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#1
I don't read this website much at all anymore, but I remember a year or so ago, modes were all the rage. (They may still be) We sort of stroked modes by their names in my theory class a month ago or so, and it reminded me of spending all the time reading articles and columns on here about them. I wanted to implement them into my playing and eventually before I quit playing guitar so much to focus on piano, I labeled them useless to what I played.

I guess, mode vs. scale was intriguing. I never really NEEDED to know how to use them. They're cool to know and maybe in a very rare situation useful, but really, does anyone have an answer why there was or still is such a concern for the modes on this website?
#2
i dont really know anything about them but it looks like people seem to THINK they are the mystical secret of guitar.
haha
#3
They are VERY important if you want a thorough knowledge of music, if you want to compose (well), or If u want to be great at improv. All the modes of say C major Contain the same notes, BUT Have a different feeling. it depends on the stressed note. and the stressed note will add a feeling
#4
Since the 80s, there have been a lot of guitar virtuosos coming out with videos full of lessons and insights into how they play guitar. Since most of them didn't know what they were talking about concerning modes, the idea that modes are just shapes of the major scale spread. This also associated modes with guitar awesomeness, thereby achieving the "holy grail" status. Then the internet happened and amplified this problem to ungodly proportions through countless bad lessons and posting of said videos online.
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


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#5
There is still such a rage here. Scroll through the techniques forum and you'll find, without trouble, beginners recommending you to do something related to modes. Patterns, sounds, etc.

What's scary is that it's starting to become a generic answer for a group of people. Have a problem with your technique? Learning modes will suddenly make you shred as well as the virtuosos!

I think the reason for this interest in modes is that they're different and complicated. I read that it is due to today's music being mostly tonal, and I share that view.

I also believe it has to do with bragging rights. "I know about modes. Therefore, I am superior."
#6
In certain styles of music, modes are still used quite a bit. They are something I use in Jazz guitar, for example.
#7
@Awsomo Somehow I doubt that Chopin sat down and thought when he composed the Revolutionary Etude, "Hmm...Ok. Let's see, this is mainly going through a C Harmonic minor. Oh shit! What mode is it? I won't be able to complete it without knowing! OH, it's like a G Phrygian Dominant! Eureka!"

Like I said, useful, but not necessary. Also, for modes to mean anything, they have to have a background and base.
#8
Quote by Christian Davis
They're cool to know and maybe in a very rare situation useful

Lies lies and more lies.
#9
Quote by KG6_Steven
In certain styles of music, modes are still used quite a bit. They are something I use in Jazz guitar, for example.


I can see that. That makes sense. However, as some users posted above, they are commonly sought after in the wrong contexts. As if, in order to do studio work for Miley Cyrus I need to be able to use the locrian mode. Right.
#10
Quote by conor-figgy
Lies lies and more lies.

That doesn't tell me much or anyone for that matter. You could at least be more clear about what you want to get across.
#11
Quote by Christian Davis
That doesn't tell me much or anyone for that matter. You could at least be more clear about what you want to get across.

Modes are used quite a lot in music and are very useful if you can use them. Just check any of the many threads on modes, I'm not arguing this with you.
#12
I think it's cause of guys like Satch & Vai, lotta guitarists seem to think it's a "secret sound"

Also, Rusty Cooley didn't help matters with his Fretboard Autopsy DVD. He teaches fretboard visualisation through "modal patterns" which most people now think are "major scale starting on different note." Dont get me wrong, I worship Cooley.. but I think he confused more people with this
#13
I see a ton of opposition to them and a ton of acceptance towards them, but I have yet to see a clear explanation of to what they are, if not just a rearrangement of the notes in a scale.
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#14
@Connor I'll take your word on it. I haven't came across any situations where I've had to really put my knowledge of them to use, but maybe I will. Until then, my statement will stay the same. Nice to get some feedback from "both sides" though.
#15
Personally I think modes are a good way of learning the fret board of the guitar, you get to know which notes are in which scale and which modes are in which key etc and as you learn their positions up and down the neck you start to get a better understanding of where to put your fingers. You also get to understand the feel they have to create tunes. Based on that I think it's fair to say they can be useful to all styles of music and reasonably important if you want cover a wider range of stuff.


But to answer your original question you have to remember that young folk are still picking up the guitar and learning and they come here to get info, just because you and I know the modes doesn't mean they all do. My favourite guitar players all learnt them too and seem to think they have importance and they're rich, famous and awesome at playing so who am I to argue.
#16
Modes are scales and I have yet to hear a good argument why they are not.

Its not major scale, minor scale, and then the modes. Every mode is its own unique diatonic scale with special properties just as distinct as the difference between major and minor
#17
Quote by awesomo41894
They are VERY important ... if you want to compose (well), or If u want to be great at improv.
...

No.
#18
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
...

No.


Actually hes right. Modes are really important

Ask prokofiev lol
#19
We have a modes sticky up the top which covers everything there is to learn. We've had many many threads on modes, basically it will end with the TS not learning anything and wasted time. Feel free to use the search bar to find them.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#20
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
...

No.


Why not? I've started playing jazz trumpet and it's pretty clear to me, right from the start that with just the major scale and minor scale it's pretty boring. Plus how are you supposed to play over chords like XM7#11 with the lydian mode?

Edit:

Also this chord sequence [Gm7/Gm7/Eb7.Em7] requires you to play different modes in order to play over it. Nobody pull that 'every note is right in jazz' because clearly some notes are more 'right' then others. In this case, the notes of the modes if that makes any sense. Feel free to correct if I'm wrong
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Last edited by Darkmessiahnz at Oct 30, 2011,
#21
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
Why not? I've started playing jazz trumpet and it's pretty clear to me, right from the start that with just the major scale and minor scale it's pretty boring. Plus how are you supposed to play over chords like XM7#11 with the lydian mode?


Have a read of the modes stickies up the top. You'll have to learn that when playing in major or minor keys you can utilise accidentals, giving you access to all 12 notes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#22
I guess so. Just play the major scale and consider the #11 an accidental right?. I'd rather know the lydian so I don't get confused. I'll have a thorough read now.
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#23
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
I guess so. Just play the major scale and consider the #11 an accidental right?. I'd rather know the lydian so I don't get confused. I'll have a thorough read now.


Depends on what the key of the song is. All out-of-key notes are considered accidentals.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#24
Quote by Darkmessiahnz
I guess so. Just play the major scale and consider the #11 an accidental right?. I'd rather know the lydian so I don't get confused. I'll have a thorough read now.

Over a maj7 chord vamp, the lydian mode is the preferred scale to use rather than the major Scale, because of it's intervallic construction. It's worth reading up on the Lydian Chromatic Concept.
#25
I'm not saying modes can't be useful, they can be. The post I was replying to implied that they were almost a necessity if you wished to be good at composition and improvising. They can help you, but a thorough knowledge of the major and minor scales and a clear vision of what you want to do musically is just as useful.

It was the composition part that really irked me. You don't need modes to compose well, I'm not sure why anybody would ever suggest that.
#26
Quote by mdc
Over a maj7 chord vamp, the lydian mode is the preferred scale to use rather than the major Scale, because of it's intervallic construction. It's worth reading up on the Lydian Chromatic Concept.


Depends on what chord it is in the key. If you do that, yeah, you'll definitely get a really Lydian kind of sound. But if someone's vamping an Ebmaj7, and you're playing in Eb Lydian over it, and then the chord switches to a Bbmaj7, you wouldn't really be playing in the Lydian mode. It's all about context, that's what I've learned.

People will argue on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about modes, and never reach a conclusion. If you can use them in a way that's useful and makes sense to you, then just do it.
#27
Quote by Jesse Clarkson
I'm not saying modes can't be useful, they can be. The post I was replying to implied that they were almost a necessity if you wished to be good at composition and improvising. They can help you, but a thorough knowledge of the major and minor scales and a clear vision of what you want to do musically is just as useful.

It was the composition part that really irked me. You don't need modes to compose well, I'm not sure why anybody would ever suggest that.


You dont need major or minor scales to compose well either

Actually, you dont need notes at all

In fact, you dont even need "instruments"
#28
Quote by chantastic
You dont need major or minor scales to compose well either

Actually, you dont need notes at all

In fact, you dont even need "instruments"


You just want to argue for the sake of arguing, don't you? You know what I was trying to say. A knowledge of the major and minor scale is much more valuable than a knowledge of modes. A knowledge of modes can possibly help you with a few ideas, knowledge of the major and minor scales is a necessary foundation for a lot of other theory and usually has a significant impact on your ability to write music.
#29
Quote by Jesse Clarkson


You just want to argue for the sake of arguing, don't you? You know what I was trying to say. A knowledge of the major and minor scale is much more valuable than a knowledge of modes. A knowledge of modes can possibly help you with a few ideas, knowledge of the major and minor scales is a necessary foundation for a lot of other theory and usually has a significant impact on your ability to write music.


But what your missing is that theres no actual distinctions between a mode and a scale anymore

You can be playing in minor and have accidentals. You can be in dorian and have accidentals too. Theres this stigma attached to modes that theyre not real scales or something and I dont understand it.
#30
Quote by chantastic
But what your missing is that theres no actual distinctions between a mode and a scale anymore

You can be playing in minor and have accidentals. You can be in dorian and have accidentals too. Theres this stigma attached to modes that theyre not real scales or something and I dont understand it.

You can't play accidentals when in a mode because then that brings you straight back to tonality. That's why modes are so restrictive compared to tonality.

Are you talking about giving modal names to scale shapes?
^^The above is a Cryptic Metaphor^^


"To know the truth of history is to realize its ultimate myth and its inevitable ambiguity." Everything is made up and the facts don't matter.


MUSIC THEORY LINK
#31
Depends on what chord it is in the key. If you do that, yeah, you'll definitely get a really Lydian kind of sound. But if someone's vamping an Ebmaj7, and you're playing in Eb Lydian over it, and then the chord switches to a Bbmaj7, you wouldn't really be playing in the Lydian mode. It's all about context, that's what I've learned.


You would actually be playing in Bb Major and it would no longer be modal, right?
#32
In modal jazz you can. I think when people talk about playing modally, they mean... well... just that. But in modal jazz however...
#33
Modes are a great thing to learn if you want to pretend you're actually getting better at guitar, without actually having to get better at the instrument. They're also a good thing to learn if you want to pretend you're increasing your music theory knowledge.

That's why people who don't know much think they're so important. Look at this disaster of a thread for instance - people actually think you have to use a certain mode over a certain chord. Or they guy who said they're important (sorry, VERY important) if you want to get better at improvisation. Only somebody who has only a very cursory knowledge of music theory thinks like that.

Frankly, I think Mode Chat outside of the Sticky should be banned from this sub-forum. People clog up the forum with threads with absolutely inane questions. They think "OMG I need to know the Dorian mode for some reason because I think it might be important!" before they even learn all the notes on the fretboard.

Perfect example, look at this thread:https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1492093

The guy is concerned with knowing the modes. Seriously!
Last edited by stratdax at Oct 31, 2011,
#34
i dont know anything about modes but it wouldnt hurt to learn them if i had the time,i do quite fine without them.
#35
It's because modes really are the pinnacle of not only guitar virtuosity but existince itself. The problem is there are only three people in history that ever really understood modes. And at the moment each of them truly understood modes they became one with the universe and ceased to exist.

Everyone else that tries to tell you about them doesn't really know anything they just think they do. Obviously this can lead to a great deal of confusion.

It has been prophesized that one day one of the three will be reincarnated to share the wisdom and teach us the way of the modes.

But until then we are stuck with dirt and horseshit.
Si
#39
Quote by Christian Davis
I don't read this website much at all anymore, but I remember a year or so ago, modes were all the rage. (They may still be) We sort of stroked modes by their names in my theory class a month ago or so, and it reminded me of spending all the time reading articles and columns on here about them. I wanted to implement them into my playing and eventually before I quit playing guitar so much to focus on piano, I labeled them useless to what I played.

I guess, mode vs. scale was intriguing. I never really NEEDED to know how to use them. They're cool to know and maybe in a very rare situation useful, but really, does anyone have an answer why there was or still is such a concern for the modes on this website?

I can't really tell, I find modes really easy to understand, I know modes kind of by heart, but I use only 2 if I ever do, the rest are just there in my head idk. Also I dont get the whole "modes are your biggest nightmare" thing and why people really go down slamming on your head with a sledge once you say modes are scales or something... anybody care elaborating?
#40
You can't play accidentals when in a mode because then that brings you straight back to tonality. That's why modes are so restrictive compared to tonality.


Sure you can. In a context of modal music I use chromatic passing tones all the time, and it doesn't function as part of tonal harmony. So if A dorian was my framework, you might see me play little manuevers like D to C# to C, or go from F# to G through G# to A. There are no C#'s or G#'s in A dorian, but it doesn't have anything to do with tonality, it's chromatic decoration of the mode.

The only thing that makes modes more restrictive is the non-existence of harmonic movement.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Oct 31, 2011,
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