#1
Ok so I have a very small idea of modes. Uhm I read the lesson that basically showed them as like starting for example on ( in the key of C major) starting on D and playing basically the notes of the C major scales but starting / resolving to D. This would then be Dorian?

This was a jazz oriented lesson. However, I then read the pinned thread on modes, and they were describing basically one major scale ( example C maj) but then flattening the 3rd and 7th to get the Dorian.. Where did I go wrong? Thanks I'm sorry I know these dumb threads have been done and done again, but I am a blues and rock guy looking to get into jazz
#2
Yeah....how's your grasp on major and minor keys, harmonisation and scales? Can you pick the key of a song pretty fast and know which scale is the most "appropriate" for it and when to employ accidentals to avoid clashes when "out-of-key" chords are employed in the chord progression?
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#3
Yeah I'm good on all that. I never really felt I was lacking anything, I just wanted to challenge myself my attempting some jazz. After reading over the lesson, I played along to some jazz backing tracks, I thought it sounded decent what I was doing, then I stumbled on the other thing and it totally threw me off.
#4
Quote by Fender/marshall
Yeah I'm good on all that. I never really felt I was lacking anything, I just wanted to challenge myself my attempting some jazz.


Ahh cool. In that case check out the series of articles starting with http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/music_theory/the_modal_approach_part_one_the_backstory.html
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
Quote by AlanHB
Ahh cool. In that case check out the series of articles starting with http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/music_theory/the_modal_approach_part_one_the_backstory.html


Ok thanks, I started to read through those but didn't have the time. So about the one part I was confused on, what exactly was the difference between the two things I learned. The one basically being ( In C Maj), starting on D and playing the notes of the C major scale ending on D again. That was considered Dorian for example, yet the other article I read, Stated that dorian was a Major scale but with a flat 3rd and 7th I believe. What exactly was that referring to?
#6
Quote by Fender/marshall
Ok thanks, I started to read through those but didn't have the time. So about the one part I was confused on, what exactly was the difference between the two things I learned. The one basically being ( In C Maj), starting on D and playing the notes of the C major scale ending on D again. That was considered Dorian for example, yet the other article I read, Stated that dorian was a Major scale but with a flat 3rd and 7th I believe. What exactly was that referring to?


Well if you flattened the the 3rd and 7th of the major scale you'd obviously come up with *drum roll* the minor scale

In the key of C major, no other scale exists apart from *drum roll* the C major scale. However accidentals can be employed to this scale to resemble the modes, for example if you played the C major scale and flattened the 7th you'd have a scale which would share notes with the C mixolydian mode. But as mentioned before, this is just the C major scale with the flattened 7th.

You could have dorian working in the same fashion in the key of A minor. Lets get an A minor scale, but then sharpen the 6th. Now there's a scale which resembles A dorian. But is not A dorian, it is the A minor scale with a sharpened 6th.

So when are modes actually employed in their traditional setting and are used as modes? In modal songs of course.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
your knowledge is accurate in terms of deriving modes as a pitch collection, in an easy way to name them and relate them to the major (and harmonic and melodic minor) scale, especially when considering their use as chord/scales. however, that does not make what your doing modal. But, if someone described the pitch collection of D E F G A B C D as D dorian, they would be correct. however, if it is played over tonal harmony (like a Dm7-G7-CM7 progression) it would be functioning as the C major scale, but, for the sake of bringing out the sound of the D minor seventh chord, it can be easier to think D dorian (or G mixolydian for the G7 chord) when improvising.
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#8
There are basically 3 approaches:
1. key center - analyze the chord progression and find the underlying key center (major, minor scale)
2. CST - each chord is built on a different scale mode so play the appropriate scale mode of the given chord
3. play chord tones (arpeggios) and there extensions.

now you can have 1 approach or you can mix them together, which ever works for you.
#9
Quote by Fender/marshall
Ok so I have a very small idea of modes. Uhm I read the lesson that basically showed them as like starting for example on ( in the key of C major) starting on D and playing basically the notes of the C major scales but starting / resolving to D. This would then be Dorian?

This was a jazz oriented lesson. However, I then read the pinned thread on modes, and they were describing basically one major scale ( example C maj) but then flattening the 3rd and 7th to get the Dorian.. Where did I go wrong? Thanks I'm sorry I know these dumb threads have been done and done again, but I am a blues and rock guy looking to get into jazz



Look at modes as a pitch collection, in terms of what you stated, correctly. Modes beyond that in terms of playing modally, in a simple form are about whats going on in the background.

And the place you went wrong is misunderstanding the modes intervallic structure change from the Major scale of the same name.

Sean
#10
Quote by Sean0913
Look at modes as a pitch collection, in terms of what you stated, correctly. Modes beyond that in terms of playing modally, in a simple form are about whats going on in the background.

And the place you went wrong is misunderstanding the modes intervallic structure change from the Major scale of the same name.

Sean

This.

Modes can be defined by their intervals, because they are all unique.
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#11
Quote by AlanHB


So when are modes actually employed in their traditional setting and are used as modes? In modal songs of course.

well thats kinda vague lol. OP a "modal song" usually is over either a drone note, or a drone chord, or a vamp and usually dont have more than 2 chords in the progression or you tend to lose the modal sound. in jazz, its still not modal unless they are playing over a vamp of some kind. usually players like to use the modal patterns to add some nice passing tones or flavour notes to the song. sometimes throwing them in might suit the chords more. but this is just using accidentals and shouldnt be called modal playing even if you are using the modal patterns. in that situation, you are just flattening or raising a pitch in the major or minor scale. basically, if it has a key, its not modal.

Quote by tehREALcaptain

however, if it is played over tonal harmony (like a Dm7-G7-CM7 progression) it would be functioning as the C major scale, but, for the sake of bringing out the sound of the D minor seventh chord, it can be easier to think D dorian (or G mixolydian for the G7 chord) when improvising.


im not sure why it would be easier to think that way. you just said its in C major. if i wanted to bring out the sound of the Dm7 or G7, i would probably hit chord tones, all of which fall into the C major scale. again, i dont see how its easier but if YOU find it easier, what evs
#12
You didn't go wrong at all. Playing C major from D to D, resolving on the D, is in fact D dorian. However if you look at the notes in D major and compare them to D dorian:

D major: D E F# G A B C# D
D dorian: D E F G A B C D

you'll see that, compared to D major the D dorian does indeed have flattened 3rd and 7th notes (flattened in the sense they have gone down a half step or semitone).

The whole mode thing can be totally confusing because people tend to refer to exactly the same thing, but from many different perspectives. For instance, the first perspective you were presented with was that D dorian is essentially just C major played over a D minor key center. This is a great way to look at modes, as it lets you know you don't have to go and learn a whole bunch of new scales all over the fretboard. If you can play major scales all over the neck then you already know where the notes are for all the modes as well. They all share exactly the same notes. This also includes the minor scale, which in its natural form is also just a mode.

The second perspective you were shown was a little more technical in that it illustrated the differences between D major and D dorian. This is a good perspective to have too because it will give you insight into how the mode will sound compared to the major scale. For instance, the flattened third lets you know it is minor in its tonality. Given that it is a minor mode a comparison to D minor wouldn't hurt either, and would provide yet another perspective.
#13
Quote by Blind In 1 Ear
well thats kinda vague lol.


Haha. Yeah I wasn't bothered to type out the full answer. Thanks for filling it in.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#14
Ok, here's where you need to be careful:

Quote by Fender/marshall
( in the key of C major) starting on D and playing basically the notes of the C major scales but starting / resolving to D. This would then be Dorian?
If you're in the key of C major, you're playing C major, end of story.

However, if you are in D dorian, then that pitch collection will resemble D dorian. What you need to do to be IN dorian is to make the harmony support it by doing a relatively static vamp that resolves to Dm, and outlines the color tone (the maj6th, B), Dm Em is a good one, or Dm G. Another method is to drone a D note or a Dm/Dm6/Dm7/something chord, or use D as a pedal tone. This pedal tone idea can even be applied to the vamps to strengthen them. Dm Em/D would be a nice dorian vamp with a tonic pedal.

Also, if you're getting into jazz, modes are NOT where you need to start. You need to start by listening to a lot of it (this is the most important), then understanding the idea of changes, and how to tackle them. MikeDodge has a lesson on playing over the changes that helped me understand them when I was first learning: http://mikedodge.freeforums.org/ii-v-i-playing-over-the-changes-t19.html

Another thing about jazz is that most of it is about rhythm, specifically syncopation and swing. The biggest problem I notice in my high school jazz band is most high schoolers don't get these ideas. They may be able to play the notes on the page, but they don't have the articulations/phrasing down. What it takes to understand this is, like I said, to listen to jazz, and replicate what you hear.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
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Last edited by food1010 at Mar 24, 2011,
#15
Wow, I can't thank all you guys enough for the help. I really appriciate all the info and will definetly check out the links when I'm not on my phone. Thanks again !