#1
[3rd time typing this thanks to UG] After spending $25 on a half hour lesson i basically veryfied what I already thought was correct. To my understanding, modes are used to play over chords. If I had a chord progression in C major, I could use the C major scale over the IV V chord. On the IV chord I could use the C or F major scale? On the V chord I could use the G major scale or the C major scale because the F and G chords are diatonic to the I chord? Now if these were seventh chords i would use the G mixolydian because of the b7? If i had a minor chord i would look for a mode that has a b3 to give it a minor tonality? If i had a minor chord with a b9 i would use a mode that has a b3 and a b2? So basically I find a mode that best fits the chord? If this is correct than modes are less complicated than people make them out to be. This jazz book I have has me learning 50 different modes; Mixolydian b6, Dominant Diminished, Super Locrian, Lydian Dominant, modes of the harmonic and melodic minor scales. My point is this: I dont have to know 50 different modes to start improvising over a simple standard like Autumn Leaves. All this was veryfied by my teacher which I paid $25 for. I just wanted to make sure this is correct. Thank you!
#2
In the key of C, if you were soloing over a V or a V7 chord, which would be G or G7 respectively, you would want to use a G mixolydian scale because of the F natural instead of an F sharp in the key of C.
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#4
Modes are simple, people tend to get confused because people keep explaining in terms of the parent scale rather than the parallel scale and leave out the fact that the sound is achived by playing them over some type of harmony.

In terms of your analysis it's essentially correct, over a minor7 chord you might plump for the dorian or aeolian mode, over a major7#11 you would go lydian. At points you may also want to be looking at the function of the chord you are playing over; a resolving chord can have all kinds of extensions added to it to build tension, non-resolving chords need to be treated a little more carfully, for example on a resolving dominant 7 chord you could go all out and play the altered scale (superlocrian) but for a non-resolving dominant chord (such as a vamp) you might instead choose the lydian b7 or the Mixolydian depending on the sound you are going for.

As with everything in music there are loads of options for every situation. You need to pick out the things that you like and learn to discard the stuff you don't. This tends to be what the top guys are doing as it's much better to be able to do a few things really well than to be able to do loads of things poorly.
#5
Quote by SRVspeaks
In the key of C, if you were soloing over a V or a V7 chord, which would be G or G7 respectively, you would want to use a G mixolydian scale because of the F natural instead of an F sharp in the key of C.


You would be just playing C major instead of G mixolydian. You're not playing a mode cause the chord are changing. If i have a standard ii - V - I progression in the key of C and just jam along in the C major scale im not playing a D dorian over the ii, a G mixolydian over the V and the C ionian over the I, but just C major.

@TS: read the mode sticky.
Last edited by deHufter at Nov 29, 2009,
#6
Quote by deHufter
You would be just playing C major instead of G mixolydian. You're not playing a mode cause the chord are changing. If i have a standard ii - V - I progression in the key of C and just jam along in the C major scale im not playing a D dorian over the ii, a G mixolydian over the V and the C ionian over the I, but just C major.

@TS: read the mode sticky.
I have a question: What if you're playing over a non-diatonic chord progression? Do you change scales then, or do you just account for the accidentals in the chords, and work around the chord tones as you would normally?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#7
A simpler way to think about it is---

There's a chord --- is the 3 flatted? Is the 5 altered? What 7 is there? Everything else is a freeroll.

Effectively playing the "wrong notes" is what makes jazz sound like it does. A strong undestanding of a major scale, and what it sounds like, and what alterations sound like will do a lot of good. You can play ANY NOTE you want to. There are no bad notes, only bad resolutions.
#8
Quote by food1010
I have a question: What if you're playing over a non-diatonic chord progression? Do you change scales then, or do you just account for the accidentals in the chords, and work around the chord tones as you would normally?


I would use accidentals.
#9
Quote by food1010
I have a question: What if you're playing over a non-diatonic chord progression? Do you change scales then, or do you just account for the accidentals in the chords, and work around the chord tones as you would normally?


I thought that the post you are referring to would cause some confusion. The point of music theory is to allow us to create music and not to get bogged down in minor details. The fact remains that different people tend to think about certain things slightly differently and it would be difficult for us to think in terms of modes everytime a chord changes so you would generally tend to think in one scale for a progression (or part of a progression) and target the correct notes rather than thinking in terms of a different scale or mode everytime the chord changes (not to mention the horrible mess this can turn out to be) .

As for your question, non-diatonic chords can be treated in a number of different ways, if you have lots of them in succession than an arpeggio approach is your only real option, otherwise you can pick any appropriate scale or arpeggio for that chord and play that, or, like you said you can just account for the non-diatonic notes. I personally like the arpeggio approach as it outlines the underlying harmony which I think is the point when you have a non-diatonic chord shoved in the middle of a progression. It's actually much better (and much simpler) to play and hear this stuff for yourself to see if you think it sounds OK because at the end of all this theory we actually have to play music, not explain it.
#10
^ agreed

if the chords are moving too fast you can do 1 of 2 things:
1. learn the mode switches and try to adapt, but this requires lots of preperation.
2. stick with arpeggios and outline he chords. you can almost accomplish this simply by play with the rhythm and using your ear to add in other notes.

if chords are moving slowly and you want specific scales to play over think of them like this:

Chord you're playing: Mode to use and it's relationship to the key of C
for the I chord: use the lydian or ionian (major) mode. #4 for Lydian (C,D,E,F#,G,A,B,C)
for the ii: use the dorian mode. b3 and b7 (C,D,Eb,F,G,A,Bb,C)
for the iii: use phrygian, b2, b3, b6, b7 (C,Db,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C)
for the IV: use Lydian, as above: C,D,E,F#,G,A,B,C
for the V: Mixolydian - b7 (C,D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C)
for the vi: Aeolian (natural minor) b3, b6, b7 (C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C)
for the vii: locrian (way out there) b2,b3,b5,b6,b7 (C,Db,Eb,F,Gb,Ab,Bb,C)

those are the basic jazz outlines for soloing over chords. quick example:

If the chords are going ii, V, I (common jazz progressions). you would solo differently with each chord. So the order of scales would be Dorian, Mixolydian, Ionian / Lydian.

That is a basic outline of soloing ideas using diatonic jazz chord progressions. many major artists use modes also. so it is NOT limited to jazz. in fact, using it in other genres is a very important thing.

If you would like an outline of how to solo using arpeggios let me know, but it is just moving with the chord progression and only playing the notes inside of that chord (not only notes in the chord, but that's the basic idea)

I really hope this helped a lot to any of you. I play jazz, not by choice, but it's intriguing. I am not good at this yet, but I do have a pretty good idea to the theory side of it, but it takes lots of time to get your theory and playing to be in harmony with eachother.

peace love music
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#11
Quote by Blurry 505
stuff


I always wondered this, do you guys really take the time to type this all out or do you copy/paste?
#12
Quote by Blurry 505

Chord you're playing: Mode to use and it's relationship to the key of C
for the I chord: use the lydian or ionian (major) mode. #4 for Lydian (C,D,E,F#,G,A,B,C)
for the ii: use the dorian mode. b3 and b7 (C,D,Eb,F,G,A,Bb,C)
for the iii: use phrygian, b2, b3, b6, b7 (C,Db,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C)
for the IV: use Lydian, as above: C,D,E,F#,G,A,B,C
for the V: Mixolydian - b7 (C,D,E,F,G,A,Bb,C)
for the vi: Aeolian (natural minor) b3, b6, b7 (C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C)
for the vii: locrian (way out there) b2,b3,b5,b6,b7 (C,Db,Eb,F,Gb,Ab,Bb,C)

those are the basic jazz outlines for soloing over chords. quick example:

If the chords are going ii, V, I (common jazz progressions). you would solo differently with each chord. So the order of scales would be Dorian, Mixolydian, Ionian / Lydian.



It really doesnt work like that like i tried to explain. If you have a normal tonal progression you can do whatever you want with 'modes' but you dont get the modal sound. If you have a I - IV - V progression in C and play C ionian, F lydian and G myxolydian you're not playing anything else then C major. You can call it like that though, but you dont get the sound. The only way to get a modal sound is playing a vamp that emphasises the modal tones and that resolves to the tonic of the mode. D dorian in the key of C major over a Dm is still C major. D dorian in the key of D minor over a Dm is a real D dorian.
Last edited by deHufter at Nov 29, 2009,
#13
Quote by Nilpferdkoenig
I always wondered this, do you guys really take the time to type this all out or do you copy/paste?
We type it out.

A) We don't really have much of what you call "lives."
B) We like to share our knowledge with other fellow musicians.

I say "we," because I do that too.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#14
Quote by WesM.Vaughan
[3rd time typing this thanks to UG] After spending $25 on a half hour lesson i basically veryfied what I already thought was correct. To my understanding, modes are used to play over chords. If I had a chord progression in C major, I could use the C major scale over the IV V chord. On the IV chord I could use the C or F major scale? On the V chord I could use the G major scale or the C major scale because the F and G chords are diatonic to the I chord? Now if these were seventh chords i would use the G mixolydian because of the b7? If i had a minor chord i would look for a mode that has a b3 to give it a minor tonality? If i had a minor chord with a b9 i would use a mode that has a b3 and a b2? So basically I find a mode that best fits the chord? If this is correct than modes are less complicated than people make them out to be. This jazz book I have has me learning 50 different modes; Mixolydian b6, Dominant Diminished, Super Locrian, Lydian Dominant, modes of the harmonic and melodic minor scales. My point is this: I dont have to know 50 different modes to start improvising over a simple standard like Autumn Leaves. All this was veryfied by my teacher which I paid $25 for. I just wanted to make sure this is correct. Thank you!


well what you are saying is essentially correct from what i gather, but if you are playing a song in C and it goes to a G7, you arent playing mixolydian, thats just the C major scale. if the song is in C major, then the song is in C major. the other modes dont really apply.

if it were a much more complex song, this might apply. when you get into more complex progressions in chords, switching modes within a song will work and might be needed. but for the most part, if you are playing in C, then use the C major scale.

the only "modal" thing you could do was change the mode for the entire progression. so instead of the major scale you use the C mixolydian to change the "feel" of the song. that still isnt playing modally though. technically, its just an acidental note played in the key of C major.
#15
yes we do type it all out haha.
one time i thought about saving what i typed then decided against it.

and deHufter: you're correct. i was assuming these were all seventh chords we were talking about and then the modes do come into play there. yes, if the whole tune is diatonically (that even a word) "even" you can just stick to one scale. you can anyways, but that just gets monotonous.

basically all you need to know is the major scale and then how these things change it. if you try and sit to learn all modes in all keys and stuff it's just not going to work for you. and if someone here did it i'd say they totally wasted their time.

learn the major scale, how it adapts and changes and you'll be fine.
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#16
It really doesnt work like that like i tried to explain. If you have a normal tonal progression you can do whatever you want with 'modes' but you dont get the modal sound. If you have a I - IV - V progression in C and play C ionian, F lydian and G myxolydian you're not playing anything else then C major. You can call it like that though, but you dont get the sound. The only way to get a modal sound is playing a vamp that emphasises the modal tones and that resolves to the tonic of the mode. D dorian in the key of C major over a Dm is still C major. D dorian in the key of D minor over a Dm is a real D dorian.


Now Im confused. So How would I get a modal sound out of a progression in C major?
#17
Quote by WesM.Vaughan
Now Im confused. So How would I get a modal sound out of a progression in C major?


By playing a vamp or short progression which makes the scale you're using (mode) resolve to the tonic. Modes are unstable, in general: the more diatonic chords you use the more the scale wants to resolve to it's major or minor counterpart.
If you're in the key of C and want a C mixolydian sound you can play the I and bVII chord (bVII is the flavor tone in mixolydian).

So there's a difference between playing C mixolydian over I and bVII and playing C 'ionian' over I and G 'mixolydian' over V, although they share the same key. The first is a modal progression or modal vamp, the latter a simple tonal one. That's because in the first example the tonic is C and you play C mixolydian. In the latter the tonic is C but you play G mixolydian (which has exactly the same notes as C major), so you dont get a G mixolydian sound but a C major sound.
Last edited by deHufter at Dec 1, 2009,
#18
TS, if you want advice about modal jazz (by which I obviously mean the technique of considering each chord as having a parent mode and using those modes over the respective chords when improvising (this definition gets tiresome on these boards)), you should read a book, I'd recommend The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine... but you really won't learn much from asking people here. This thread has greatly conflicting advice, and as you asked a question really focussed on modal jazz I would advise you to ignore a great deal of it. Read a book written by someone who's not trying to convince you modal jazz doesn't exist... that would not be a waste of your time...
#19
There are typically two ways of thought:

Playing in the key means to find the key of the song, and playing that scale, with accidentals where necessary.

The second, playing the changes is what you're describing. Over a major7 chord people will play major, lydian, or any other scale that has 1 3 5 and 7. Over a 7 chord people will play mixolydian, lydian dominant, phrygian dominant, or any other scale with a 1 3 5 and ♭7.

However, if your using the second method of thought, and you think you are playing parrallel modes over different chords, you are not. What one might think is C Ionian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian over a I-IV-V is actually just C major the whole way. However if you choose to play C Lydian, F double harmonic major, G Phrygian dominant, over a I-IV-V, you can call it that, or you could just call it C major, and use a ♯4 over the I, a ♭5, ♭7, and ♭2 over the IV, and a ♭6, and ♭3 over the V, treating all of the color tones as accidentals. Both of those methods would be correct methods of analysis.
#20
Quote by Sam_Vimes
TS, if you want advice about modal jazz (by which I obviously mean the technique of considering each chord as having a parent mode and using those modes over the respective chords when improvising (this definition gets tiresome on these boards)), you should read a book, I'd recommend The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine... but you really won't learn much from asking people here. This thread has greatly conflicting advice, and as you asked a question really focussed on modal jazz I would advise you to ignore a great deal of it. Read a book written by someone who's not trying to convince you modal jazz doesn't exist... that would not be a waste of your time...


That's Not modal jazz. That's an approach to improvisation used in modal jazz and all types of jazz for that matter except for the earliest forms. I can use the approach you described over a be bop tune, that would not be modal jazz. I could use it over a tune like "So What" or any other tune with extended vamps which support melodies written using musical modes.
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#21
It's a common point of confusion. Yes modal jazz is used to mean modal in the classical sense, 'So What' being the often used example. But is is also extremely commonly used by jazz players to mean that which i described... yes it's confusing, especially on this board. But if you think about it, it's not a surprising name for jazz that uses modes as the basis for solos.
#22
Often in jazz players will use modes to describe notes they are playing over chords. This is not playing modally, but is not really wrong either. Just learn the difference between the two.
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#23
Yes, keep in mind playing in modes means just playing a different major / minor scale over a progression
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#24
Quote by Blurry 505
Yes, keep in mind playing in modes means just playing a different major / minor scale over a progression


Modes are entirely different from major/minor scales.
#25
I'd like to stress the fact that the jazz kind of modal is different from the "correct" kind of modal.

with Jazz it is fairly common to play different modes over different chords. though it's not really correct to think of it that way, it can help in choosing notes over chords that don't really fit the key (if there is one) that well, it helps you pick out what's basically good accidentals, but in jazz they call em modes.


Modes in the correct sense is different. your chord progression has to very strongly resolve to the tonic, and because modes are so unstable (the ear tends to drift more easily to the relative major or minor) that means that it's usually just a vamp between the tonic chord and the chord that gives the mode it's character. in this sense, it's impossible to play C Ionian over the C, G Mixolydian over the G, and F Lydian over F. they don't exist in that scenario, it's just C Major.
#26
^ I agree with that.

But I would also like to point out that modes are major or minor scales that have a different label. For the easiest example, C lydian is a G major scale played in a C chord progression.
Quote by Guitardude19
The world is a fucked up place.


Tele's

"Oh I'll play the blues for you"
#27
Quote by The4thHorsemen
I'd like to stress the fact that the jazz kind of modal is different from the "correct" kind of modal.

with Jazz it is fairly common to play different modes over different chords. though it's not really correct to think of it that way, it can help in choosing notes over chords that don't really fit the key (if there is one) that well, it helps you pick out what's basically good accidentals, but in jazz they call em modes.


Modes in the correct sense is different. your chord progression has to very strongly resolve to the tonic, and because modes are so unstable (the ear tends to drift more easily to the relative major or minor) that means that it's usually just a vamp between the tonic chord and the chord that gives the mode it's character. in this sense, it's impossible to play C Ionian over the C, G Mixolydian over the G, and F Lydian over F. they don't exist in that scenario, it's just C Major.

i do that a lot actually. i dont play too much jazz, but you can still do it in blues. i use dorian and mixolydian a lot, sometimes phrygian. but yeah i think people just need to remember that its not playing modally but just organizing your accidentals in a way you know will work.
#28
i suggest reading Modal Jazz Composition and Harmony by Ron Miller