#1
Okay, lets say there's this four bar chord progression here in C:

C Am F G

If I play a descending run that goes like FEDCBA when the chord changes from A to F, would I still be playing C major or F Lydian?

Confused, as I'm using notes from the C major scale but I'm technically playing F Lydian over the F chord as im playing B instead of Bb.
#2
No, you're still playing in C major because there's nothing there to imply or suggest modes, it's a straight up C major progression.
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#3
Umm good question, Im not too sure about this myself. I think you would consider that the chord progression is in C, so therefore you are still playing the C major scale. Just my two cents, I could be completely wrong, but either way it doesn't really matter cause its the same scale technically :p
#4
I think you change mode when the chord progression suggests there's a different tonic. If your chord progression were Dm Am F G then it would suggest D dorian to me.
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#5
Thanks for the replies, but I'm still quite confused. So when would you be using modes?
#6
When you're not playing over a diatonic chord progression.
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#7
You use modes when the chord progression is changing keys (jazz a lot)

If you play modes over a diatonic chord progression, it's only called adding accidentals.


C, Am, F, G

Playing Am, C would work over this, that's sticking to the key.
You could move with each chord, keys of C, Am (same thing), F, G
You could play an F or G scale over this, adding accidentals.

The only problem with this is that if you're soloing or play melody it will be very
difficult because not playing in the diatonic key makes it very unstable.
It will sound like your solo or melody never really resolves.

That help? Let us know if you have more questions
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Last edited by Blurry 505 at Dec 13, 2009,
#9
Quote by Chikao42
I think you change mode when the chord progression suggests there's a different tonic. If your chord progression were Dm Am F G then it would suggest D dorian to me.


No, that progression is also in C major. It resolves to C.
#10
Quote by Timothongz
Thanks for the replies, but I'm still quite confused. So when would you be using modes?


You would use modes when you are in a known modal progression - or over a chord that fits the mode choice harmonically - this is why some people suggest and changing modes when the chords underneath change. For example if a chord were Dm7 they might suggest D Dorian, until it changes to the next chord, say G where they might suggest G Mixolydian...etc.

OR

when you understand modes, and how to create your own modal progressions.

This is what I mean when I preach/and teach others, that scales or scale shapes in and of themselves, are not "playing in Modes" when it comes to questions like you've asked above, because it also depends upon the chord progressions themselves which use the information from that mode as to intelligently and deliberately weave together a modal chord progression.

So, to see if you can do this, answer these questions, as these are what I teach my students before they are able to do what it is youve asked.

1. Do you know all the notes on the neck of your guitar?

2. Can you write out in letter form the degrees of any Major scale?

3. Can you spell out in letter form, any triad and/or extended chord (7ths etc)

4. Can you create any diatonic major key by spelling it out?

You should be able to answer yes to all of these questions. If you answered no to any of these, then these gaps will prevent almost anyone from being able to intelligently compose in the Modes and because of that there is a great deal of confusion evidenced by questions such as these.

From what I understand there are several free lessons that deal with teaching all of these, maybe some other users here can suggest the best of the best of these lessons and presentations.

I agree, that it's very easy to get lost and confused, and perhaps members here have a suggestion as to which lessons are the easiest to understand here.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Dec 13, 2009,
#11
as sean said....

learn the physical part of the guitar...know where all the notes are

play all 12 scales on one string at a time

know all your scales and the chords ( 3 & 4 note) they form...diatonic harmony..

after you have that under your fingers

learn song structures that use diatonic harmony...a fake/real book is good for this
and helps your sightreading

after you have a thorough understanding of diatonic harmony...you will have incorporated knowledge of modes without actually studying them...

but....todays rock/pop music rarely ventures into modal applications...

most traditional swing jazz does not either...check miles davis "kind of blue" album...many consider it a study in modal jazz and a change of direction of jazz..

its the fusion style that brings modes into light...again miles davis leads the way here...check out "bitches brew"...because the progressions are not "key based" the move from one chord to another and then you just play in that chord and its extensions and scales...

and yes its confusing at the beginning to hear the difference...feel the difference...but to play in modal frameworks is very different and without a very solid understanding of basic diatonic harmony and all its applications...modal applications will always be a mystery

play well

wolf
#12
Quote by wolflen
as sean said....

learn the physical part of the guitar...know where all the notes are



that's 6 strings times 12 = 60 notes to memorize. There are many ways of doing this - my guess is it would take you several months - however someone here may be able to offer some faster approaches. I teach my students this in 6 weeks, and for me that's fast, but some claim they can teach you in an hour...

Quote by wolflen

play all 12 scales on one string at a time


Pure rote memorization of this could also take several months, but someone here may have some faster approaches and ideas they could reccomend.

Quote by wolflen


know all your scales and the chords ( 3 & 4 note) they form...diatonic harmony..



Months to years for all your scales, and diatonic harmony can be learned in a relatively short time.

after you have that under your fingers

Quote by wolflen


learn song structures that use diatonic harmony...a fake/real book is good for this
and helps your sightreading

after you have a thorough understanding of diatonic harmony...you will have incorporated knowledge of modes without actually studying them...



Sightreading and such might take months to years, depending upon if you go it alone at self study, or a teacher, what method you use and a number of other things. A lot of time on your part will be required to accomplish this either way.

Quote by wolflen

but....todays rock/pop music rarely ventures into modal applications...

most traditional swing jazz does not either...check miles davis "kind of blue" album...many consider it a study in modal jazz and a change of direction of jazz..

its the fusion style that brings modes into light...again miles davis leads the way here...check out "bitches brew"...because the progressions are not "key based" the move from one chord to another and then you just play in that chord and its extensions and scales...

and yes its confusing at the beginning to hear the difference...feel the difference...but to play in modal frameworks is very different and without a very solid understanding of basic diatonic harmony and all its applications...modal applications will always be a mystery

play well

wolf


He's absolutely right - it takes a lot of time and effort and proper learning to do what he spelled out. In looking at those examples youd have to know what he's talking about and be able to recognize those aspects yourself when you listen to them. But knowing your triads, and extensions would help you hear when Miles is doing the same thing.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Dec 13, 2009,
#13
Quote by Sean0913
that's 6 strings times 12 = 60 notes to memorize. There are many ways of doing this - my guess is it would take you several months - however someone here may be able to offer some faster approaches. I teach my students this in 6 weeks, and for me that's fast, but some claim they can teach you in an hour...
You don't have to make it that hard for yourself. The note names on your high e string are the same as your low E string (same notes just 2 octaves higher), and on all the strings the notes from the open string to 12th fret are repeated from the 12th fret to the 24th fret - just an octave higher. And if you learn where all the natural notes are you only need to go up or down a fret for sharps and flats.

So that leaves just 7 notes to learn on 5 strings, on the first 12 frets. Bit less daunting that way

@TS - make sure you understand the major scale before you worry about modes. Learn it in terms of steps (WWHWWWH), intervals (root, maj 2nd, maj 3rd, perfect 4th etc) and notes, learn how its related to the natural minor scale, and learn to harmonise the scale by stacking 3rds - then look at modes, and they should make a lot more sense
Last edited by zhilla at Dec 14, 2009,
#14
Quote by Timothongz
Thanks for the replies, but I'm still quite confused. So when would you be using modes?

My understanding of modes, which I got from classical (not jazz) textbooks, is that they're only used in songs written with a single melody or songs written contrapuntally with a few melodies played at the same time. The idea is that you use the mode to write the melody and finish on the first note of the mode and do so by using small steps (say, for E phrygian: G, F, E song ends). This allowed melodies to sound more original, since non-diatonic notes weren't used that much.

You can get a sort of modal feel by using certain progressions, but it's not really modal. There's a thread somewhere here on modal progressions, if you can find it.
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[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
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#15
1. ||: C | Am | F | G :||

This is not Modal, it's Diatonic (or also known as Functional). That's a I-vi-IV-V progression in C Major. This is probably along the lines of some of the stuff you've read , and also what you are confused about when it comes to Modes. Don't think about Modes here, just play in Key and follow the chords (or lines leading to the chord tones of the 'next' chord if you will).

2. ||: D | D | Dm | Dm :|| This is Modal, not Diatonic/Function. This is a I-Im Modal progression, and it's not IN anything or any Key, it's Modal. And, in this progression the tonal-center is D.

With the first progression, the scale stays the same for each chord (the C Major scale). For the second progression the scale HAS TO change (D Ionian->D Dorian).

In the first one all the chords are from the same entity, or scale. In the second, each of those chords are their own entity, or get their own scale, but they share a common tonal center of D. This is common concept in Modal music.

Let's embellish those chords in the second progrerssion a bit more:

||: Dmaj9 | Dmaj9 | Dm7 | Dm7 :||

Now use D Ionian for Dmaj9 and use D Dorian for Dm7...listen to the scales outline the changes that are happening against D.

BANG!!!! THAT'S Modal.
#16
Quote by zhilla
You don't have to make it that hard for yourself. The note names on your high e string are the same as your low E string (same notes just 2 octaves higher), and on all the strings the notes from the open string to 12th fret are repeated from the 12th fret to the 24th fret - just an octave higher. And if you learn where all the natural notes are you only need to go up or down a fret for sharps and flats.

So that leaves just 7 notes to learn on 5 strings, on the first 12 frets. Bit less daunting that way

@TS - make sure you understand the major scale before you worry about modes. Learn it in terms of steps (WWHWWWH), intervals (root, maj 2nd, maj 3rd, perfect 4th etc) and notes, learn how its related to the natural minor scale, and learn to harmonise the scale by stacking 3rds - then look at modes, and they should make a lot more sense


So youve gone from 60 to 35 notes to be memorized. How would you suggest that he memorize sharps and flats? And, how long would you suggest that it should take him to learn all the notes?

How long would you say it should take him to learn/memorise the major scale intervals and notes, learn how its related to a minir scale and then learn how to stack intervals in 3rds?
#17
So youve gone from 60 to 35 notes to be memorized.


actually there are only 12 notes...its the random starting point that is the hard part....like your previous example of the alphabet...

to really have the notes "memorized" (bad term) is their constant use in the context of scales and chords...

a new student to music AND guitar...this may take several months to digest the full fretboard (all strings - first 12 frets...why...its not a logical layout...vs a piano) explaining the interval skips between strings is fine...until that G - B string thing...and the obligatory teacher pacifier.. (don't worry about that now...you'll understand it later on) how much later is never really defined...

play well

wolf
#18
Quote by Sean0913
So youve gone from 60 to 35 notes to be memorized. How would you suggest that he memorize sharps and flats? And, how long would you suggest that it should take him to learn all the notes?

How long would you say it should take him to learn/memorise the major scale intervals and notes, learn how its related to a minir scale and then learn how to stack intervals in 3rds?

Timeframe doesn't matter - it takes as long as it takes, some people cotton on quicker than others.

I wonder, is this the part where you tease us about your magical method that will accomplish things so much faster?
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#19
There is a big difference between memorizing the note names on the neck, and actually knowing the fretboard. The difference is a matter of contextual experience, which is generally gained over a period of time.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 14, 2009,
#20
i agree with all of it.

you can have the notes memorized, but putting them to correct use is what takes the most time.

memorizing sharps and flats can be as easy as knowing the naturals and adjusting to sharp or flat.

when i play a chord, i picture the notes. if i alter the chord, adding a sharp / flat, i picture moving that specific note up or down a fret.

but everyone has different methods that work for different people

guitarmunky: i agree, it takes time to learn the practical use of notes on the fretboard. stringed instruments (in my opinion) are the hardest to learn these compared to say piano. there's no immediately apparent pattern to follow.
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#21
Quote by steven seagull
Timeframe doesn't matter - it takes as long as it takes, some people cotton on quicker than others.

I wonder, is this the part where you tease us about your magical method that will accomplish things so much faster?


Why are you trying to draw me out?
#22
Quote by Sean0913
So youve gone from 60 to 35 notes to be memorized. How would you suggest that he memorize sharps and flats? And, how long would you suggest that it should take him to learn all the notes?

How long would you say it should take him to learn/memorise the major scale intervals and notes, learn how its related to a minir scale and then learn how to stack intervals in 3rds?
You don't have to learn them as 35 individual notes though. If you can find the 7 natural notes on the first 5 strings up to the 12th fret you can find sharps and flats by going up or down a semitone form the natural. You don't need to memorise them individually, and the notes aren't random - they are in the same sequence on each string, just starting in a different place. If you can find octaves and unisons, you can find your way around the neck pretty quickly. Every note may not be ingrained in your brain straight away, but you'll know enough to quickly find whatever chords/scales/notes you want, and use will do the rest.

I don't think it matters how long it takes to learn to understand the major scale properly - its going to vary between people - but trying to learn modes before you understand the major scale is kinda like trying to read shakespeare before you know the alphabet. Understand teh major scale, and how the natural minor scale and chords relate to it, and modes are relatively simple. But until then, modes will be a complete pig to learn and almost impossible to use effectively
#23
I think it does matter and here's why -

There are a lot of kids out there playing tabs learning songs and they go that way for instant gratification. But as they go they are aware that there's so much more they don't know about theory.

In general they don't start approaching theory until they have a reason to do so, and that reason might be because a "cool guitar player" has got them seeing the possibilities. Bands like All That Remains, and Children of Bodom for example have guitarists that a lot of kids that come to my Academy want to understand and not just play like.

Well assuming this to be the case, a lot of times they may not have a clue where to start when they come here and when you look at the amswers we are giving these TABsters, you know, I wonder how many or how few are actually moving forward and benefiting from the advice and how many are simply intimidated or feel stupid because they arent getting it right away in their head, let alone getting it to the guitar.

I think Ill start a topic to see why so many are coming here for the answers and not showing as much interest in theory? Does it scare them? Confuse them?

You know for years the IRS had the instructions for their Tax Forms such that many people were not sure what the hell they were looking at, and finally a law was passed to require them to take a look at the clarity of their writing and the level they used and write it so that an average person could understand what to do. Up till that point, while many were able to make out what the forms originally were, a lot of people were intimidated to hell with it.
#24
I mean however long it takes you to understand the major scale, there's not much point trying to learn modes before you've done that. They won't make much sense, and if you can't use the major scale effectively whats the point in trying to learn something that builds off it?
#25
Quote by zhilla
I mean however long it takes you to understand the major scale, there's not much point trying to learn modes before you've done that. They won't make much sense, and if you can't use the major scale effectively whats the point in trying to learn something that builds off it?


Absolutely right Of course understanding the musical alphabet helps too
#26
Quote by Sean0913
Absolutely right Of course understanding the musical alphabet helps too
true