#1
Ok guys. I know I haven't posted anything in a while , but that's cuz I got tired of blues cuz it's not my cup of tea. I like metal but I have classic rock / blues teacher. He's amazing and everything , but he can't help me with this : What are modes? What modes work best with each genre? What scales are most commonly used in metal? What makes a good chord? When I say metal I'm talking Metallica , slayer , anthrax ( Fistful of metal - spreading the disease era) , megadeth , venom , mercyful fate, testament , exodus (old) , iron maiden , judas priest. Ok so you know what type of metal I lke.. thrash , old school heavy metal , and some early black metal. PPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLZZZ HHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLPPPPP
#2
1. there is a "modes, before you ask..." thread stickied in this
2. "what makes a good chord"? ....a standard major triad is a 1-3-5, a minor triad is a 1-b3-5, diminished chord is 1-b3-b5, augmented chord is 1-3-#5, learn those before moving towards color tones. Seeing the type of music you're working with, you'll mostly be using open 5th chords anyways (power chords, just the tonic and 5th)...they tend to be pretty prevalent through those groups.

3. in a nutshell, the modes are just a rearranging of the major scale. the key of C is the easiest way to look at them
ionian (major scale) :C D E F G A B C
Dorian: D E F G A B C D
Phrygian: E F G A B C D E
Lydian: F G A B C D E F
Mixolydian: G A B C D E F G
Aeolian (nautral minor scale): A B C D E F G A
Locrian: B C D E F G A B

basically, you are changing what note is the tonic of the scale, which adjusts where the whole and half steps lie within the scale, giving the scale a different sound.

Metal isn't this completely different genre from everything else, and takes a lot of roots from classical music. Take music, add distortion and lots of percussion.
Last edited by Tyson2011 at May 26, 2013,
#3
I agree to stop playing "blues" I like metal, but can't stand that generic all-sounds-the-same blues. Who cares what music is based on it. You like METAL? then PLAY METAL.

What is your goal? Can you play metal songs of the 80s thrash bands you listed?
If not, start with Priest. Some simpler Maiden. Look up the tabs.

How old are you?

You might like this: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Kirk-Hammett-Arthur-Rotfeld/dp/1575600005
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#4
Noticed you said Metallica first up there. Kirk plays a whole heap of bluesy pentatonic licks. He just has more distortion and a wah pedal.

You should learn the minor scale. That makes up 99% of metal. Learn accidentals to get the other 1%.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#5
In all honesty most thrash is very simplistic theory wise so there is no reason to dig extremely deep unless you're just curious about music theory. As far as scales & chords go you'll probably just be using power chords three quarters of the time and other times it'll most likely be a minor or diminished chord. Can't really think of any songs off the top of my head that uses 7th or extended chords. Anyway, for scales most of the time it will be a minor scale usually in the key of whatever your lowest string is tuned to. Solos in metal are a lot more about playing fast and technique because the rhythms are usually so simple that you can get away with murder accidental wise.

I suggest you start by learning songs & solos by your favorite artists & learn how they arrange their riffs & how they choose to solo over them.
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#6
Quote by AlanHB
Noticed you said Metallica first up there. Kirk plays a whole heap of bluesy pentatonic licks. He just has more distortion and a wah pedal.

You should learn the minor scale. That makes up 99% of metal. Learn accidentals to get the other 1%.


I agree with this. If you already know the pentatonics. filling in the blanks by learning the minor scales all over the neck would be a good idea.

the thing about metal is Its fast. So dont strain yourself and tense all up..thats why its a good idea to practice with blues and classic rock. even slow songs will have fast parts.

Whats really going to help you though is to learn music by ear. transcription.
#7
Quote by xxSnowdustxx
Ok guys. I know I haven't posted anything in a while , but that's cuz I got tired of blues cuz it's not my cup of tea. I like metal but I have classic rock / blues teacher. He's amazing and everything , but he can't help me with this : What are modes? What modes work best with each genre? What scales are most commonly used in metal? What makes a good chord? When I say metal I'm talking Metallica , slayer , anthrax ( Fistful of metal - spreading the disease era) , megadeth , venom , mercyful fate, testament , exodus (old) , iron maiden , judas priest. Ok so you know what type of metal I lke.. thrash , old school heavy metal , and some early black metal. PPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLZZZ HHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLPPPPP



Modes are the mystical mountain peak of hallowed ancient scales passed down from master to apprentice, and strictly guarded. Watchmen, have been employed, and are known to wander the perimeter of the castle with a hellhound at the leash, looking to engage upon any hapless unfortunate soul that is trying to scale the walls to unjustly acquire the sacred knowledge.

The Mercyful Fate super awesome mode is the most common scale that is strictly used and guarded by Mercyful Fate, and is the sole licensee of said mode (I'll tell you though at the risk of great personal peril, it's commonly called the natural minor scale). Then there's the Anthrax mode...the contents are strictly under lock n key (I call it the Dorian mode, but with a b6) ... The Judas Priest mode is not so bad, it's been cleverly reworked to appear suspiciously like the Aeolian mode.

The Venom mode, looks a lot like the Major scale, but with a flattened 3rd 6th and 7th.

Rumors in the kingdom abound that, the other bands, use one or more of the other above named bands "modes" in their own music. Lawsuits are pending.

Big super secret, and that is if you take a Locrian mode and raise the 2nd and the 5th, there is another very secret THRASH BAND mode!

Shhhh, you didn't hear it from me!

Best,

Sean
#8
Look what you did. You broke Sean. I hope you're happy.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
Your biggest problem is giving money to a teacher who can't tell you what modes are.
#10
Quote by cdgraves
Your biggest problem is giving money to a teacher who can't tell you what modes are.


in music school modes are literally like a sub-chapter in first year theory. most teachers (not just private instructors, but in schools as well), particularly if they majored in performance (and more particularly if they don't play guitar), won't be able to tell you anything about modes.
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#11
Quote by MissingSomethin
I agree to stop playing "blues" I like metal, but can't stand that generic all-sounds-the-same blues. Who cares what music is based on it. You like METAL? then PLAY METAL.

What is your goal? Can you play metal songs of the 80s thrash bands you listed?
If not, start with Priest. Some simpler Maiden. Look up the tabs.

How old are you?

You might like this: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Kirk-Hammett-Arthur-Rotfeld/dp/1575600005

I am 13 yrs old and currently working on one by metallica
#12
Quote by Hail
in music school modes are literally like a sub-chapter in first year theory. most teachers (not just private instructors, but in schools as well), particularly if they majored in performance (and more particularly if they don't play guitar), won't be able to tell you anything about modes.


Hence why performers aren't usually good at teaching. I'd expect someone who makes a living teaching guitar to know about modes. Well, modal scales anyway, not necessarily Lydian Chromatic modal jazz stuff.
#13
Quote by cdgraves
Hence why performers aren't usually good at teaching. I'd expect someone who makes a living teaching guitar to know about modes. Well, modal scales anyway, not necessarily Lydian Chromatic modal jazz stuff.


if you play classic rock and blues, there's no reason you'd ever need to know the modes. honestly, there's not much reason for anybody to know the modes unless they're trying to analyze a couple particular tunes created specifically based on a modal framework

if you expect every teacher to perpetuate knowledge of the bastardization of a series of melodic and harmonic conventions from 400 years ago, i'd be surprised if that teacher wouldn't run you through set and schillinger before you hit modality in terms of relevance
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#14
If you're playing classic rock you better know how to use that b7. Just about every song written between 1968 and 1978 was built on a "dominant" 7. It's not exactly modal, but a beginning player would probably want to understand why the major scale they just learned isn't working over their favorite Jimi Hendrix songs, or natural minor over that Santana classic.

Obviously people need to sit down and work out the relevant scale/mode for whatever they are playing, but there's no harm in knowing how to get those very common sounds. It should, of course, be taught alongside "normal" harmony so the student understands that "modes" don't work quite the same as the major scale.
#15
Quote by xxSnowdustxx
I am 13 yrs old and currently working on one by metallica



Snowdust,

It's cool that you're playing and enjoying youself. While what I posted above was meant to be funny and humorous, it's also somewhat true. Basically all these same bands, are using the same scale but differently. People develop their "ways" by hearing and listening to different influences, learning songs, and ultimately gravitating to what sounds good to them. A scale doesn't do it, it's time, and exposure, and...doing exactly what you're doing, you're learning "One". That's cool, because you like it, it seems like its something you can learn from, and you're going to walk away with more confidence and benefit from it in your own way. That's how I did it, and how thousands like me did it.

Do that. The scales are the same. Enjoy what you do. You can take lessons, ask questions, read books...however you want to go about it, but everyone is basically playing the same stuff, in their own way.

Best,

Sean
#16
Quote by cdgraves
If you're playing classic rock you better know how to use that b7. Just about every song written between 1968 and 1978 was built on a "dominant" 7. It's not exactly modal, but a beginning player would probably want to understand why the major scale they just learned isn't working over their favorite Jimi Hendrix songs, or natural minor over that Santana classic.

Obviously people need to sit down and work out the relevant scale/mode for whatever they are playing, but there's no harm in knowing how to get those very common sounds. It should, of course, be taught alongside "normal" harmony so the student understands that "modes" don't work quite the same as the major scale.


honestly outside of guitar DVDs and forums like these, modes just don't come up that much. if you build your approach off of understanding chord tones and a pragmatic approach to harmony learned from conventions (so basically the fundamentals of self-education prior to the internet) there's no real reason to worry about modes, and scales aren't much more useful if you're thinking of how the summation of the harmony deals with the key.

there's a tricky road to tread saying "scales are useless" because they are the foundation of interval relationships for most players, but at a point where you're viewing scales as extended chords or a series of relationships (IE non-linearly), they do become obsolete analytically unless the composer intentionally made use of a certain scale or mode

for a beginner, obviously, they're important to learn the fretboard and be introduced to all these foreign concepts like intervals, tension, and resolution, but, like modes, not nearly as important as people like to make them out to be in the long-term, especially if you're fiddling based on sounds to make your own understanding of how music works.

in general, you're better off teaching a kid some warm-ups and some songs and sprinkling in information from there, though. i wouldn't start a kid off on scales (and by extension the modes) because they'd have no context with which to apply them, leaving them in a masturbatory crossroads between theory and application where neither is satisfied fully.

i mean, other than learning to read music and key signatures and the major/minor scales and triads, i didn't get explained anything about music theory until high school, and by that time i'd seen accidentals before, i'd seen modulation before. so when the topic came up to understand it, it wasn't so scary. i don't know why we should see guitar any differently
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#17
Modes in modern music is primarily a jazz thing =\. You don't really find it in metal, though you do find a bit of chromaticism in metal. And in answer to your question about what makes a good chord, well chords can only be analyzed as good when in relation to other chords (that is, in most cases in traditional theory... if we talk scriabin we might analyze things differeintly; promethean chord and what not as a collection of resolving tones to one major chord... but that's far outside the bounds of traditional tonality). but all in all, i consider theory to be a fun thing... everything musical should be subjugated to your ear. so if you want to get better at playing metal, ignore the analysis and instead start learning those songs by ear.
#18
Why is it that, when we have a sticky about modes, people still ask tons of questions about modes?

Quote by xxSnowdustxx
PPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLZZZ HHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLPPPPP

Also, let's never do this. Ever. Again. It's bloody annoying as hell.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 31, 2013,
#19
There is just so much mysticism surrounding modes... as if they are the secret to all great playing or something =\. not sure how that came about... but whatever. the knowledge of it all isn't really all that valuable. (though it is a tried and true method of analysis, so I wouldn't throw them away completely)
#20
Quote by Erc
There is just so much mysticism surrounding modes... as if they are the secret to all great playing or something =\. not sure how that came about... but whatever. the knowledge of it all isn't really all that valuable. (though it is a tried and true method of analysis, so I wouldn't throw them away completely)

Yes, but to be frank, I feel like the important part is (as you said) that the knowledge of modes isn't that valuable. It's like every beginner guitar player goes, "If I just learn modes I can be like Kirk Hammet/Alexi Laiho/(insert guitar player of choice)", when the reality is that most players today don't even use modes outside of certain forms of Jazz.
#21
Quote by Erc
There is just so much mysticism surrounding modes... as if they are the secret to all great playing or something =\. not sure how that came about... but whatever. the knowledge of it all isn't really all that valuable. (though it is a tried and true method of analysis, so I wouldn't throw them away completely)


It's been my observation over the years that it started when a couple of big names started shooting the word around as a way of talking about playing a scale pattern in different positions on the neck using the modal names to correspond to different box shapes. (I actually have a guitar world article written by Jimmy Brown that explains modes as such.) Which is somewhat understandable considering the definition of a mode.

From there it began to get out of control when shredders started just learning using this method to be able to dart all over the neck (because as we all know from the endless number of "what chord is this?" threads people can't truly appreciate music unless they have a name for what they're doing ) Which led to the candid response "Dude, just learn your modes." That some of the older regs prolly remember.

So like a lot of fundamental theory concepts that are just too simple, people try to conjure up ways to make more out of it. It's not good enough to just play one scale over a progression that they have to imagine a different mode for every chord, (not to belittle CST but is it really necessary for I - IV - V?)

my 2¢
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#22
modes are the get-rich-quick scheme of the guitar world. pseudo-educators used it (and still use it) to establish credibility and move DVDs. it's the same as those shitty too-good-to-be-true infomercials that come on at 3am.
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#23
I agree with the last three posts. I'm sure modal jazz (Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. So What being 'the' tune to really define it) also had a lot to do with popularizing modes. Modes do occur in a few other types of music though (irish comes to mind. some russian folk too.) but metal and rock? hardly. Better to stick with major and minor and pentatonic scales if you want to experiment.