Im about to say the stupidest thing ever, but can modes not be in root position? Or do they have to start on their tonic?
I like prog
I understand modes...but i don't know how to answer your question. Can you word it differently.
Quote by I AM DEREK
Im about to say the stupidest thing ever, but can modes not be in root position? Or do they have to start on their tonic?

What are modes as you are using them? Put another way, how are you wanting them to be used? What are they as you understand them? The nature of your question seems to indicate areas that have no relationship to one another. Like if someone posted:

"How many 56 Chevy naval oranges make up the rings of Saturn?"

How would you begin to try and answer that...in a nice way?

Best,

Sean
Modes are defined by the tonal centre of a piece. Simply put, if you have a bass line/chord progression that makes it feel like everything should resolve to C, and you play an E Phrygian scale over the top, you are basically playing a C Ionian scale in second inversion. It's only actually E Phrygian if that's the tonal centre - where things resolve to.

So E Phyrgian could be thought of as just starting C Ionian on a different root, but it's still C Major if the harmony implies such. Which mode shape you are playing doesn't really make a difference.

I suppose your question is a bit tricky to answer just because of your use of 'root'. If you mean the root of the position, then yes, you can have different inversions of modes. If, however, you mean can you have a different tonal root, then no, that would be changing which mode you're using.
Last edited by theknuckster at Jan 6, 2012,
Starting a mode in not root position (the tonic) would make it another mode
i've never heard anyone talk about modes in inversions or root position, but i'll try to explain
For example, the D dorian mode starts (has the tonic) on D, you could say this is in root position, starting the mode D dorian on say A, would make a different mode, A Aeolian.

So the answer to your question in my view would be, no it cannot be in
not root position, brcause it would become a different mode

Although modes in my view can't really have a root position.
Last edited by geo1450 at Jan 6, 2012,
Quote by I AM DEREK
Im about to say the stupidest thing ever, but can modes not be in root position? Or do they have to start on their tonic?

You know you're a music theory nerd when.... you ask the above.
Quote by geo1450
Starting a mode in not root position (the tonic) would make it another mode
i've never heard anyone talk about modes in inversions or root position, but i'll try to explain
For example, the D dorian mode starts (has the tonic) on D, you could say this is in root position, starting the mode D dorian on say A, would make a different mode, A Aeolian.

So the answer to your question in my view would be, no it cannot be in
not root position, brcause it would become a different mode

Although modes in my view can't really have a root position.

Thank you sir.
I like prog
Quote by mdc
You know you're a music theory nerd when.... you ask the above.

lol Im a nerd, alright.
I like prog
Quote by Sean0913
Except that...he's wrong. Well he may be. It depends if you are talking about application, or just spelling out some notes and playing them without any context. If you are talking about application, then yeah, he's wrong.

Best,

Sean

The question I pose is, say Im playing a solo in E Phrygian mode. If the root for the solo starts on the dominant (B), would that just make it a B Locrian mode? Or is there some kind of weird inversion that Im just not understanding?
I like prog
Quote by I AM DEREK
The question I pose is, say Im playing a solo in E Phrygian mode. If the root for the solo starts on the dominant (B), would that just make it a B Locrian mode? Or is there some kind of weird inversion that Im just not understanding?

If the harmony dictates that root is E, then you would be playing E Phrygian. It doesn't matter what note you start on.

Do you know how the harmony would dictate that the root would be E?
^^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.

Quote by rockingamer2
If the harmony dictates that root is E, then you would be playing E Phrygian. It doesn't matter what note you start on.

Do you know how the harmony would dictate that the root would be E?

Not a clue as to how the harmony would dictate that the root would be E. Then again, its late at night, and at that time, I can't think straight and my theory comprehension doesn't go past triad chord formulas.
I like prog
Quote by I AM DEREK
Not a clue as to how the harmony would dictate that the root would be E. Then again, its late at night, and at that time, I can't think straight and my theory comprehension doesn't go past triad chord formulas.

Perhaps it's best then to learn about harmony before talking about words like "mode". Start with other words, like "major scale" or "key".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
Quote by AlanHB
Perhaps it's best then to learn about harmony before talking about words like "mode". Start with other words, like "major scale" or "key".

Well aware of the major scale, keys, and key signatures. Also familiar with the circle of fifths.
I like prog
You need a firm understanding of harmony before tackling modes.

TS, don't underestimate the importance of this. Having said that, it'll still probably fall on deaf ears... which is a shame. Anyhow, good post, mate.
Quote by I AM DEREK
Well aware of the major scale, keys, and key signatures. Also familiar with the circle of fifths.

Well learn them better.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
If you don't know how the harmony would dictate a specific root note, you're not really "well aware" of harmonic concepts in general, sorry. You'll need to know what's going on with major scale harmony before modes will actually make any sense.
Quote by :-D
If you don't know how the harmony would dictate a specific root note, you're not really "well aware" of harmonic concepts in general, sorry. You'll need to know what's going on with major scale harmony before modes will actually make any sense.

Exactly right.

What I'm thinking, is while you may be learning stuff, it's harder to become your own teacher. You can't identify the gaps in your knowledge, and be the student at the same time. Only a teacher someone that knows the big picture can see where you are and where you need to go to get where you want. You're learning in an abstract, as I said, with a lot of knowledge, but no sense at all as to how to make it all fit together, and you don't have a "map" on how to get there.

Have you ever considered investing in a teacher? You cannot teach yourself. Well, you CAN, but you can also cut a tree down with a spoon, provided time isnt an issue for you. One thing I can tell you unequivocally, is there's no excuse for saying "the resources to learn that stuff just isn't out there" Today, there are definitely OPTIONS to learn anything you want, and do it the smart way, and there are options that ask nothing from you and offer almost nothing as a result.

Best,

Sean