Hey all,

I posted a thread a while ago to see how I was doing with modes. Turns out, I had it all wrong. But now, I think I may have it down. Again, any and all criticism and advice is helpful.

I read through many suggested links and threads, and here's what I got from them:

Modes, are essentially this;

I'm hypothetically in the key of C. When playing through a chord progression, I play the chords C G B C (a I-V-VII progression). Since the roots of these chords fall into the major scale, I've established that as my tonal centre. But to give it a modal feel, I play a C minor scale over it. Since the C minor scale has a flattened 3rd, 6th, and 7th, I'm going to want to focus mainly on the Bb in the minor scale, playing around there, as it accentuates the difference between the B chord and the Bb note, seperating the scale from the major-based progression. Then, I return to a Major scale based lick, to solidify the previous notes as merely modal, and not a transition to another scale.

Is this totally wrong, or am I kind of getting the hang of it? I'm totally self taught (5 years now), and I just want to make this whole modal thing my bitch.

Just want to say that the VII chord in the C major scale is Bdim and not B.
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You're in the key of C major assuming that progression resolves to C major. This isn't modal.

The C minor scale isn't modal either. You would want to use the C Aeolian mode (I think?) in which case your progression should also be based on that very mode.

I recommend reading these articles:


After reading those, you should have a much better grasp on this subject.
Here you go: http://www.guitarlearningtips.org/music-theory/guitar-modes-the-guitar-modes-of-the-major-scale/

PS: I know what you mean by not having a good place to learn. That's what i had in mind when o wrote that article
Hope it helps.

When it comes to modes you should know the type of every degree.

I - Major

II - minor

III - minor

IV - major

V - major

Vi - minor (the minor scale)

VII - diminished
Modes aint a technique, they're pure theory....moved to MT.
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C minor is Bb, Eb, Gb.

The chords have the notes C, E, G; G, B, D; B, D, F. That means two notes from each triad conflict with the scale. That's not modal, that's just noise. You're gonna have so much dissonance Stravinsky would have a stroke.
modes are a social construct
Larry Carlton did that sort of thing very briefly on his version of So What. Great stuff!
Quote by BledGhostWhite
I just want to make this whole modal thing my bitch.

Yeah, you've certainly done that.
By virtue of the song being in the key of C major, you will always be playing some form of the C major scale. You are merely employing flat 3rd, 6th and 7th accidentals. No modes in you example.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Quote by BledGhostWhite
Since the C minor scale has a flattened 3rd, 6th, and 7th

Any of those scale degrees, over any of the chords in your progression will work, as long as you nudge them up against a chord tone fairly swiftly.

They are all a half step away from certain chord tones in your progression. So if you treat them as approach notes, you're gonna sound "in" no matter what.

Experiment with the b9 as well. For example:
-9s10 -9s8

-1--   -0
-3--   -1
-2--    0
----   -2
-2--   -3
Last edited by mdc at Oct 28, 2011,