#1
Hey UG.
I've recently started working through all the modes. There is a lot of grasp but I think I'm slowly making progress. As I get a better understanding of the modes, I get more interested in how other people create their solos to get a specific sound and/or feel.
I have a few solo's that I think achieve a great atmosphere and feeling, and I'm wondering how they are built. I don't have the experience to determine and analyze the solos myself yet, so that's why I'm asking for help

Solo 1: Opeth - Burden (Starts at: 2:56)
http://youtu.be/FBS7ejV9qEk?t=2m56s
If I had to take a guess I'd say it mainly is the Aeolian mode, with a few pentatonic/blues licks. This is just a guess, and I have no idea about the key.

Solo 2: Dream Theater - Breaking All Illusions Solo 1 (Starts at: 6:08)
http://youtu.be/p7Wm3fmoPMU?t=6m8s
My guess would be that the first solo mainly follows the Ionian mode. The mood feels very uplifting.

Solo 3: Dream Theater - Breaking All Illusions Solo 2 (Starts at: 7:12)
http://youtu.be/p7Wm3fmoPMU?t=7m12s
Seems very similar to Opeth's Burden, which is why I'm wondering if they kinda stick to the same formula and mode.

Solo 4: Work Of Art - Nature Of The Game (Starts at 3:16)
http://youtu.be/quRRw17GljM?t=3m16s
I'm sorry I couldn't find the studio version anywhere. In terms of audio quality this is the best live performance I think. I have really no idea about this one, but some of the arpeggios in the end sounds like Phrygian, kinda gives me a Malmsteen feel.

So. If there is someone out there that can easily figure out how these solos are built, and what modes they are MAINLY sticking to, that would be very interesting and informative to hear. Especially regard the key and modes.
Any information is useful really, since if I ever wanted to create a solos with one of these vibes, I'd know where to look.

PS. I tried giving the links a starting point, but it kept ignoring it, so I've now provided the starting points in text.

Best regards
- Kris
Last edited by KrisHQ at Oct 26, 2013,
#2
Pay more attention to the chords. I think chords are what give the song a mood. Of course there are lots of other things that also matter like tempo and rhythm. But it's more about the chords than the scale they are using. The notes you should play are all about what chords you are playing over. So figure out the chords. The three first solos were all in a minor key and used the minor scale.

You can't just pick a scale and have a certain mood, unless you are playing over certain chords. And I wouldn't think too much about modes. They will just confuse you. The vast majority of songs are not modal. So forget about "ionian" and "aeolian", they are called major and minor.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#3
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Pay more attention to the chords. I think chords are what give the song a mood. Of course there are lots of other things that also matter like tempo and rhythm. But it's more about the chords than the scale they are using. The notes you should play are all about what chords you are playing over. So figure out the chords. The three first solos were all in a minor key and used the minor scale.

You can't just pick a scale and have a certain mood, unless you are playing over certain chords. And I wouldn't think too much about modes. They will just confuse you. The vast majority of songs are not modal. So forget about "ionian" and "aeolian", they are called major and minor.

Thanks for the reply. I'm aware that what really creates the mood is the chords in relation to the solo/notes that are played, but that what sorta of what I was asking.
Not to take too much of a chunk at a time, I tried focusing on the scale since that is what I'm working on. I wanted some practical examples that could put it into some perspective Good to know about the minor/minor relationship, if you can call it that.
Another reason is that figuring out the chords/key of a song, seems much more difficult, since you'd have to have a pretty decent ear.
My ears are not good enough to quickly figure out the chords of a song. Power-chords are obviously easy, but I know it's something I'll have to work on in the future.

It's very interesting that you suggest not thinking too much about modes, everywhere I look they are praised as a good way to get into creative soloing. So far they seem to make great sense as well, and I'm actually starting to get somewhere with my soloing. If you have any other suggestions as to how I can increase my "toolbox" they are appreciated.
Last edited by KrisHQ at Oct 26, 2013,
#4
^ Well, it depends on how you understand modes. People kind of have different definitions for modes. Some people refer to fretboard positions with mode names.

What modes really are... They are basically major scale with a different root. But I wouldn't think them that way. To me dorian means a minor scale with a major 6th, phrygian is a minor scale with a minor 2nd, lydian is a major scale with a sharp 4th and mixolydian is a major scale with a minor 7th.

But if you learn the intervals and scale degrees well, you don't need to think C major and C mixolydian as separate scales. There's only one note difference between them and it's the minor 7th vs major 7th. You could as well just think that you are using C major scale and instead of B play Bb. You can use all 12 notes. You just need to train your ears.

You don't need to use any modes if your song doesn't have chords that they would fit. If your song has chords Am-C-F-G, you would play A minor scale over it because it's in the key of A minor. There are no modes in the song (some people may suggest you to use A aeolian - C ionian - F lydian - G mixolydian but that makes no sense - you are playing in A minor all the time and actually all those scales have the same notes in them).

I don't know why but only guitarists and bassists talk about modes. Pianists and brass players and all don't talk about them that much.

Also, today most music is not modal. Contemporary music is mostly tonal. It's in a key.

I think somebody could explain this better...
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Oct 26, 2013,
#5
Quote by MaggaraMarine
You don't need to use any modes if your song doesn't have chords that they would fit. If your song has chords Am-C-F-G, you would play A minor scale over it because it's in the key of A minor. There are no modes in the song (some people may suggest you to use A aeolian - C ionian - F lydian - G mixolydian but that makes no sense - you are playing in A minor all the time and actually all those scales have the same notes in them).

Well. The way that I have learned modes is that the Aeolian mode is basically just the natural minor scale. So I don't think of modes as the major scale with a different root, but I understand that concept.
If the song is in the key of A Minor I would use the A Aeolian mode, which is basically just the natural minor (for instance). I get that this is very basic and that to be a great guitarist you need to expand more, but it's impossible to understand everything at once, you have to start somewhere.
I think of modes as a toolbox that I can open, having learnt all the positions I know which notes to avoid and which ones that I can use within a specific key.
The way I visualize it, is that if I "activate" the A Aeolian Mode, all the patterns in the Aeolian mode light up, showing me what notes that are safe to use.
Another way that I think is great I've heard from Myles Kennedy, saying: You're a frog jumping from lily pad to lily pad. All the wrong notes are the water, and the lily pads are the notes within a certain mode.
Last edited by KrisHQ at Oct 26, 2013,
#6
^^^ Just call it the minor scale mate. The aeolian became the minor scale about 200 years ago.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
Quote by MaggaraMarine

(a) But I wouldn't think them that way. To me dorian means a minor scale with a major 6th, phrygian is a minor scale with a minor 2nd, lydian is a major scale with a sharp 4th and mixolydian is a major scale with a minor 7th.

(b) I don't know why but only guitarists and bassists talk about modes. Pianists and brass players and all don't talk about them that much.


(a) yeah that's the way i think, too. I understand learning them as extensions of the major scale, because it helps you to derive them and also have a ready-made fingering pattern that you can already use, but musically, if you ask me, it's far better to consider them as separate scales. For example, no-one (er... ok, well, I don't. Sample size of 1 there, lol ) using the (natural) minor scale thinks of it as being anything other than a different scale from the major.

(b) I know ages back my sister tried to learn the saxophone and the first scale in her beginner book was dorian.

I agree that guitar players obsess over modes, but at the same time I don't think we're the only ones who do.
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