#1
Long story short, I realized that the E Spanish Gypsy scale which I learned a while ago has the same notes as the A Harmonic Minor! How come no one ever told me this?! Why do they have different names when their the same thing? All someone has to do is know the harmonic minor scale and if they want to switch to spanish gypsy, then move the pattern up/down five steps, vice versa, if that makes any sense...
Are there other scales that have the same name?

Also, like I said, I'm not a theory expert, but what's confusing about modes? I googled them and found that they are just parts of the major scale. They just start on different notes of the major scale, am I right? Of course, it'll take a while to master things like phrasing to make each modes personality come out, but would that be a good way of explaining them? just to see if im completely lost or not

sorry for the long post, i read a whole lot more on here than post.. thanks
#2
short answer is yes.

modes can be simply put as scales being played over chords/keys. if you play a G major scale over a G major progression, its in G Ionian. if you play a C major scale over the same progression, its in G mixolydian. as such, you can see that the scales can be different than the modes, and are dependent on the chords/key that is behind them.
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#3
First off, the E Spanish Gypsy scale is a mode of the A harmonic minor scale, which is why they share the same notes. That doesn't make it the same scale, because you wouldn't play them under the same circumstances. You'd play the E Spanish Gypsy scale in a song centering around E, whereas you'd play the A harmonic minor scale in a song centering around A. They have the same notes, just as the C major and A minor scales have the same notes, but they're defined by the context in which you use them.

Secondly, there really isn't anything overly complicated about modes. They are simply scales that are built from another scale by starting on a different note. Just as C major and A minor share the same notes but are used in different contexts, so is each mode played in a specific context over a specific set of chords to bring out its unique characteristics. Most modes are hard to use properly, as they don't lend themselves to very strong chord progressions that are palatable to the human ear - this often leads them to want to resolve to the scale upon which they're built, which would mean that you would cease to be playing a particular mode, and would instead be playing the scale that it's built off of. For example, if you weren't careful when using the E Spanish Gypsy scale, your chord progression might begin to want to resolve to A minor instead of E. This would mean that you were instead playing the A harmonic minor scale, not the E spanish gypsy scale.
Needless to say, you can get a set of modes from any particular scale, but the major scale modes are the most widely used.
#4
Its true that the A Harmonic Minor and E Spanish Gypsy scales have the same notes, but depending on which one you're treating as your root note can mean a lot. Basically, focusing in on the A for A harmonic minor gives you a whole different flavor than focusing on the E in E Spanish Gypsy. As for the modes, they're pretty much the same idea. They all share the same notes, but each one has its own flavor that will suit different styles and songs. The hard part is making your chord progressions and melodies resolve to the root of your mode and not the major scale it's relative to. For example, if you're playing in E Phrygian, you want your chords to resolve to the E, not C major.
#5
Thanks guys! So, basically a lot has to do with the root note that you start off with. If you start and end with an E, it will sound like an E Spanish gypsy and if you start with an A, it will sound more like an A Harmonic Minor. Now i'll just turn on the looper and play around with that
#6
Modes have more to do with the harmony behind the melody than the notes of the melody itself.
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#7
Holy bejezus. I think I'll just close this thread to not have to look at it again.

Anyway, addressing your questions;

1. The notes share the same notes, this means they are relative to eachother. However they resolve to different roots and are very different scales. Consider the difference between C major and A minor.

2. The "deal" with modes is that what you're thinking (and what others are thinking) is incorrect. They are much more than a major scale starting on a different note. To understand this completely, you'll have to first gain a strong foundation with keys. Start by learning the C major scale and harmonising it. Go from there.
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#8
Quote by guitar_loner
Thanks guys! So, basically a lot has to do with the root note that you start off with. If you start and end with an E, it will sound like an E Spanish gypsy and if you start with an A, it will sound more like an A Harmonic Minor. Now i'll just turn on the looper and play around with that
It's irrelevant what note you start or end on, it has to do with where the harmony resolves to.

For example, if you had an Am F E7 progression, it resolves very clearly to Am and you'd use A harmonic minor.

However, if you had an E F vamp, you're probably looking at E as your root note, and E phrygian dominant will work.

Quite honestly, you could play the same lick over both and it will function differently over them. Take E F G# A G# F E for example. Out of context, this would probably look like E phrygian dominant at first because it starts and ends on E. Then try playing it over the Am progression. It will sound entirely different.
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