#1
So I've been trying to learn how to solo over modes recently and although I've noticed quite a bit of progress, I feel like I'm getting trapped into a repetitive sound and I want to get some advice before it becomes a real problem... I know this is kinda similar to another recent thread but it's different enough that I didn't want to hijack it.

So... I guess I have a buncha questions so I'm just gonna list 'em...

1. It seems that only about 60% of the notes sound "good", and which notes these are depends on which notes I start on. It makes it feel like I might as well just be using a pentatonic sometimes. For example, in A Dorian, if I start with a 5-7-5 (C-D-C) hammer on G, it's really hard to use F# and B for the rest of my solo. I've been trying to do little runs through them using scale exercises (For example, A-B-C-B-C-D) and they work that way, but I can't just fret them out of nowhere. Is the answer to this, like everything else, merely practice? Just fearlessly hitting "bad" notes until i figure out how to use them? Or is there something I'm missing?

2. I was shown modes in G, and told that if I memorized the shape I could just move it around and play in any key. Browsing these forums, however, it seems that people really discourage using the same "shape"... but I don't know what other shapes to use.

3. Even when I pay full attention to avoiding this, I always end up in the same, plodding, old-school blues rhythmic pattern. I really like it, but it's not very versatile. Any tips to help me get some different styles going?

Thanks in advance for your help! I can maybe get a video up if people think it would help. Muchas nachos.
#2
Well what are you soloing over? Each mode has its own specific chords that make it a modal chord. Also, just playing shapes won't make it a modal solo. A mode has certain notes and intervals you want to emphasize. And in the end to make, a mode, a mode, the mode you are using (EX:A Dorian) has to resolve to A, i.e. the final epic end of your solo should sound really good when it ends with an A note.

EDIT : Modal chords

Read the first part of the concept section. Look and memorize the modal chords.
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Last edited by Dream Floyd at Jul 12, 2010,
#3
Quote by Dream Floyd
Well what are you soloing over? Each mode has its own specific chords that make it a modal chord. Also, just playing shapes won't make it a modal solo. A mode has certain notes and intervals you want to emphasize. And in the end to make, a mode, a mode, the mode you are using (EX:A Dorian) has to resolve to A, i.e. the final epic end of your solo should sound really good when it ends with an A note.

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#4
Quote by Dream Floyd
Well what are you soloing over? Each mode has its own specific chords that make it a modal chord. Also, just playing shapes won't make it a modal solo. A mode has certain notes and intervals you want to emphasize. And in the end to make, a mode, a mode, the mode you are using (EX:A Dorian) has to resolve to A, i.e. the final epic end of your solo should sound really good when it ends with an A note.


This gives me the feeling that the guy who explained modes to me did a very poor job... so I will do my best here, but my noobishness will probably show haha. I have been taught, and have thus been practicing, modes as one big shape. He did say there were some other modes that are so similar to the ones I know that it wasn't worth me learning them at this point in my playing. So for the sake of simplicity, if I'm using a backing track in G, I would use G Ionian, A Dorian, B Phrygian, C Mixolydian, and E Aeolian. Basically, whatever key I'm playing in, I will keep this same shape pattern of Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Mixolydian, Aeolian just starting on a different fret/note.

Now, I'm gonna go ahead and assume there are definitely other ways that I'm not aware of to play, say, a D Mixolydian than the stupid little shape I know. Moreover, I'm just playing a rough approximation of a modal solo because I'm just relying on that stupid little shape. So, assuming all this is correct... where the hell do I go from here to correct that?
Last edited by pbskl at Jul 12, 2010,
#5
hmmm, you might want to take a look at some of the modes lessons here on UG. modes are a very complicated concept to grasp, especially because there's several different ways to think about them. many people rush into modes and then give up because they get frustrated; the reality is that it takes time to develop skill with modes and become accustomed to them just as it does with building accurate technique, such as HOPO's or economy picking, etc.

EDIT: look here -

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1042392
Last edited by gnomieowns at Jul 12, 2010,
#6
I agree with all above but here's my two cents.
Modes aren't the same as modal patterns. A mode is when you try to make a note which is not the root of the scale, sound like the root. So technically, a good improviser wouldn't even need to know modal patterns. He could just use a major scale and try to force a certain note as the root even though its not
#7
Quote by pbskl
This gives me the feeling that the guy who explained modes to me did a very poor job...


Probably. They're very complicated. But the last thing you want to do is just the scale shapes over a chord progression. Also avoid playing Aoelian, Dorian, or Phrygian modes over the Gmajor : they're minor modes. Modes are just associating certain intervals with certain 'feelings'. Certain intervals emphasize certain modes.
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As my old guitar teacher once said: Metal really comes from classical music. The only difference is pinch harmonics, double bass, and lyrics about killing goats.
#8
Quote by Dream Floyd
Probably. They're very complicated. But the last thing you want to do is just the scale shapes over a chord progression. Also avoid playing Aoelian, Dorian, or Phrygian modes over the Gmajor : they're minor modes. Modes are just associating certain intervals with certain 'feelings'. Certain intervals emphasize certain modes.


Ok, so here's the really weird thing... if I select a given backing track in G, I like the sound of A Dorian, B Phrygian, and E Aeolian WAY more than G Ionian... but this is wrong? I know I'm confusing modes and shapes, but what shapes do I use if I want to stay in a given mode but move around the fretboard?

EDIT: Probably a better question is, if I want to practice soloing over a backing track in G using G Ionian, and I want to move out of the first five frets, how do I know which are notes "correct" unless I just move to the modal shapes that I know?
Last edited by pbskl at Jul 12, 2010,
#9
Quote by pbskl
Ok, so here's the really weird thing... if I select a given backing track in G, I like the sound of A Dorian, B Phrygian, and E Aeolian WAY more than G Ionian... but this is wrong? And if I'm not supposed to do what I'm doing... what should I be doing to practice soloing?

EDIT: Probably a better question is, if I want to practice soloing over a backing track in G using G Ionian, and I want to move out of the first five frets, how do I know which are "correct" unless I just move to the other corresponding shapes?


Obviously because it's more spicy. The sound of a minor solo of a major chord progression sounds good, but it's not in the same modal context.

Also, your 'G Major' chord progression might not really be in G. Where did you get it from?

EDIT to your edit : Well Ionian emphasis notes (that's a really rough way of saying it) would be a Major 3rd, 7th and Perfect fourth. but even then, it's all open to interpretation
Quote by theogonia777
and then there's free jazz, which isn't even for musicians.

Quote by Born A Fool
As my old guitar teacher once said: Metal really comes from classical music. The only difference is pinch harmonics, double bass, and lyrics about killing goats.
Last edited by Dream Floyd at Jul 12, 2010,
#10
Quote by pbskl
Ok, so here's the really weird thing... if I select a given backing track in G, I like the sound of A Dorian, B Phrygian, and E Aeolian WAY more than G Ionian... but this is wrong? I know I'm confusing modes and shapes, but what shapes do I use if I want to stay in a given mode but move around the fretboard?

EDIT: Probably a better question is, if I want to practice soloing over a backing track in G using G Ionian, and I want to move out of the first five frets, how do I know which are notes "correct" unless I just move to the modal shapes that I know?


here's another really weird thing -- you're not really playing modes. you're just playing shapes that you think are modes, but you're really just playing G major. if you have a backing track in G, you play G major. ionian has nothing to do with it, and neither do A dorian, B phrygian, and E aeolian. you may THINK that's what you like, but it's doubtful that you're really playing the modes -- if you were, you'd be suggesting two tonics, and i doubt you'd like the sound of that as much as you say you do. so really, you're just playing G major using different patterns. the guy who explained modes to you did a piss-poor job because he doesn't understand them himself.

if you want to move around the fretboard, you either combine shapes or forget them entirely.

how do you know which notes are correct? by learning theory. study and understand notes, chords, and keys. drop modes for the time being and focus on tonal harmony.

what progression are you soloing over in this backing track?

Quote by Dream Floyd
Probably. They're very complicated. But the last thing you want to do is just the scale shapes over a chord progression. Also avoid playing Aoelian, Dorian, or Phrygian modes over the Gmajor : they're minor modes. Modes are just associating certain intervals with certain 'feelings'. Certain intervals emphasize certain modes.


everyone always says modes are such a difficult concept - the reality is that this is completely untrue. modes are extremely simple to understand -- if you have a good background in tonal harmony.

how about avoid playing modes over a G major progression -- how about just use G major. the vast majority of people who say they're playing modes over a G major progression are really just playing G major.
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#11
Ok, that sounds pretty reasonable. I mean, zeG's thing just kinda jumps right into modes, I mean CLEARLY I have no idea what I'm talking about and I also clearly missed some steps along the way but.. what things should I know before modes, I guess? You said tonal harmony... anything else? Any good resources for this? By the way, as I frantically type this my brain shot off in some random direction and was like "Yo thank these guys because they're the bees' knees right now" so I'm going to take this opportunity to thank you for directing my misguided ambition to learn theory. You guys are seriously the bees' knees right now, no joke, and I don't throw that phrase around lightly.
#12
Quote by pbskl
Ok, that sounds pretty reasonable. I mean, zeG's thing just kinda jumps right into modes, I mean CLEARLY I have no idea what I'm talking about and I also clearly missed some steps along the way but.. what things should I know before modes, I guess? You said tonal harmony... anything else? Any good resources for this? By the way, as I frantically type this my brain shot off in some random direction and was like "Yo thank these guys because they're the bees' knees right now" so I'm going to take this opportunity to thank you for directing my misguided ambition to learn theory. You guys are seriously the bees' knees right now, no joke, and I don't throw that phrase around lightly.


well, ideally, you should be well grounded in tonal harmony. you should know keys, chords, intervals, notes, basically all the basics from the bottom up. to understand modes, i'd say an understanding of keys is the most important. once you understand C major as a key (and, ideally, A minor as well), and you look at D dorian, you're just going to go "oh, shit, is that all that is?"

as for a resource, http://www.musictheory.net is always helpful.
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#14
PBSKL: You should definitely read this ENTIRE column. It's what I've used to learn theory and it is the most complete theory guide I've ever found in 2-3 years of looking.
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/search.php?value=The+Ultimate+Guide+To+Guitar&search_type=columns

It is easy to understand, and you will be able to learn how modes work if you follow this guide. Do not skip ahead, read from Section 1:1 on, and don't skip a lesson until you fully understand the last one. Modes are super easy and will just "click" once you understand the lessons prior to it. It's pretty funny, but modes are really just like what one person said, a certain grouping of intervals of notes that make a certain "feeling" in the sound they play.

Also the reason to use modes is to emphasise the notes that make it different from the normal scales, so really you only want to use a mode if you REALLY want to emphasize those 2-3 notes that really make it sound like what it ends up feeling like. Otherwise you could probably just shift it slightly and use a normal scale that sounds like what you want.
Last edited by Exodus04 at Jul 13, 2010,