#1
newbie question sorta... well theres numerous lessons around the site and the internet in general that contain 7 scale shapes that share the names that modes have (ionian, dorian etc).. my question is r these just different positions of the major scale that can be used over a major chord progression?
#2
Modes can be either major or minor. They are each played over specific chords, there is a lesson on this site about what chords to use them over. In a nutshell, there are two kinds of modes, Major and Minor. To find out whether its major or minor, just look at the relation between the root and 3rd.

I can explain this to you in more detail if you wish, just pm me.

Edit:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/scales/modes_with_mode_dictionary.html

This link is pretty good, it can explain which modes go with which chords right at the top of the page. If you need any help after that feel free to ask me.
Last edited by m3tal_R3dn3ck at Dec 16, 2009,
#3
Not so much exactly different positions, but in a sense its like the same scale letters but the scale starts on a different note. This re-arranges the "formula" of whole and half steps, another way to put it is numerical positioning of whole and half steps, for example in major the half steps fall between musical alphabet letters 3-4 and 7-8, and that pattern is what makes it major. With modes those half steps change to a new set of numbers, so you are really getting a different scale, that is not major.

And, these modes have cool "flavors" to them, and cool new chord possibilities to really bring out the different sound and feel of the modes.
#4
ok so there the 7 modal position.. but if my knowledge is right to use them you need to play them over a modal chord progression?
#5
^^
To find all of the mode patterns. Look at the Cmaj pattern C-C with no sharps or flats, or all the white keys on a piano. What you do is to chang your root, but not necessarily change the key (This is where its good to know key signiture). So instead of playing C D E F G A B C you could be playin D E F G A B C D(Dorian) or G A B C D E F G(Mixolodyian)... and so fourth. If you do this, for C - B in your Cmaj pattern you will find all 7 of your mode patterns (one for each note.)
#6
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_ultimate_guide_to_guitar_chapter_iv_1_scales_-_diatonic_modes_in_theory.html
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_ultimate_guide_to_guitar_chapter_iv_3_chords_-_modal_chord_progressions.html
They can't be used over a major chord progression if it's not modal.

Quote by twinrecoil
ok so there the 7 modal position

There aren't any mode "positions."

By the way, the formulas for modes are in relation to other scales.
1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 - Mixolydian for example. You wouldn't apply that to the key's scale. How they got that is if you have a C Major scale and you want to play Mixolydian, then you would make your tonic the 5th note, G, which will obviously have the same notes just have another root. Well, if you take the G Major scale and apply the formula for the 5th mode (b7 like I said above), you would make the GMaj scale have the same notes as CMaj but have a different root since the only sharp is the 7th degree and you flatted it.
Last edited by tenfold at Dec 16, 2009,
#7
Quote by twinrecoil
ok so there the 7 modal position.. but if my knowledge is right to use them you need to play them over a modal chord progression?


That's right, the chords you play as a background would really determine the sound of the modes, that or also a drone single note track in the same key of the mode you are playing in.

So for example if you were to play a song in C Major and then moved the modes, or say, connected the modes correctly as you played through Dorian etc, you might be playing the mode shapes, but because of the chords, theyd all have the function of C Major regardless of which mode shape you were in, as long as it contained all the notes of C Major, then it's C Major - so the backing tracks have a lot to do with whether it will sound "modal" or not.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Dec 16, 2009,
#8
k so i can use anyone of them over any progression or riff just watever is playing in the background will determine the modal sound (sorry dont really know how to word it :P)
#9
Quote by twinrecoil
k so i can use anyone of them over any progression or riff just watever is playing in the background will determine the modal sound (sorry dont really know how to word it :P)


Not exactly, but maybe finding a list of basic simple modal chords might give you an idea, so if there was a progression in lydian, you could hear that in the background and then solo to it in the same lydian scale and get a better feel how the notes fall against the chords. You Tube has a lot of backing tracks for this purpose, plus a few droning tracks you can hear and experiment underneath.
#10
Quote by twinrecoil
k so i can use anyone of them over any progression or riff just watever is playing in the background will determine the modal sound (sorry dont really know how to word it :P)

Honestly you really don't need to worry about modes, you won't use them at all most likely. If you are trying to expand your learning, take some time before posting again and read all of the 2 lessons I posted above.
#12
Quote by tenfold
Honestly you really don't need to worry about modes, you won't use them at all most likely. If you are trying to expand your learning, take some time before posting again and read all of the 2 lessons I posted above.


Edited, I see you posted more helpful information to the guy, had me worried there for a bit lol.

And dude, dont call youself a dumbass, we all start somewhere, at least you're trying. Keep the faith.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Dec 16, 2009,
#13
Quote by twinrecoil
ok then well thanks for trying to help lol sorry im a dumbass

Nah you're not. Most people just give bad information on modes because they don't really understand it themselves. Misewell read the good information, then post if you have any more questions.

And with that said, here's 3 pages of very good information and history on modes, and a lesson on modal progressions that shows the flavor notes and how to make them.
Definitive Information on Modes (1 of 3).
Definitive Information on Modes (2 of 3).
Definitive Information on Modes (3 of 3).
How To Make Modal Chord Progressions.
#14
Quote by twinrecoil
newbie question sorta... well theres numerous lessons around the site and the internet in general that contain 7 scale shapes that share the names that modes have (ionian, dorian etc).. my question is r these just different positions of the major scale that can be used over a major chord progression?
You were right in the first place - they are just 7 positions of the major scale - similar to the 5 positions of the minor pentatonic. Unfortunately they are often named after the modes, which confuses a shedload of people. Modes are not scale positions or shapes - they are the same set of notes with a diffferent tonic (much like the difference between the major scale and its relative minor).
#15
Quote by twinrecoil
newbie question sorta... well theres numerous lessons around the site and the internet in general that contain 7 scale shapes that share the names that modes have (ionian, dorian etc).. my question is r these just different positions of the major scale that can be used over a major chord progression?

The simple answer to your question is YES. (Edit: I don't know which lessons you're looking at but I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about - those patterns are everywhere and named after modes when really they're just seven positions of the major scale across the fretboard.)

If you keep in mind that the major scale covers the entire fretboard then you can just view those 7 scale shapes as being made by taking that one big pattern and breaking it down into smaller more manageable chunks.

If you fit those seven scale shapes together then you have the major scale over the whole fretboard.

So the answer is yes. They are all different instances of the major scale and they can all be used over the same major key chord progression.

There are lots of different ways you can break the fretboard down into chunks for more manageable learning. In that particular system each shape uses a different note from the scale along the low E string and builds the rest of the scale position from there. (If my guess is right it's what is known as the 3nps (3 note per string) method).

There is some reasoning behind calling each pattern by a modal name. For the most part though I believe it can confuse people that are trying to learn the major scale and that later want to learn about modes.

Take for example the C major scale C D E F G A B C. If you record yourself playing a funky rhythm on a C note (just a repetitive C note and nothing else for now a "C drone" we'll call it).

Then if you play that C major scale over the top of that drone you will hear each note in relation to the C of your C drone. The drone is establishing C as our tonic. Anything we play will be heard in relation to that C. The C is grounding everything.

Even if the first note you play in your melody is the open E of the low E string the tonic would still be C because of that drone making it a C major scale you're playing with.

So no matter where on the fretboard you play it what matters is not the lowest note or the first note but the tonic (sometimes called the root). The tonic note could be described as the note that provides the grounding; the note that all the other notes will be heard in relation to.

Now imagine you decide to play over the same C drone with exactly the same melody but this time you replace every B with a B♭ because you like the way it sounds. E is still your first and lowest note but C is still the tonic note established by the drone.

If you look at the notes of the new scale C D E F G A B♭ C they are the same notes found in the F major scale (F G A B♭ C D E F). But we are not playing in F major because F is not the tonic note. Our scale then is no longer "F major" because it's not F anything it's C something because C is the tonic. In particular it is "C major with a flat seven" - C Mixolydian.

Because C Mixolydian and F Major use the same notes C Mixolydian and F Major share the same seven shapes across the fretboard. So if you're still following me, you can see how C Mixolydian actually appears as seven different patterns across the entire fretboard.

This is why I find it misleading to call one single pattern in one place on the fretboard C Mixolydian - it can be kind of misleading.

So why do people do it? Well because when you practice singing or playing scales on an instrument or spelling them on paper or out loud it is normal to start and end on the tonic. So if you spell the notes of the F major scale starting from and ending on C like this: C D E F G A B♭ C then most people would look at this and call it the C Mixolydian scale.

When it comes to playing though what matters is what note is heard as the tonic note.

Hope that helped.

(EDIT: You don't have to play a C drone, you could accomplish the same thing with a Funky rhythm over a C chord vamp. In fact you don't even need any accompaniment to establish the C as the tonic. The melody on it's own can do that - but when you're starting out and for simplicities sake I used a C drone as with the C drone it is damn near impossible to shift the tonic away from C without changing the drone.)
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Dec 16, 2009,
#17
Quote by twinrecoil
newbie question sorta... well theres numerous lessons around the site and the internet in general that contain 7 scale shapes that share the names that modes have (ionian, dorian etc).. my question is r these just different positions of the major scale that can be used over a major chord progression?


Yes.

There are seven common shapes of the major scale. Each one has a different scale degree as its lowest note. These are just different positions of a major scale, and you can use them over major chord progressions. They should not share the names that modes have, but unfortuanately many people who don't correctly understand modes (or don't have the integrity to teach things correctly) name the patterns off of the modes.

All seven patterns of the major scale will be the major scale if played over a progression in that key. If you have a modal progression (which resolves to a chord other than the tonic of the relative major), then all of those seven positions will be that mode. For now, just work on the major scale over major progressions. Then worry about the minor scale(s) and minor progressions, and then maybe modes.