#1
So I already get the basic concept of modes, and I'm learning the patterns, but some of it just doesn't really seem to work for me.

1. I know that (For Example) C Ionian and D Dorian have the same parent key, but they aren't in the same key, and have a very different sound, but whenever I try using the D Dorian, it still sounds like C Ionian, just in a different position. How do I improve my soloing in different Mode positions, and get each modes sound, without just copying the Ionian in a different position?

2. I've seen in a lot of the mode lessons that the different modes work well with different chords, and not so well with others, sadly, I know almost no chord theory at all, so if anyone has any good easy lessons on what chords work well with what modes, or just chords in general, that would help a lot.

Thanks!
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#2
First of all, if your song is in C major, you won't be playing D dorian, you'll just be playing C major in a different position. To play D dorian, use D as a pedal note and play the characteristic intervals of the dorian mode.

And learn the diatonic triad construction of the major scale.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#3
I'm not gonna pretend I'm a master of mode theory because I'm not, but my opinion is you need to get the sound of modes in your ear. You need to be able to imagine how the mode SHOULD sound before you can play it, if you can do that then you shouldn't have any trouble on the fretboard.

I'm not sure how you'd go about it though, I'd appreciate some suggestions as I've been struggling myself.
#4
Quote by Markus85
I'm not gonna pretend I'm a master of mode theory because I'm not, but my opinion is you need to get the sound of modes in your ear. You need to be able to imagine how the mode SHOULD sound before you can play it, if you can do that then you shouldn't have any trouble on the fretboard.

I'm not sure how you'd go about it though, I'd appreciate some suggestions as I've been struggling myself.

The key is emphasizing the characteristic intervals of the mode.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#5
Alright cool, how would I learn about the charachteristic intervals of a mode? Is it just pretty much the sound of the mode, or are there certain patterns I should be playing in each mode?
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#6
Quote by sites.nick
Alright cool, how would I learn about the charachteristic intervals of a mode? Is it just pretty much the sound of the mode, or are there certain patterns I should be playing in each mode?

Well, you should learn the major scale, because scales are derived from and described in relation to it.

Major Scale Intervals - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Minor Scale Intervals - 1,2,b3,4,5,b6,b7

Dorian Mode Intervals - 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7

Phrygian Mode Intervals - 1,b2,b3,4,5,b6,b7

Does this make sense?
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#7
So if I aimed to play in Dorian I should emphasize the b3 and b7? What exactly do you mean by emphasize? Play them notes more often? Louder/longer?
#8
Quote by hockeyplayer168
The key is emphasizing the characteristic intervals of the mode.


precisely. if you play D dorian and it sounds like C ionian, then it's C ionian - you're simply resolving to the wrong root.

traditionally, modes are in the realm of melody, but with modern modality, using chords in a modal context is becoming pretty common (where modes exist, at least). just keep an eye on your resolution - make sure it's going to D rather than C.

Quote by Markus85
So if I aimed to play in Dorian I should emphasize the b3 and b7? What exactly do you mean by emphasize? Play them notes more often? Louder/longer?


emphasize can mean whatever you want it to mean, but i wouldn't go with the b3 and b7 - that'll just make it sound like a pentatonic scale. emphasize the b3 and the natural 6. just make them stand out - make sure the listener knows it's not in a major or minor key.

just watch your harmony. if you're not careful, it might start to sound like it's in C major rather than D dorian. in modal composition, harmony is everything.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Last edited by AeolianWolf at Jun 8, 2010,
#9
Quote by Markus85
So if I aimed to play in Dorian I should emphasize the b3 and b7? What exactly do you mean by emphasize? Play them notes more often? Louder/longer?

Well, that's where personal choice and artistry comes into play. You would do it differently than me and I would do it differently than AeolianWolf.

Edit: lol and Carlos Santana would do it differently than Dream Theater, if we want to get extreme!
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
Last edited by hockeyplayer168 at Jun 8, 2010,
#10
hockeyplayer168 - ya, that makes sense, I guess I just need to practice more, and work on the intervals.

Aeolian Wolf - So basically, it's just keeping the root on, and finishing up with D? That makes sense, I just need to get used to that I guess.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#11
Quote by sites.nick
hockeyplayer168 - ya, that makes sense, I guess I just need to practice more, and work on the intervals.
Definitely, the easiest way to get familiar, is to just use the low E string as a pedal, and hop around the intervals for all the modes: E ionian, E dorian, E phrygian, etc.
Aeolian Wolf - So basically, it's just keeping the root on, and finishing up with D? That makes sense, I just need to get used to that I guess.

Yep. It is easy to slip into another key depending on your direction (this is fine though, always go with what you think sounds good).
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#12
Quote by sites.nick
hockeyplayer168 - ya, that makes sense, I guess I just need to practice more, and work on the intervals.

Aeolian Wolf - So basically, it's just keeping the root on, and finishing up with D? That makes sense, I just need to get used to that I guess.

It's no that simple - remember what you're doing is only part of the equation, the rest of the music generally plays a bigger role in deterrmining what scales you can and cannot use. If you're playing over a C major chord progression then you can't play D dorian, it doesn't technically even exist in that context. Conversely though, if you have a backing consisting solely of a repeating Dm7 chord and try to play C major over it again it's simply not possible, because that chord has established a tonal centre of D then the notes CDEFGAB will always be D Dorian regardless of what you do with them.

Remember, context is what matters most when considering modes. Obviously if there's no context then you can decide where the music goes, but even then it's very hard for a solo musician to play modally - arguably it's harder than playing with a backing. The reason being that we're incredibly conditioned to gravitate towards the major scale because it's what we're used to hearing. If you pick up a guitar and try to noodle around solo in a mode it's very hard to stop yourself from drifting back towards the relative major or minor simply because that's what sounds right to our ears. Modes are harmonically unstable, they don't really resolve the way we want things to so unless you know really know the sound of that mode you're going to struggle to stick to it.
Actually called Mark!

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#13
Quote by steven seagull
It's no that simple - remember what you're doing is only part of the equation, the rest of the music generally plays a bigger role in deterrmining what scales you can and cannot use. If you're playing over a C major chord progression then you can't play D dorian, it doesn't technically even exist in that context. Conversely though, if you have a backing consisting solely of a repeating Dm7 chord and try to play C major over it again it's simply not possible, because that chord has established a tonal centre of D then the notes CDEFGAB will always be D Dorian regardless of what you do with them.

Remember, context is what matters most when considering modes. Obviously if there's no context then you can decide where the music goes, but even then it's very hard for a solo musician to play modally - arguably it's harder than playing with a backing. The reason being that we're incredibly conditioned to gravitate towards the major scale because it's what we're used to hearing. If you pick up a guitar and try to noodle around solo in a mode it's very hard to stop yourself from drifting back towards the relative major or minor simply because that's what sounds right to our ears. Modes are harmonically unstable, they don't really resolve the way we want things to so unless you know really know the sound of that mode you're going to struggle to stick to it.



Thinking in terms of flavouring is a nicer way of looking at it... which will be argued as using accidentals... who gives a toss... its morning, i'm cranky.

We gravitate like birdman said... and its rather tricky changing modes mid stroke... but with clever note choice, anything is possible. I don't know, I like the term of flavouring better than the term modes cos this particular branch of MT is classically orientated in nature with old school laws and bullshit. Anyway, in need of some more black death...
Last edited by evolucian at Jun 9, 2010,
#14
Quote by sites.nick
So I already get the basic concept of modes, and I'm learning the patterns, but some of it just doesn't really seem to work for me.

1. I know that (For Example) C Ionian and D Dorian have the same parent key, but they aren't in the same key, and have a very different sound, but whenever I try using the D Dorian, it still sounds like C Ionian, just in a different position. How do I improve my soloing in different Mode positions, and get each modes sound, without just copying the Ionian in a different position?

2. I've seen in a lot of the mode lessons that the different modes work well with different chords, and not so well with others, sadly, I know almost no chord theory at all, so if anyone has any good easy lessons on what chords work well with what modes, or just chords in general, that would help a lot.

Thanks!


It's the context that defines the key/mode. You can create this context melodically and unaccompanied if you understand how and/or can hear it, but obviously you would most often be playing over chords. Those chords are the context that will decide your key/mode.


The more chords you have, the more you are locked into the particular key/mode that they define.

a single chord vamp is more ambiguous which allows you to define the mode.

example:

C Maj chord (triad).....

useable modes/scales:
C Major (or Ionian if you must)
C Lydian
C Mixolydian


A chord progression defines the key....... you are bound to this.

|Dm7 | Dm7| F| G :|

usable mode/scale:
D dorian


Now, thats the basic idea, but there are more details that will make sense when you're ready for it. The thing is, to make sense of this you really have to understand tonal harmony. There are no shortcuts, you simply have to decide to get into theory, and then study & be patient.... because you don't start here.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 9, 2010,
#15
So, you can't play a certain mode unless the rest of the music resolves to the same root?
"His name is Robert Paulson"
#16
Quote by Unlockitall
So, you can't play a certain mode unless the rest of the music resolves to the same root?

Yes, to play any mode, for example, in C (C ionian, C dorian, C phrygian, etc.), it must resolve to C. If it doesn't, you're in a different key.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#17
Quote by Unlockitall
So, you can't play a certain mode unless the rest of the music resolves to the same root?

well... technically you can... but you have to have clever note choices or you are going to flop
#18
Quote by GuitarMunky
It's the context that defines the key/mode. You can create this context melodically and unaccompanied if you understand how and/or can hear it, but obviously you would most often be playing over chords. Those chords are the context that will decide your key/mode.


The more chords you have, the more you are locked into the particular key/mode that they define.

a single chord vamp is more ambiguous which allows you to define the mode.

example:

C Maj chord (triad).....

useable modes/scales:
C Major (or Ionian if you must)
C Lydian
C Mixolydian


A chord progression defines the key....... you are bound to this.

|Dm7 | Dm7| F| G :|

usable mode/scale:
D dorian


Now, thats the basic idea, but there are more details that will make sense when you're ready for it. The thing is, to make sense of this you really have to understand tonal harmony. There are no shortcuts, you simply have to decide to get into theory, and then study & be patient.... because you don't start here.


So it sounds like I'm gonna have to start learning a ton of chord theory, and stuff like that before I can really get into the whole mode thing. Does Chord theory cover Tonal Harmony, or would that just be in it's own little category thing?
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#19
Quote by sites.nick
So it sounds like I'm gonna have to start learning a ton of chord theory, and stuff like that before I can really get into the whole mode thing. Does Chord theory cover Tonal Harmony, or would that just be in it's own little category thing?



Well, chord "construction" is an important piece of the puzzle. "chord theory" is just a misnomer...... it's all part of "music theory".

There is alot to it, but if you start at the beginning and have the patience to work your way through it step by step.... you'll likely have a rewarding experience.

Keep in mind you can still be playing music and learning songs for fun as you play "catch up" on the theory side. Which is great, because that music will give you some much needed context that will make your studies more meaningful.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 9, 2010,
#20
Quote by GuitarMunky
|Dm7 | Dm7| F| G :|

usable mode/scale:
D dorian
That looks a lot like C major to me.

It's just a ii IV V progression in C.

Pedal a D under that and then D dorian seems plausible.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#21
I wrote a post about resolution for plugging purposes in these threads. Check my signature.

food1010: Did you play it? It clearly resolves to Dm. You could really approach it two ways. First, as a Dorian progression. Second, as a Dm progression with a borrowed IV. The difference is that the former would have nat 6s all around while the latter would only have a nat 6 over the last bar. I'm about to play with both.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#22
Quote by Eastwinn
I wrote a post about resolution for plugging purposes in these threads. Check my signature.

food1010: Did you play it? It clearly resolves to Dm. You could really approach it two ways. First, as a Dorian progression. Second, as a Dm progression with a borrowed IV. The difference is that the former would have nat 6s all around while the latter would only have a nat 6 over the last bar. I'm about to play with both.
No, I didn't play it. Maybe I should. It just seems like a V I in C seems a lot stronger than a IV i in D dorian, particularly since (in the key of C) both chords other than G can function as predominant. Predominant, dominant (tonic) seems a lot more logical to me than tonic, mediant, subdominant (minor tonic).

Then again, I didn't play it.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#23
Dm7 - F - G? i wouldn't call that C major, nor would i call it D dorian. looks like a i - bIII - IV. pretty common in minor keys, especially in pop music.

that's not to say that you couldn't make it dorian, though.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#24
Quote by AeolianWolf
Dm7 - F - G? i wouldn't call that C major, nor would i call it D dorian. looks like a i - bIII - IV. pretty common in minor keys, especially in pop music.

that's not to say that you couldn't make it dorian, though.
Come to think of it, D minor does make a lot of sense. I still have to play it to see.

Edit: Just plugged it in on Guitar Pro. It seems to me that both D minor and C major work equally well. I guess it just depends on which direction you want to take it.

I wouldn't really call it tonally ambiguous, but I think it's hard to call it one or the other without a melody to base the assumption off of.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jun 9, 2010,
#25
I made a little backing track and started writing a solo over it. Nat 6 sounded best all over. I'd go ahead and call it D Dorian.
i don't know why i feel so dry
#26
Quote by food1010
That looks a lot like C major to me.

It's just a ii IV V progression in C.

Pedal a D under that and then D dorian seems plausible.


thats understandable since they share the same key signature/notes/chords.

its D dorian though. There is no C in the progression and it resolves to the Dm.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 9, 2010,
#27
Quote by GuitarMunky
its D dorian. There is no C in the progression. resolves to the Dm
So? There doesn't have to be a C in there. You could write a whole song without a single C and it can be in the key of C.

||: Em | Am | Dm7 | G7 :||

Are you going to tell me that's E phrygian because it starts each repeat on Em and doesn't use a C? No, it's an unresolved diatonic circle progression in C, starting on the mediant.

Quote by GuitarMunky
its D dorian though. There is no C in the progression and it resolves to the Dm.
G to C is a way stronger resolution than G to Dm. The former is an authentic cadence and the latter is a plagal (I don't even know if you can call it that in a minor key). Seriously, which is more convincing: V - I or IV - i?
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jun 9, 2010,
#28
^ I gave 2 criteria...

1) there was no C chord.


AAaaaanndd...


2) it resolves to D minor. (not C Major)


You're going on about 1 thing as if it was the ONLY thing.


and no, you probably won't find a comlete song in C Major that does not include a C Major chord. Maybe in some odd case where someone was trying to make a point of not resolving..... like to leave you hanging, or to try and win an argument online.... but thats not at all like the little progression I wrote..... and it's not the norm.

Quote by food1010


G to C is a way stronger resolution than G to Dm. The former is an authentic cadence and the latter is a plagal (I don't even know if you can call it that in a minor key). Seriously, which is more convincing: V - I or IV - i?


I know what cadences are, and I know a perfect cadence is a "stronger" resolution. Those things are irrelevant though because a composer choses their materials based on whether or not that sound fulfills their artistic needs...... not based on what a theory book says is a "stronger resolution". Otherwise every song would end in a perfect authentic cadence, because its the "strongest".
I chose to resolve that progression to D..... so it does. Since it does, its a D dorian progression. Had I chosen a C for the end 1st chord, we would have a I IV V in C Major..... not D dorian. I chose to make it dorian, because its more consistent with the thread. It is what it is, and its not really even arguable if you understand modes.


@ Eastwinn.

Try the minor - dorian thing with a backing track.

IMO It doesn't work. The notes will technically fit, but personally I don't it sounds good/ consistent with common practice. Of-course I could be convinced by audio examples.
Not trying to pick an argument btw..... I just really think you should take a listen to it in context.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 9, 2010,
#29
Quote by sites.nick
So I already get the basic concept of modes, and I'm learning the patterns, but some of it just doesn't really seem to work for me.

1. I know that (For Example) C Ionian and D Dorian have the same parent key, but they aren't in the same key, and have a very different sound, but whenever I try using the D Dorian, it still sounds like C Ionian, just in a different position. How do I improve my soloing in different Mode positions, and get each modes sound, without just copying the Ionian in a different position?

2. I've seen in a lot of the mode lessons that the different modes work well with different chords, and not so well with others, sadly, I know almost no chord theory at all, so if anyone has any good easy lessons on what chords work well with what modes, or just chords in general, that would help a lot.

Thanks!


1. The sound of the mode has so much to do with the chords that are present. Otherwise just drone a note.

2. If you want to understand modes and chords without knowledge of chord theory and commitment to the basics, sadly that's not going to happen. That kind of knowledge only comes with commitment to master the essentials of theory.

Best,

Sean
#30
Why you arguing with munky, food? He gave you a progression to work with... and it is in a songwriting tradition. If you make it G7 it returns to Dm7 just as beautifully. Using Dm to solo in will clash a bit on the G... maybe quite a bit depending on how hard you stress the Bb... D Dorian is perfect over it anyway.

And seeing as it is (another) modal thread... examples work. Especially ones that resolve to said mode.

....edit: if you truly want to let loose and play different scales on the prog, you could play D harmonic minor and D Dorian to F Lydian to G Lydian. But that would not be the spirit of the thread, although the note choices and sounds available from G Lydian to D harmonic minor sound absolutely stunning... but then again... its a Dorian prog and no need to experiment like that if you want to enforce Dorian.
Last edited by evolucian at Jun 10, 2010,
#31
GuitarMunky: Dorian the whole time sounded best.
i don't know why i feel so dry