#1
Anyone know where to find good articles/charts? And explanations on modes. I wanna know everything about what I'm learning.
All I've come across were bad rated articles so far, please help.
Also the charts I've been reading have been just... Idk I'm sure you guys have seen them, I don't see how I'm supposed to understand a fretboard with numbers placed all over that bitch.
Don't tell me something stupid like "you need to understand what you're looking at first" nahh... obviously that's why I'm asking you guitar geniuses. Come through with the help, UG!
#2
Well you said it, and I won't quote your quote..
I'm sorry, but you're just not ready for this.
If you still think you are ready for go head first into things like modes, I'd personally recommend "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine. It's interesting, and opened up my eyes and ears to new approaches to music.

Again...I still think you're trying to run before you can walk though.

You should take a look at how to harmonise the major scale (google it at least) and work on understanding triad chord progressions in the major scale.
After that, move on to 7th chords.
Maybe you'll start to understand modes later, and maybe not. But most likely you'll never use them in a musical context. I'll happily be proven wrong though
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#3
Quote by Shor
Well you said it, and I won't quote your quote..
I'm sorry, but you're just not ready for this.
If you still think you are ready for go head first into things like modes, I'd personally recommend "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine. It's interesting, and opened up my eyes and ears to new approaches to music.

Again...I still think you're trying to run before you can walk though.

You should take a look at how to harmonise the major scale (google it at least) and work on understanding triad chord progressions in the major scale.
After that, move on to 7th chords.
Maybe you'll start to understand modes later, and maybe not. But most likely you'll never use them in a musical context. I'll happily be proven wrong though


Well that's not really what I meant exactly BUT, if you believe I'm not ready well... I'll take your word and advice on where to go.

So harmonizing the major scale I go... I've actually been told over and over by my bassist that he jizzes on his axe with harmonizing. It sounds mad sexy so thanks I'll get right into it!

If you have any links on that, it'd be much appreciated also! Thanks.
#4
Modes aren't a technique, therefore you'll learn little to nothing about them by looking at anything that involves a fretboard diagram. Modes are all about sound, and the simple truth of the matter is that in most popular music they simply don't apply, more often thatn not you're dealing with a major or minor key.

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#5
Ok, here's the thing. Treating modes and scales as if they're some sort of box shapes on the guitar is just horrid. Learn the intervals, not just a bunch of box shapes. Ugh.

Secondly, if you don't understand basic diagrams, why are you coming to us? I think you need to learn more about keys, intervals, chord construction, etc. Then, when you understand the tonal side of music, you can investigate the modal side.
#6
I'd personally recommend "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine.

This book is pretty much the book on modes and other such things. It'll give you a very solid explanation of most things you are looking for. Otherwise just pick up a book of Tonal Harmony and go to the modes section. And yeah, very little music out there these days is modal. Shostakovich tends to be very modal and same with a lot of music from the russian 5. Otherwise you aren't gonna find a lot of modes since most music is based upon the tonic dominant relationship. Also some irish tunes tend to be pretty modal (mostly mixolydian)
Last edited by Erc at May 14, 2013,
#7
Quote by J2G
Anyone know where to find good articles/charts? And explanations on modes. I wanna know everything about what I'm learning.
All I've come across were bad rated articles so far, please help.
Also the charts I've been reading have been just... Idk I'm sure you guys have seen them, I don't see how I'm supposed to understand a fretboard with numbers placed all over that bitch.
Don't tell me something stupid like "you need to understand what you're looking at first" nahh... obviously that's why I'm asking you guitar geniuses. Come through with the help, UG!


Here's your help.

Learn and understand the basics of music theory, and diatonic/tonal harmony. It doesn't work any other way. If you're serious, we teach this stuff and the modes stuff that you're seeking out.

Best,

Sean
#8
^
Is your entire point to advertise your online school, Sean? Because isn't advertising technically against the rules?

Quote by Erc
This book is pretty much the book on modes and other such things. It'll give you a very solid explanation of most things you are looking for. Otherwise just pick up a book of Tonal Harmony and go to the modes section. And yeah, very little music out there these days is tonal. Shostakovich tends to be very modal and same with a lot of music from the russian 5. Otherwise you aren't gonna find a lot of modes since most music is based upon the tonic dominant relationship. Also some irish tunes tend to be pretty modal (mostly mixolydian)

I think you meant "very little music out there these days is modal".
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 13, 2013,
#9
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showpost.php?p=20025979&postcount=33

May not be what you're looking for, but it is what it is. Also I second that modes are not just shapes on the fretboard, or moving shapes around all willy nilly. It's about you tonal center. If that confuses you then I also second that you're not ready for modes & should go over keys & diatonic theory before moving on. Hopefully by then you'll understand the folly of your question.
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#10
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
^
Is your entire point to advertise your online school, Sean? Because isn't advertising technically against the rules?


Is your entire point to advertise your bandcamp page Sam?

Sean is fine, get off it. Im sure that youre here to do more than promote your band too, which also scores a ban.
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#11
Learn your major scales up and down the guitar. Then when you approach modes, you'll discover you already know them.

Modal harmony on the other hand, is another animal completely, but is fortunately not relevant to 99.99% of music outside of Jazz ca 1955-1970.
#12
Quote by Shor
Well you said it, and I won't quote your quote..
I'm sorry, but you're just not ready for this.
If you still think you are ready for go head first into things like modes, I'd personally recommend "The Jazz Theory Book" by Mark Levine. It's interesting, and opened up my eyes and ears to new approaches to music.

Again...I still think you're trying to run before you can walk though.

You should take a look at how to harmonise the major scale (google it at least) and work on understanding triad chord progressions in the major scale.
After that, move on to 7th chords.
Maybe you'll start to understand modes later, and maybe not. But most likely you'll never use them in a musical context. I'll happily be proven wrong though

this is all spot on.
#13
Quote by cdgraves
Learn your major scales up and down the guitar. Then when you approach modes, you'll discover you already know them.

Modal harmony on the other hand, is another animal completely, but is fortunately not relevant to 99.99% of music outside of Jazz ca 1955-1970.


I can support this statement. We see so much advice on modes coming from people who cannot identify
the tonal center of a key that the advice is often flawed when it comes to application - it is either incorrect or otherwise useless when actually playing a song.

Through learning the major and minor scales first and their application in keys you will be equipped to understand modes, and how to apply them.
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#14
Alright tons of feedback. Thanks for clearing up a lot. I just saw "learn modes" a lot when I was a infant noobie at guitar, and I know a lot of scales and have been recently studying on intervals, circle of fifths etc.

I didn't know they weren't that significant, back to theory studies. Thanks all.
#15
[quote="cdgraves
Modal harmony on the other hand, is another animal completely, but is fortunately not relevant to 99.99% of music outside of Jazz ca 1955-1970.


Doesn't mean you can't use it though, we need some change really, not the same stuff that's been happening in modern music forever, if it sounds pleasing, that's all
#16
"A mode is just the major scale started on a different note" was a useless definition for me. If one wants to dig deeper into nuances, that's great. But, for the people who have never been able to translate "modes are just starting counting on a different note of the major scale", into actual guitar soling, I personally found that definition to be rubbish. And that is why so many players have no idea what modes are, and never break out of the same rock scale for 10 to 20 years: pentatonic minor box position. So, put away the book, and start playing what I'm about to talk about. I've posted all you need to know about expanding your scale repertoire by a 7-fold right here in this thread.

For 15 years, people explained the order of notes and never pointed out that a mode is virtually meaningless unless you hear it over a progression. Don't miss the forest for trees. I think most teaching of modes gets in the way of learning to actually play guitar in real life. For people who don't know what a mode is, here is the only explanation that actually helped me to understand what modes are.

In a solo, you are going to play a bunch of notes in succession over a progression. Who cares if they are called 123 or 231? For me, the only thing that matters in a scale/mode is the inclusion of exclusion of the notes. There is no "order." Either the note is part of the scale or it's not. Are you stuck playing the same minor pentatonic for a decade? 1,-3,4,5-7. Well, you must try other notes over the same rhythm. For example, try the major scale. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. It will sound different than penta minor b/c the intervals are different. The flavor of the notes only comes to life against a backing chord. In the case of major scale, notice there is no -3 or -7. Who cares about the order? You will be playing hundreds of notes in ANY order you want.

Modes are just the major scale moved to a different location. You know how you slide the minor pentatonic scale down 3 frets, and it sounds major? Now, instead of 1,-3,4,5,-7 you have 1,2,3,5,6. This is the same idea behind modes.

Take the major scale: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
Mixolydian mode is a scale that contains 1,2,3,4,5,6,-7.
You get this scale by sliding the major scale up a 4th (5 frets).
Dorian is scale that contains 1,2,-3,4,5,6,-7.
You get this scale by sliding the major scale down a whole step (2 frets)

A mode, in practical terms, is exactly a major scale shifted to a different location. What else is it? If you loop some basic 3 chord progression, and play each of those major scales shifted by those amounts, you will immediately hear the difference. This is the ONLY explanation that has ever made sense. The notes are meaningless without context of being contrasted to some rhythm progression.

To that end, the C major scale and E Phrygian mode are the exact same thing. They are the same exact 7 notes. What determines the flavor of the sound of these 7 notes are the chords played behind those 7 notes. If the rhythm is in the key of C, then this scale will sound major b/c they are 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 in relation to the backing track. So, in this context, call the 7 notes the C major scale. But, if the rhythm chords are in E, then call the same 7 notes E Phrygian, because you will now hear -3,-7, -6 notes, and it will not have the same flavor as C major b/c of the different backing track it is being contrasted against. But they are the same exact 7 notes. Tomato. Tomahto. That explanation of modes misses the entire point of what modes mean to a guitar player trying to incorporate new scales into his playing. Modes are variations of the intervals a scale has from the key your are playing over. That's it.

I never said I am some expert, but I do understand the concept of intervals and why the same note will sound different against 2 different chords. And that is what you need to know about modes, first and foremost.

The bottom line: Over a given progression in a given key, slide that major scale to different locations, and you've instantly incorporated 7 new "scales" into your repertoire, all with varying interval notes, and their own unique flavor. Just like when you slide the minor pentatonic down 3 frets. You get a whole new sound since you're now playing 1,2,3,5,6 instead of 1,-3,4,5,-7. In my opinion, that's really Everything You Need to Know About Modes.
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#17
Quote by MissingSomethin
Modes are just the major scale moved to a different location

This is technically wrong. I'm not going to bother with the rest. But modes are not scales, when used in the context of modal music. When used in tonal music, they become de facto scales though. But people need to understand that tonal and modal music are different.

Quote by Tempoe
Doesn't mean you can't use it though, we need some change really, not the same stuff that's been happening in modern music forever, if it sounds pleasing, that's all

The problem is that modes are actually quite limiting to most modern musicians. In fact, they found them limiting as early as the renaissance. This is why, throughout the renaissance, they gradually moved away from modes into the tonal system we know and use today.
Modes can be used in interesting way, but most people feel there's a great deal more freedom to tonal music. And, although the masses aren't always correct, in this case...they are.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 14, 2013,
#18
Quote by MissingSomethin
"A mode is just the major scale started on a different note" was a useless definition for me.

i'm pretty sure its uselessness has to do with the fact that it's a completely garbage definition in the first place, and not any problem on your end
#19
Quote by MissingSomethin
For 15 years, people explained the order of notes and never pointed out that a mode is virtually meaningless unless you hear it over a progression.

Lol
#20
Quote by MissingSomethin
Just like when you slide the minor pentatonic down 3 frets. You get a whole new sound since you're now playing 1,2,3,5,6 instead of 1,-3,4,5,-7. In my opinion, that's really Everything You Need to Know About Modes.


Well I really liked some of the points you made but this "moving the shape around" isn't really about modes. Note that modes can be played on instruments other than guitar, so the position thing isn't going to work.

In these last two examples, you're talking about the major pentatonic and minor pentatonic respectively, neither of which are commonly referred to as modes. Given these notes I'd just call them the major scale and minor scale.
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#21
Quote by Tempoe
Doesn't mean you can't use it though, we need some change really, not the same stuff that's been happening in modern music forever, if it sounds pleasing, that's all


yeah, modern harmony is boring, let's listen to drones and vamps all day

i'm all for experimentation, but it's easier to make atonality sound organic than proper modes, and even if someone were to utilize them successfully, something tells me it's not gonna be a newbie solo shredder asking about scales on UG

let's face it, exploration and understanding of conventions nonwithstanding, modes are just a very powerful tool to mystify the art of musicality and sell DVDs and books to kids who can't tell you how to build a chord, much less quantify tension and resolution.
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Last edited by Hail at May 14, 2013,
#23
Quote by Tempoe
Doesn't mean you can't use it though, we need some change really, not the same stuff that's been happening in modern music forever, if it sounds pleasing, that's all


Modern music uses modes all the damn time and rarely in a seriously interesting way. Usually it's a drone (almost always in D for some reason), or a chord sequence built on the mixolydian or dorian.

Of course, that music isn't exactly "modal" per se because it's still just a simple major or minor key, the only difference being that it's diatonic to the Mixo or whatever instead of the Ionian.

Actually modal music treats the mode as a chord in itself - your harmony is a fully voiced 13th chord, technically. You don't progress through harmonies, rather you change key signature, which means you're changing the extensions on your 13th chord, even if the root stays the same. This is how you end up with weird shit like the chords in "Naima", or or stuff that features triad/9th voicings (ie Cmajor/D).
#24
Quote by Hail
yeah, modern harmony is boring, let's listen to drones and vamps all day

i'm all for experimentation, but it's easier to make atonality sound organic than proper modes, and even if someone were to utilize them successfully, something tells me it's not gonna be a newbie solo shredder asking about scales on UG

The only type of people I've heard do modes well are people like Guthrie Govan or Joe Satriani, the kind of guys who have either an excellent Jazz background or an excellent Classical background. And by "excellent", I mean they've been writing and playing at upper levels in those genres or using influences from those genres for many years. Even then, it's more for experimentation than something they do on a regular basis.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 15, 2013,
#25
Quote by cdgraves
Modern music uses modes all the damn time and rarely in a seriously interesting way. Usually it's a drone (almost always in D for some reason), or a chord sequence built on the mixolydian or dorian.

Of course, that music isn't exactly "modal" per se because it's still just a simple major or minor key, the only difference being that it's diatonic to the Mixo or whatever instead of the Ionian.

Actually modal music treats the mode as a chord in itself - your harmony is a fully voiced 13th chord, technically. You don't progress through harmonies, rather you change key signature, which means you're changing the extensions on your 13th chord, even if the root stays the same. This is how you end up with weird shit like the chords in "Naima", or or stuff that features triad/9th voicings (ie Cmajor/D).


Using modes in this way is really an alternate way of analysing a song. So you could say oh that bVII in the major key, it's obviously from the mixolydian mode. Alternately you could say it's borrowed from the parallel major. You could say over this bVII you play the mixolydian mode, or you could say you use a b7 accidental.

If we want to get into the "chord as an island approach" that's yet another form of analysis. Obviously where the bVII came from is irrelevant if it's going to be analysed without reference to a tonal centre (or any other chord).

However when you start getting standard progressions it gets a little complex. Lets say we have a progression that goes I - bVII - IV - V. Are we to say that during the bVII it is in the mode of mixolydian, whilst the rest is in a key? Or perhaps we should think of 4 different modes because each is an "island". Or should we simply say "use a b7 over the bVII" to accommodate for clashes?

They're all valid approaches. What I'm trying to say is that you can analyse a piece any way you want. People have their different preferences, the prevailing one for the last century or two has been keys.

So to say "modes get used all the damn time", it's really as effective as saying "accidentals get used all the damn time". Both valid.
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