#1
I've been touching on modes and modal music lately. I've been through my own little process lately where I'm teaching myself how to find, or “go into”, certain modes on the fretboard (with backing tracks). I’ve been through quite a few different on-line lessons and short tutorials and have taught myself how to associate what’s being taught to what I already know. This is the only way I can find the time to practically use what I learn.

Now I know some of you will say I’m learning things in reverse or that I’m not setting a solid foundation …ect, which is true. I’m not a young budding guitar player and I‘m not planning or expecting to make any kind of living off of this so It’s basically just for a better understanding of where I’m at now and trying to make a connection between what I know and what I’m trying to learn.

I don’t really want to get into how I taught myself or how I go about playing lead over a chord progression (I will if it helps though). Let’s just say it involves a little theory and common logic, but more shape and playing by ear and feel. I’m not very strong in chord and chord progression breakdown (meaning if a melody is possibly modal, I can't really tell), which I’m working on.

What I’d like to hear about is modal music and some of the comments or theory about it that I’ve heard lately.

For example:

Q:What makes music “modal”?

Q:Why is there a difference between something in Aeolian mode and rock music that uses the minor scale and minor pentatonic?

Q:Why doesn’t “modal music” use chord progressions? (or so I‘ve read more than once)

Q:How would some of you compose simple “modal music“?

Q:Explain “Vamp” and “Pedal Tone“.

Just these questions, which I know is plenty to cover a book, would be very helpful to me in making certain connections that I just haven’t had the time to touch on in specifics. Any reliable information would be useful and doesn’t have to go into fine detail.

What I’d also like to ask is, if any of you have any examples of what I’m asking is if you can think of how it applies or has applied to popular rock metal songs and certain songs or bands and guitar players in particular, like Megadeth, Van Halen or Testament for example, or whatever example you can think of that would be in context. Like how the lead player uses a certain mode over a particular riff and why it works.

Thanks to anyone who can give me their 2 cents on this. Any advice you can give me will not be taken in vain!
#2
Q4... I suck it out my thumb usually and just use my ear to experiment with what i know.

Perhaps Modal Jazz Composition and Harmony Volume 1 and 2 might help you out on your deeper questions and journey. Amazon may be able to help you out on that one... here's a review
Last edited by evolucian at Jan 8, 2010,
#3
With regards to the Aeolian mode question, I've always been under the impression that there isn't really a difference between Aeolian mode and the root minor scale, just that the modal name refers to the context in which it is being played (i.e. the chords you are playing over).
#4
Quote by Godbe
With regards to the Aeolian mode question, I've always been under the impression that there isn't really a difference between Aeolian mode and the root minor scale, just that the modal name refers to the context in which it is being played (i.e. the chords you are playing over).


That is the same impression I have.

Which is why I'm asking (as it's been suggested in the past).
#5
I disagree that a chord progression cannot be Modal, and this is based upon a study I did with a Berklee Professor, Don Lappin, and the notes I have. I believe in and do teach Modal composition, and they are definitely progressions. I'll let others have their opinions, but I have been instructing students on Modal Composition for years, so whatever you call it, it sounds different than a major and minor key, and I've always been a function before form kind of person. Whatever gets the job done. But I'm not about to argue the technical "correct" points of this with anyone...it works and Ive heard some really great results with our Academy Students, that's definitely not simple Major Minor stuff, so I'm gonna stick with what I do and teach, and defer the finer points to the gurus and experts.

Sean
#6
Quote by JudgeDrey
I've been touching on modes and modal music lately. I've been through my own little process lately where I'm teaching myself how to find, or “go into”, certain modes on the fretboard (with backing tracks). I’ve been through quite a few different on-line lessons and short tutorials and have taught myself how to associate what’s being taught to what I already know. This is the only way I can find the time to practically use what I learn.

Now I know some of you will say I’m learning things in reverse or that I’m not setting a solid foundation …ect, which is true. I’m not a young budding guitar player and I‘m not planning or expecting to make any kind of living off of this so It’s basically just for a better understanding of where I’m at now and trying to make a connection between what I know and what I’m trying to learn.

I don’t really want to get into how I taught myself or how I go about playing lead over a chord progression (I will if it helps though). Let’s just say it involves a little theory and common logic, but more shape and playing by ear and feel. I’m not very strong in chord and chord progression breakdown (meaning if a melody is possibly modal, I can't really tell), which I’m working on.

What I’d like to hear about is modal music and some of the comments or theory about it that I’ve heard lately.

For example:

Q:What makes music “modal”?

The use of one of the seven modes of the major (or minor scale) that resolves back to the I. For example D Dorian has the same notes as the C major scale but would resolve back to D. When you use mdoes you accent the pitches that give them their signature sound (ie. #4 in Lydian, b2 in Phygrian, flat 7 in mixolydian).

Q:Why is there a difference between something in Aeolian mode and rock music that uses the minor scale and minor pentatonic?

It's strictly a terminology issue really. Aeolian and the natural minor scale have identical notes. The mode would usually be played over the I chord, tho.

Q:Why doesn’t “modal music” use chord progressions? (or so I‘ve read more than once)

In can be, but usually since the scale degrees are shifted the tonic isn't as stable. Vamps(one or two chord repititions) and pedal tones are more appropriate in modal pieces. Modal jazz still uses progressions frequently.

Q:How would some of you compose simple “modal music“?

Try vamps or drones and then solo over top of them.

Q:Explain “Vamp” and “Pedal Tone“.

A vamp like alluded to is a repeating sequence of chords. It's called a ostinato in classical music. It's usually an accompainiment for other instruments to solo over.

A pedal tone is a fundemental tone that is sustained with a accopaining melody. For example, in metal when a guitarist palm mutes the open low-E string while playing melody on the adjacent string.



Just these questions, which I know is plenty to cover a book, would be very helpful to me in making certain connections that I just haven’t had the time to touch on in specifics. Any reliable information would be useful and doesn’t have to go into fine detail.

What I’d also like to ask is, if any of you have any examples of what I’m asking is if you can think of how it applies or has applied to popular rock metal songs and certain songs or bands and guitar players in particular, like Megadeth, Van Halen or Testament for example, or whatever example you can think of that would be in context. Like how the lead player uses a certain mode over a particular riff and why it works.

Thanks to anyone who can give me their 2 cents on this. Any advice you can give me will not be taken in vain!



Most metal or rock sticks to the minor or scale, some heavier stuff uses the Phygrian, but a majority of the time it's use of accidentals and not modes.
Last edited by Wiegenlied at Jan 8, 2010,
#7
Q:What makes music “modal”?

The key difference between modal music and tonal music is that tonal music is driven by harmonic resolution. i.e. The V7-I cadence. Modal music is based off of melodic resolution. Not the journey to the tonic chord, but to the root note.

Q:Why is there a difference between something in Aeolian mode and rock music that uses the minor scale and minor pentatonic?

The minor scale is a harmonic invention, and the name implies a tonal resolution to the minor chord. For example, in Minor music, the progression V7-i is taken unflinchingly, even though V7 includes notes that are outside the scale.

The Aeolian mode, on the other hand, although a minor mode, is looked at more through the lens or resolution to a root note.

Q:Why doesn’t “modal music” use chord progressions? (or so I‘ve read more than once)

Modal music can and does use chord progressions. That said, the idea of a chord progression is tonal in essence, and often leads the melody into tonal territory.

Q:How would some of you compose simple “modal music“?

Set up an E drone and play over it in E aeolian, Dorian, and Phrygian. Then make up some scales. As long as they resolve to the E root note, you're playing modal music. Hell, E blues is a classic modal jumping point.

Q:Explain “Vamp” and “Pedal Tone“.

A vamp is any repeated musical figure, particularly in an accompanying role. A vamp is often considered different from a riff, although there is significant overlap.

A pedal tone is any long, sustained tone. The word comes from the use of pedals in organ music, which are often allowed to sustain as a drone beneath the greater composition.
Quote by brownsfan456
Anything is possible with music which is sooo awesome


Quote by metal4all

I just learn the formula, apply it to a key, and use said notes on fretboard. Why? Cuz I'm not a pussy.
#8
The modes sticky explains most of this.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#9
Quote by food1010
The modes sticky explains most of this.


I understand this food. Like I said, I've been through a few different lessons and explanations. I just really wanted to hear a few various, shortened definitions.

Thank you to KenjiBeast and Wiegenlied. That's been very, very helpfull so far. You are indeed Gurus.
#11
Quote by food1010
The modes sticky explains most of this.


This.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.