Page 1 of 2
#1
Tell me what are modes, what are scales (I know they are a series of notes from which they started to where they end) what are they used for, how are they formed, why do we have alot of scales like the major minor and c major and d major what ever they are. Whats the difference between them.
#2
here we go

anyway there's no diffrence
Last edited by 951 at Jan 17, 2014,
#4
Scales are just series of notes. You could name any series of notes with any name - the scale names besides major and minor aren't really that important.

When people say modes, they usually refer to the modes of the major scale. I would say don't get into them yet. They aren't everything there is to guitar playing (I think the importance of modes is way over exaggerated - or at least the talk about modes). Most music today is tonal.

But yeah, the modes of the major scale are basically the same notes as the major scale but they have a different root note. A minor scale is a mode of C major scale. It's the same notes as C major scale but it has a different root note. But I would think them as separate things because they sound way different. A common generalization is that minor sounds sad and major sounds happy. How can the same notes sound happy and sad? Because they have different tonics. A minor song resolves to Am and C major song resolves to C.

There are other modes too. Dorian has the root note on the second note of the major scale, phrygian has the root on the third note, lydian on the fourth, mixolydian on the fifth, minor scale (aeolian) on the sixth and locrian on the seventh. But as I said, I wouldn't suggest getting into them before you have a good understanding of keys and scales (which you don't). And then you may notice that the difference between the dorian and minor scale is just one note. You don't really even need to know the names. Dorian is just a minor scale with a major sixth. All modes can be explained with major/minor scale and accidentals.

But yeah, all scales have modes. Modes of a scale are just other scales that use the same notes as the scale but have a different root note (for example modes of C major use the same notes as C major but have a different root note). And what defines the root note is the sound. You need to listen. What sounds like the "home note"? That's your root/tonic.

So remember that while A minor and C major and D dorian and G mixolydian all have the same notes, they are not the same. They sound different because they have different root notes (as a guitarist this may be hard to understand because all of them have the same scale shapes and guitar is shape based instrument - that's why modes are so confusing among guitarists).
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 Jan 17, 2014,
#6
this is reaaaaaaally something you should just google.
Quote by archerygenious
Jesus Christ since when is the Pit a ****ing courtroom...

Like melodic, black, death, symphonic, and/or avant-garde metal? Want to collaborate? Message me!
#7
Quote by vIsIbleNoIsE
this is reaaaaaaally something you should just google.


The amount of misinformation about modes on the internet is vast, I wouldn't recommend someone googling "modes" if they were keen on learning them.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#8
#9
Scale = set of notes in ascending order. That simple. It does not in any way imply a particular usage of those notes. Literally, just an ordered list.

Mode is the set of notes that comprise the harmony of a given bit of a music, often implying non-functional harmony (although dominant-tonic resolution is still common). This is contrast with Key, which implies harmonic motion and resolution to the tonic.

Basically, with regular old "Key" music, you are changing the harmony continuously with chordal movement and bringing it back around to the key's tonal center. You move from one part of the key to another and then back to the beginning - the Circle of 5ths.

With modes, the harmony is often static for long periods and doesn't rely on chordal motion within it to build tension. Tension is achieved through either changing modes, or just dissonant note choice.

As far as guitar is concerned, modes and scales appear similar because they are both written/played in scalewise fashion. But that's about where the similarity ends.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 17, 2014,
#10
and there ya have it :

take any major scale Ionian and

# the 4th note you end up with lydian

or flatten the 7th note boom mixolydian

you achieve the scale you want by changing one note of the major or minor
scale simple as that.

creating music with it is a whole other story .
Last edited by 951 at Jan 17, 2014,
#11
Quote by mueedbilal
Tell me what are modes, what are scales (I know they are a series of notes from which they started to where they end) what are they used for, how are they formed, why do we have alot of scales like the major minor and c major and d major what ever they are. Whats the difference between them.

I think trollage.
#12
not sure if serious, ill post anyway

Take your c major scale (all the white notes on the piano, starting from C to C)
The notes are C D E F G A B C. This is ionian or major scale.
Play D E F G A B C D (white keys from D to D). This is Dorian scale, meaning D Dorian = C ionian


Now all 7 modes from the same starting note to see the differences between each one :
From brightest to darkest mode:
mode name - alteration :
1) Lydian (sharp the fourth note) = C D E F# G A B C
2) Ionian = C D E F G A B C
3) Mixolydian (flat the 7th note) = C D E F G A Bb C


4) Dorian (b3, b7) = C D Eb F G A Bb C
5) Aeolian (b3, b6, b7) = C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
6) Phrygian (b2, b3, b6, b7) = C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C
7) Locrian (b2, b3, b5, b6, b7) = C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
Last edited by SuperKid at Jan 17, 2014,
#13
Quote by SuperKid
not sure if serious, ill post anyway

Take your c major scale (all the white notes on the piano, starting from C to C)
The notes are C D E F G A B C. This is ionian or major scale.
Play D E F G A B C D (white keys from D to D). This is Dorian scale, meaning D Dorian = C ionian


Now all 7 modes from the same starting note to see the differences between each one :
From brightest to darkest mode:
mode name - alteration :
1) Lydian (sharp the fourth note) = C D E F# G A B C
2) Ionian = C D E F G A B C
3) Mixolydian (flat the 7th note) = C D E F G A Bb C


4) Dorian (b3, b7) = C D Eb F G A Bb C
5) Aeolian (b3, b6, b7) = C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
6) Phrygian (b2, b3, b6, b7) = C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C
7) Locrian (b2, b3, b5, b6, b7) = C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C

I don't like using "bright" or "dark" to describe different scales. They sound different depending on the way you use them.

And as I said in my first post, usually when people talk about modes, they talk about the modes of the major scale. There are modes of other scales too, for example a common one is the fifth mode of harmonic minor scale - "phrygian dominant". It's the same notes as harmonic minor scale but has the root note on the fifth note of harmonic minor. This is how modes are formed. But I don't think they should be thought that way. Because they sound really different. They are the same notes but because the root note is different, they sound different. So D dorian is not the same as C major. Also, white keys from D to D is not always D dorian scale. It depends on the context and what other instruments play.

But really, don't get into them yet. They have fancy names and more "exotic" sounds (not really because you are allowed to use accidentals and after all modes are just one note away from major/minor scale). But the names don't mean anything. Just get a good knowledge of scales and keys and accidentals and you'll notice that you may not even need to learn all the modes.
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 Jan 18, 2014,
#14
Modes aren't scales. They are more like keys.

They are often written out like scales for learning, but when they appear in music, they're stated as chords or arpeggios.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 18, 2014,
#15
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I don't like using "bright" or "dark" to describe different scales. They sound different depending on the way you use them.

And as I said in my first post, usually when people talk about modes, they talk about the modes of the major scale. There are modes of other scales too, for example a common one is the fifth mode of harmonic minor scale - "phrygian dominant". It's the same notes as harmonic minor scale but has the root note on the fifth note of harmonic minor. This is how modes are formed. But I don't think they should be thought that way. Because they sound really different. They are the same notes but because the root note is different, they sound different. So D dorian is not the same as C major. Also, white keys from D to D is not always D dorian scale. It depends on the context and what other instruments play.

But really, don't get into them yet. They have fancy names and more "exotic" sounds (not really because you are allowed to use accidentals and after all modes are just one note away from major/minor scale). But the names don't mean anything. Just get a good knowledge of scales and keys and accidentals and you'll notice that you may not even need to learn all the modes.

i just tried to use the less words possible to not confuse him. technically D to D on the piano is dorian The "bright" to "dark" separation was just to separate the major modes from the minor modes (b3)

People tend to over complicate the subject, there is not much to talk about when he is asking purely about "modes" (not modal harmony) and scales. If you want to play G mixolydian, lower the seventh note of the major scale of the same name, meaning you play F instead of F#

Learn more basic theory first TS, note names, intervals, major scale, etc
#16
Quote by SuperKid
i just tried to use the less words possible to not confuse him. technically D to D on the piano is dorian The "bright" to "dark" separation was just to separate the major modes from the minor modes (b3)


It can be, but is not inherently modal. If you're playing a piece in C and the chord is Dm, that "scale" is not modal in any sense. Modality is a harmonic concept.
#17
Quote by cdgraves
Modes aren't scales. They are more like keys.

They are often written out like scales for learning, but when they appear in music, they're stated as chords or arpeggios.


I don't understand what you mean by this.
#18
Quote by cdgraves
Modality is a harmonic concept.

This is not true. A melody can be modal without any harmonic accompaniment.
Si
#19
Modes of the major scale are pretty much fun weird ways to mix around thirds sixths and sevenths (and seconds but one of those is complete rubbish)
#20
Mode and Key are similar in that they both state a tonal center. In a Key, you define a tonic, move through different harmonies building tension, and resolve back at the tonic. You change harmonies, but retain the tonal center (unless you modulate or somesuch).

With a mode, the harmony is stated vertically, often as an extended chord, or a melodic "wash" (listen to Music for 18 Musicians). The mode IS the harmony, and harmony changes by establishing a different tonal center, changing modes.

Basically, if you are writing a chord progression (in the technical sense), it's not modal. You can use a mode of a scale to work diatonically in, but that's not the same as making modal music.

Quote by 20Tigers
This is not true. A melody can be modal without any harmonic accompaniment.


Because the melody implies a harmony. Harmony doesn't just mean chords. You can have a piece that's nothing but melodic motion that has clear harmonic progression or modality. A ii V I is a ii V I with or without accompaniment.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 19, 2014,
#21
Quote by cdgraves
Mode and Key are similar in that they both state a tonal center. In a Key, you define a tonic, move through different harmonies building tension, and resolve back at the tonic. You change harmonies, but retain the tonal center (unless you modulate or somesuch).

With a mode, the harmony is stated vertically, often as an extended chord, or a melodic "wash" (listen to Music for 18 Musicians). The mode IS the harmony, and harmony changes by establishing a different tonal center, changing modes.

Basically, if you are writing a chord progression (in the technical sense), it's not modal. You can use a mode of a scale to work diatonically in, but that's not the same as making modal music.


Because the melody implies a harmony. Harmony doesn't just mean chords. You can have a piece that's nothing but melodic motion that has clear harmonic progression or modality. A ii V I is a ii V I with or without accompaniment.

OK, you are talking about modal music. But modes (of a scale) are same notes as the scale but with a different root notes - and usually when people talk about modes, they talk about the modes of the major scale. For example A minor scale is a mode of C major scale. And E phrygian dominant is a mode of A harmonic minor scale. Same notes, different root, different sound.

Modes are scales just like major and minor are scales. But yes, they are also more than scales. A song can be in a mode (for example dorian), just like a song can be in a key (for example major).

TS's question wasn't what modal music is. He asked what modes are.
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
#22
^^^ The word "modes" can be used to refer to both the scales derived from the modes and the harmonic context of modal songs. I reckon the commonality of the word is one source of so much confusion around the topic.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#23
Quote by MaggaraMarine

TS's question wasn't what modal music is. He asked what modes are.


Exactly, it's a big concept and the distinction is worth knowing. Playing a song built on a modal scale means it's still Tonal, and still requires a the player to mind the changing harmonies and resolution. I think under informed players try to apply modal scales to tonal music inappropriately and end up wanking scales when they should be playing through chord changes.

Ex: Song is G F Am C - clearly built on G mixolydian, but a melody would still need to accent the chord tones because the harmony is still changing within the key.

Basically, you can have a song written with a modal scale, but it doesn't you can just pull notes from the scale and they'll all work. The "use any note" approach is only appropriate with actually modal music, where the harmony is defined by all 7 tones at once.
Last edited by cdgraves at Jan 19, 2014,
#24
perhaps If you divide an octave into 5 or more notes you have a scale.
Some scales can be called modal scales. The are made up of 7 different notes.
Modes can share the same notes but they start at different degrees.

I.E
ABCDEFG
or
BCDEFGA
and
CDEFGAB and so on.

The major scale produces natural modes.
The Harmonic,melodic and double harmonic minor each produce a variety of altered modes.
#25
Quote by mueedbilal
Tell me what are modes, what are scales (I know they are a series of notes from which they started to where they end) what are they used for, how are they formed, why do we have alot of scales like the major minor and c major and d major what ever they are. Whats the difference between them.


That's a lot of questions, which you need to have a lot of knowledge to understand these answers.

Modes are scales with different orders of half and whole steps. Used modally, they make a certain kind of music that's different from major or minor. Used like most people do, they are extensions of major or minor scales.

Scales are used to make melodies, understand theory, make music, assist in improvising, and any number of musical applications.

Scales are formed using a series of intervals, (most times whole and half steps).

We have a lot of scales like that because we have a lot of different notes. A note can be turned into the beginning of a scale.

The difference between them are their starting and ending points and the notes in between.

Best,

Sean
#26
Quote by cdgraves
Ex: Song is G F Am C - clearly built on G mixolydian, but a melody would still need to accent the chord tones because the harmony is still changing within the key.

THis is not G mixo at all. C major if not A minor. most likely C major V-VI-vi-I
#27
Quote by cdgraves
Ex: Song is G F Am C - clearly built on G mixolydian, but a melody would still need to accent the chord tones because the harmony is still changing within the key.

No, that's not G mixolydian. I would argue that it's in C major, possibly A minor, depending on how it gets to and where it goes from that point.
Join the 7 String Legion!

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Messiaen is Magical


Official Approval
This message has been approved by:

Mister A.J.
Head of the Department of Redundancy Department
Mister A.J.
#28
Quote by AlanHB
I reckon the commonality of the word [mode(s)] is one source of so much confusion around the topic.

Agreed.
Si
#29
Quote by cdgraves
Ex: Song is G F Am C - clearly built on G mixolydian, but a melody would still need to accent the chord tones because the harmony is still changing key.


Yeah that one is in C major. I was actually doing some studio session work on the weekend and there was a song with a similar chord progression - F Am C G. It clearly resolved to C even if it didn't "end" on C. Those types of chord progressions are cool because it creates a feeling of movement throughout the piece by placing less emphasis on the I. That said I had to be careful writing my solos to ensure that I start and end on notes that sounded good with the start/end chords rather than aiming for the standard C chord tones.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#30
Quote by cdgraves
Because the melody implies a harmony. Harmony doesn't just mean chords. You can have a piece that's nothing but melodic motion that has clear harmonic progression or modality. A ii V I is a ii V I with or without accompaniment.

That's not true either. A melody can be harmonized more than one way.

Further a modal melody can be played over a static harmony that has no movement at all. In fact many folk pieces that are modal are melodies over a drone.

I believe what you are getting at is that a mode has a tonal centre against which all the other notes form a relationship. Perhaps you are assuming that the only way to establish the tonal centre is through harmonic progression, which would be a false assumption.
Si
#31
Yes, lots of music is somewhere in between, such as tunes using a modal tonic and then cycling through a chord progression. It comes down usage. Whatever it is, it's important for the player to know when to use chord tones to accent harmonic motion vs achieving a mood with modal playing.

Quote by Mister A.J.
No, that's not G mixolydian. I would argue that it's in C major, possibly A minor, depending on how it gets to and where it goes from that point.


Depends on the rhythm. The point of the example was to assume G as tonic.
#32
Quote by cdgraves
Depends on the rhythm. The point of the example was to assume G as tonic.


But G isn't the tonic. It's C.

But for arguments sake, if G was the tonic, it still wouldnt be in G mixo, it would be in G major. The F borrowed from the parallel minor.

I've seen quite a few comments recently whereby people are arguing basically that keys have to be diatonic and modes can usewhatever chords they want, but it's quite the opposite. I don't really know where this reasoning is coming from, I assume it's because some people think that keys are beneath them and they see modes wherever they go. In any case, if this was so why wouldn't you analyse it as being in G ionian with a borrowed chord from G mixo? Crazy world. I guess the ionian and aoelion modes are also beneath those same dudes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#33
Quote by AlanHB
But G isn't the tonic. It's C.

But for arguments sake, if G was the tonic, it still wouldnt be in G mixo, it would be in G major. The F borrowed from the parallel minor.

I've seen quite a few comments recently whereby people are arguing basically that keys have to be diatonic and modes can usewhatever chords they want, but it's quite the opposite. I don't really know where this reasoning is coming from, I assume it's because some people think that keys are beneath them and they see modes wherever they go.

That's because people like to overcomplicate modes. They are a really simple concept that people apparently like to think as something wow omg super advanced!!!1 so complex, wow. Hell, even natural minor is just one of those modes!
#34
^^^ I assume you are talking about using modes as scales of some sort, I wouldn't say wrapping your head around modal songs is "simple".
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#35
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ I assume you are talking about using modes as scales of some sort, I wouldn't say wrapping your head around modal songs is "simple".

I can't think of one reason to not use them as scales the same way I use for example Aeolian. Okay, define "modal song" then? How would you use the modes to really make a modal song?

I mean why not use them as scales? You can harmonize them like any other scale. Some work better than others.

UPDATE: Someone apparently explained it earlier in the thread. So.... Avoid using (the mode as/with) chord progressions? Okay, I then fail to see the advantage of making modal music.
Last edited by Elintasokas at Jan 20, 2014,
#36
Scales tend to be linear progressions of notes that travel either upwards or downwards. Modes tend to function a lot like keys do in that the resolutory notes change according to which mode you are playing.
#37
Quote by Elintasokas
I can't think of one reason to not use them as scales the same way I use for example Aeolian. Okay, define "modal song" then? How would you use the modes to really make a modal song?

I mean why not use them as scales? You can harmonize them like any other scale. Some work better than others.

UPDATE: Someone apparently explained it earlier in the thread. So.... Avoid using (the mode as/with) chord progressions? Okay, I then fail to see the advantage of making modal music.

I think you need to read up on modes more. I provided several links in post #8. The fundamental thing about modes is that they are NOT scales and should not be treated that way.
You can, by all means, treat their intervals as scales. (For instance, a lot of people use the "Dorian scale", which is simply a scale with the same intervals as the Dorian mode.) But keep in mind, that is not modal, necessarily.
#38
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I think you need to read up on modes more. I provided several links in post #8. The fundamental thing about modes is that they are NOT scales and should not be treated that way.
You can, by all means, treat their intervals as scales. (For instance, a lot of people use the "Dorian scale", which is simply a scale with the same intervals as the Dorian mode.) But keep in mind, that is not modal, necessarily.


What's the difference between the "dorian scale" and the "dorian mode"?
#39
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
I think you need to read up on modes more. I provided several links in post #8. The fundamental thing about modes is that they are NOT scales and should not be treated that way.
You can, by all means, treat their intervals as scales. (For instance, a lot of people use the "Dorian scale", which is simply a scale with the same intervals as the Dorian mode.) But keep in mind, that is not modal, necessarily.

Okay, do you maybe have an example of a real modal song then? I mean will it even sound any good?
#40
a mode is an interval pattern, and is purely a theoretical concept. major is a mode. minor is a mode. 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 is a mode. 1 b2 #3 4 b5 #6 7 is a mode. the names are irrelevant, they are patterns.

a scale is what you get when you take that pattern and apply a root to it. major is a mode. D major is a scale. dorian is a mode. D dorian is a scale. i could keep going. these are the classical definitions.

when we get to things like modal jazz, you're not really doing anything different -- you're just getting to things like eschewing keys (or changing them quickly). if you said that so what by miles davis was in D minor and Eb minor, you wouldn't be wrong. why? it resolves to D and Eb minor chords, even though it's always associated with D dorian and Eb dorian scales (which also is not wrong).

it's best to start with an understanding of functional harmony as dictated in common practice era music, and branch out from there. when you have a plan with a good fundamental curriculum, you're far less likely to get lost in fancy concepts and fancier names.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
Page 1 of 2