone wrong in looking for mode patterns for the chords at hand (when there is no single set of chained boxes (when the CAGED sequence shifts to a different reference point) which will carry me through the whole song?

Modes are harmonically unstable, that's why you have to make an extra effort to create a harmony that manages to keep the tonal centre away from the much stronger relative major or minor. If you just chuck a bunch of standard major or minor chords together 9 times out of 10 it's going to resolve to the relative major or minor, it's just what our brains are conditioned to expect of music.

So, what would define a song as modal?

Your help really is appreciated!
Last edited by 123four!!! at Jul 19, 2009,
#11
Again you way overcomplicating matters - you're hardly ever going to have to worry about modes in a jam session. Songs don't move through modes, that's not how it works - if the song follows diatonic harmony ie is in a key then modes simply don't apply.

Nowadays modes are very much the exception, not the rule. Generally it's safe to simply assume they're not there.
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#12
Quote by 123four!!!
Where have I gone wrong in looking for mode patterns for the chords at hand (when there is no single set of chained boxes (when the CAGED sequence shifts to a different reference point) which will carry me through the whole song?

So, what would define a song as modal?

Your help really is appreciated!
Not all songs are diatonic - sometimes your best bet is just using chord tones/arpeggios.

There aren't many songs that are truly modal, although quite a lot make use of modes. Its hard to make true modal music with more than 2 or 3 chords, as the more chords you use the more it wants to become tonal rather than modal.

Easiest way to make a modal 'progression' imo is to take the root chord of the mode, and the IV and V chords of the parent scale (which will make lydian and mixolydian 2 chord vamps, and the others 3 chord vamps), and then see if any of them can be extended easily to use the intervals that are characteristic of the mode (eg for Mixolydian you've got a b7, so instead of using GMaj for G Mixo, you'd use G7 to bring out the b7).

If you're jamming, and its not obvious what to use, I'd see if a pentatonic would work (don't forget if something resolves to A then A minor pent will work over all 3 minor modes, same for major modes and the major pentatonic) and if not got for chord tones/arpeggios.
#13
Quote by steven seagull
Again you way overcomplicating matters - you're hardly ever going to have to worry about modes in a jam session. Songs don't move through modes, that's not how it works - if the song follows diatonic harmony ie is in a key then modes simply don't apply.

Nowadays modes are very much the exception, not the rule. Generally it's safe to simply assume they're not there.


Modes don't apply, so what does then? Whether it's technically modal or not doesn't help me in navigating the fingerboard for the music at hand, and the reason that I was trying to apply modal theory to songs is that the melody will proceed from D on the box chain which has the G box on the nut, and then it will shift to a chain with the E (CAGED) box on the nut - the fact is that I can't got with this if I don't know when CAGED shifts, and how, add this to 7-different-ways factor (even if only 4 or 5 are popular). Knowing HOW to find my way around these shifts meant (for me) learning the modes - I didn't see it so much as "complicating" the matter, as removing the guess work (to reduce those embarrassing "whoops, bad note" moments. Please don't get me wrong - I do NOT feel right about trying to modalize a song which isn't modal, but I'm still trying to follow you on answering the question of HOW ELSE to navigate musical dynamics.

Could you have been trying to say that the modes just aren't used much now, that it's generally major or minor (am I misunderstood in my old impression that they are both technically modes - not to nitpick)? Or do you mean that they are hybridized (and then wouldn't that really complicate jam sessions)? Anyway, how long has it been like this (since the classic rock days, Baroque, when). I'm not exactly one for modern music - the new bands who I like would have hung with the old British Invasion groups, or old metal bands.

Thanks.
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#14
Quote by 123four!!!
but I'm still trying to follow you on answering the question of HOW ELSE to navigate musical dynamics
Chord tones. Arpeggiate the chords being used, extend them if you like...

Quote by 123four!!!
that it's generally major or minor (am I misunderstood in my old impression that they are both technically modes - not to nitpick)?
Major and minor are from tonal music, ionian and aeolian are modal - modal and tonal are very different ways of approaching music. So if you are going to nitpick, major and minor aren't modes.

If you've got a chord progression that you can't cover with one or at most two scales, then chord tones (including extensions) are your best buddy.
#15
Quote by 123four!!!
Modes don't apply, so what does then? Whether it's technically modal or not doesn't help me in navigating the fingerboard for the music at hand, and the reason that I was trying to apply modal theory to songs is that the melody will proceed from D on the box chain which has the G box on the nut, and then it will shift to a chain with the E (CAGED) box on the nut - the fact is that I can't got with this if I don't know when CAGED shifts, and how, add this to 7-different-ways factor (even if only 4 or 5 are popular). Knowing HOW to find my way around these shifts meant (for me) learning the modes - I didn't see it so much as "complicating" the matter, as removing the guess work (to reduce those embarrassing "whoops, bad note" moments. Please don't get me wrong - I do NOT feel right about trying to modalize a song which isn't modal, but I'm still trying to follow you on answering the question of HOW ELSE to navigate musical dynamics.

Conventional diatonic harmony based round keys ie the major or minor scale. Modes are NOT shapes, nor do they have anything to do with shapes. It honestly looks like you're clinging onto something that sounds complicated simply for that reason. You navigate in exactly the same way you would on any other instrument, look at the chords, find the key, figure out what scales fit, find the notes of the scale on your chosen instrument and create something with said notes.

Quote by 123four!!!

Could you have been trying to say that the modes just aren't used much now, that it's generally major or minor (am I misunderstood in my old impression that they are both technically modes - not to nitpick)? Or do you mean that they are hybridized (and then wouldn't that really complicate jam sessions)? Anyway, how long has it been like this (since the classic rock days, Baroque, when). I'm not exactly one for modern music - the new bands who I like would have hung with the old British Invasion groups, or old metal bands.

Thanks.

I have no idea what you mean by "hybridised". Look, for the most part in modern music modes are simply not there, the theory behind them doesn't apply because it was superceded by something more versatile a looooooooooong time ago.

Modes haven't been widely used for 500 years. Some of the more progressive modern guitarists will work with them and they can be used for a certain musical effect but once again modes are not shapes, they have nothing to do with shapes or patterns. Modes are when the notes of a major scale are used in a specific context, namely played over a harmony that shifts the tonal centre away from the more powerful relative major or minor.

Modes apart, patterns in general are not the be all and end all of music on the guitar, they're just one tiny aspect. Patterns don't define scales, it's the other way round - the scales define the pattern. Scales and music exist apart from the guitar, they're a bunch of notes and intervals that interact in a certain way to give you a certain set of sounds. Shapes and patterns are simply there to help you transfer that knowlege to the guitar so you can create music, but what you do with your fingers isn't where the process starts nor is it where it ends.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Jul 20, 2009,
#16
Quote by steven seagull
Conventional diatonic harmony based round keys ie the major or minor scale. Modes are NOT shapes, nor do they have anything to do with shapes.

Thanks! Guess I just can't ask any more of these questions without making myself misunderstood. I've been through that misconception almost two years ago, when I cracked open a "scales" book, which actually did present each mode as a completely different set of boxes - I got past that just by playing the modes. Ok, guess I practiced them as if they were scales unto themselves, as opposed to usiing them as they are intended in a song, but it's how I got to know where to find any mode in any key - the modes are relative to the boxes USED by the major scale, therefore the modes, without being defined as box patterns, are manifest on the fingerboard through scale boxes (scales of other roots). My concern was derived from this, that the relative positions change, and when that happens you will, if your playing diatonic lead, need to change your box pattern. Sometimes the pentatonics just don't sound appropriate for a specific song, and
Quote by zhilla
Chord tones. Arpeggiate the chords being used, extend them if you like...
arpeggiating through the chords (which I also love doing), no matter how innovative you get with it, seems more to me a rhythm thing than lead, which I've been challenging myself on recently. Maybe I started out looking for non-existent modality (which, if it DID exist in a song, would that be a whole song in say, Mixo?), but I was hoping for more memory tricks in holding it together with the scales, chords, and the need to quickly figure out which scale (and box pattern) you would continue playing in when a mode comes into play. The other was has been understanding chord relations, and thanks for pointing out how the I IV V principle actually works in modes! (which are not scales, not boxes,

Quote by Steven Seagull
It honestly looks like you're clinging onto something that sounds complicated simply for that reason. You navigate in exactly the same way you would on any other instrument, look at the chords, find the key, figure out what scales fit, find the notes of the scale on your chosen instrument and create something with said notes.
That's where I'm coming from, and I've just been frustrated by the tenaceous difficulty in computing it all efficiently, in real time - especially when the tonic note is not the scale root. This means finding a different box to begin playing in than what I'm used to when I play the same note at same position on the neck, and it now looks like their's no more to say about it than keep practicing! Well, I do feel better about my most recent practice, but for a long time I seemed to be hopelessly stuck in the same place, and wondered if there were other other reasons.

Such a case existed with my right hand technique, which despite endless practice hours blew disasterously for my whole life until just last year, when in this forum I learned of technical considerations which I never would have considered, and since then my speed and accuracy improved by at least 300%. The saddest part about all those years of frustration, trying to play decently with such fundamental flaws in my pick attack is that I had a guitar instructor for about six months of my childhood, who never saw fit to address it as the serious issue that it was. To this day, bad right-hand technique remains the deadly virus which kills guitarists who never realize their potential before they give up (yeah, I know I sound like a freakn' commercial), because guitar gurus don't understand the difference (having naturally got it down right to begin with when they started their own careers, and when asked will say something like "just hold the pick in whatever way is comfortable for you, and there's nothing wrong with swinging your elbow when you pick if it works for you! The problem is that the most comfortable technical grip may turn out to be something which runs counter the player's intuition, and there are even celerity guitarists who reasoned that a three-fingered pick grip would have to be more stable and secure than two. Well, I learned at long last of the two-fingered grip, decided to give it a try, and it didn't feel awkward for long enough that I ever looked back, and then I learned of it from this forum!

Quote by Steven Seagull
have no idea what you mean by "hybridised"

Just a wild guess
Quote by Steven Seagull
]Look, for the most part in modern music modes are simply not there, the theory behind them doesn't apply because it was superceded by something more versatile a looooooooooong time ago.

Modes haven't been widely used for 500 years. Some of the more progressive modern guitarists will work with them
My favorite guitarists do. Hey, I like pentatonic blues too, it's definitely the coolest, but the diatonic provides more notes for the broadest emotional range (my opinion), even if the effect on listeners (and this player, sometimes is akin to train-wreck fascination!
Quote by Steven Seagull
and they can be used for a certain musical effect but once again modes are not shapes, they have nothing to do with shapes or patterns.
Never meant to say that - modes just use the shapes of other scales, got it - thanks!
Quote by Steven Seagull
just use the shapes Modes are when the notes of a major scale are used in a specific context, namely played over a harmony that shifts the tonal centre away from the more powerful relative major or minor.


Quote by Steven Seagull
Modes apart, patterns in general are not the be all and end all of music on the guitar, they're just one tiny aspect. Patterns don't define scales, it's the other way round - the scales define the pattern. Scales and music exist apart from the guitar, they're a bunch of notes and intervals that interact in a certain way to give you a certain set of sounds. Shapes and patterns are simply there to help you transfer that knowlege to the guitar so you can create music, but what you do with your fingers isn't where the process starts nor is it where it ends.

Just ask Joe Satriani or Frank Zappa - me, I just need to get comfortable playing in real time, in situations where I need to be creative, when I don't have hours to spend rehearsing.
Last edited by 123four!!! at Jul 20, 2009,
#17
Honestly, best thing to do is spend time getting comfortable with the major scale. Learn how it sounds, learn the pattern of intervals and learn how to construct it, learn the chords derived from it. Then spend ages working with it...don't just fall into the trap of playing through the pattern straight. Let your ears guide you in terms of choosing notes to play from within the scale and construct your own melodic licks and exercises from within that scale pattern. I can't stress how important understanding the relationship between the major scale and the chords derived from it. After all, you'll nearly always be playing over chords in one form or another. Even if there's no one instrument playing complete chords the other instruments and even the vocalist will be creating a harmony. Josh Urbans Crusade articles in the Columns section has some great advice regarding intervals and harmonizing the major scale.

This will probably make more sense after reading the first few Crusade articles, but try this as an exercise...we'll use the C major scale but you could use any scale. Now, you'll need to know the notes on the fretboard, but only in so far as you'll need to be able to identify each note. You don't need to know them instantly, and if you know the pattern they follow it's easy enough to work out. Again, this exercise can help with learning that too if you don't already know them, it's all good practice.

The notes on the fretboard follow this pattern, I'll start with E as it's usually the first note on your guitar.

E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D Eb E
    Gb   Ab   A#     Db   D#


12 tones, the alternative note names underneath are because the sharps can also be designated flats, it depends on the key you're in as a scale can only use each note letter once. However I've tried to use the ones that you're most likely to find.

That pattern just repeats every 12 frets.

E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D Eb E E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D Eb E E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D Eb E...

so whatever note you start from you can count along to find the rest of the notes. That will be enough for you to do the exercise and it will help you learn the note better. Long term the trick is to narrow down your points of reference. At the start you'll probably have to count along from the open string to work them out - that's obviously a ballache as there's 20-odd frets! However, the 12th fret is where the pattern starts again, so that means you'll ony have to count along 11 frets...but because the pattern is constant and you know the note at the 12th fret you can also count back from there which means at the most you'll need to count along 6 frets. If you then learn the notes that correspond to the next open string (eg the 5th fret on the low E is the same A note as the open A string) then that's given you 3 reference points along each string and you only have to count along 3 frets at most etc. You just keep narrowing it down until you've learned them all.

Anyway, on to the exercise...

Draw yourself out a blank fretboard diagram from up to the 22nd fret - you could print it out but I honestly believe the physical interaction of doing it yourself helps you focus more and you'll absorb the knowledge better.

Now, here are the chords in the key of C major

Cmaj Dmin Emin Fmaj Gmaj Amin Bdim

Now, draw out each of those as 6-string barre chords on your fretboard diagram, you'll find lots of notes overlapping...don't worry about that.

When you've finished, look up the full fretboard pattern for the C major scale and see how it compares.

Now, if you want to be clever you can work out the chords of the C major scale by doing something called stacking thirds, it's explained in the Crusades but essentially all you do is start with one note, skip one note, then skip one note again to give you 3 notes, like this

C major scale - it's C D E F G A B

Staring on the C if we do the skipping thing we get the notes in bold

C D E F G A B

The notes C E G are a C major triad, and if you do that for each note in the scale you get the 7 chords listed earlier.

In terms of working on the fretboard again getting used to using the whole fretboard is a lot easier than it first seems. Rather than looking at individual boxes you can use your chord shapes as your visual references, that helps you follow the chords of a song. Because of the way the guitar is arranged the full fretboard pattern for one major key is exactly the same as the pattern for any other key, you just transposes it along the fretboard until the root notes match up. Not only that, the pattern for all the minor keys is exactly the same too...and not only that, the pattern for all the modes is exactly the same too, again if your tonal centre is different you just transpose the pattern.

An exercise like this is just sliding through the middle 2 notes of each chord in the key of E minor.


e|---------------------------------------------------------
B|---------------------------------------------------------
G|----12s11--11s9-----9s7----7s5----5s4----4s2----2s0-----
D|-14------12------10------9------7------5------4------2---
A|---------------------------------------------------------
E|---------------------------------------------------------


However when practicing it, or anything for that matter, DON'T focus on the fret numbers. Instead, concentrate on remembering the movement between notes and the sound it creates. That run effectively goes from Em chord to Em chord, but the exact same run is also useable in the key of G major, you'd just need to start from the G major chord at the 15th fret and simply drop the thirds in.

Likewise you could do use the run, or part of it, in any key, you'd just need to start on the correct note. Again, the important thing is to remember the chords the run follows, the intervals it contains, how it moves from note to note and above all how it sounds. You want to be able to plonk your finger down and say to yourself "Right, I know if I follow through this pattern I'll get this sound". If you know the key of the song and the chord progression then arguably the only note you really need to identify is that first one so you're in key, everything else just follows on from that.
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#18
Quote by 123four!!!
I've been through that misconception almost two years ago, when I cracked open a "scales" book, which actually did present each mode as a completely different set of boxes - I got past that just by playing the modes. Ok, guess I practiced them as if they were scales unto themselves, as opposed to usiing them as they are intended in a song, but it's how I got to know where to find any mode in any key - the modes are relative to the boxes USED by the major scale, therefore the modes, without being defined as box patterns, are manifest on the fingerboard through scale boxes (scales of other roots). My concern was derived from this, that the relative positions change, and when that happens you will, if your playing diatonic lead, need to change your box pattern. Sometimes the pentatonics just don't sound appropriate for a specific song, and
There's two main ways of looking at modes - as relative scales to a parent scale (in this case the major scale), and in terms of their intervallic (love that word lol) structure

I find it a lot easier to think of mixolydian as a major scale with a b7, and Lydian as a major scale with a #4, than to try and work out the parent scale and then find my new tonic etc... plus, as major pentatonics work for major modes and minor pentatonics work for minor modes, you only have a maximum of 2 notes to add in (the 4th and 7th for major, and the 2nd and 6th for minor) that vary between scales - which means you also know those notes are the ones that are going to be the characteristic notes of that mode.
Quote by 123four!!!
arpeggiating through the chords (which I also love doing), no matter how innovative you get with it, seems more to me a rhythm thing than lead, which I've been challenging myself on recently. Maybe I started out looking for non-existent modality (which, if it DID exist in a song, would that be a whole song in say, Mixo?),
My bad. I didn't just mean finger a chord and pick the notes individually - I meant if you're playing over C Major, consciously target C E G B etc - as they are the R, 3rd, 5th, 7th etc of that chord. Oh, and I think Sweet Home Alabama (Lynyrd Skynyrd) is basically mixolydian. So is Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf?) I think...
Quote by 123four!!!
That's where I'm coming from, and I've just been frustrated by the tenaceous difficulty in computing it all efficiently, in real time - especially when the tonic note is not the scale root. This means finding a different box to begin playing in than what I'm used to when I play the same note at same position on the neck, and it now looks like their's no more to say about it than keep practicing! Well, I do feel better about my most recent practice, but for a long time I seemed to be hopelessly stuck in the same place, and wondered if there were other other reasons.
You won't normally need to change modes/scales in a jam, but if you do...

If you are changing between relative modes (with the same parent scale) I find it easier to be conscious of the parent scale and just change my focus within that - so if I'm playing D Dorian I'm consciously using the notes of C Major, but centering my licks around a D tonal centre. Then if I need to change to G Mixo I keep playing the same notes, but just consciously change the tonal centre to the G. May not be the best way to do it, but it works for me.

On the other hand, if I was switching between parallel scales - eg going from A Dorian to A Phrygian to A Mixolydian (unlikely as it may be), I'd start off playing A minor pent with the 2 and 6 added in, then flatten the 2 and 6 for Phrygian, and switch to A major pent with the 4 and b7 added in for mixo - again probably not the best way of doing it, but works for me.