#1
Hi all,

I think I'm starting to understand modes in terms of their relationship to pentatonic scales, but I was wondering: do the 5 modes of the pentatonic scale change depending on the key you're in?
#2
Quote by SJPitrellifan
Hi all,

I think I'm starting to understand modes in terms of their relationship to pentatonic scales, but I was wondering: do the 5 modes of the pentatonic scale change depending on the key you're in?


So you mean that you understand, how an A Minor Box scale pattern is just one pattern that can be played over a D Dorian progression?

The question is confusing. But if the "Key" as you are expressing it here though Modes aren't really "Keys"... changed, that box would change also, yes. For example, in G Dorian you could play a D minor Box pattern.

But I'm not following how you are linking Pentatonics to Modes, mate.

Whats your theory background?

Best,

Sean
#3
Quote by SJPitrellifan
Hi all,

I think I'm starting to understand modes in terms of their relationship to pentatonic scales, but I was wondering: do the 5 modes of the pentatonic scale change depending on the key you're in?

Modes don't really have a direct relationship to pentatonic scales. They have a direct relationship to the major scale, which in turn has a direct relationship to pretty much everything in western music. However there's little to be gained or learned from trying to shunt the two together, other than the incidental fact that they share some notes and therefore the patterns will overlap. It's mildy interesting to note , but in the greater scheme of things it's of very little value so not worth dwelling on - there's far more important, fundamental things to concern yourself with when it comes to theory.
Actually called Mark!

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#4
Quote by steven seagull
Modes don't really have a direct relationship to pentatonic scales. They have a direct relationship to the major scale, which in turn has a direct relationship to pretty much everything in western music. However there's little to be gained or learned from trying to shunt the two together, other than the incidental fact that they share some notes and therefore the patterns will overlap. It's mildy interesting to note , but in the greater scheme of things it's of very little value so not worth dwelling on - there's far more important, fundamental things to concern yourself with when it comes to theory.


Ah, ok. I guess I was focusing too much on that indirect relationship. Thanks for the reply.
#5
Quote by Sean0913
So you mean that you understand, how an A Minor Box scale pattern is just one pattern that can be played over a D Dorian progression?

The question is confusing. But if the "Key" as you are expressing it here though Modes aren't really "Keys"... changed, that box would change also, yes. For example, in G Dorian you could play a D minor Box pattern.

But I'm not following how you are linking Pentatonics to Modes, mate.

Whats your theory background?

Best,

Sean


Nevermind, I guess I was trying to short-cut in terms of learnig.

My theory background is pretty basic. I know the basic major, minor, and seventh chords, and am starting to learn more advanced chords and inversions. I know the major and minor scales, the major and minor pentatonics, and am working on modes.

Thanks for the reply.
#6
I feel it's best to approach modes as their own little evolutionary branch when it comes to music...if the majority of the world is the major scale and all it encompasses then modes are kind of like the Galapagos Islands. The basic building blocks are the same but everything's done a little bit differently - most modern music can be described by the major scale because it's such a flexible system, you can use any note you want, lump notes together in harmonies and use dissonance as much as you like. Anything and everything can be accomodated and accounted for within its structure.

Modes are a more restrictive way of working with notes...melody, not harmony is at core of thinking and if a note's not there you aren't supposed to use it. Those limited resources force you to create in a certain way, there's only so many ways you can arrange the same 7 notes and when you combine that with a static tonic it's practically impossible to avoid sounding a certain way. Just as the limited gene pool in a place like the Galapagos Islands funnels evolution down a much narrower channel, a modal structure removes a lot of your options when it comes to composing.

However...

...those limited options can come in handy as the sheer scope of the major scale can occasionally make life difficult. Because it's all so open it can sometimes be difficult to decide where to go next - taking a modal approach when composing can be quick way to change things round or bust yourself out of a rut.

The most important thing to keep in mind are the rules that govern modes, if you're playing in a diatonic key with a typical chord progression then you're in a key and modal theory doesn't apply. However, if you're familiar with the signature sounds of the modes and the chords they work over you can use that knowledge to help you choose notes from outside the scale. You're not using modes as such, rather using your knowledge of modes to give you a better idea of what the next note will sound like. If you're playing over a static chord, bassline or vamp then you're very much in modal territiory should you want to go there, and then just to confuse matters there's that fuzzy area inbetween where things could arguably go either way
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