#1
Im having an hard time understanding modes. I see that many modes have the same CAGED box patten as the major scale but i am told that they are completely different. i understand that each mode has is on forum for example Ionian (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) Dorian (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7) and so on... Also i have seen sometimes that each position of the major scale is named after a mode but each one contains the exact same notes how is this?

if i played a D Dorian mode would that be in the scale of C because Dorian starts on the second note of the scale?

can some please explain so that i can understand the concept of modes better?
#2
Do you understand the basic concepts of functional harmony? Do you really, really understand what a key is? As long as you're looking at scales as shapes and patterns and not keys you simply can not understand what a mode is.

Yes, the modes contain the same notes as different major scale positions. If you simply play the notes of a D Dorian you are basically playing the C major scale in the second position (I think, I've never studied scales in positions).

But modes are a lot more complex. If you know how to establish a key, and understand what a key really is, then you can start wandering into modes.
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#3
Oh man. I'm sorry I posted that picture in the other thread.

Did you know that the A natural minor scale and the C major scale have the same notes in them?

Yet if you're using A minor it will resolve back to A and it will also sound minor. If you're using C major it will resolve back to C and it will sound major.

I'm sure when you hear something that is in Am (and even if it doesn't use a major V chord) you don't hear it as being in C major.

It has to do with resolution and the relationship of the notes back to the root. It's not simply a matter of containing a certain set of notes. It's about the hierarchical relationships between the notes that are created by the way that you use them.
Si
#4
Quote by Dolphin Guitar
Im having an hard time understanding modes. I see that many modes have the same CAGED box patten as the major scale but i am told that they are completely different. i understand that each mode has is on forum for example Ionian (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) Dorian (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7) and so on... Also i have seen sometimes that each position of the major scale is named after a mode but each one contains the exact same notes how is this?

if i played a D Dorian mode would that be in the scale of C because Dorian starts on the second note of the scale?

can some please explain so that i can understand the concept of modes better?


As the other guys say, when music is written using some scale type (whatever it is) as the basis, this means

1/ we have a palette of notes to use (I'll avoid being technically correct for this discussion). The actual notes depend on which pitch we choose to apply the scale from. From the view point of writing a tune, that choice of starting note determines how easy or hard the tune is to perform, either due to physical limitations of instrument (including voice), and/or lack of knowledge. But, ignoring note names, each of the scale notes exists at some "distance" (lookup semitones for yourself) from the start note, and hence creates its own unique sound in relation to this start note (relative to the start note).

e.g in major scale, the 3 (major 3rd) is always 4 semitones above the start (ignroing reoccurrences over different octaves) ... in C major, C -> E is a maj 3rd. in C#, C#->E# is a maj 3rd. etc.

2/ we can build chords out of these notes ... there are simple formulas for doing this. (e.g. the major triad)

3/ a successful melody based on this palette is not just a random ordering of these notes. Typically the melody starts on the 1, or on 5 followed by 1. Typically it ends on 1, often preceded by 5. The 3 gets used quite a lot. So, we're drawing attention to the major triad that can be built off 1 (the start note). Other intervals set up expectations (e.g. 4 often is followed by 3, or 2 by 1) ... the ear/brain expects these things to happen. When they don't the expectation increases.

By doing this, the listener's attention is drawn over a period time to activity around the 1, the start note. Doing this makes that start note the tonal centre (the centre of this activity). If you do this, you'll give the impression your tune is written in C major (maj scale of C), or in F major (maj scale with F as start note), or A Phrygian (Phrygian scale ) if you use Phrygian for your palette, and A as the start note, ... etc..

Conversely, if you stuck a bunch of bits of paper in a hat, each numbered with an interval of your favourite scale type, and then kept pulling something out the hat, and playing the result in the order they came out the hat, and applied these from a given start note, there is very very little chance that melody will sound remotely like its meant to be centred around that start note, or even based on the original scale type.

4/ The same idea applies with chords build from the intervals in the scale. Chord progression are created to draw attention to the start note, or to move away from it, setting the expectation of coming back to it.

There are a few scale types that the above ideas don't work with, but for the majority of types, the above applies.

Atonal music on the other hand does its damnedest to avoid the above, and hence not draw attention to a specific pitch as a start note ... then there is no tonal centre.

Hope this helps.

cheers, Jerry

(p.s an interesting mental exercise to to think of how many different ways one can make a pitch stand out more than others, either over a large number of pitches over time, or just over a few pitches in a short period of time. You should post your ideas for that ... there a re many ways of doing this)
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Jun 29, 2015,
#5
All good advice here.

I said it in the other thread. We keep the fretboard organized by using the modal names of the scale to refer to the patterns.

YES, C major for D to D is D dorian. This is true.

What is NOT true and why you are confused, is that playing that dorian "position" does not make the music D Dorian. It's just C major from D to D.

Modal harmony and use of modes in CST is a different animal than tonal harmony. Until you have keys and major/natural minor scales DOWN, don't worry about it for now.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#6
as jet said..study the major scale until you understand it ... study diatonic harmony-basically using the major scale to form chords within the scale..and their relationship to each other..if you do study this..you will begin to see the "big picture" but it will take a bit of work..but well worth it..

for now forget modes...as they will only confuse you as to the how when why..when you have the major scale understood fully..modes will make much more sense..and the need to "know" them will seem far less important..
play well

wolf
#7
Quote by wolflen

...

for now forget modes...as they will only confuse you as to the how when why..when you have the major scale understood fully..modes will make much more sense..and the need to "know" them will seem far less important..


Amen.

A mode is just another scale formula ... it's 100% useless knowing it orginated from mucking around with a parent scale. That knowledge is actually potentially harmful if misused.

You just need to know how to use a scale successfully to create a tonal centre. That's all there is to it. The rest is just confusion for no good reason.

cheers, Jerry
#8
Quote by Dolphin Guitar
Im having an hard time understanding modes. I see that many modes have the same CAGED box patten as the major scale but i am told that they are completely different. i understand that each mode has is on forum for example Ionian (1 2 3 4 5 6 7) Dorian (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7) and so on... Also i have seen sometimes that each position of the major scale is named after a mode but each one contains the exact same notes how is this?

if i played a D Dorian mode would that be in the scale of C because Dorian starts on the second note of the scale?

can some please explain so that i can understand the concept of modes better?


To get the concept of modes down, I think it helps to understand that a lot of people use the term and it means different things.

For example, Playing a "Mode" over a Drone Bass line, or a very tightly enclosed vamp of 2 chords that doesn't change or invoke the V chord is one way

Another is using these scale names as a Chord Scale theory, popularized by Berklee and other forms of thought, is another matter all together.

Another is the Classical traditional way of what was considered modal in music, all the way back to the gregorian chant.

For others they think it's some exotic scale played over power chords in a rock concept and it sounds all neat and cool and I wanna do that, kind of thing...

So, which of these best expresses your point of view and what you're interested in?

Best,

Sean
#9
Modes will make a whole lot of sense once you already know your basic major/minor scales and chords. Modality is a harmonic concept, not a scalar/melodic one, so it's really important to have a basic understanding of normal harmonic motion before you get into other harmonic concepts.
#10
Thank you for all your help guys.

I will study major and minor scale more before I move onto modes. I also will study chords

Speaking of chords theres a probably quite silly question I wanted to ask?
Whats the difference between a major triad and a major chord. For example a C major triad contains 3 notes C, E. G. and a C major chord contains the same notes but more are repeated. is this still technically a triad?
#13
^Literal perfect answer.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#14
By "3 notes" people mean 3 different notes. Repeated notes are still the same notes. A triad is a chord that has 3 different notes in it, but they can be repeated in different octaves.

C E G C E is still a triad. It has 3 different notes in it.
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