#1
Hey guys,

Yesterday I tried to learn all the modes because they confused me so much, so I had another go, I get it now but something seems wrong. I looked up the videos and they all say all you need to know is the major scale pattern. Now I know this because I love scales. They say to play to the first octive.

Example
Dorian(major)-CDEFGABC
Another Example is
Phrygian-EFGABCDE

Now the problem I have is that If phrygian is used in the major pattern it isnt correct because the A would be an A sharp.

Now let me Give another
Lydian-DEFGABCD
This sounds major just like all the other scales. But starts with a D instead of C

Are they supposed sound all major? Am I missing something?

1 more example
Aeolain(minor) ABCDEFGA If played on the major pattern it sounds major. But if I play the minor pattern It sounds minor.


Im confused.
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#3
No it wouldnt.

Think of it this way,if you play C dorian which is the major scale, but wanna play phrygian, you start on the E and play to the E, nothing is altered or changed except the root. It makes it E phrygian which is relative to C major. Now, if you wanna play C phrygian, which is using the same root, then you alter the notes in the scale (the A sharp you were talking about).


This makes sense in my mind, but I might be partially crazy.
#4
Wish I could help, but the advice already given here has only confused me personally. I was under the impression that the major scale is the Ionian scale. So C Ionian would be CDEFGAB. Therefore the relative Phrygian scale (E Phrygian) would be EFGABCD. The Relative Dorrian (D Dorian) would therefore be DEFGABC.

TL;DR: I need to check my facts...
#5
What is wrong with your writing is that dorian doesn't share the same intervals as major, you're thinking of Ionian, so dorian in your example would have the root note D, and major (ionian) would start on C.

Modes are different to the major scale based on their intervals.

Major scale (ionian) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Lydian 1 2 3 b4 5 6 7
mixolydian 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
aeolian (nat minor) 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
locrian 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 7

Your modes sound like major scale because you are playing them with the root notes in the parent major scale. What I mean is you are playing C major and then D dorian both of which use the same notes. Rather than playing C major and then C dorian.
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#6
Think of of like this: every mode in every key is really the same, they all have these intervals: whole whole half whole whole whole half. In frets that is 2 2 1 2 2 2 1. Whether it is c Ionian or b flat Dorian it is the same. The modes are just different starting intervals, and the roots are just different starting notes. They are all diatonic.
#7
It's got nothing to do with the patterns or what order you play things in and everything to do with the context you're using those notes in.

If you're playing the notes CDEFGAB, in any order using any shape, over a static Dm7 chord, or a single drone note of D, then you'll be playing D Dorian. Modes are all about changing the tonal centre of the music to prevent it resolving to the far more harmonically stable relative major or minor. The fact is that the bulk of modern music is composed with the specific intention of resolving to the relative major or minor, and if that's the case more often than not it's very hard or more likely impossible to try and shoehorn modes into the picture.

Modes aren't about how or what you play, but how or what you play over your backing. The chord progression dictates the scale and if modes are going to fit - now you can use your understanding of modes to give you an idea of what the out of key notes are going to sound like, and you can consider that to be "borrowing" from the parallel modes if it helps. However, that's still not really playing modes, it's just using your knowledge of them to make better use of the major or minor scale.
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#8
I
Dont
Particularly
Like
Modes
Anyway
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#9
What Deep*Kick and steven seagull said!

If they all sound major its probably because you are playing them out of context and you're so used to hearing the major scale your brain is hearing the root of the major scale as the root.

Don't try and learn all the modes at once. Pick one to start with - say Phrygian. Play E phrygian, but use your open E as a pedal tone, to force your brain to hear the E as the root. Phrygian is minor as it has a minor 3rd.
#10
As stated above, when you are practicing scales or modes you should play them over a harmony (backing track, guitar pro file, band-in-a box, etc) so you can hear how they sound over a given chord or progression. This will enable you to learn what sounds good or bad in a real improv situation and you can hear how all of the notes you are playing relate to the underlying chords. If you just practice these patterns up and down a position without any harmony, it's somewhat pointless, especially if you are trying to play modes and hear the major or minor qualities.
#11
You could also remember the phrase I Don't Punch Like Muhammad Ali

I
Don't
Punch
Like
Muhammad
A-
Li

Each first letter is the first letter of a mode: Ionian, Dorian, Phyrgian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolean, Locrian
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#12
forget about modes for now dude. I tried to get into them, but im too newb. I mean I do understand them, and I can hear the differences but im not concerning myself with them until I really get into writing my own stuff.

I know the notes on the board and a considerable amount of theory but im not touching them with a 10 foot pole for a while. Much other things to work on in the meantime.

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Last edited by glenthemann at Sep 4, 2009,
#13
I get what your saying...so the video is wrong. I wish I could explain better but its hard over the internet. Ill post the video and then try to explain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sziKGTQn9E

Now if I play the major scale pattern on a b to b which is locrian it still sounds major.
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#14
Quote by King of King V
I get what your saying...so the video is wrong. I wish I could explain better but its hard over the internet. Ill post the video and then try to explain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sziKGTQn9E

Now if I play the major scale pattern on a b to b which is locrian it still sounds major.
Sounds like you're moving the Major scale, rather than moving the root note. How well do you understand the Major scale? Can you play it in any key anywhere on the neck? Do you understand the intervals its constructed out of? Can you harmonise it by stacking thirds? If not - learn to do that first. Modes are derived from the major scale, so they are almost impossible to understand if you don't really understand the major scale, but pretty easy to understand if you have the major scale nailed.

Once you've done all that, modes can be derived from the major scale by moving the tonal centre - they are related to the major scale in much the same way as the natural minor scale is related to the major scale - same notes, different tonal centre.

So if you take C Major as the parent scale - C D E F G A B

Natural minor is A minor - A B C D E F G

Modes work in the same way -

for Dorian the tonal centre is the 2nd degree of the parent scale - so if C Major is the parent scale, Dorian mode is D Dorian (D E F G A B C)

But if you just play it on its own, it will probably sound like C Major, as thats what your ears are used to hearing. If you play it over a C Maj chord progression, it WILL be C Major, as the chord progression is dictating that it is tonal, not modal. To make D Dorian sound dorian, you're best bet is to play it either using a D pedal tone or over a simple Dm7 vamp to start with.

Then look at the mode as a parallel scale to the Major, not just as a relative scale - so look at how to change C Major to get C Dorian (which is the second mode of Bb Major - making it C D Eb F G A Bb - or R 2 b3 4 5 6 b7)
#15
Quote by King of King V
I get what your saying...so the video is wrong. I wish I could explain better but its hard over the internet. Ill post the video and then try to explain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sziKGTQn9E

Now if I play the major scale pattern on a b to b which is locrian it still sounds major.

Because your still playing the notes of C major!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Play C ionian and then C locrian and then if you can't tell the difference there's something seriously wrong.

C ionian C D E F G A B C

C locrian C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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Last edited by Deep*Kick at Sep 5, 2009,
#16
Quote by Deep*Kick
Because your still playing the notes of C major!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Play C ionian and then C locrian and then if you can't tell the difference there's something seriously wrong.

C Locrian C D E F G A B C

C Ionian C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C

i think you have your modes backwards :P

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They never had dragons..
Who didnt?
The world..
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#17
Quote by glenthemann
i think you have your modes backwards :P

I have no idea what you are going on about
^Note: Probably sarcastic
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#18
I pulled my hair out for weeks learning these, then came up with a nice and easy thought.

In the key of C:

Ionian - CDEFGABC
Dorian - DEFGABCD
Phrygian - EFGABCDE

etc.....
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#19
Think about the chord progression. The modal patterns by themselves will always sound major-esque. For example.. Even if you play D Dorian starting on the D like it should, it'll still sound somewhat major. You might think differently, but I can still hear tonal similarities by itself. When your backing track of choice actually has a Dm playing and you're chugging out that D Dorian, you'll really bring out the sound of it.

Ex. 1 (D Dorian over D Dorian progression!)
(Scale) D Dorian: D E F G A B C
(D Dorian I) [Actually the II of C] Dm: D F A
(D Dorian IV) [Actually the V of C] Gmaj: G B D
(D Dorian V) [Actually the VI of C] Am: A C E

It sounds good because all the notes correspond. Heck, you could even go further and say that you're also playing G Mixolydian during the IV and A Aeolian during the V.. HOWEVER, it really depends on your tonal center! The tonal center makes a big difference regardless of what chord you're playing. What if you were to just play a C Major scale the way you usually did?

Ex. 2 (C Ionian over D Dorian progression?)
(Scale) C Ionian: C D E F G A B
(D Dorian I) [Actually the II of C] Dm: D F A
(D Dorian IV) [Actually the V of C] Gmaj: G B D
(D Dorian V) [Actually the VI of C] Am: A C E

It'll still sound good. However, note that you don't really see C in any of the chords until you get to D Dorian V. You're not creating dissonance but you can't really hang on that C as much.. it's not a note you can resolve to. If you played D Dorian, however, you can resolve on the root tone more often because the D is featured in virtually half of the progression!

And note that when you're utilizing modes you still have to kinda follow the rules with Ionian in order to make it sound good. In C, the II, III and VI are minor chords. In D Dorian, the I, II, and V are minor chords. If you decided to go against it..

Ex. 3 (DUUUURR LET'S USE D DORIAN OVER D MAJOR PROGRESSION)
(Scale) D Dorian: D E F G A B C
(D I) Dmaj: D F# A
(D IV) Gmaj: G B D
(D V) Amaj: A C# E

FAIL.

Anyway, before I confuse you any further, I'll just state my main point. If for any reason you're confused about a mode, just consult the progression that's being played with that mode. You can read about theory all you want. You can talk about it with someone for hours and hours. But you won't really understand them all that well until you toy around with them and understand the context that they're used in. Hell, I don't even understand modes all that well. But when you actually write about them, and analyze a common progression that they're used over, something starts to click!

Oh yeah. Really think about the tonal center thing. Don't just skim over it. I always used to think "ugh, a mode is just another major scale", but that really limited me. A mode is based off another major scale pattern but it isn't a major scale. You're changing the tonal center and thus all the intervals are shifted up. And because of the progression that's being used, you can't use the root note of the original pattern because it doesn't sound good.
Last edited by HoffManCometh at Sep 6, 2009,
#20
Quote by ominous24
I pulled my hair out for weeks learning these, then came up with a nice and easy thought.

In the key of C:

Ionian - CDEFGABC
Dorian - DEFGABCD
Phrygian - EFGABCDE

etc.....


Can people stop doing this with modes?!

Those scales are not all in the key of C. They are in the keys of C Ionian. D dorian, and E phrygian.

I think it causes confusion to think of C as a "parent scale", as each scale is a scale in its own right! When I play D dorian, I'm not thinking "this is the second mode of C major", rather "this is D dorian". Its much simpler to think lika that- once you get where the modes come from.

I don't think Ionian should be considered the "parent scale", its just another mode.

All modes are created equal
#21
Quote by chainsawguitar
Can people stop doing this with modes?!

Those scales are not all in the key of C. They are in the keys of C Ionian. D dorian, and E phrygian.

I think it causes confusion to think of C as a "parent scale", as each scale is a scale in its own right! When I play D dorian, I'm not thinking "this is the second mode of C major", rather "this is D dorian". Its much simpler to think lika that- once you get where the modes come from.

I don't think Ionian should be considered the "parent scale", its just another mode.

All modes are created equal


You sometimes have to think of where the mode came from, though. Some people get by fine by just knowing the intervals and notes, but others reach a whole new level of understanding by being able to piece together everything.
#22
I think i understand modes, but i have only watched a little bit of frank gambale modes no more mystery and this is what i think they are. Basically a major scale will sound a like a different mode depending on what chord is being played in the backing and what note you resolve to. So a C major scale will sound E phrygian if played over an Em7 chord, it will be the same notes as c major but when resloving to the note e and played over the e chord it sounds phrygian.

Is this right or have i misunderstood them?
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#23
Quote by lwayneio
I think i understand modes, but i have only watched a little bit of frank gambale modes no more mystery and this is what i think they are. Basically a major scale will sound a like a different mode depending on what chord is being played in the backing and what note you resolve to. So a C major scale will sound E phrygian if played over an Em7 chord, it will be the same notes as c major but when resloving to the note e and played over the e chord it sounds phrygian.

Is this right or have i misunderstood them?


Correctamundo.