#1
Hi all, I wanna learn more about scales and I'm not sure what to learn. People around me say learn the theory behind the scale but I'm honestly not sure what that means.
I know the Intervals to make certain scales, I know the names and order of the modes to the major, so can anyone point me in the direction to learn next? Would be appreciated.

I think I may know where to start, when I was reading the Theory FAQ I noticed this part:
Ionian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian: 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Lydian: 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
Mixolydian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Aeolian: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Locrian: 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7
I have no idea what those mean. Like why some have flat signs and sharps before them. Maybe some one can help explain?
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#2
Well first you have to realise that all the modes are based of the major scale. The flat/sharp signs just mean you have to lower/raise the note by a semitone/half step. So for example C Ionian is C-D-E-F-G-A-B therefore C Dorian would be C-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb. You get it?
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#3
There's lots of lessons on Modes.
And Scales
And lots of 'em are on UG.
And I do believe they are stickied.

It just saves people having to type out the same speil about modes and scales when you can go read it.
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#4
Quote by megano28
Well first you have to realise that all the modes are based of the major scale. The flat/sharp signs just mean you have to lower/raise the note by a semitone/half step. So for example C Ionian is C-D-E-F-G-A-B therefore C Dorian would be C-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb. You get it?


I know the modes are based of the major scale.
So Phrygian would be
E Fb Gb A B Cb Db ?

EDIT: I did that completely wrong didn't I? hehe
That's it, right?
C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
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Last edited by unicornfist at Sep 20, 2010,
#5
Just make sure you know what the tonic is. I don't want to write a huge wall of text on this issue again, just know that E anything doesn't exist in C. If the tonic is C then the only way to play E Phrygian is to change it. Also note that modes don't really work in the same way standard tonality does. Usually when a piece is modal it's made up of vamps instead of chord progressions. Best example I can think of is Miles Davis' So What. This piece is in the Dorian mode. Note the chords playing under the head of the song. They're just two chords being played interchangeably. Those two chords contain the note which makes Dorian special (#6) and therefore make the use of the scale as stable as possible. It's not unlikely to modulate accidentally to the relative major if you don't do everything you can to make the piece Dorian.
#6
Forget about modes for the time being, they're not going to be of any use to you for quite some time.

First thing you need to do is learn the notes on your fretboard.
The second thing to do is learn what intervals are.
After that you need to learn about the major scale, that's your frame of reference - anything you learn will either be part of it or be described in terms of how it relates to the major scale.

That's a good few months on it's own and that's just to lay the groundwork, you'll still barely have scratched the surface. Have a read of Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the columns section.
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#7
Quote by steven seagull
Forget about modes for the time being, they're not going to be of any use to you for quite some time.

First thing you need to do is learn the notes on your fretboard.
The second thing to do is learn what intervals are.
After that you need to learn about the major scale, that's your frame of reference - anything you learn will either be part of it or be described in terms of how it relates to the major scale.

That's a good few months on it's own and that's just to lay the groundwork, you'll still barely have scratched the surface. Have a read of Josh Urban's Crusade articles in the columns section.

I know all of that... And basically all I know is what is taught in the crusades.
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#8
Quote by Sóknardalr
Just make sure you know what the tonic is. I don't want to write a huge wall of text on this issue again, just know that E anything doesn't exist in C. If the tonic is C then the only way to play E Phrygian is to change it. Also note that modes don't really work in the same way standard tonality does. Usually when a piece is modal it's made up of vamps instead of chord progressions. Best example I can think of is Miles Davis' So What. This piece is in the Dorian mode. Note the chords playing under the head of the song. They're just two chords being played interchangeably. Those two chords contain the note which makes Dorian special (#6) and therefore make the use of the scale as stable as possible. It's not unlikely to modulate accidentally to the relative major if you don't do everything you can to make the piece Dorian.

Yeah that was my mistake, my corrected scale was correct though? So what I'm understanding is chords are basically what make the scales, right? So If I played the to chords that are in this songs and played the correct Dorian scale over it it would give it the right sound? Also the 6th note in a Dorian scale is what gives it its sound? like when you add a diminished 5th to a pentatonic scale to give it the bluesy sound?
Current Gear:
Mexican Fender Telecaster
Robert Smith custom Jazzmaster
Stratocaster
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#9
Yes, pretty much. Even though, relatively speaking, all of the modes share the same notes, their intervals are completely different. These changes are what make the modes different and deviant from the major scale.

Here's an easy way to find any mode (though it still requires a lot of memorization):

Major is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Minor is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Lydian and Mixolydian are major modes. Dorian, Phrygian and Locrian are minor modes.

For this example we will use Dorian. As you can see, Dorian is a minor mode (to find out if a mode is major or minor without looking at the formulas, just remember traditional major harmony. 1-4-5 is major, 2-3-6 is minor and 7 is diminished). Let's start by finding C minor:

C major : C D E F G A B
C minor : C D Eb F G Ab Bb
C Dorian : C D Eb F G A Bb (because the VI is sharpened from the minor scale)

Now study this well and hopefully you will learn to look at traditional harmony in a different way. Then forget about it because while the scales themselves can give you pretty cool sounds writing in modal harmony is pretty difficult.

EDIT: Sorry I did not realize you were talking about Phrygian. Yes that's correct, but I still recommend looking over what I said if you haven't thought about it yet.
Last edited by Sóknardalr at Sep 20, 2010,
#10
Quote by unicornfist
Yeah that was my mistake, my corrected scale was correct though? So what I'm understanding is chords are basically what make the scales, right? So If I played the to chords that are in this songs and played the correct Dorian scale over it it would give it the right sound? Also the 6th note in a Dorian scale is what gives it its sound? like when you add a diminished 5th to a pentatonic scale to give it the bluesy sound?


Intervals are what make scales. Intervals are also what make chords.

Seriously, like Seagull said, forget modes for now. Really work at getting your head around the major scale; and not just the theory, learn how to use it.