#1
So i know that the modes for a c major scale are d dorian, e phrygian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aeonian, b locrian, and c ionian, but since all of these are composed of the same notes, what seperates them? I mean what are the differences of using d dorian compared to g mixolydian? or any of the other modes for that matter
#2
Here we go again....

1) Check the mode sticky and read lots about modes.

2) All i say for now is that d dorian resolves to d and g mixolydian resolves to g. For the rest, see 1).
#3
Modes are played over "I chords". So, deHufter said it's how thing resolve.

You'll find strength in modes when your chords and scale are separate on not the same notes.

The more chords you have in your progression that are diatonically connected, the less modal something is.

The less chords in your progression that are connected diatonically, the more modal something is.

If all the same notes are used to create a progression it's in one mode and a lot of people see the chords as pretty much all being the same thing kind of.

But if you don't use the same notes for every chord in a progression then you need to find what changes and a lot of times finding a new a mode is the answer.

Take a progression like this:

||: Ebm7 | Ebm7 | Emaj7 | Emaj7 | Ebm7 | Ebm7 | Emaj7 | Emaj7 | Bbm7 | A7b5 | Gbmaj7 | Bmaj7 | Bb7 :||

In this case you need many modes and scale to cover what's changing...you could use

Ebm7 - Eb Natural Minor
Emja7 - E Lydian
Bbm7 - Bb Dorian
A7b5 - A Lydian Dominant
Gbmaj7 - Gb Lydian
Bmaj7 - B Lydian
Bb7 - Bb Phrygian Dominant

So here things are not the same notes and every thing is separate but connects nicely. As opposed to something like ||: C | Am | F | G :|| where every thing is in one scale, C Major. So the this progression in C Major you wouldn't necessarily think about modes, you'd simply play in Key. But for that long progression you need a new mode for every chord...

in a way it's like each chord is it's own "I chord".
#4
Quote by Metallica_JHC21
So i know that the modes for a c major scale are d dorian, e phrygian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aeonian, b locrian, and c ionian, but since all of these are composed of the same notes, what seperates them? I mean what are the differences of using d dorian compared to g mixolydian? or any of the other modes for that matter


The chordal harmony dictates the mode you are playing over it.
#5
Quote by jogogonne
The chordal harmony dictates the mode you are playing over it.


Nope, if chordal progression indicates a major or minor key, then that's what your listeners will hear when you're playing over it. It doesn't matter what mode you think you're playing, as it will not be interpreted as such.
#6
I'll tell you what I "think" the answer is, but I'm still shaky on this topic myself (please somebody more learned give me guidance):

Do you ever play C major and then go into D dorian? Nope, whilst D Dorian might use the notes of C, you wouldn't play D dorian over C because you'd be playing C major. What separates them is the "flavour notes" and resolutions, they're what gives modes their distinctive sound. You should a) read the modes thread and b) listen to modes to give yourself an idea of what they sound like.
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#7
Quote by KingStill
Nope, if chordal progression indicates a major or minor key, then that's what your listeners will hear when you're playing over it. It doesn't matter what mode you think you're playing, as it will not be interpreted as such.


Chordal harmony does dictate modes.

http://www.noteflight.com/scores/view/b53769035ad7506f4885d83c81096178c6bfdb90

All C major scale.

Measure 1: C Ionian
Measure 2: D Dorian
Measure 3: E Phrigian
etc,etc.

What's the scale used? C Major straight through.
Last edited by jogogonne at Sep 17, 2010,
#9
Quote by griffRG7321
A common misconception, modes have nothing to do with that, those chords are all diatonic to C major.


When you're playing over a II-V-I in C major, you're going DM7 - G7 - Cmaj.

You're playing D Dorian, G Mixolydian, C Aeolian.

The notes are all C major. So, the harmony dictates the mode.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue this point ad nauseum.

Whatever sound good is good!
#10
Quote by jogogonne
When you're playing over a II-V-I in C major, you're going DM7 - G7 - Cmaj.

You're playing D Dorian, G Mixolydian, C Aeolian.

The notes are all C major. So, the harmony dictates the mode.

Anyway, I'm not going to argue this point ad nauseum.

Whatever sound good is good!

No you're not, you're just playing C major - that's far and away the most widespread misconception about modes.

Over such a strongly resolving diatonic progression you will never have modes in any way shape or form. If you're using the notes of C major over a progression that obviously resolves to C major then that's what you're using.

If you have an odd progression that doesn't resolve strongly, or even a collection of chords that perhaps don't even qualify as a progression then you don't really have a key - in those situations then you can treat each chord as a separate tonic and take your cue from the intervals each chord contains.
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#11
Quote by Metallica_JHC21
So i know that the modes for a c major scale are d dorian, e phrygian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aeonian, b locrian, and c ionian, but since all of these are composed of the same notes, what seperates them? I mean what are the differences of using d dorian compared to g mixolydian? or any of the other modes for that matter



What is your related theory background knowledge? If you have a pretty fair understanding then you'll understand the answer below.

The answer to the question comes down to the occurances of half and whole steps within the scale, starting from the tonal center.

Best,

Sean
#12
Quote by steven seagull
No you're not, you're just playing C major - that's far and away the most widespread misconception about modes.

Over such a strongly resolving diatonic progression you will never have modes in any way shape or form. If you're using the notes of C major over a progression that obviously resolves to C major then that's what you're using.

If you have an odd progression that doesn't resolve strongly, or even a collection of chords that perhaps don't even qualify as a progression then you don't really have a key - in those situations then you can treat each chord as a separate tonic and take your cue from the intervals each chord contains.


I really can't say you're wrong, because that is 'technically' the way I play. Over that progression I would think key of C. But, in jazz education, modes are using over progressions.

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/jazz-modes.html

As such.

Anyway, that's how I was taught. Maybe you guys are right.
#13
Quote by jogogonne
I really can't say you're wrong, because that is 'technically' the way I play. Over that progression I would think key of C. But, in jazz education, modes are using over progressions.

http://tamingthesaxophone.com/jazz-modes.html

As such.

Anyway, that's how I was taught. Maybe you guys are right.


Anyone ever heard of Jimmy Bruno?

He says and I quote "No Jazz player I know of approaches soloing in that way. Over this you play Dorian and over this you play Mixolydian. Forget that! It's just a bunch of nonsense to sell books..."

Discuss?
#14
Quote by Sean0913
Anyone ever heard of Jimmy Bruno?

He says and I quote "No Jazz player I know of approaches soloing in that way. Over this you play Dorian and over this you play Mixolydian. Forget that! It's just a bunch of nonsense to sell books..."

Discuss?


No. I agree. I'd just think key of C.

But it is useful to think say G Mixolydian over dominant chords rather than say key of C. Because the sound is just more natural over a dominant chord, especially in a blues like say All Blues.

It is useful to use the modes, because not every chord in jazz clearly resolves to a clear key, especially when it's a lead sheet you've never seen before. that's shoved in front of your face.

BTW, my teacher also told me Jamey Aebersold comes up with a lot of crap just to sell books. He's good friends with J. Bruno.
Last edited by jogogonne at Sep 17, 2010,
#15
For me the best way to get a modal SOUND (whether playing modally or not) is to:

For example, we're playing in C Major. To get a 'dorian' type of sound, play C dorian, NOT D dorian. This will give you the flavour notes of dorian, and sounds different because you're changing the actual notes rather than just starting on a different degree of C and calling it something that it's not. I don't know whether this is 'pitch axis' or whatever, and i don't really care, but when playing in C, the best thing to do to get an outside sound is to throw in the different accidentals of the modes which start on the root of C. Now i wouldn't call this modal, i'd just call it C with out of key notes. But then, i'm just going by what my ears hear and not the theory. In my opinion this is the easiest way to add flavour to your tonal progressions, even though you are still playing tonally.
Last edited by GilbertsPinky at Sep 17, 2010,
#16
Somebody brought up the IIm-V-I, Dm7-G7-Cmaj7...

This is a great example of playing in Key verses Modal. The V7 is the determining factor. Remember, modes are used for I chords. In this G7 is the V7 chord moving to the I chord of C.

You DO NOT play Mixolydian over a V7 chord, you play Mixolydian over a I7 chord. If you play it over a V7 you can complete miss the cadence.

There are 3 kinds of dom7 chords:

1. Dom7 functioning as a I7, I play Mixolydian
2. Dom7 functioning as a V7, play as 7alt...or use Super Locrian
3. Dom7 not functioning as I7 or V7, play Lydian Dominant

Those three rules will help play over every dom7 chord you'll run into the rest of you life.

This also shows that what you play is based on the function and not just the chord type itself.
Last edited by MikeDodge at Sep 17, 2010,
#17
the term "modal" is a bitch ain't it...glad they don't allow guns in here...

mike dodge has one of the best and simplest tests of modal playing...

if the progression has mostly diatonic progression chords... it is less modal

if it has less diatonic chords..its more modal...

that is not to say that within a progression you can't have both...

the confusion seems to come with the perception of what "is modal" a few notes..in a tonal center..."outside" a tonal center..a scale...an apreggio...a chord...all the above

can you "sound modal" using the major scale...a minor scale...how bout the whole tone scale..thats pretty far out sounding...or the diminished scale thingies...

so is it.."i want to play special "inside/outside" super hip sounding stuff like the super shredders play...even though when analyzed and taken apart note for note there isn't a modal quality in sight..but the effects boxes sure work nice...

if the drive to sound/play modal is fueled by how other players sound - and they say they played that in "X mode" and attempts to emulate them are illustrated by teachers, online lessons, print articles etc. that "show" you how to play/sound like the latest fretboard surfer..but really don't tell you any reason to play that way...other than to sound that way...and they call it "modal"...

then...you my friend...are playing modal...and pity the fool that tries to say your not...

play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Sep 17, 2010,
#18
Quote by GilbertsPinky

For example, we're playing in C Major. To get a 'dorian' type of sound, play C dorian, NOT D dorian.


I wouldn't play C dorian over C major
#19
If you delete everything else in this topic, and leave Mike's responses, you'll have the answer. ike teaches the exact thing I teach, which makes me feel pretty good, because I respect him as a teacher and as someone who knows a lot more than most, but his applications mirror my own, even down to Lydian Dominant, and Melodic Minor applications.

Sean
#20
Quote by deHufter
I wouldn't play C dorian over C major

Yes, which is why i said to get THE SOUND. Play a basic C Major progression and play C Dorian over it. The outside notes make it sound 'outside'. If you wouldn't have been such a knob head and taken me completely out of context you'll have noticed i didn't say it was modal, i implied it adds flavour to your tonal progressions, which it does. I don't give two hoots what it is theoretically. It SOUNDS out, which is the most important thing. So you can now go and stop being an arse. Many thanks.
Last edited by GilbertsPinky at Sep 17, 2010,
#21
i've been learning a shit-ton abt modes lately, but im just gonna say that unless u have non-diatonic chords in the progressions ur soloing over, dont worry about them and just play the major/minor scale. with non-diatonic chords, its a whole nother story....
#22
Quote by deHufter
I wouldn't play C dorian over C major
Right, you would play C major over C major. Likewise, you would play C dorian over C dorian.

Unless you were talking about chords, then that begins to rely on context.
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#23
K let's say you have a progression in the key of C major, its 2-5-1, comon jazz progression, Dminor, Gdominant7, and Cmajor. Then at some point, your rhythm guitarist or keyboardist or bassist or whatever decides to play or imply a Cmajoradd#11 chord just because. That chord is not in C Ionian, although the other chords are. That #11 is a note found in Lydian, So for that chord you'd use C Lydian, then for the other chords go back to C Ionian.

In that example, you'd always resolve everything to the note C. But in a modal progression, you resolve it differently. E5addminor7 to F5addmajor7 is a simple 3-4 progression in Cmajor, but since there is no 1, it isn't C Ionian, its E Phrygian because that is the mode being expressed. Certain notes express different modes, like in C Ionian for example, you want to put emphasis on the Cmajor7 arpegio notes, 1, 3, 5, and 7, and then also occassionally throw in the 4, those notes express C Ionian. You can use all the notes in the scale, just put emphasis on those. In Phrygian (back to the 3-4 example, which would more properly be called a 1-2 progression in E Phrygian), you want to put emphasis on the 1, 2, 3, and i think the others are 5 and 6 but i dont remember for sure. To represent Phrygian you'd especially want to put emphasis on the half step between 1 and 2, so maybe trilling between E and F would be cool. And even though its in C major, the note it resolves to is E. To find out what notes represent what modes, go to guitarlessons.com and check out their mode videos.

Also, if you're playing over just 1 chord, you have a lot of choices. Let's say its the Cmajor triad (simple). Start out using the C major pentatonic scale. Then add some notes from C Ionian, to have more notes in you're disposal. Then replace Ionian with Mixolydian, the C Mixolydian scale being C-D-E-F-G-A-bB, giving a different sound due to the flattened 7. Then take the 7 back up a half step, and also move the 4 up a half-step, and you're playing C Lydian, which is C-D-E-F#-G-A-B. You may ask now why you can't use Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian, or Locrian in this example. Well thats because every note in the chord has to fit the scale, and the Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian modes have minor 3rds while the other have major 3rds, and obviously you need a major 3rd in the scale if there's a major 3rd in the chord. Or it might work when the scale has no 3 at all, like some Japanese pentatonic scales I know of. Locrian also has a flat 5th, so the chord needs to be diminished.

When choosing which mode to use (when you can make the choice) you should know how each sound. Check the modes stickies.

You should also learn pitch axis theory, again in the modes stickies.

And as you learn more about modes and use them more often, you should never again think there is the major scale and minor scale, because they're just Ionian and Aeolian, and they aren't any more important or special than the other modes.

You should also learn exotic scales and the modes of each scale. This helps over certain chords, like augmented, which is non-diatonic to any of the modes of the major scale, but works in the harmonic minor scale. when faced with an augmented chord, you can then play either a mode of the harmonic scale, or the whole-tone scale.

Another example of how knowing different scales can help, is when using the diminished chord. The choices you have are the Locrian mode, the half-whole diminished scale, and the whole-half diminished scale (btw, im sure there are more options, these are just the best for me).

You should learn as many scales and their modes as possible, including eastern scales available here: http://www.jazzguitar.be/exotic_guitar_scales.html

Another concept is modal pentatonics. This is just moving the pentatonic scales for each chord, so, for example, in the key of C major, with a 3-6-2-5-1 progression (Eminor, Aminor, Dminor, Gdominant7, Cmajor) you'd use the Eminor pentatonic scale, then the Aminor pentatonic, then Dminor pent, Gmaj pent, and Cmaj pent. The blues scale is optional.

I'm gonna give an example now of using exotic scales together with modes and the major scale. Let's say you're playing over Bdiminished. You can use the simple scales I've already previously mentioned and the Locrian mode, but you can also use a couple eastern scales. The Gypsy scale and Romanian scale work here, as well as modes of other scales. Or, you're playing over a G dominant 7 add #11, then you use the altered scale. You should also try out the Jazz Minor scale eventually (I don't have a good example of this 1), which is really just the ascending portion of the Melodic Minor scale, which descends like the Aeolian mode. Melodic minor is the only scale I know of that supposedly ascends and descends differently.

There are more ways to use modes too, just learn them from books and on the internet. Hope I helped!
#24
Quote by GilbertsPinky
Yes, which is why i said to get THE SOUND. Play a basic C Major progression and play C Dorian over it.


The SOUND will be horrific as a matter of fact since the Eb in C dorian will clash with the E in C major. But go ahead, scare your girlfriend.
#25
Quote by TMVATDI

And as you learn more about modes and use them more often, you should never again think there is the major scale and minor scale, because they're just Ionian and Aeolian, and they aren't any more important or special than the other modes.

Wrong.

Modes are not the "holy grail", they are not the pinnacle of theory or some nirvana a guitarist should be aspiring to. Modes are an offshoot, a evolutionary cul-de-sac with interesting but ultimately limited uses.

Modes were superceded by diationic harmony for good reason by minds far brighter and musically experienced than any of ours - to believe that backtracking on their work is going to benefit you is downright foolish. By all means use modes where applicable and most of your post makes perfect musical sense, but most of the time in contemporary music modes simply don't apply and there's little sense in trying to crowbar them just so you can use fancy names and feel clever - no need to overcomplicate things just for the sake of being complicated.

What tends to happen is the more you learn about music and your instrument the less you think about scales and the more you simply think about making sure the next note you hit is going to be the one you heard in your head.
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Last edited by steven seagull at Sep 18, 2010,
#26
Quote by steven seagull
Wrong.

Modes are not the "holy grail", they are not the pinnacle of theory or some nirvana a guitarist should be aspiring to. Modes are an offshoot, a evolutionary cul-de-sac with interesting but ultimately limited uses.

Modes were superceded by diationic harmony for good reason by minds far brighter and musically experienced than any of ours - to believe that backtracking on their work is going to benefit you is downright foolish. By all means use modes where applicable and most of your post makes perfect musical sense, but most of the time in contemporary music modes simply don't apply and there's little sense in trying to crowbar them just so you can use fancy names and feel clever - no need to overcomplicate things just for the sake of being complicated.

What tends to happen is the more you learn about music and your instrument the less you think about scales and the more you simply think about making sure the next note you hit is going to be the one you heard in your head.

i wasnt really thinking of them as music's holy gail or anything, just that originally the major and minor scale were only known as Ionian and Aeolian, and that there is no obvious reason for those modes to be more important than the others.

yes, being complicated for no reason is unnecessary, but the things i've said have real applications in music and in improvisation, its basically like harmony calls for melody. certain chord progressions have certain theoretical ways of making melody over them, but i agree that eventually it just all turns to creativity and finding the next note in your head instead of through scales. but on the other hand, if somebody gives you a chord progression and tells you to solo over it, it helps to know the scales and theoretical side of it. and also, even when you've learned everything about the major scale and its modes and you can write melody without thinking of scales, sometimes ideas can be inspired by learning new scales. like you could get bored and think you're running out of creativity, all the sudden you discover the arabian scale and it inspires new melody you haven't already thought of.
#27
One way of considering the difference between C ionian and D dorian is considering the difference between C major and D major. C major is used over the key of C major, D major is used over the key of D major. It's where the song resolves to.

In terms of getting a modal SOUND as mentioned previously, I agree it can get a little confusing when chords get brought up that don't belong in a major or minor key, despite the song being in a major or a minor key.

For example consider this progression in A minor;

Am C F C Am

Ok, it's all good, A minor scale over all.

But lets say that a new chord appears, Bb maj like this.

Am G maj F maj C Bb Am

Now we have a problem over the Bb. If you play the straight A minor scale over it, it's going to clash. Accordingly we employ accidentals to the A minor scale. Lets add an A# so that it now has all the common notes with the chord.

If we effectively flatten the second of the A minor scale we are left with a scale which resembles A phrygian. It's not technically A phrygian, but can be a handy way of visualising how you would approach playing scales over this particular chord.
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#28
Quote by TMVATDI
i wasnt really thinking of them as music's holy gail or anything, just that originally the major and minor scale were only known as Ionian and Aeolian, and that there is no obvious reason for those modes to be more important than the others.
There's no reason for ionian and aeolian to be more important than the others. There is a reason for the major scale and the natural minor scale to be set apart from the modes. The simple fact is that the major and natural minor scales are the basis upon which tonal music (which is just about 99% of the music you hear today) was based. A minor is NOT the same thing as A aeolian. Likewise A major is NOT the same thing as A ionian.

Quote by AlanHB
One way of considering the difference between C ionian and D dorian is considering the difference between C major and D major. C major is used over the key of C major, D major is used over the key of D major. It's where the song resolves to.

In terms of getting a modal SOUND as mentioned previously, I agree it can get a little confusing when chords get brought up that don't belong in a major or minor key, despite the song being in a major or a minor key.

For example consider this progression in A minor;

Am C F C Am

Ok, it's all good, A minor scale over all.

But lets say that a new chord appears, Bb maj like this.

Am G maj F maj C Bb Am

Now we have a problem over the Bb. If you play the straight A minor scale over it, it's going to clash. Accordingly we employ accidentals to the A minor scale. Lets add an A# so that it now has all the common notes with the chord.

If we effectively flatten the second of the A minor scale we are left with a scale which resembles A phrygian. It's not technically A phrygian, but can be a handy way of visualising how you would approach playing scales over this particular chord.
Quite frankly, that's all there is to it.

Altering a scale is not an effective use of modes. Is that to say you can't recognize the resemblance? Of course not. The thing is, you need to acknowledge the difference.

You can use A lydian over this: A B/A
You CAN'T use A lydian over this (not even over the A chord): E A C#m B7

If you want to recognize the intervals in relation to each of the chords, fine. Just acknowledge that you don't just play E ionian, A lydian, C# aeolian, B mixolydian. It doesn't work that way. You play the E major scale.
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Last edited by food1010 at Sep 18, 2010,