#1
I read and watched the videos posted about modes, and it is informative.. But what I dont understand is why certain chords mean certain modes.

Lets say I was Playing Knocking on heavens door. Its just GMaj DMaj and CMaj. Very Simple. That would open up all the modes that spawn from the G Major scale right? Like G Ionian A Dorian B Phrygian C Lydian D Mixolydian E Aeolian and F# Locrian right?

The way I have been looking at it for years was in 3 note per string patterns such as below


Ionian

e| | |X| |X|X|
B| | |X| |X|X|
G| |X|X| |X| |
D| |X|X| |X| |
A|X| |X| |X| | 
E|X| |X| |X| |

Dorian

e| |X|X| |X|
B| |X|X| |X|
G|X| |X| |X|
D|X| |X| |X|
A|X| |X| |X|
E|X| |X|X| |

Phrygian

e| |X| |X| |X|
B| |X| |X| |X|
G|X| |X| |X| |
D|X| |X|X| | |
A|X| |X|X| | |
E|X|X| |X| | |

Lydian

e| | |X| |X| |X|
B| | |X| |X|X| |
G| |X| |X|X| | |
D| |X|X| |X| | |
A| |X|X| |X| | |
E|X| |X| |X| | |

Mixolydian

e| | |X| |X|X|
B| | |X|X| |X|
G| |X|X| |X| |
D|X| |X| |X| |
A|X| |X| |X| |
E|X| |X| |X| |

Aeolian(Minor)

e| | |X| |X|X|
B| |X| |X| |X|
G|X| |X| |X| |
D|X| |X| |X| |
A|X| |X|X| | |
E|X| |X|X| | |

Locrian

e| |X| |X| |X|
B| |X| |X| |X|
G|X| |X|X| | |
D|X| |X|X| | |
A|X|X| |X| | |
E|X|X| |X| | |



But after watching lessons I realize that these patterns may actually be a means to holding me back.

With Knocking on heavens door as long as the root note on Locrian is F# on the low E string then it should sound alright to be played over it right? Because after all the F# Locrian is merely G Ionian in another pattern?

This all confuses me!! Anyone able to make sense of what I am asking and explain the right way to memorize the modes?
#2
No because the riff is in 1 single key..... G Major

Modes are related to a parent key, in that they share the same key signature, but they are each unique scales on their own, with their own unique formula and sound. Knowing the appropriate place to use them requires a certain amount of knowledge.

The best thing you can do is spend some quality time with the Major and minor scales...... study MUSIC that uses them. Study the theory behind THAT music.

When you have enough experience there, then you'll be ready to look into modes.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jun 24, 2010,
#3
I'm not exactly sure what your asking, but I'll answer it the best I can...

The mode is determined by resolving the note to whatever note the root note should be for that mode.

The chords in the song help determine where the resolution of the root note should be, but also limits you to specific modes, depending if the notes in the chord are also in the scale you want to use.

For your last question about memorizing the modes, you don't have to memorize specific patterns, because all of the patterns have the exact same notes as the Major Scale it spawned from, just resolving on a different note.

What I do is simply play the Major Scale pattern, and make sure I am resolving on the root note for the mode I'm playing in.
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Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#4
Quote by Silvanarix
I read and watched the videos posted about modes, and it is informative.. But what I dont understand is why certain chords mean certain modes.


Certain chords don't mean certain modes. Certain chords imply certain modes. For example, if I just played a G7 it has a very Mixolydian sound because not only is it a Major chord, it has the flat seven. Thus making it a dominant chord, which is appropriate for the Dominant Mode (Mixolydian).

Same could be said with Csus#4 or any #4/#11 chords. You couldn't just play that major scale over them (well, you could... but that would defeat the purpose of what I'm trying to say!) since it has the #4, which is the "color tone" of Lydian.

Lets say I was Playing Knocking on heavens door. Its just GMaj DMaj and CMaj. Very Simple. That would open up all the modes that spawn from the G Major scale right? Like G Ionian A Dorian B Phrygian C Lydian D Mixolydian E Aeolian and F# Locrian right?


No. Modal music is much different than tonal music. When you have a tonal song, like Knocking on Heaven's Door, which has a specified key (in this case G Major) you can only play G Major. All of a sudden what you thought of as modes are now just positions of the major scale.

With Knocking on heavens door as long as the root note on Locrian is F# on the low E string then it should sound alright to be played over it right? Because after all the F# Locrian is merely G Ionian in another pattern?

This all confuses me!! Anyone able to make sense of what I am asking and explain the right way to memorize the modes?


It'll sound alright to play the pattern of F# Locrian. If you actually resolved to an F# it would not sound alright. Modes are about what you resolve to, not what you play. In Knocking on Heaven's Door the chords are G - D - C a I - IV - V in G Major. Nothing more. Nothing less. No modes involved.

Modes are a complex beast to those that have a loose grip on Tonal theory. Make sure you completely understand tonality before you delve into modality anymore.
#5
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Certain chords don't mean certain modes. Certain chords imply certain modes. For example, if I just played a G7 it has a very Mixolydian sound because not only is it a Major chord, it has the flat seven. Thus making it a dominant chord, which is appropriate for the Dominant Mode (Mixolydian).
G7 will only have a mixolydian sound when used in a mixolydian context. It's not like every time you see a dominant seventh chord you think "Ooh, I'm gonna play mixolydian over that!" In any dominant context (secondary dominant or not) it has nothing to do with mixolydian at all. You're just leading into the target chord, whether it means playing that scale or something.

Even if you have a dominant seventh as a tonic or something, don't worry about playing mixolydian unless it's in a mixolydian context. If you're in a major key, just play the major scale, altering it to account for the accidental. You don't need to say "I'm playing the mixolydian mode," because A) you're not and B) you're not. Plus I think it's simpler to just account for accidentals than to determine what odd scale you're playing.

Seriously, what do you say when you're playing over a 7#9 chord, or a 7#5b9 chord or something else odd like that?

Plus, 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 isn't even always the best choice over a tonicized dominant seventh chord. Sometimes 1 2 3 4 5 b6 b7 could sound better. Or even 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7. Don't limit yourself to one scale over a dominant seventh chord.

I'm not trying to discredit your point or anything, I'm just trying to clarify some things.

TS: Don't worry about modes yet at all. Get a firm understanding of tonal theory before you even think you know something about modes.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Jun 24, 2010,
#6
Quote by food1010
I'm not trying to discredit your point or anything, I'm just trying to clarify some things.

Don't worry, I completely understand. I was going to say "G7 - Dm" but that would discredit what I was trying to say. Honestly, if I saw a static G7 I'd probably ask where C was

We should probably point out that, even though the progression determines it a lot, it also has to do with the melody (maybe even moreso). The right melody over a G7 could have that Mixo. sound, but a different one could sound C Major, or F# Minor or what-have-you.
#7
Quote by DiminishedFifth
We should probably point out that, even though the progression determines it a lot, it also has to do with the melody (maybe even moreso). The right melody over a G7 could have that Mixo. sound, but a different one could sound C Major, or F# Minor or what-have-you.
Great point. Tonality (er, modality I guess) was determined by melody long before it was determined by harmony.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#8
It's good that TS has noticed something funky is going on.

You may have noticed that all those "different modes" sound the same. It's because there are no modes, and it's all the same scale. That's the G major scale.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
OP You're on the right track, once the key of a song is set It's modal patterns are no longer 'modes' per se, for example If a song was in the key of Cmajor playing an A minor scale pattern would simply be an extension of Cmajor in another position on the fretboard.

Now I'm going to assume that you can play those patterns quite well and you think think that they are keeping you locked in, but the truth is you can learn to chain those patterns together using the theory you presented yourself in your post.

I might get flamed for this advice because it's not really considered purist or conventional (some might say cheap) and a lot of people will tell you to disregard 'box patterns' and just learn the complete major scale on the fretboard.

But if you practice chaining enough you will be able to utilize the entire fretboard in any given key with the added advantage of note reference points you learned from box structure themselves.

Here's a good tip if you get lost while improvising: if you hit a semitone (or two notes on adjacent frets) you can always be sure that there is two tones on either side when moving on the same string, so you can use this to navigate to more familiar parts of the fretboard.

Hope that makes sense 0_o
lol guitar
#10
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Don't worry, I completely understand. I was going to say "G7 - Dm" but that would discredit what I was trying to say. Honestly, if I saw a static G7 I'd probably ask where C was

We should probably point out that, even though the progression determines it a lot, it also has to do with the melody (maybe even moreso). The right melody over a G7 could have that Mixo. sound, but a different one could sound C Major, or F# Minor or what-have-you.



Good one. I agree for your reply. The mode is determined by resolving the note to whatever note the root note should be for that mode.Certain chords imply certain modes.
#11
Short and sweet.

You can't play F# locrian in that song because the song is in G major and resolves to G. In order to play in F# locrian, you will be using to same notes as G major, but you must resolve to F#. (Don't experiment right now with locrian though, it's a very difficult mode to work with.)
Oh yeah.

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

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#12
The chords that are accompanying the scales that you play have a large part to what is modal and what isnt. You need to have the ability to dissect the scale and extract the chords from any scale to have a better understanding of characteristic notes and what makes something fit modally.

A solid understanding of how to construct chords on the fly of all types, and spell not only triads but extended chord types would go a long way for you (9ths 11s 13s, etc) in understanding why certain chords suggest certain modes. A lot of lessons try to distill it into the chords, but you, the player have no idea why. This is why your understanding is kept abstract.

Best,

Sean