#1
Scales modes... whatever these would be considered...

I've been playing for about five years now and, regrettably, just started getting into the theory side of things.

I haven't seen an explanation that makes sense to me for some reason... what exactly is the difference between different "modes?"

Like the difference between Cmajor and Ddorian... it's the same notes so how is it different?

Sorry for the noob question. ^_^

- Jeremy
#2
c major has C as the root note D dorian had D as the root note
if you wereplaying in d dorian you would resolve to d
#5
Quote by Waikyoku
just started getting into the theory side of things.


Well there's you're problem...

You can't just start out learning theory with modes (trust me, I've tried). Make sure you have a strong understanding of Tonal theory (Major Scale, Scale Degrees, Key Signature) before you start getting into modes.

Here's a good website to get you started: www.musictheory.net/lessons

To answer you're question (using the short answer), all the relative modes have a different root note, which changes how all the other notes interact with the root note.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#6
Quote by AeolianWolf
i second both responses given so far.


this here made my day
many times have i tried to answer a theory question only to be beat by aeolian wolf
#7
its a different way of looking at the same set of notes, you can play d dorian when in the key of c major (specifically over the II chord), and it will have a different mood than c major but still be in key
#8
Quote by cardsfan3
its a different way of looking at the same set of notes, you can play d dorian when in the key of c major (specifically over the II chord), and it will have a different mood than c major but still be in key


Not quite, you can't play D Dorian in C Major, because D Dorian is a completely different scale, just made of the same notes. That's like saying you can play A Minor in C Major, but if you're playing A Minor, you're playing A Minor.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#9
Quote by sites.nick
Not quite, you can't play D Dorian in C Major, because D Dorian is a completely different scale, just made of the same notes. That's like saying you can play A Minor in C Major, but if you're playing A Minor, you're playing A Minor.


you can play the d dorian "scale" in the "key" of C major. that's what i'm trying to say.
#10
Quote by cardsfan3
its a different way of looking at the same set of notes, you can play d dorian when in the key of c major (specifically over the II chord), and it will have a different mood than c major but still be in key


Oh, I see, I just kind of misread that (mixed up scale and key). I still think you'd call it the D Dorian Key, but that won't actually affect how you sound, because the two keys would be exactly the same.
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#11
you can get a D Dorian Flavor while playing in the key of Cmaj but it wouldn't technically be dorian cause its already keyed in CMaj

modes are very ambiguous

so its hard to convey thoughts on them without conflicting with whats proper and improper.


i still dont understand them 100% so i could be wrong
Last edited by Coagulation at Jul 11, 2010,
#12
Quote by supersac
this here made my day
many times have i tried to answer a theory question only to be beat by aeolian wolf


i wouldn't think of it as being "beat"; i'm simply expressing my viewpoint -- which, quite frankly, isn't always entirely correct.

Quote by cardsfan3
you can play the d dorian "scale" in the "key" of C major. that's what i'm trying to say.


well, it depends on the context. in the key of C major, it is possible to play the D dorian scale -- just like it's possible to play an Ab major scale or F# melodic minor scale in the key of C major. however, when given context -- shall we say, a ii-V-I in C major (Dm-G7-Cmaj), you do not play D dorian, G mixolydian, and C major -- you would only be playing C major, because that is how the context defines it.

Quote by Coagulation
you can get a D Dorian Flavor while playing in the key of Cmaj but it wouldn't technically be dorian cause its already keyed in CMaj

modes are very ambiguous

so its hard to convey thoughts on them without conflicting with whats proper and improper.


i still dont understand them 100% so i could be wrong


i wouldn't say modes are ambiguous at all. they're actually straightforward (and by the nature of modal counterpoint, very strict, although the laws of modal counterpoint don't really govern modal compositions as we know them today), but context can change that. i wouldn't say you could get a D dorian flavor while playing in the key of C major. the closest thing you could probably get to that is a C dorian feel, but you'd just be using accidentals. as you said, if you played D dorian in that context, it would really be C major because that is how the context has defined it.

if you were playing in C major and you wanted to switch to D dorian, you'd have to modulate to D dorian. this can be difficult because the flavor of C major is already in the head of the listener. generally speaking, it is easier to modulate from D dorian to C major than it is from C major to D dorian -- or perhaps i should say that it is not necessarily more difficult to modulate, but that it is more difficult to force the listener to realize that the tonal center has shifted to D. it is not by any means impossible, however.

don't worry about what's "proper" and "improper" so much. the reason that you don't solo over a Dm chord in the key of C major using D dorian isn't because some composer just up and said "this is improper". it's because the context would define it as C major, and this is the most logical way to analyze it.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#13
Quote by AeolianWolf
if you played D dorian in that context, it would really be C major because that is how the context has defined it.


But your taking a dorian approach to C major if you play a D dorian scale over it. Thats the best example of modal theory being put to good use. It IS in the key of c major, because it uses the same seven notes.

Quote by AeolianWolf
if you were playing in C major and you wanted to switch to D dorian, you'd have to modulate to D dorian. this can be difficult because the flavor of C major is already in the head of the listener.


Awesome, lets challenge the listener then.

Quote by AeolianWolf
the reason that you don't solo over a Dm chord in the key of C major using D dorian isn't because some composer just up and said "this is improper". it's because the context would define it as C major, and this is the most logical way to analyze it.


what your saying is improper is a core concept of jazz lead playing. If you play a Dm chord in the key of C the D dorian scale fits perfectly over it because its tonal center is the same as the chord and it emphasizes a minor tonality.
#14
Quote by cardsfan3
But your taking a dorian approach to C major if you play a D dorian scale over it. Thats the best example of modal theory being put to good use. It IS in the key of c major, because it uses the same seven notes.


Awesome, lets challenge the listener then.


what your saying is improper is a core concept of jazz lead playing. If you play a Dm chord in the key of C the D dorian scale fits perfectly over it because its tonal center is the same as the chord and it emphasizes a minor tonality.



the problem with this is that saying you're playing a D dorian scale over a Dm chord in the key of C major quite obviously suggests bitonality. if the tonal center is C, then D dorian has no place here.

it is also possible that it suggests a modulation. the thing is, though, if you play a Dm-G7-Cmaj progression, soloing over it with D dorian, G mixolydian, and C major, same notes or not, you are changing the key (and therefore the tonal center) with each chord. if you play only C major, emphasizing chord tones, you keep your tonal center. there are times for both approaches.

genre aside, it is inefficient. basically you're just making more work for yourself to have to think in terms of three scales when thinking in terms of one and emphasizing chord tones will do you just fine. if you encounter something like a Bbm chord in a composition in C major, then you've got to bring some other scales into the mix, otherwise you'll just be swamped with accidentals.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#15
Quote by AeolianWolf
there are times for both approaches.


thank you.

Quote by AeolianWolf
genre aside, it is inefficient. basically you're just making more work for yourself to have to think in terms of three scales when thinking in terms of one and emphasizing chord tones will do you just fine.


True, but my approach will emphasize chord tones more so, maybe involving more work, but it brings a different approach to it that will yield different results. Obviously if you can't pick out which mode goes where on the fly you might not want to attempt it.
#16
Quote by cardsfan3
True, but my approach will emphasize chord tones more so, maybe involving more work, but it brings a different approach to it that will yield different results. Obviously if you can't pick out which mode goes where on the fly you might not want to attempt it.


but that's just it. your approach DOESN'T emphasize chord tones in a key -- it modulates completely.

when i said there are times for both approaches, i meant that there are times when you want to stay in key and solo over a progression, and there are times when you want to change key with every change in harmony.

neither way is objectively good or bad, better or worse.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#17
Quote by Waikyoku
Scales modes... whatever these would be considered...

I've been playing for about five years now and, regrettably, just started getting into the theory side of things.

I haven't seen an explanation that makes sense to me for some reason... what exactly is the difference between different "modes?"

Like the difference between Cmajor and Ddorian... it's the same notes so how is it different?

Sorry for the noob question. ^_^

- Jeremy


if you are just getting into theory, the best thing I can advise as to not bother with modes right now.

seriously. start at the beginning. Get a book..... take a class. Work your way up in a graduated manner building step upon step. Then you will be in a position to truly understand them.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Jul 11, 2010,
#18
Quote by AeolianWolf
but that's just it. your approach DOESN'T emphasize chord tones in a key -- it modulates completely.

when i said there are times for both approaches, i meant that there are times when you want to stay in key and solo over a progression, and there are times when you want to change key with every change in harmony.

neither way is objectively good or bad, better or worse.


ok, i was thinking of emphasizing chord tones differently, but i see what you mean by that.

what's important is that we scared him away from modal theory with all this Now he'll start at the beginning for sure.
#19
Quote by cardsfan3
what's important is that we scared him away from modal theory with all this Now he'll start at the beginning for sure.


damn straight!
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#20
Quote by cardsfan3
you can play the d dorian "scale" in the "key" of C major. that's what i'm trying to say.
No, you can't. You can play the D dorian scale in the key of D (major or minor) or in D dorian. Not in C major though.

Quote by cardsfan3
what's important is that we scared him away from modal theory with all this Now he'll start at the beginning for sure.
I agree with this statement.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#21
Haha... didn't completely scare me away. When I said I was just getting into theory that was a little misleading... I know a bit of theory already from being a band geek and all that jazz... but just now getting into modes/scales/keys... Learned a lot of the chord theory / progression yada yada. Just these different "types" of modes are kinda confusing.

And this thread hasn't helped too much... same as other forums where people debate over what is "right." But I do appreciate everyone's help.

Theory is just... wow. There's a lot. I'll be / have been spending way too much time learning it.

Thanks,
Jeremy
#22
Quote by Waikyoku
Haha... didn't completely scare me away. When I said I was just getting into theory that was a little misleading... I know a bit of theory already from being a band geek and all that jazz... but just now getting into modes/scales/keys... Learned a lot of the chord theory / progression yada yada. Just these different "types" of modes are kinda confusing.

And this thread hasn't helped too much... same as other forums where people debate over what is "right." But I do appreciate everyone's help.

Theory is just... wow. There's a lot. I'll be / have been spending way too much time learning it.

Thanks,
Jeremy
I suggest you work more on scales/keys - know them like the back of your hand - before you move on to modes. That's my advice.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
#23
Quote by Waikyoku
Haha... didn't completely scare me away. When I said I was just getting into theory that was a little misleading... I know a bit of theory already from being a band geek and all that jazz... but just now getting into modes/scales/keys... Learned a lot of the chord theory / progression yada yada. Just these different "types" of modes are kinda confusing.

And this thread hasn't helped too much... same as other forums where people debate over what is "right." But I do appreciate everyone's help.

Theory is just... wow. There's a lot. I'll be / have been spending way too much time learning it.

Thanks,
Jeremy

That's because you haven't yet properly learned the stuff you need to enable you to make sense of them.

Forget modes for the time being, they're not relevant to you at this stage. The major and minor scales are what you need to concentrate on for the time being.
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#24
I second everyone advising to put modes in the fridge for now.

But to clear up some confusion: you need to split the idea of a "mode" being a pattern on your fretboard, and what actualy is a mode.

The major scale, but arguably all if not most scales, arent just a collection of notes but also a 'context' for those notes and the chords you make from them.
What modes do, in essence, is that altough the notes between say CMajor / Ionian and D Dorian are the same, the context is different. Instead of C Major being the tonic or I chord and GMajor becomming the dominant or V chord, D minor becommes the tonic or i chords and A minor becoms the v.

In shorthand: the intervals become somewhat different, the chords become different, and thus the feel becomes different.

Just keep in mind that for a modal feel, the lead pattern on your fretboard is of much lesser importance then the progression behind it, the caddences that resolve etc.

Playing the pattern called dorian over a progression that resolves in Major scale is still Major.
#25
Truthfully, the two answers at the beginning were the answers that you needed.

Do it your way - piecemeal modes however you wish, but the prediction will be that it will be like trying to chop down a tree with the broad edge of a spoon. That is because we understand theory and modes and so we understand what prerequisites are necessary to have a strong grasp of things.

But hey, swing away, feel free.

Sean
Last edited by Sean0913 at Jul 12, 2010,
#26
Quote by ShadesOfGray
I second everyone advising to put modes in the fridge for now.

But to clear up some confusion: you need to split the idea of a "mode" being a pattern on your fretboard, and what actualy is a mode.

The major scale, but arguably all if not most scales, arent just a collection of notes but also a 'context' for those notes and the chords you make from them.
What modes do, in essence, is that altough the notes between say CMajor / Ionian and D Dorian are the same, the context is different. Instead of C Major being the tonic or I chord and GMajor becomming the dominant or V chord, D minor becommes the tonic or i chords and A minor becoms the v.

In shorthand: the intervals become somewhat different, the chords become different, and thus the feel becomes different.

Just keep in mind that for a modal feel, the lead pattern on your fretboard is of much lesser importance then the progression behind it, the caddences that resolve etc.

Playing the pattern called dorian over a progression that resolves in Major scale is still Major.



This explains things very well... thank you.

Chords tonic through leading are the thing that make it sound different since they'll be differenct chords... This explanation was awesome.

thanks
#27
Different Modes Have differnt sounds. ex. Phrygian is a minor made.the Phrygian mode is related to the modern natural minor musical mode, also known as the Aeolian mode: the Phrygian scale differs in its second scale degree, which is a semitone lower than that of the Aeolian. Anyway D Dorian mode is simply the C Major scale where the tonal center has been shifted to the D note. In other words, the D note becomes the Tonic. This shift in tonality results in a minor scale mode known as the D Dorian mode. The notes, however, are still the same as those of the C Major scale. This concept can be applied chromatically to every Major scale.