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#1
Ive been improving for while a now and have gotten bored with the usual major/minor/pentatonic/blues backing tracks. Im definitely competent in with those scales.

When it come to modes i just don't understand their definition/use i guess. To me it seems like a C major Dorian mode is no different sounding than the usual Ionian. (same notes right?) when playing over a c ionian backing track C feels like the right root note not D. if you were to place any Cmajor mode on a piano you would still be using all white keys correct?

Thanks for any clarification you guys can offer
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#2
Mate excellent questions.

The reason D dorian sounds like C major when played in the key of C major is that you are actually playing the C major scale. However you've already figured that out. Some people never do so congrats.

Play C dorian over your progression to get more of a dorian sound.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#3
but how are the modes different? they're all the same goddam notes....
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#4
Rather than relative modes look at the parallel modes. That will show you how they differ.

For example, in C:

Ionian: C D E F G A B C
Mixolydian: C D E F G A Bb C

The difference is easier to hear than just to see. So If you can loop a C note to play over and then play the two different scales above you should be able to hear the difference. Obviously you can do the same with all the other modes if you root them in C.

In the end though, if you are pretty good with the application of the Major and Minor scale. Then you already have anything you are ever likely to need; so long as you can utilise accidentals confidently to add to the sound you are reaching for.
#5
im new to this relative/ parallel phrasing. is that mixalodioan that of the f major scale?
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#6
OK a relative scale is one that has the same notes, but a different root. So C major and A Minor are relative, for example.

Parallel scales have the same root note. So C major and C minor are parallel, for example.

C Mixolydian is, therefore, relative to F Ionian (which has the same notes as F Major, but we are discussing modality, not tonality).
#7
so i should play fmjor ion over a cmajor mix backing track?
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#8
Those scales contain the same notes, but are not the same scale, because they have different roots. You should play C mixolydian over a C mixolydian backing track.

Scales are named for where they resolve, not just the sharps/flats. If you play that set of notes with one flat and imply a resolution to F, then you're playing F major. The same set of notes made to resolve to C defines C mixolydian. Resolving on D... Dminor, and so on.

The harmony and relevant scale need to agree, basically.
Last edited by cdgraves at May 10, 2014,
#9
No. That will confuse yourself. If you are playing over a backing track in the key of C you can only resolve to C.

I am going to take a step back from here now as I am confusing you. I would suggest learning a bit more about the Major and Minor scale and tonal harmony in general. These are the building blocks that will eventually allow you to understand Modes.
#11
Quote by royalstrat
but how are the modes different? they're all the same goddam notes....

C major and A natural minor use the same notes but they are not the same thing are they? For one C major is major while A minor is minor. C major resolves to C while A minor resolves to A. C major has a root, major second, major third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, major sixth, major seventh, octave while A minor is a root, major second, minor third, perfect fourth, perfect fifth, minor sixth, minor seventh, octave.

C major and A minor have different tonal centres and different interval structures that make up each of the scales. So sure they use the same notes but they are not the same.

If you're comfortable with the major minor scales as you claimed at the start you should understand this well enough. The same goes for the modes.
Si
#12
Quote by royalstrat
but how are the modes different? they're all the same goddam notes....


Your confusion probably stems from everyone using the C major scale to explain modes. It's easier to talk about scales when you don't have to use sharps or flats, but that does lead some people to believe that modes are different scales with the same notes.

Usually, in this case someone would tell you C major (Ionian) is CDEFGABC, D Dorian is DEFGABCD, and E Phrygian is EFGABCDE. If you want the Dorian sound over C, you'd play C Dorian (C,D,Eb,F,G,A,Bb,C) just as you would play C minor to sound minor over a C instead of its relative minor of A. The root note is your guide, so you should learn the intervals instead of the names of each note.

Knowing C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, and F Lydian seems useless at first because these scales use the same notes, but the point of this type of introduction is to explain how a mode can relate to a relative major scale. To actually understand the sound of a mode, you need to think in terms of C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian, and C Lydian instead (and maybe even C Phrygian, D Phrygian, E Phrygian and F Phrygian to drive the point home). Everybody struggles with this distinction at first. It's nbd.
#13
TS, A minor and C major share the same key signature. Are they the same thing?

You can hear if a song is in minor or major. You may have heard of "minor sounds sad and major sounds happy" kind of generalizations. It's a stupid generalization but it makes it a lot easier to understand the differences between the relative keys.

A minor and C major scales are the same notes but the notes function differently. You can't really play A minor over a C major track because it will not sound like A minor. The backing track defines how the notes function. In A minor E is the fifth and in C major E is the third.

D dorian is closer to D minor than it is to C major. The notes are the same as in C major scale but the sound is closer to D minor. It is actually the same as D minor scale with a major sixth instead of a minor sixth.

Listen to the sound. Play all parallel scales over a drone note and you'll understand the differences between them.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

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#14
TS modes have special voice leading rules, tendency tones, etc fromb keys. For instance, the thing that really gives away that your in Amin not Cmaj is the G# leading tone in V which isn't found in Cmaj. Modes.have little give always like these as well

The person who told you to think not.of.C Ionian and D Dorian but C ionian and C dorian was so right. Think.parallels not relatives!
Last edited by bassalloverthe at May 10, 2014,
#15
Quote by royalstrat
but how are the modes different? they're all the same goddam notes....

Well, how is the Aminor scale different from the Cmajor scale? It's the same notes, right?

I'm not an authority on modes, but think about that question.
#16
Quote by cjohnson122989

If you want the Dorian sound over C, you'd play C Dorian (C,D,Eb,F,G,A,Bb,C) just as you would play C minor to sound minor over a C instead of its relative minor of A. The root note is your guide, so you should learn the intervals instead of the names of each note


so when playing in any of the C modes my rood note should be still be C? just the C of a different scale?
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#17
Quote by royalstrat
so when playing in any of the C modes my rood note should be still be C? just the C of a different scale?


Coild you please give an example of what you are talking about?
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#18
prior to this discussion, i was under the influence that the root note for c dorian was d and and for c phrygian was e and so on. but are the rest of you saying that c is the root note for all c modes?
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#19
for a d dorian mode song would i play the c major notes using d as my root?
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#20
Quote by royalstrat
but are the rest of you saying that c is the root note for all c modes?


yes

Quote by royalstrat
for a d dorian mode song would i play the c major notes using d as my root?


yes
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#21
just so we are clear id like to try a few examples:
the a lydian has the root of a but is in the key of e because a is the four note?
g mix root g in key of c?
e dorian root e in key of d?
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
#22
Quote by royalstrat
prior to this discussion, i was under the influence that the root note for c dorian was d and and for c phrygian was e and so on. but are the rest of you saying that c is the root note for all c modes?


No, d Dorian is better thought of as a dmin scale with a natural 6th
#23
TS to really understand what we are telling you, you should learn about keys. If you play in a key, the key will determine what your root is.

So if you play E dorian in the key of D, the key has already dictated that the root is D, and the scale will be heard as D major. This will occur no matter what you call the scale.

That said, these are the answers to your questions:

Quote by royalstrat

the a lydian has the root of a but is in the key of e because a is the four note?


A lydian has the root of A, and is in the mode of A lydian. Alternatively "A lydian" can refer to a pattern of accidentals that vary the A major scale.

Quote by royalstrat
g mix root g in key of c?


G mixolydian has the root of G, in the mode of G mixoloydian. Alternatively "G mixolydian" can refer to a pattern of accidentals that vary the G major scale.

Quote by royalstrat
e dorian root e in key of d?


E dorian has the root of E, in the mode of E dorian. Alternatively "E dorian" can refer to a pattern of accidentals that vary the E minor scale.


I think you may be learning from a crappy lesson somewhere.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#24
Quote by royalstrat
just so we are clear id like to try a few examples:
the a lydian has the root of a but is in the key of e because a is the four note?

A lydian is the lydian mode in A.

g mix root g in key of c?

G mixolydian is the mixolydian mode in G.

e dorian root e in key of d?

E dorian is the dorian mode in E.

Edit:
I didn't see Alan's post. He beat me to it.
#25
TS, you usually use A dorian scale in songs that are in the key of A minor or major. Think A dorian as A minor with a major 6th instead of thinking it as G major starting on a different note. A dorian is soundwise closer to A minor than it is to G major.

If you look at the interval patterns of the scales, dorian is 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7; minor is 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7 and major is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. You can see that dorian is closer to minor (1 note difference) than it is to major (2 note difference). (Intervals are major or perfect unless they have a "b" in front of them which makes the major interval minor and perfect interval diminished.)

Edit: But before you really start learning about modes, I would suggest first learning the difference between minor and major. That really helps you understand the difference between the modes. So do you understand the difference between minor and major?
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 May 11, 2014,
#26
It's also worthwhile to understand that the modes are not the only way to assemble the 12 different keys in an octave into 7 note scales. For example harmonic minors can't ever be assembled from any mode and thus represents a completely different scale.

I would in fact like to know how many different diatonic scale types there are. Minor/major is one, harmonic is a other, I believe melodic is yet a other. Does anyone know an answer to this?
Last edited by KeyGuy at May 11, 2014,
#27
Quote by KeyGuy
It's also worthwhile to understand that the modes are not the only way to assemble the 12 different keys in an octave into 7 note scales. For example harmonic minors can't ever be assembled from any mode and thus represents a completely different scale.

I would in fact like to know how many different diatonic scale types there are. Minor/major is one, harmonic is a other, I believe melodic is yet a other. Does anyone know an answer to this?

From Wikipedia:

Very often, diatonic refers to musical elements derived from the modes and transpositions of the "white note scale" C–D–E–F–G–A–B (see details below). In some usages it includes all forms of heptatonic scale that are in common use in Western music (the major, and all forms of the minor).


So the answer is major scale, the modes of the major scale, minor scale (which is actually a mode of the major scale) and sometimes melodic and harmonic minor are also considered diatonic. But I think most of the time when people talk about diatonic, they talk about scales that can be played on white keys - that means the major scale and the modes of the major scale.

But if you are talking about 7-note (heptatonic) scales, there are lots of them. A pretty common one is the overtone/lydian dominant scale (1, 2, 3, #4, 5, 6, b7). A note is not just one frequency. One note has many different frequencies in it (all the natural harmonics you can play on an open string), and that's where the overtone scale comes from.

Also, harmonic and melodic minor have their own modes which aren't really used anywhere, other than "phrygian dominant" (the fifth mode of harmonic minor - phrygian scale with a major third).
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
#28
Quote by KeyGuy
I would in fact like to know how many different diatonic scale types there are. Minor/major is one, harmonic is a other, I believe melodic is yet a other. Does anyone know an answer to this?

Diatonic refers to a scale made up of seven steps where there are five whole steps and two half steps and the half steps are as far away from each other as possible.

Strict adherence to this definition results in seven diatonic scales (the major scale and it's modes).

However, the harmonic and melodic minor scales are considered by many as "diatonic" in the sense that they are a normal harmonic and melodic devices in a minor key - that is they are not regarded as chromatic notes or stand alone scales but as an integral part of the normal minor key.

So it depends who you talk to, there are either seven if you don't count harmonic and melodic (or if you just lump them in with the natural minor scale) or nine if you count them as individual scales.
Si
#29
Quote by 20Tigers
Diatonic refers to a scale made up of seven steps where there are five whole steps and two half steps and the half steps are as far away from each other as possible.

Strict adherence to this definition results in seven diatonic scales (the major scale and it's modes).

However, the harmonic and melodic minor scales are considered by many as "diatonic" in the sense that they are a normal harmonic and melodic devices in a minor key - that is they are not regarded as chromatic notes or stand alone scales but as an integral part of the normal minor key.

So it depends who you talk to, there are either seven if you don't count harmonic and melodic (or if you just lump them in with the natural minor scale) or nine if you count them as individual scales.



I should not have used the term diatonic scale. I meant any scale that has 7 notes in it. Not just the diatonic scale, which I guess melodic and harmonic scales are not. Let's limit the biggest step to 3 semitones as well...

So at least the most common are the:
Diatonic
Melodic minor
Harmonic minor (I don't think this is a mode of the melodic, and most certainly not the diatonic).
Last edited by KeyGuy at May 11, 2014,
#30
Quote by KeyGuy
I should not have used the term diatonic scale. I meant any scale that has 7 notes in it. Not just the diatonic scale, which I guess melodic and harmonic scales are not. Let's limit the biggest step to 3 semitones as well...

So at least the most common are the:
Diatonic
Melodic minor
Harmonic minor (I don't think this is a mode of the melodic, and most certainly not the diatonic).

Well, you could count all the possible scales. Many of them aren't really common and IMO not worth naming. As I said, overtone scale is a pretty common non-diatonic scale.

But yeah, just start with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and start flattening notes.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7
1, 2, 3, 4, b5, 6, 7
1, 2, 3, 4, b5, 6, b7
1, 2, 3, 4, b5, b6, 7
1, 2, 3, 4, b5, b6, b7

b4 is enharmonically the same as 3

1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7
1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
1, 2, b3, 4, b5, 6, 7
1, 2, b3, 4, b5, 6, b7
1, 2, b3, 4, b5, b6, 7
1, 2, b3, 4, b5, b6, b7
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, 7
1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7
1, b2, 3, 4, b5, 6, 7
1, b2, 3, 4, b5, 6, b7
1, b2, 3, 4, b5, b6, 7
1, b2, 3, 4, b5, b6, b7
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, 6, 7
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, 7
1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
1, b2, b3, 4, b5, 6, 7
1, b2, b3, 4, b5, 6, b7
1, b2, b3, 4, b5, b6, 7
1, b2, b3, 4, b5, b6, b7

Then do the same with sharps and after that with mixed flats and sharps. Many of them will sound like crap and will have no use.

Edit: Oh, I forgot flattening the fourth from b3 and b2 scales. Well, there are some more possible flat scales but I'm not going to write them.
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 May 11, 2014,
#31
Quote by royalstrat
just so we are clear id like to try a few examples:
the a lydian has the root of a but is in the key of e because a is the four note?
g mix root g in key of c?
e dorian root e in key of d?


Yes.

However, that's sort of the problem with trying to learn the modes from the major scale it's related to- it saves you from having to learn more shapes, and it can get you out of jail if you forget a mode (since you can always derive it) but it can also confuse you pretty quickly.

I reckon I have a pretty good handle on which (major) modes use which intervals, and thinking like that would confuse me before too long.

Personally (and other people may well disagree), if I'm in, say, G mixolydian, I'm thinking in G, not C. Thinking in C would confuse me, and requires some mental gymnastics which sort of take my attention off what I should really be thinking about (i.e the root note and the overall sound of the mode and notes within it).

If I think in G mixolydian, all I have to think is, right, G major scale but with a flat/minor 7th. That's it. All I have to remember is to play the flat/minor 7th (F) instead of the major 7th (F#). The end.

In fact I'm more comfortable with the minor pentatonic scale so I tend to relate it to that... I remember to play the major 3rd (B) instead of the minor 3rd (Bb) and add in the major 6th (E))- but same result, and not that much thought required. You could also relate it to the major pentatonic instead if you prefer, just remember to also add in the minor 7th (and the major 2nd).


Conversely if I try to think in C:

I have to remember my C shape and/or the notes/intervals in the C major scale.

Then I have to remember that I actually have to think in G i.e. target the G, not the C.

Then I also have to remember that, to make it sound like G mixolydian, I'd better be playing over a chord progression that really accentuates the mixolydian sound or I'll sound like I'm playing in C if I'm not careful (especially if I don't remember to target the G root note).

Granted, the same will happen if I'm playing while thinking in G mixolydian if I'm playing over a C major chord progression, but personally I find if I'm thinking "in the mode" rather than "in the scale the mode it derives from", it helps at least a little to sound like the mode, at least in my own head.


Finally, I have to remember to target the notes which really accentuate the "mixolydian sound"- the notes which differentiate it from the major (or minor) scales which our ears are normally more used to.

In mixolydian's case, that'd be the major third and minor 7th (and arguably the major 6th as well, since it played next to the major 7th, to my ears anyway, also drives that point home, your ears aren't normally used to hearing a major 6th next to a minor 7th because those two notes don't occur together in either the major or minor scales).

Again, granted, you have to do that too when thinking "in G Mixolydian"- but again I find it easier to target those specific notes when thinking "in G Mixolydian", than when I'm thinking "in C major" and then having to mentally convert to remember I'm playing in G Mixolydian.


I guess the analogy would be thinking about prices in one currency, and constantly having to convert to another currency you're more comfortable with. It might make more sense to just get used to the other currency. If I want to buy 5 pedals from a USA shop (I'm in the UK), I don't convert each pedal's dollar price to pounds, and then add them all up. I add up all the prices in dollars and then convert the final price at the very end, which to me is a lot handier. Better yet, if I'm using dollars a lot, it might make even more sense to just get used to dollars.

Thinking in C major when you're playing G mixolydian (to me) is like the former way of converting prices- more work for no real good reason.

Your mileage may vary, of course. And I apologise if I've confused you even more, I may well have...
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 11, 2014,
#32
Quote by DaveMC
Granted, the same will happen if I'm playing while thinking in G mixolydian if I'm playing over a C major chord progression, but personally I find if I'm thinking "in the mode" rather than "in the scale the mode it derives from", it helps at least a little to sound like the mode, at least in my own head.


In this example you are just playing the C major scale, and making a firm effort to think it is not the C major scale.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#33
I'd just play D major

But yeah E dorian would just sound like D major if played like that (i'm guessing that's what you're getting at, but I could be wrong).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#34
^^^ Lol I just edited my post. Sorry to leave you hanging like that.

I understand that you would rather play the D major scale, but you go to lengths above to explain that you would play E dorian over D/G mixo over C
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#35
Yeah I think I phrased that badly That's not what I meant. I meant if I were playing over a G mixolydian progression, but thinking in the C major scale, I'd have to make a conscious effort to target the G or I'd still be sort of thinking in C. If you're not careful you're sort of subconsciously targetting the C if you're thinking in the C major scale (at least I am).

I just said the other bit to point out that I realised that thinking in G mixolydian wasn't necessarily a panacea to sounding like G mixolydian either because, if playing over a C major progression, it would still sound like C major.

That's what I meant.

What I posted:

"(a) Granted, the same will happen if I'm playing while thinking in G mixolydian if I'm playing over a C major chord progression, (b) but personally I find if I'm thinking "in the mode" rather than "in the scale the mode it derives from", it helps at least a little to sound like the mode, at least in my own head."

Bit (b) wasn't really meant to be related to part (a), it was more just in general, and if playing over a modal progression. Admittedly it was a bit ambiguous there.

EDIT: Long story short, I find it easier to target the "right" intervals/notes if I'm thinking in the mode, rather than thinking in the scale it's derived from. That's all I meant. But I was just pointing out that targeting those "modal" notes/intervals won't make the thing modal either if it's just a bog standard major progression.
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 11, 2014,
#36
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Well, you could count all the possible scales. Many of them aren't really common and IMO not worth naming. As I said, overtone scale is a pretty common non-diatonic scale.


Overtone scale is a mode of the melodic minor as far as I read just now, but thanks for pointing this out. I should dig deeper into this. Are you sure that none of the ones you presented aren't modes of diatonic, harmonic, or melodic. That seems like a lot more "structures" than I thought were possible. You may be right that a lot of the possible ones(jees, what is the correct term for this?) are not worth playing though. Still nice to know this stuff for composing your way out of a roadblock. Although the good old trial and error works as well...
#37
Quote by KeyGuy
Still nice to know this stuff for composing your way out of a roadblock. Although the good old trial and error works as well...


I still think running through the modes of the major scale is a good place to begin experimenting with unusual sounds because every interval is used at least once. And yeah... if all else fails, you can always pick and choose notes from the chromatic scale. Maybe even add a few accidentals in addition to the scale (other than the already raised/lowered notes).

I feel like most of the regs here like to think more in terms of chord progressions though - and they would be correct in saying that G mixo over a C progression is a C major sound. You don't get the sound of a mode without the root chord (or bass note).
#38
A mathematical approach...kind of...

Imagine you have any number of empty spaces greater than 7. You can write 1 or 2 in the spaces and you must fill every space with either a 1 or a 2. Any group of seven consecutive spaces must add to 12.

Following these rules leads to the following: Every seven notes has to contain at least five 2s and two 1s to get the required 12. Once we have seven consecutive steps that add to 12 they must repeat over and over in a seven step recurring pattern.

The 1s can either be:
right next to each other and then five 2s 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1...etc In this arrangement ANY group of seven consecutive numbers will add to 12.

Or the 1s can be separated by one 2 on one side and four 2s on the other side
1 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 2...etc

Or the 1s can be separated by two 2s on one side and three 2s on the other side
1 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 2...etc.

That's all. Any other arrangement is just a different selection of seven consecutive steps from one of the above patterns

If we replace the 2s with Whole steps and the 1s with half steps we get the following:
W W H W W W H (major scale and it's modes) (7 possible scales)
W H W W W W H (harmonic minor and it's modes) (7 possible scales)
H W W W W W H (I don't know what it's called and it'smodes) (7 possible scales)

So just half and whole tones results in 21 possible scales.

If we do the same thing but allow 1 2 or 3 to be used then we get a whole lot more...

1 2 3 2 2 1 1 1 2 3 2 2 1 1 1 2 3 2 2 1 1...etc = H W W+H W W H H and it's modes = 7 scales
1 2 2 3 2 1 1 1 2 2 3 2 1 1...etc H W W W+H W H W and it's modes = 7
1 2 2 2 3 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 1 1...etc
1 2 2 2 1 3 1 1 2 2 2 1 3 1...etc
1 2 2 2 1 1 3 1 2 2 2 1 1 3...etc
1 2 1 3 2 1 1 1 2 1 3 2 1 1...etc
1 2 1 3 1 2 1 1 2 1 3 1 2 1...etc
1 2 2 1 3 2 1 1 2 2 1 3 2 1...etc
1 2 2 1 3 1 2 1 2 2 1 3 1 2...etc
1 2 1 2 3 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 3...etc

I don't think I got all of them but each of the above uses a different seven not sequence and each one has 7 modes of that sequence. There are 10 different patterns so already 70 different scales (add in our 21 from before and we have 91 scales).

And since we are allowing a minor third we can introduce another minor third...

1 1 1 1 2 3 3 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 etc
1 1 1 2 1 3 3...etc
1 1 2 1 1 3 3...etc
1 2 1 1 1 3 3...etc
2 1 1 1 1 3 3...etc
1 2 1 1 3 1 3...etc
1 2 1 3 1 3 1...etc
1 2 3 1 3 1 1...etc
1 2 1 3 1 1 3...etc
1 2 1 3 1 3 1...etc

That's just ten distinct scale patterns, there are a heap more too. If each of those have seven modes then that's at least another 70 scales to add to our tally.

So we have over 190 scales that's only after working out some of the possibilities.

There's a point at which studying a lot of exotic scales is more detrimental than beneficial. Different people draw the line at different places but it's got to be drawn somewhere.
Si
#39
Quote by KeyGuy
Overtone scale is a mode of the melodic minor as far as I read just now, but thanks for pointing this out. I should dig deeper into this. Are you sure that none of the ones you presented aren't modes of diatonic, harmonic, or melodic. That seems like a lot more "structures" than I thought were possible. You may be right that a lot of the possible ones(jees, what is the correct term for this?) are not worth playing though. Still nice to know this stuff for composing your way out of a roadblock. Although the good old trial and error works as well...

Yes, some of the ones I presented were modes of the major scale and maybe some of them were also modes of melodic or harmonic minor. And yeah, you are right, overtone scale is actually a mode of melodic minor. But that's not really where the scale comes from - it comes from overtones.

You can build your own scales just like Marty Friedman did in his video. He just tried different notes over the chord and came up with a scale. (The scale he came up with was phrygian dominant.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSaTAGsIBEI
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#40
wow this is a ton of info to digest. In the mean time, if someone could just tab out the notes acceptable to play over a song in the modes of the c dorian or phrygian that would be awesome!
When the power of Love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. ~Jimi Hendrix
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