#1
I'm taking a Berklee online course and we've just started learning modes. I have a few questions.

All the modes of the C major scale are in the key of C right?
D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian etc. Or are they in their own keys, D, E and F?

When comparing modes of the C major scale to the C major scale itself it seems they are their own keys?

C Dorian is minor, C Phrygian is minor etc.

If I'm playing over a chord progression in the key of C major what modes could I use?
#2
Modes aren't "in the key of" anything, they're a separate musical system...if you're in the key of C major then you'd use the C major scale, technically none of the relative modes even exist in that context.
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#3
Quote by Boxxxed
I'm taking a Berklee online course and we've just started learning modes. I have a few questions.

All the modes of the C major scale are in the key of C right?
D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian etc. Or are they in their own keys, D, E and F?


They all have the same key signature, if thats what you mean.
Quote by Boxxxed

When comparing modes of the C major scale to the C major scale itself it seems they are their own keys?


yep, different tonal centers.


Quote by Boxxxed

If I'm playing over a chord progression in the key of C major what modes could I use?

C Major progression = C Major

modes are not appropriate in this situation


Static C Major (triad) chord= C Major, C lydian, C mixolydian
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 21, 2009,
#4
Quote by Boxxxed
I'm taking a Berklee online course and we've just started learning modes. I have a few questions.

All the modes of the C major scale are in the key of C right?
D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian etc. Or are they in their own keys, D, E and F?

When comparing modes of the C major scale to the C major scale itself it seems they are their own keys?

C Dorian is minor, C Phrygian is minor etc.

If I'm playing over a chord progression in the key of C major what modes could I use?


All the modes in the C Major scale are in the key of C Major. D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixo-Lydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian would all be notated (in terms of sheet music) in the key of C. The modes are scales that don't start at the root of the key they would be notated in. They also have numerical notation: D would be ii, E would be iii, F would be IV and so on. (Upper case roman numeral means major, lower, minor.)

They are all major, minor, or diminished and can be used accordingly in chord progressions, and in practical terms for sweep picking/arpeggios. If you're soloing in C Major you could go from playing an F major arpeggio to a G major to a C major (I IV V) or E minor to B diminished (it's the major 7th that is a diminished chord) to C major (iii to vii to I). The diminished chord has a different symbol but I can't remember what it is.

You could use C Dorian over a C major chord to make your playing seem more interesting (juxtaposing different modes over chords is common in Jazz, and there is no more musically interesting, or challenging, genre than Jazz).

When I learned the modes (and arpeggios as well) I simply learned them as shapes on the fretboard. I took a theory class later (and covered it in private lessons) and figured out what they were musically. All of this will be explained more clearly in your class. Just be patient.
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#5
Most of what you're talking about has nothing to do with modes, you've mixed up modes with key signatures.
Actually called Mark!

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#6
The modes follow their key signatures. It wouldn't make sense to jump to a D Dorian from a C Major since the D Dorian has the same notes, you would want to jump to a C Dorian to make it sound more "interesting." The C Dorian is a mode of the Bb major; the C Dorian is essentially a C major with a flatted 3rd and 7th.

The modes become more useful as the melody gets simpler. Ideally you're harmonizing with a single bass, then you have a lot of freedom. Otherwise, going into modes, could add unwanted dissonance as the flatted 3rd is a half step off the 2nd and 3rd if others are playing from the major scale.

I've heard complaints that the modes are too complex they can be played with the fretboard pattern of their natural major. I guess it all depends on how much shifting one wants to do and the importance of the feature of the 2+ octaves on one fret position. Knowing the C Dorian keeps you in the same position as the C Major on the fretboard. This all applies with all other modes.
#8
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#9
Ah, modes. I almost forgot how obsessed this place is with modes.
Quote by Boxxxed
All the modes of the C major scale are in the key of C right?

Modal (like from the 1600s) is completely different from tonal music. It's not possible to say that because major and minor and tonality didn't exist in the way we perceive when modes were in common use.

For modern modal use (like 1950s jazz), it gets a little bit more complicated and arguable.
Quote by Boxxxed
When comparing modes of the C major scale to the C major scale itself it seems they are their own keys?
Sort of, but not really.
Quote by Boxxxed
C Dorian is minor, C Phrygian is minor etc.
It doesn't really work like that.
Quote by Boxxxed
If I'm playing over a chord progression in the key of C major what modes could I use?
None. You use C major. Modes do not apply in that situation.
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#10
Jesus, modes are damn complicated. Guess I just gotta go with the flow of my course, thanks everyone
#11
Quote by demonofthenight

Modal (like from the 1600s) is completely different from tonal music..



This isn't true. modal music evolved into the Major and minor system. They are incredibly related, and actually, modal music IS tonal.

Quote by Boxxxed
Jesus, modes are damn complicated. Guess I just gotta go with the flow of my course, thanks everyone


It's not nearly as complicated as some people portray. But absolutely, learning within the structure of a course is far better than sifting through arguments and opinions online. and btw, your OP wasn't that far off. You're getting the idea. Just keep studying.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 23, 2009,
#12
Quote by Boxxxed
Jesus, modes are damn complicated. Guess I just gotta go with the flow of my course, thanks everyone
How well do you understand the Major scale? Because if you don't understand the major scale inside out (in terms of how its contructed, and ideally how to harmonise it by stacking 3rds) then you'll probably struggle with modes.

Get your head fully around the major scale, then get your head around how the natural minor scale is related to its relative major scale, and then you'll have a good chance of understanding modes.

Edit: if you replace the word 'key' with 'key signature' then most of your OP makes perfect sense.

You wouldn't use modes over a C Major progression because it resolves to C Major.

Modes aren't as stable as Major and minor scales - the more chords you use the more they tend to want to resolve back the the major or natural minor scale.

If you just had a static C Major chord, then you could use a major mode which resolves to C - so C ionian, C lydian or C mixolydian would theoretically work - they are all major modes as they all have a Major 3rd (E).
Last edited by zhilla at Nov 23, 2009,