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#1
I need help with modes and I know this is a very broad topic so I'll try and keep it specific.

I looked up a lesson on the internet and it told me to memorize the seven main modes.
I proceeded to do so:

Please excuse my atrocious spelling

Ionian
Dorean
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolodian
Aoleein
Locreen

After I memorized them I went back to the lesson and it gave me no further instruction...in all seriousness.
After it instructed me to memorize the modes in then went into the "Blues Scale."

So if someone could give me some instruction on what to do with these names that would be great!

Thanks,

Aaron
"The mind is everything. What you think, you become."
#2
Forget them - you're nowhere near in a position to learn or make use of modes yet.

Learn the notes on the fretboard, learn all about the major scale - that's where you need to start.
Actually called Mark!

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#4
You seem to have no idea what modes actually are, uhm I think you should learn your major scale etcetera thorougly first.

Oh and it's
Ionian
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolydian
Aeolian
Locrian
Last edited by KoenDercksen at Dec 19, 2009,
#5
I know the notes on the fret board...the lesson started with that sorry I forgot to mention that. A-G# and B and E don't have non naturals.

Any way what is the major scale? Like is there A maj and B maj or is it flat out called the Maj scale...?
"The mind is everything. What you think, you become."
#6
Never mind I have found the sticky at the top.
Sorry I did not realize it
"The mind is everything. What you think, you become."
#7
All Western Music is based on the Major Scale (do, re, me, fa, so, la ,te, do)
or the White keys on a Piano (C major)

On guitar you can play the same pattern from any fret - you can slide them like bar chords.

So let's look at a G major scale pattern

Tab
G---------------------------
D--- 2-------4---5r-------
A----2--3--------5---------
E--------3R------5----------

R= root =G
r= octave G

The notes
G A B C D E F# G

Using the Roman to represent the notes of the G major scale tabbed above
The positions in the pattern are like

I= root note =G
II= 2nd note =A
III=3rd note = B
etc.

referencing the tab above, we have something like this
G-----------------------
D--- VI------VII--I-G(oct)------
A----III- IV------ V---------
E-------- I--------II----------
G

Ionian =I
Dorean =II
Phrygian = III
Lydian = IV
Mixolodian = V
Aoleein = VI
Locreen = VII

Modes are the same notes of the major scale played starting from the note indicated by Roman numeral up an octave.

So play the G major scale you have the I or Ionian mode.
Play from the 2nd note of G major (A) up to the next A you have the II or Dorian mode

Play from the V note of G major scale (D) up to the next D you have the V or mixolydian mode

That's all there is to it.

Modes are the major scale play from a different starting note up an octave and the roman numeral is both the mode number and the note of the major scale to start from.


When do you use this

In the key of G, a standard jazz II V I progression is made using these chords
(And it is called a II V I because there is a Chord made from the II note [A], a chord made from the V [D] note and a chord (tonic) using the I root note, [G])


| Am7 | D7 | GMaj7 | Gmaj7 |

So, for the first bar you play Dorian II mode
2nd bar you play mixolydian V mode
3rd and 4th bar play Ionian I mode (G major scale)


In reality you are playing the G major scale over all these chords, the modes shift the tonal center from Am7 (II or dorian) to D7 (V or mixolydian)and resolving back to G major.

I know that was quick and dirty, so feel free to ask any questions.
Last edited by fx303 at Dec 19, 2009,
#8
Quote by mardisaaron
I know the notes on the fret board...the lesson started with that sorry I forgot to mention that. A-G# and B and E don't have non naturals.


I think you need to learn about more about the musical alphabet. There are twelve tones. Seven of these tones are natural, and named A B C D E F G. The five remaining tones are inbetween A-B, C-D, D-E, F-G, and G-A. These tones are named using accidentals. There are three accidentals Flat(♭, Natural(♮, and Sharp(♯. The Flat lowers a natural note by a semitone. The Sharp raises it by a semitone. So these in between notes could be named by the note above, with a flat, or the note below with a sharp. You can even apply sharps and flats to notes where it would be the same pitch as a different natural note, if raised or lowered a semitone. So you can have B♯, C♭, E♯, and F♭ which are the same pitches as C, B, F, and E, respectively. There are also double-sharps(X) and double-flats(♭♭, which raise and lower the note by a two semitones.

Quote by mardisaaron
Any way what is the major scale? Like is there A maj and B maj or is it flat out called the Maj scale...?


The major scale can have any of the twelve notes as its root. So it can be A major, or B major, etc.. What root is chosen isn't important though, as the pattern for major scales stays the same, regardless of what notes there are. The pattern is WWHWWWH, where W means whole tone, and H means half tone. So if you start on A you would go up a wholetone to B, then another wholetone to C♯, then a half tone to D, and keep going like that until you get back to A, and you'll have your scale as A B C♯ D E F♯ G♯. You also should know that in a major scale, each letter gets used once and only once, and that the letters always go in order. Because of this one note per letter rule, we have the notes like E♯ in some keys with alot of sharps or flats. The double flats and sharps I mentioned are due to a similar reason.
#9
Quote by isaac_bandits
I think you need to learn about more about the musical alphabet. There are twelve tones. Seven of these tones are natural, and named A B C D E F G. The five remaining tones are inbetween A-B, C-D, D-E, F-G, and G-A. These tones are named using accidentals. There are three accidentals Flat(♭, Natural(♮, and Sharp(♯. The Flat lowers a natural note by a semitone. The Sharp raises it by a semitone. So these in between notes could be named by the note above, with a flat, or the note below with a sharp. You can even apply sharps and flats to notes where it would be the same pitch as a different natural note, if raised or lowered a semitone. So you can have B♯, C♭, E♯, and F♭ which are the same pitches as C, B, F, and E, respectively. There are also double-sharps(X) and double-flats(♭♭, which raise and lower the note by a two semitones.


The major scale can have any of the twelve notes as its root. So it can be A major, or B major, etc.. What root is chosen isn't important though, as the pattern for major scales stays the same, regardless of what notes there are. The pattern is WWHWWWH, where W means whole tone, and H means half tone. So if you start on A you would go up a wholetone to B, then another wholetone to C♯, then a half tone to D, and keep going like that until you get back to A, and you'll have your scale as A B C♯ D E F♯ G♯. You also should know that in a major scale, each letter gets used once and only once, and that the letters always go in order. Because of this one note per letter rule, we have the notes like E♯ in some keys with alot of sharps or flats. The double flats and sharps I mentioned are due to a similar reason.


While all this is true, in practice is tends not to work well for guitar players as it is based on the black and white keys of a piano.

I think it's better to
1. Be able to identify any note on the fretboard quickly
2. Really have your scale patterns in different positions down
3. Know these scales where you know which note (1-7) of the scale relative to the root you are playing

If you have the above down, you can figure out the names of the notes when needed.
At least I was taught this way by a jazz guitarist who put more weight on understanding how the patterns and shapes fit together and relate on the fretboard. The mixolydian mode becomes obvious when seen this way.

DISCLAIMER
This is the quick and dirty way to understand how to use the stuff, it is not the technically proper format out of textbooks. I just think it is better to learn to use it first and add the other stuff if you want or need to learn it.

Whatever, maybe you're taking a class and need to know it the textbook way. Thus the disclaimer...
#10
Quote by fx303
While all this is true, in practice is tends not to work well for guitar players as it is based on the black and white keys of a piano.


The fact that there are seven note names came from the system developed to make diatonic music in any key easy to read and write. Then the piano came, and was designed with a visual layout that makes this easier to understand. Knowing that there are whole tones between 5 sets of natural notes and semitones between the other two is important on any instrument. I also covered how a note can be sometype of E or sometype of F, depending on context, which is important for a musician to know, and is very counterintuitive to the black and white keys of a piano. Its necessary to not base things on the black and white keys, as others you'll sometimes get enharmonic spellings wrong.
#11
Quote by mardisaaron
I need help with modes and I know this is a very broad topic so I'll try and keep it specific.

I looked up a lesson on the internet and it told me to memorize the seven main modes.
I proceeded to do so:

Please excuse my atrocious spelling

Ionian
Dorean
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolodian
Aoleein
Locreen

After I memorized them I went back to the lesson and it gave me no further instruction...in all seriousness.
After it instructed me to memorize the modes in then went into the "Blues Scale."

So if someone could give me some instruction on what to do with these names that would be great!

Thanks,

Aaron


You know what man? I can see youre trying to learn, I read your response in this thread that you know the notes on the neck, and youre trying to understand. I'm not sure if you are ready for the Modes, you might be, but Im not sure. But basically memorizing the names as the order of the Modes is a good start.

To understand Modes, look at it this way. What makes a major scale is an EXACT pattern of half steps and whole steps.

So, for example we look at C Major because it has no #'s or bs, making it simple.

C D E F G A B C

See where E - F B - C fall in the scale? These are the ONLY half steps in this scale. The rest are Whole steps. On guitar a half step = 1 fret apart and Whole = 2 frets apart.

If I take those same letters in that C Major but start on D and end on D, you notice where that E-F and B-C end up:

D E F G A B C D

Different places, right? So this is NOT a Major Scale, because the half steps are not EXACT as they are in the example I gave in C. See how B-c are now in spots 6 and 7 in that list. This new scale is a mode, and if we use one of every letter in this C major scale building from E to E, F to F we are going to have a lot of different scales that are NOT Major.

Knowing the modes on the neck, take a C major and map it out on the guitar C to C and then take the same notes and map them D to D, this is a new scale. Do this all the way through the letters of the alphabet till you get to the B, and then complete it by mapping out B to B.

In order, you will have made these scales.:

C Ionian (What we know also as the Major Scale...yes, that Major scale)
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian (What we call our Natural Minor Scale)
B Locrian

Now to hear the sounds of these modes and how they are different, get a drone track of the letter of the Mode. So if its E Phrygian, get an E tone going and play that scale over it. See how it sounds cool and exotic, maybe almost spanish like a classical guitar solo...? There's the FLAVOR of Phrygian. Some people have referenced Modes as "Moods", that is each Mode gives a different "mood" off musically. For example Lydian sounds open and mysterious, and this is why its a popular composers scale of choice for movie soundtracks.

Have fun with it. I teach the fusion of Guitar and Music Theory in great depth every day in the Academy, but for just answering the questions you have, this should at least give you more than a dead end.

Sean
#12
There's also the parallel, "LIMDAPL" way of visualizing modes...

From the intervallic chain of quarts/quints...

b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4


With the degrees in order...

1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 1
#13
Quote by Dodeka
There's also the parallel, "LIMDAPL" way of visualizing modes...

From the intervallic chain of quarts/quints...

b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4


With the degrees in order...

1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 1

That is what I believe is the best way to learn modes. In parralel, not not relatives. I'd never seen that visualization of it though, but I dig it. It's also cool to realize that if you flatten the root of a locrian scale, you're left with a lydian scale (albeit starting a semitone down), which is pretty cool, because then the parrallel modes go full-cycle.
#14
What I believe that is kinda confusing about modes to beginners is that you are basically playing the major scale. For an example, if you are playing A lydian, you are basically playing in E major.
I'll pretend I can mod your amp but break it instead.
#15
Quote by guitarlord28
What I believe that is kinda confusing about modes to beginners is that you are basically playing the major scale. For an example, if you are playing A lydian, you are basically playing in E major.


You obviously are a beginner who doesn't understand modes. A lydian and E major are completely different. A lydian resolves to A, and has the scale degrees 1, 2, 3, ♯4, 5, 6 and 7. E major resolves to E, and has the scale degrees 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. As a result of this, they have the same notes, but the notes resolve to different places. They cannot be used interchangeably. I'd suggest you read the modes stickies prior to trying to give people advice on modes as your advice ends up being wrong, and then people will give that wrong advice, and it just keeps spiraling.
#16
Quote by isaac_bandits
That is what I believe is the best way to learn modes. In parralel, not not relatives. I'd never seen that visualization of it though, but I dig it.


Thanks...I'm not claiming it's original, but I haven't seen it presented that way, either.

Quote by isaac_bandits
It's also cool to realize that if you flatten the root of a locrian scale, you're left with a lydian scale (albeit starting a semitone down), which is pretty cool, because then the parrallel modes go full-cycle.


Yes; that's also worth noting! It's in keeping with the pattern...

...
b1 b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b1 b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4
b1 b5 b2 b6 b3 b7 4 1 5 2 6 3 7 #4

...and so on (in both directions).
#17
The most confusing thing about Modal Music is that just about every book (including all the comments so far) teach you straight Diatonic Theory and memorization tactics like scale patterns and giving each "pattern" a name.

Tale some advice from someone who has been playing Modal Music and teaching it for over 20 years...do yourself a favor TODAY and start listening to Modal Music, you might not even like it.

Check out these tunes for practical modal application (this is my common "for starters" list):

So What by Miles Davis - Dorian
Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock - Dorian
Song for John by Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea - Lydian with tensions
Km-Pee-Du-Wee by Steve Vai - Lydian
Norwegian Wood the Beatles - Mixolydian
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed by The Allman Brothers - Dorian
Windows by Chick Corea - Lydian
More Ravi Shankar and Shakti than you can shake a stick at!

With each of those tunes they are not just single chord vamps or chord progressions that Diatonically connect with each other, they are Modal MUSIC, they are based on Modes.

Go to youtube, search and listen to all those tunes. Then pick three of them and spend the next month working through them (more like a lifetime really). You will find more "modal application" from those three tunes you chose than you will from 3 years of Diatonic Theory and chord to scale memorization.


If you need help with them, let me know.
Last edited by MikeDodge at Dec 20, 2009,
#18
Quote by isaac_bandits
That is what I believe is the best way to learn modes.

+1

If you say take the C major scale and alter it to get the various C modes (C Dorian, C Phrygian etc.) then you learn the sounds of the modes much better because C will always be the root.

Explaining modes by saying "Take the C major scale and start on the D to get D dorian, E to get E phrygian" leads to lots of people round here saying stuff like "You can spice up that C major progression by playing D Dorian over it" because it doesn't focus as much on the tonal centre.

TS, learn the major scale and learn to use it well before you start learning about modes.

Honestly, this isn't just me (and the few other people who have said this) thinking that learning the major scale before modes is the "correct" way, it's because understanding the major (and minor for that matter) scales gives you a suitable foundation to learn about, and really understand, modes.

Also, don't forget the power of the major and minor scales, and don't think that learning modes will make your playing miles better - there's a lot more to music than just what scale you're using.
#19
Quote by isaac_bandits
That is what I believe is the best way to learn modes. In parralel, not not relatives. I'd never seen that visualization of it though, but I dig it. It's also cool to realize that if you flatten the root of a locrian scale, you're left with a lydian scale (albeit starting a semitone down), which is pretty cool, because then the parrallel modes go full-cycle.


I get the acronym... whats the rest of this, and how is this considered useful?
#20
Quote by isaac_bandits
That is what I believe is the best way to learn modes. In parralel, not not relatives.


Personally, I wouldn't ignore any of the relationships. They are all useful. A broad perspective is a good thing.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Dec 20, 2009,
#21
Quote by Sean0913
I get the acronym... whats the rest of this, and how is this considered useful?


The rest of it might be useful to no one. I just like visualizing intervals as belonging to a chain of perfect fifths (quints), radiating from from P1 (ascending quints/descending quarts one way, descending quints/ascending quarts the other). All major and augmented intervals can be thought of as a chain of successive ascending fifths, and all minor and diminished intervals can be conceptualized as a chain of ascending fourths (assuming octave equivalence). The LIMDAPL arrangement of modes follows that circle/spiral of fifths. I guess it's more of a curiosity than a useful tool, but it amuses me and from my perspective that's all that counts.

My stupidity has advanced to the point I even think of a major third as a "quintal third" (Q3) and a minor third as a "quartal third" (q3), for example. I try to not use these terms when discussing intervals with others, though.
Last edited by Dodeka at Dec 20, 2009,
#22
Quote by isaac_bandits
You obviously are a beginner who doesn't understand modes. A lydian and E major are completely different. A lydian resolves to A, and has the scale degrees 1, 2, 3, ♯4, 5, 6 and 7. E major resolves to E, and has the scale degrees 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. As a result of this, they have the same notes, but the notes resolve to different places. They cannot be used interchangeably. I'd suggest you read the modes stickies prior to trying to give people advice on modes as your advice ends up being wrong, and then people will give that wrong advice, and it just keeps spiraling.


I'm sorry about this. My teacher told me that during lessons. I guess he was wrong. Please forgive the bad advice
I'll pretend I can mod your amp but break it instead.
#23
Quote by Sean0913
I get the acronym... whats the rest of this, and how is this considered useful?


Its useful to just know a lydian scale as being a major scale as a major scale with a sharpened fourth, etc... If you only think of lydian as the same pattern as some major scale, but resolving to the fourth rather than the root, then you have to find the relative major first, to know what notes to play, rather then just knowing what notes to play. That adds an unnecessary step.

With the diagram he has, the far right and left notes that are in red, are the modal notes, and these notes are always a tritone apart. Then one of the two notes moves up or down a semitone, to make the next mode (when the modes are organized that way its by similar tonality, not tonic's scale degree in the relative major), and that note will then still be a modal note, with a note that's a tritone away from it, while the other note.

Its also useful to note that a string of 7 consecutive perfect fifths creates a diatonic scale (although modes aren't necessary to figure that out).
#24
Quote by isaac_bandits
Its useful to just know a lydian scale as being a major scale as a major scale with a sharpened fourth, etc... If you only think of lydian as the same pattern as some major scale, but resolving to the fourth rather than the root, then you have to find the relative major first, to know what notes to play, rather then just knowing what notes to play. That adds an unnecessary step.

With the diagram he has, the far right and left notes that are in red, are the modal notes, and these notes are always a tritone apart. Then one of the two notes moves up or down a semitone, to make the next mode (when the modes are organized that way its by similar tonality, not tonic's scale degree in the relative major), and that note will then still be a modal note, with a note that's a tritone away from it, while the other note.

Its also useful to note that a string of 7 consecutive perfect fifths creates a diatonic scale (although modes aren't necessary to figure that out).


At the Academy, we teach Major and Minor Scales and then remaining modes as follows:

Major
Natural 6th,
b2,
#4
b7
taught as Minor
b2 b5

Why is it useful to note that a string of 7 consecutive 5ths creates a diatonic scale? Where would you use that information on the guitar?

I don't use the idea that it resolves to a 4th of a Major, when Using or Teaching Lydian - that's unnecessary. Its a #4.
#25
Quote by Sean0913
At the Academy, we teach Major and Minor Scales and then remaining modes as follows:

Major
Natural 6th,
b2,
#4
b7
taught as Minor
b2 b5

Why is it useful to note that a string of 7 consecutive 5ths creates a diatonic scale? Where would you use that information on the guitar?

I don't use the idea that it resolves to a 4th of a Major, when Using or Teaching Lydian - that's unnecessary. Its a #4.


Its interesting and shows more connections. Why do you order them based on relatives rather than parallels?
#27
What we did here was to use all of the major intervals from key construction and applied them to an actual set of chromatics (key of A in this case). We could have used the chromatics in any key and this would still work the same. If our chromatics started with F and went to the next F at octave, the same intervals would have given us all the right notes for F ionian (major).

Again, since these are the steps key construction tells us we have to use to arrive at all the major intervals, we found this scale using this interval formula :
====================
geo parts
Laboratory Water Purification
#28
Quote by Sean0913
It's a very common approach in teaching the guitar. I'm familiar with both.


The problem with relative modes is it makes people have bad understandings of modes. Some think that the lowest note they play is the tonic. Some think that the position on the neck they play in defines what mode their in. Some think that the first chord of the song defines the mode. Some think that the last chord of the song defines the mode.


With parallel modes, the person will need to write a song with those intervals that resolves to the tonic, and will actually be in that mode.
#29
Quote by isaac_bandits
The problem with relative modes is it makes people have bad understandings of modes. Some think that the lowest note they play is the tonic. Some think that the position on the neck they play in defines what mode their in. Some think that the first chord of the song defines the mode. Some think that the last chord of the song defines the mode.


With parallel modes, the person will need to write a song with those intervals that resolves to the tonic, and will actually be in that mode.


There's a lot of confusion I agree.

In a modal scale, the lowest note should be the tonic. If I play an E Phrygan scale, then I should start on E, right?

The rest comes from misunderstanding the fundamentals of how to compose chords which bring out the modal center.

Primarily I teach across the board parallel, however. I use the Relative usually to teach modal order, knowledge of degrees, and for creating Pentatonic approaches to Modal solo options.
Last edited by Sean0913 at Dec 21, 2009,
#30
Quote by Sean0913
In a modal scale, the lowest note should be the tonic. If I play an E Phrygan scale, then I should start on E, right?


Not necessarily. What happens to be the lowest note in a given fretboard scale pattern is often incidental. Running through a major scale pattern that starts with the third degree means nothing more than just that. It doesn't mean you ran through the Phrygian mode.

You're using "tonic" a bit loosely, too. It's usually reserved for tonal music.
#31
Quote by Sean0913
In a modal scale, the lowest note should be the tonic. If I play an E Phrygan scale, then I should start on E, right?


If you're just playing the scale, its normally played E F G A B C D E D C B A G F E. However you could play it starting on any other degree and going to any other degree, if you played the scale over the harmony.

If you're playing a song in E phrygian, the lowest note could be any note from E phrygian. The only that matters is that the songs resolves to E. I was using that some people think the lowest note dictates the mode as an example of one of the misconceptions people have about modes only after learning relative modes.

Quote by Dodeka


You're using "tonic" a bit loosely, too. It's usually reserved for tonal music.


I think its fine to refer to the first scale degree of a modal piece as the tonic. I've always used tonic to mean 1 or i, just like mediant means 3 or iii, and subdominant means 4 or IV.
#32
Quote by Sean0913
In a modal scale, the lowest note should be the tonic. If I play an E Phrygan scale, then I should start on E, right?


Let me check..... you charge people money for music lessons??? And you don't know the answer to this?

I sure hope that you know the answer is No.
#33
Quote by isaac_bandits
I think its fine to refer to the first scale degree of a modal piece as the tonic. I've always used tonic to mean 1 or i, just like mediant means 3 or iii, and subdominant means 4 or IV.


I suppose you're right, especially with the absence of a "better" term (one that doesn't elicit a double-take).
Last edited by Dodeka at Dec 21, 2009,
#34
Modal Theory is not Diatonic Theory. Modal Music was around a LONG TIME before anyone confined it's sounds into and organization of notes based on some other scale...other than itself. Remember that!

How about a crash course in Modal playing (particularly Dorian)...

Modal Music does not live in the confides to Diatonic scale steps...it might resolve to aspects of it, but it is not confided to it.

So memorizing scales only to stay in a scale really does you nothing musically. There is a tonal center in Modal music and you need to learn to "play in it", "play away from it", and "play back to it".

IOW, every note NOT in the scale it just as important as the notes in the scale formula.

So, learning patterns and giving them names is only 10% of Modal playing. The other 90% is, you need to play some Modal Music, or music that is based on a Mode, or several Modes.

It's not about patterns, names, relative scales, parent scales, or ANY other "relation and memorization" measure, it's ONLY about the Modes you are in and where the harmony is inside the mode, where the tension and release is found in the song/Mode, and how to anticipate all of this.

Prime example...

Check this out, it's one of the most common early modern modal tunes, based in Dorian. Actually, it might be the most famous or widely known tune to be "based in" Dorian...

So What by Miles Davis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEC8nqT6Rrk

The tune is comprised of m7/11 chords that are stacked as "Quartal chords" (a chord made of stacked 4ths). Quartal chords are common place in Modal Music as it progressed past "dronal" modal music in the mid-east, asia, and africa.

So What uses nothing but Dm7/11 and Ebm7/11 chords, the form is called an AABA form. Each is 8 measures long, like...

||: Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 |

| Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 |

| Ebm7/11 | Ebm7/11 | Ebm7/11 | Ebm7/11 | Ebm7/11 | Ebm7/11 | Em7/11 | Em7/11 |

| Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 | Dm7/11 :||

8 bar of D is the A section, and 8 bars of Eb is the B section, hence the AABA form.

The chord forms are like this:


Dm7/11

E--------5------------
B---6----6----10---10-
G---5----5----10---10-
D---5----5----10---10-
A---5----5----10---10-
E-------------10------

Ebm7/11

E--------6------------
B---7----7----11---11-
G---6----6----11---11-
D---6----6----11---11-
A---6----6----11---11-
E-------------11------

The main chord theme's being played are like this:

   Dm7/11    Ebm7/11
E--7---5---|---8---6---
B--8---6---|---9---7---
G--7---5---|---8---6---
D--7---5---|---8---6---
A--7---5---|---8---6---
E----------|-----------


The progression is SIMPLE, the playing has to be extraordinary though in that, each first bar of each section of 8 measures is "the one", IOW, you need to resolve to it and move from it resolving to the next first measure of 8. THAT's the tricky part.

This tune utilizes D Dorian for the Dm7/11 chord and Eb Dorian for the Ebm7/11 chord.

Listen to the solo's on that cut, they are legendary! Do think they are playing nothing but a set of WHWWWHW? There's much more, and less, than that going on.

Check this out, I transcribed Miles first solo for the guitar: http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/Transcriptions/SoWhatTrumpetSolo.htm

Watch that first 8 bars, Miles isn't interested in using every note in the D Dorian scale. and listen to his outside notes (that are notes from the Eb Dorian in 'anticipation' for the Ebm7/11 chord coming up in the next couple of measure), pure classic anticipation moves...this creates tension letting the listen know somethings happening or changing.

Then listen how he resolves back to the Dm7 from the Ebm7.

Once you've memorized one scale, ONE set of notes, forget about all the other scale names and relations and start listening and learning some music that utilizes the scale.

This is the grand-daddy tune to learn for Dorian. Knock yourself out!


(And, if you want to learn that kick ass piano and bass intro to So What, I transcribed that too: http://lessons.mikedodge.com/lessons/Transcriptions/SoWhatIntro.htm)
Last edited by MikeDodge at Dec 21, 2009,
#35
Quote by guitarlord28
I'm sorry about this. My teacher told me that during lessons. I guess he was wrong. Please forgive the bad advice

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I understood your point about the shape of one mode in a certain key resembling other modes in other keys. You did say "basically" playing in E major. Maybe you meant the "shape" on the fretboard.

That little comparison you made might have turned a little light on for someone else that had never made that connection, which in turn might give them the confidence to research it some more. Keep it up, and hopefully if you do misinterpret some theory in the future, someone with more knowledge will correct you and explain things properly in a way that relates to you. Hopefully not in a degrading way that might discourage you from ever trying to help someone out who knows less that you do, or more importantly, discourage you in your own music endeavors.
#37
Quote by Sean0913
Are you serious man?

A scale, not a lead. E F G A B C D E - 7 notes....what is that?

Let me check...


C major from mediant to mediant. It resolves to C without any harmony behind it.
#38
Quote by MikeDodge

Norwegian Wood the Beatles - Mixolydian
I love this song.

But only parts of it are Mixolydian and it seems unfair to leave out the Dorian parts when it's the contrast between the 2 modes that is such a large part of what makes this song so beautiful.

Si
#40
Quote by 20Tigers
I love this song.

But only parts of it are Mixolydian and it seems unfair to leave out the Dorian parts when it's the contrast between the 2 modes that is such a large part of what makes this song so beautiful.




True, yes indeed there is Dorian involved. I didn't have "Mixolydian, and parts in Dorian"? I'll check it. I must've copied out of a different modal lesson I wrote where I didn't include it. But yes, Dorian should be there too.
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