#1
I read xxDarren's, Corwinoid's, and elvenkindle's very eye-opening stickies on modes and theory, and when I found I had questions, I wondered if I should be responding to those stickies. I then thought maybe not, when I saw the dating of them (two to six years), but if the site admins want me to post there instead, then I guess I can delete this post after cutting and pasting wherever they may wish. However this goes, I hope nobody gets too annoyed with me for asking.

I took a good look at xxDarren's "handbook" list of suggested chord progressions for modes in "How to make Chord Progressions" and then I saw some in elvenkindle's general theory post which were not listed in the book. For my ear, they all work, but can anyone recommend a more comprehensive resource? Well, maybe not too comprehensive, as there's a lot of progressions out there, but what sources do the readers here refer to as a source for progressions?

What I learned from these posts of the math relations between playable chords in some of the modes surprised me, even though I had already discovered for myself some of the their differences with 1-IV-V relationship which goes in the major and minor modes. It would be kinda nice to understand better the math which causes the change in chordal relationships from (for example) Ionian to Dorian, Lydian to Mixolydian - they seem to swing sort of wildly, with no apparent rhythm of change when you observe each mode in sequence. The same with the notes which are altered (in theory) altered from the major scale to produce each mode. Are there any conceptual devices, maybe analogous with the the Circle of Fifths, which can make what I'm playing easier to understand? I have it down what the posts say of mode "flavor" notes, which are caused by alterations to specific notes, and how good modal chords make use of the flavor, but the workings don't seem quite as orderly as everything which I've learned of theory so far. Maybe I shouldn't expect order with actual pitch differences in scales just because we alter the pitches to make each scale use the same step sequence, if so please don't be PO'd with me!

Thanks!
Last edited by 123fawr!!! at Jun 15, 2010,
#2
For Modal progressiosn take chords IV and V of the relative major and play them over the root of the mode.

So C lydian would be

C- D/C
#3
Quote by griffRG7321
For Modal progressiosn take chords IV and V of the relative major and play them over the root of the mode.

So C lydian would be

C- D/C


Oh, so in that way the I-IV-V still applies in the modes? I considered the possibility a day or two ago, and xxdarren's strictly-from-the-book list turned out to have at least one (the IV or the V). I saw no problems until I looked at Lydian and Mixolydian, and when I saw trouble that the I and IV overlap, I thought that I may have been thinking wrong. I couldn't be sure of why xxdarren's manual has only two-chord progressions listed for so many modes, even with modes where there isn't an overlap.

At the same time, I was wondering why G sounded pretty good to me when added to the i-ii or i-IV7 progression for E Dorian. This is the IV of the relative major (D), therefore your answer (which I was then considering) would add up for Dorian, but I also considered whether G used the "flavor note" C# (which it doesn't). I was even less sure of such scale logic when I didn't see III (relative major D) on the chart for Dorian.

I was trying to figure out why III sounded so good to me in Dorian (as I now notice is used by elvenkindle as well), or why it sounds better than any other chord which is good in the relative major, but also doesn't use the mode flavor tone. Guess it must be the subdominant relationship with the relative major root!

So, is the non-use of the flavor note why (for example) no Dorian progressions which contain III are included in xxDarren's apparently minimal manual? If a chord doesn't use the flavor note, but is IV or V to the relative major, then I need not worry that there could be an awkward change of key up ahead?

Thanks!
Last edited by 123fawr!!! at Jun 15, 2010,
#4
there is also one rule about music you may be forgetting. if it sounds good it is good.
#5
Quote by GiantSquid69
there is also one rule about music you may be forgetting. if it sounds good it is good.


Well, I've read at least one forum thread where you are warned that if certain relative major chords are used, then you may launch unintentionally into a bad key change, so I wanted to be sure. Then there's that other TS who is thrashing away on this forum as I wright this, because he didn't read the stickies first, and some dead-heads gave him bad information. Finally, there's that dead-head music - some people actually like that music, and THEY say it's good, but most don't seem to agree on that.
#6
You can experiment with them yourself. A modal chord progression requires only a few things to really work:

1) It resolves to the right chord (otherwise it wouldn't be modal/wrong mode)
2) It contains distinguishing tones (can't call it Lydian if it never uses a #4!)
3) The desired tonic assumes the bass of every chord (not required but it really helps)
4) The parent major or minor chord is never used.
5) The V7 of the parent major isn't used unless you're playing Mixolydian.

Am I missing any?
i don't know why i feel so dry
#7
Quote by 123fawr!!!
Well, I've read at least one forum thread where you are warned that if certain relative major chords are used, then you may launch unintentionally into a bad key change, so I wanted to be sure. Then there's that other TS who is thrashing away on this forum as I wright this, because he didn't read the stickies first, and some dead-heads gave him bad information. Finally, there's that dead-head music - some people actually like that music, and THEY say it's good, but most don't seem to agree on that.


If you're going to be mean to me get your facts right. First of all that was yesterday, and I'm soooo over it...

Second, I did read those stickies, but seeing wrong information stated so assuredly can confuse a body...

Third of all, it is good music. Listen to Terrapin Station all the way through and tell me its not brilliant.

Anywho, back to the TS, you asked for a more comprehensive resource, and voila! Here you go!

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_ultimate_guide_to_guitar_chapter_iv_3_chords_-_modal_chord_progressions.html
"His name is Robert Paulson"
#8
Quote by Eastwinn
You can experiment with them yourself. A modal chord progression requires only a few things to really work:

1) It resolves to the right chord (otherwise it wouldn't be modal/wrong mode)
2) It contains distinguishing tones (can't call it Lydian if it never uses a #4!)
3) The desired tonic assumes the bass of every chord (not required but it really helps)
4) The parent major or minor chord is never used.
5) The V7 of the parent major isn't used unless you're playing Mixolydian.

Am I missing any?


None that I can see, and I ain't pretending to know.
#9
Quote by Eastwinn
You can experiment with them yourself. A modal chord progression requires only a few things to really work:

1) It resolves to the right chord (otherwise it wouldn't be modal/wrong mode)
2) It contains distinguishing tones (can't call it Lydian if it never uses a #4!)
3) The desired tonic assumes the bass of every chord (not required but it really helps)
4) The parent major or minor chord is never used.
5) The V7 of the parent major isn't used unless you're playing Mixolydian.

Am I missing any?


1 and 2 are really the only necessary things here, though. 3 4 and 5 only serve to help. i wrote a composition in C dorian recently and used a Bbmaj7 chord (though the two most frequent chords were naturally Cmin(7) and Dmin7, with the occasional Ebmaj7 thrown in). what i'm saying is that the paren't major or minor chord can be used, but must be treated very carefully. same goes for using the V7 of the parent major -- but be even more careful with this than you would with using the parent major or minor chord itself.

basically, just be careful in general not to tonicize the relative major (unless, of course, it's intentional).
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#10
Quote by Unlockitall
If you're going to be mean to me get your facts right. First of all that was yesterday, and I'm soooo over it...

Second, I did read those stickies, but seeing wrong information stated so assuredly can confuse a body...


Sorry to be mean. I admit, it took me a couple of years trying to get my theory questions answered at different sites, starting out with information gleaned from various sources before I went from THINKING I understood mode theory to seeing it almost clearly. I asked questions which only showed how confused I was, and could not be answered helpfully, and I'll NEVER get over that. I know from firsthand experience that when the guys who know their stuff (and this forum is so huge that anyone who gives out bad info here will be quickly corrected) tell you that you need to spend hours or days reading what they point you to first, no matter how much already-learned material you must repeat in the process, that to do otherwise will only waste time for everybody, and most of all for you. I could really sense the frustration of these guys from having to deal with unanswerable questions endlessly, don't think I'd be nearly as patient with those who ask them if it were me. This time, I spent a couple of days reading it all, and then reading it again, until it finally clicked, but this didn't happen until I wrote, edited, and trashed several question posts which another re-read of the stickies eventually answered for me - and then, worried that I still may have posted a duplicate, or unnecessary question, I read your post. That's when I stopped worrying, started laughing, as I understood clearly why they always say "go read the stickies first" or "leave the modes alone". When you pay a guitar instructor the going rate for 1/2 an hour, feel free to ask away without reading the book first, but these guys volunteer!

Quote by Unlockitall

Third of all, it is good music. Listen to Terrapin Station all the way through and tell me its not brilliant.

Not only was my comment on "the Dead" intended to be lighthearted, but the irony of it should have been obvious - that there's really no point in having an argument on "good" music, only good theory and technique.

Quote by Unlockitall

Anywho, back to the TS, you asked for a more comprehensive resource, and voila! Here you go!

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/the_guide_to/the_ultimate_guide_to_guitar_chapter_iv_3_chords_- _modal_chord_progressions.html


Thanks - I'll give it a whirl!

As the dead-heads would say through their hippie hair, peace out!
#11
Quote by AeolianWolf
1 and 2 are really the only necessary things here, though. 3 4 and 5 only serve to help. i wrote a composition in C dorian recently and used a Bbmaj7 chord (though the two most frequent chords were naturally Cmin(7) and Dmin7, with the occasional Ebmaj7 thrown in). what i'm saying is that the paren't major or minor chord can be used, but must be treated very carefully. same goes for using the V7 of the parent major -- but be even more careful with this than you would with using the parent major or minor chord itself.

basically, just be careful in general not to tonicize the relative major (unless, of course, it's intentional).


Yeah I really shouldn't have wrote "required" because everything came out as generalities (except 1 and 2 obviously). Either way if you're looking for a fool proof way to make a modal progression, I think I got that down in my post. That said careful experimentation can bring you a world of new options (well, the word "options" and "modal" aren't exactly friends).
i don't know why i feel so dry
#12
Quote by AeolianWolf
1 and 2 are really the only necessary things here, though. 3 4 and 5 only serve to help. i wrote a composition in C dorian recently and used a Bbmaj7 chord (though the two most frequent chords were naturally Cmin(7) and Dmin7, with the occasional Ebmaj7 thrown in). what i'm saying is that the paren't major or minor chord can be used, but must be treated very carefully. same goes for using the V7 of the parent major -- but be even more careful with this than you would with using the parent major or minor chord itself.

basically, just be careful in general not to tonicize the relative major (unless, of course, it's intentional).


Uhhhh-waitaminute! 5 didn't register at first, but Corwinoid's manual excerpts list the V7 of the Dorian mode's parent major (if "parent major" is synonymous with "relative major", otherwise I'm in the dark with that term) as one of the basic recommendations. So, if I don't have my terms messed up, then what are your opinions on that manual? Here are the progressions which he said were taken from his manual:

I - Major -- I-IV-V7; V7-I; ii-V7-I
ii - Dorian -- i-ii; i-IV7
iii - Phrygian -- i-II
IV - Lydian -- I-II7
V - Mixolydian -- VII-I7; vi-VII-I7
vi - Aeolian (nat minor) -- i-iv-v; VI-VII7-i
vii - locrian -- i(dim)
#13
Quote by 123fawr!!!
Uhhhh-waitaminute! 5 didn't register at first, but Corwinoid's manual excerpts list the V7 of the Dorian mode's parent major (if "parent major" is synonymous with "relative major", otherwise I'm in the dark with that term) as one of the basic recommendations. So, if I don't have my terms messed up, then what are your opinions on that manual? Here are the progressions which he said were taken from his manual:

I - Major -- I-IV-V7; V7-I; ii-V7-I
ii - Dorian -- i-ii; i-IV7
iii - Phrygian -- i-II
IV - Lydian -- I-II7
V - Mixolydian -- VII-I7; vi-VII-I7
vi - Aeolian (nat minor) -- i-iv-v; VI-VII7-i
vii - locrian -- i(dim)


there's nothing wrong with that. I-II7 is quite common in lydian (though it's usually I-II). mixolydian is pretty obvious, so are ionian and aeolian (pretty much the same thing as a deceptive cadence in a major key, eh wot). dorian is fine, too - in fact, i-IV7 is fairly common.

there's nothing wrong with using them at all -- but if you do, be very clever with the voice-leading. incorrectly placed, they can destroy the modal feel extremely easily.

as general rules, though, the last three of eastwinn's suggestions are pretty effective. they're not the only way to do things modally, but remember that if you choose not to follow them, be very careful with your note choice. that's all.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.