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#1
Hello everyone,

I am relatively new to modes and I think
I am getting the picture of how the
major modes work. But not sure about
when and if I am using them with the right
intention. Let me explain,

For example if a song I wrote is in the key
of B major and using a 1-IV-V progression and
when I get to the guitar solo I do
the following chord progressions:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: Using B major scale
Key: B Major

Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: B Minor
Mode: B Dorian
Solo: Using A major scale
Key: A Major

Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: B Lydian
Solo: Using F# major scale
Key: F# Major

Measure#4)
Underlying rythym chord: D Minor
Mode: C Dorian
Solo: Using C major scale
Key: C major

Measure#5)
Underlying rythym chord: G Major
Key: C major
Mode: G Mixolidian
Solo: Using C major scale

Measure#6)
Underlying rythym chord: A Minor diminished
(A, C and Db)
Key: B flat major
Mode: A Locrian
Solo: Using B flat major scale

Now assuming I got the above correct....
My lead solo part of my song would change
key 5 times ?? Is this ok..? Usually
most songs have their solo parts staying to
the same key as the rest of the song!!!!
So what gives with these modes....??? it seems
like whenever we use them we are forced to
change keys every time we want to switch mode.

From what I remember, most songs stay in
the same key during their guitar solos..... right?

So my question becomes.... is changing keys like this
during a solo frowned upon or is it accepted
so long the changes sound pleasing?

Thanks for your help, advice and feedback
cheers
#3
hi jack..i see your new to this forum...to say modes are mis-understood - could be our motto..

your saying you play over a I IV V progression..is it 12-bar blues based ?

no offense..your approach to modes is at best confusing..and unnecessary..without going into detail of exactly "what is wrong" .. let me say..and I am sure other members will agree...FORGET modes--for now..dig deeper into diatonic harmony and all its implications..and if you can some study of melodic principles..( it appears your approach does not consider melody-which in itself may dictate some "solo directions"

you may also read past posts on modes-you may find some insight in those...
play well

wolf
#4
You shouldn't just decide "now I'm going to play this scale and now I'm going to change to this scale" randomly. If the key of the chord progression doesn't change, I see no reason in changing the scale you are playing. Also, your chord progression seemed pretty random to me (well, I didn't play it, but it just looks very random to me). How did you come up with it? Do you think it sounds good?

Your approach would just sound random, because the scales you are playing may have no connection. When you solo, you don't want to play scales. Play melodies. Scales are just a tool to find the notes you are looking for. If you just decide that you are going to use all of these different scales, I'm pretty sure your playing will also sound pretty much like scales. And you don't want to sound like you are playing scales.


But yeah, learn about keys first. The fact that you are adding accidentals doesn't change the key you are playing in. If the chord progression stays in one key, you are playing in one key. You are just playing some "outside" notes, but that's completely fine. Not every note you play have to belong to the key scale. But your approach to it seems pretty random.


Also, forget everything you have learned about modes. Modes are not in a key. D dorian is not in the key of C major.

If you want to learn about modes, learn them by comparing them to the parallel major and minor scales (ie, scales with the same root note). Compare A major to A mixolydian and A major. What do you notice? Compare A minor to A dorian and A phrygian. What do you notice?

Here's the tab. I'm going to only use one string to tab out the scales, so that the intervals of the scale are easier to understand. Everything only uses the A string.

A lydian:

0-2-4-6-7-9-11-12

A major:

0-2-4-5-7-9-11-12

A mixolydian:

0-2-4-5-7-9-10-12

A dorian:

0-2-3-5-7-9-10-12

A minor:

0-2-3-5-7-8-10-12

A phrygian:

0-1-3-5-7-8-10-12

What do you notice? Play them and listen to the sound. You want to know the sound of them.

But yeah, how to use these scales is a bit more complex, and you really need to understand keys and chord functions to really understand when to use what scale. Of course you can just trust your ears, and that's a good way. And if you just use your ears, that way you'll also come up with your own "rules" of how to use the scales.

First learn about chord functions and keys. Most of the time you'll be playing the key scale. So if you are in the key of A major, you should use the A major scale. You can always use accidentals (just trust your ears), but A major is the "vanilla sound" (as Jet Penguin would say) over a diatonic A major progression. So for example if your progression is A-F#m-D-Bm7-A/E-E7-A (all chords use notes in the key scale - in this case A major scale), just play A major over everything.


I'm pretty sure what I'm explaining sounds pretty complex. My main point is, stick with your major and minor scales for now. Learn about keys and chord functions. Use your ears.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Yamaha P115
#5
I agree with all the above, but to address specific questions in case it helps:
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

For example if a song I wrote is in the key
of B major and using a 1-IV-V progression and
when I get to the guitar solo I do
the following chord progressions:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: Using B major scale
Key: B Major
Yes....
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: B Minor
Mode: B Dorian
Solo: Using A major scale
Key: A Major
OK, following a B major tonic with Bm is unusual, but not breaking any rules.
The mode could well be B dorian. But you are still in the key of B (because B is still - so far anyway - the note that "sounds like home").
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: B Lydian
Solo: Using F# major scale
Key: F# Major
Again, this is possible, but you are deviating from a plain "I-IV-V in B major".
You are using what's known as "mode mixture" - different modes on the same keynote. If that's the sound you want, that's fine.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure#4)
Underlying rythym chord: D Minor
Mode: C Dorian
Solo: Using C major scale
Key: C major
Using the C major scale on a Dm chord will give you D dorian, not C dorian.
This is a very strange change from the previous B lydian. Not "wrong". Just strange...
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure#5)
Underlying rythym chord: G Major
Key: C major
Mode: G Mixolidian
Solo: Using C major scale
Yes, C major scale on a G chord is G mixolydian.
But a Dm chord followed by G - one measure each, both using the C major scale - is going to sound like a ii-V in C major, so individual mode names are irrelevant. IOW, these two chords will act together to imply the key of C major, and an approaching C chord...
The exception would be if you returned to Dm, which would probably confirm a D keynote. (Dm-G, repeated over and over, 2 or 4 beats each, is a common "D dorian" vamp.)

Anyway... we're not in B major any more, Toto...
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure#6)
Underlying rythym chord: A Minor diminished
No such chord.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
(A, C and Db)
Nope, no such chord.
Do you mean an A diminished triad, perhaps? That would be A C Eb.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Key: B flat major
Mode: A Locrian
Solo: Using B flat major scale
OK, that scale will fit Adim and give an A "locrian" sound.
This chord progression is getting stranger..... Still, that doesn't mean "bad".... just very strange....
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Now assuming I got the above correct....
My lead solo part of my song would change
key 5 times ?? Is this ok..?
If you like the sound, then it's perfectly OK! The only rule is: it must sound good (in your opinion).

Its the terms you use to describe it that might then be an issue. (Your terminology is a little shaky, at least your use of the word "key".)

A change of key is a change in the perceived "home note". So your first 3 chords are all in the "key of B" - the mode just shifts from ionian to dorian to lydian.
The next 3 chords - Dm, G, Adim - have no clear key centre. Dm-G could imply D or C as key centre, but - in this context - neither very strongly.
Adim is an unstable chord, and A is not a "keynote" in that case - it contains a tension that "wants" to resolve elsewhere (possibly Bb, but other resolutions are possible).
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Usually most songs have their solo parts staying to the same key as the rest of the song!!!!
They do indeed...
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

So what gives with these modes....???
Good question. Where did you get them all from?
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

it seems like whenever we use them we are forced to change keys every time we want to switch mode.
You're not "forced" to do anything.
When you're composing, you choose the chords (and scales or modes) you want -whatever sounds you like. I guess you chose those chords (and modes), so you're only forcing yourself!
When improvising on other people's songs, you use the chords (and scales or modes) they used.
Of course, that means you have to determine what scales/modes they are - but that's pretty easy if you just follow the chords (use the notes in the chords).
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

From what I remember, most songs stay in the same key during their guitar solos..... right?
Right. Not all, but the vast majority.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

So my question becomes.... is changing keys like this during a solo frowned upon or is it accepted so long the changes sound pleasing?
If it sounds pleasing it won't be frowned on!
As I say, those changes are unusual, and certainly deviate (in unexpected ways) from the key of B major. But if it sounds pleasing to you, and you made those choices carefully (judging by ear), then all is fine. Some listeners may raise their eyebrows when they hear it, but that may be no bad thing. (Many listeners out there could use some eyebrow exercise....)
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 26, 2015,
#6
hello fellows,

I agree with you guys that the chords are not the best chosen ones as
this was a random choice of chords as an example.

All I wanted to know is if a solo wants to change from one mode to another
it will seem that we would be always change keys.

After all Isn't it what he is doing?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jdfmtN-67JU

He's keeping one note as a background sound and playing all the modes
over it .... and everytime he is playing a different mode well, he's changing
key !! which was the reason for my question.... changing keys so many times
in one solo is weird no?

And he is holding the B note all along signifying perhaps a B major chord...
what if that B major chord becomes a D major chord .... so now the process
in the video would start all over again but this time over a 'D' note and
every mode will change the key .... all these key changes is what I am confused
about.

But anyways your recommendations have been noted.

thanks anyways
#7
Hi Jongtr,

Thank you for your in depth analysis , I haven't had a chance read everything
but will do soon enough.

Yeah everyone thinks that I am trying to write the next hit with those
progressions lol

No no. no.... after watching the video I posted in previous thread I simply
took any chords and wanted to know if I was able to correctly identify
the key according to a chord chosen at random... This was totally
a random selection of chords....I should of picked more like a A minor,
Gmaj, D min ect....

I called it a song but what a sad song that would of been lol.
I should of called it test#1 to test#6 instead of measures 1 to 6.

let read up your post and I will get back!

thanks
Last edited by JackOnTheRocks at Aug 26, 2015,
#8
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
hello fellows,

I agree with you guys that the chords are not the best chosen ones as
this was a random choice of chords as an example.
Ah...
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

All I wanted to know is if a solo wants to change from one mode to another
it will seem that we would be always change keys.

After all Isn't it what he is doing?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jdfmtN-67JU

He's keeping one note as a background sound and playing all the modes
over it .... and everytime he is playing a different mode well, he's changing
key !!
No he isn't. He's playing a different scale, on the same keynote.

He is demonstrating the principle of "parallel modes", in order to help you hear the different qualities of each mode.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

which was the reason for my question.... changing keys so many times
in one solo is weird no?
It's weird, yes!
That's because he is not demonstrating an improvisation principle. Solos are not played like this.
One might write a song using parallel modes in this way - but one probably wouldn't use all 7 modes!
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

And he is holding the B note all along signifying perhaps a B major chord...
The B note signifies nothing but a key centre.
The ionian, lydian and mixolydian modes imply a B major chord (because they all contain D#, the major 3rd)
Dorian, aeolian and phygian modes, meanwhile, imply a B minor chord (because they all contain D, the minor 3rd).
B locrian implies a Bdim chord.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

what if that B major chord becomes a D major chord .... so now the process
in the video would start all over again but this time over a 'D' note and
every mode will change the key .... all these key changes is what I am confused
about.

It's only an implied B major chord, and only on 3 of the modes.

But yes, in principle one could choose any of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale and play 7 parallel modes on each of them. That's 84 different modes! - but only 7 different scales (pitch collections).

Once again, this is only a demo of a principle - trying to let you compare one mode with another. Eg, you'll notice aeolian sounds "darker" than dorian. Lydian is "brighter" than ionian. etc. That's the point here. This is not about how one improvises on a piece of music!
Nothing to do with chord progressions.

BTW - I just watched the video, and he is quite misleading about key himself (so no wonder you're confused!). B dorian mode is not "in the key of A major", as he says. He is using "key" to mean the same thing as "scale" - which a lot of people do, but it's lazy and confusing. B dorian mode is "relative to" the key of A major, meaning it shares the same notes. But the keynote is B.
You should think of B dorian in relation to the B minor key, not the A major key. (He's right that the chord in question is Bm. But when you're playing "in B dorian mode", you're not "in A major". It's important to use words like "key" and "in" properly! )
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 26, 2015,
#9
Modes are about harmonic relationships, not just melodic/scalar ones.

Melodies derive from chord tones, so you need first to look at your chords, and consider those as the most important ones. In a I IV V each chord has different notes that should be the foundation of any melody you play, even though the key and relevant scale are always the same. If you add up all the notes in a I IV V, you'll get the key/scale of the I.

When you decide to use a mode of a scale, rather than just the scale that matches the key, there needs to be a reason for it. Since melodies must relate to chord tones, the most obvious reason would be that the chords spell out a mode. Example: ||: A-7 D7 :||. Add up the notes, and they come out to A dorian. Your key is A minor, but the mode is Dorian, so you can use the A dorian scale.

Another reason is that a chord leaves an "opening" where there are undefined tones, which you can sometimes fill with non-diatonic non-chord tones. Example: ||A7 D-||. Undefined is B, so you can use either B natural or Bb over the A7 (not a general statement). In some cases, the 5th of a chord can be modified or omitted, which opens up further possibilities.

So the lesson is to always look first at your chord tones and build your melodies from those. That's how you get melodies that flow and sound natural. Modes are not necessary to get that basic level of competence and understanding.
#10
Hi Jongtr,

This stuff is not easy.

Ok, if I may simply rewrite my original post with chords that are a little more musical for heavens sakes. I would like to construct
a solo with you from scratch and see exactly if I am starting to understand modes or not.

Let's take C major as our key. Let's give this tune three chords.... let them be C Maj, G Maj and A minor ( the latter 3 chords are mentioned just to show the
song is in C Major). Now comes the solo.... the first chord to the
solo will be C major so if this is fine for you, then here we go:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: C Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be C
Key: C Major

Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: D minor
Mode: D Dorian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be D
Key: C Major

Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: F major
Mode: F Lydian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be F
Key: C Major

Now here can I do the following:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Lydian
Solo: B major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: B Major Or C major (not sure)

B Maj scale:
B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B

Is this ok so far.... cause I'm not 100% sure !

Thanks for your help!
Last edited by JackOnTheRocks at Aug 26, 2015,
#11
Quote by wolflen
to say modes are mis-understood - could be our motto..


The motto is more like: "MT: There is no such thing as a 'quick' question." You could add "about modes" to the end or just end it there. Don't think that it matters too much.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#12
Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Lydian
Solo: B major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: B Major Or C major (not sure)


your in the key of C..by your own statement
Let's take C major as our key

giving that..Emi is the iii chord / Phrygian mode..B major is not in this harmonic structure -the notes in B major are going to clash against E minor...D# would make it a min with a maj7th..the G# is going to clash with the G note of E min..now if you were to use the C-augmented scale in a creative way..you might get away with it..as it contains some of the flavor you seem to be after and it sounds very cool ... C D# E G G# B..it contains both an E maj triad and E minor triad...and you would still be in C Maj
play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Aug 26, 2015,
#13
Hi wolflen,

So for my example all I have to do is this:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Phrygian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: C major

Is that it ???

So then I'm always using the C scale and playing different chunks
of the scale over my C scale chords! similarly , If the song would be is let's say the
key of G major instead of C, then I would be playing different parts
of the G major scale over my G scale chords !

And that's all there is to it ....?? Can't be ?
this is too simple I am obviously missing something....
#14
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
Hi Jongtr,

This stuff is not easy.

Ok, if I may simply rewrite my original post with chords that are a little more musical for heavens sakes. I would like to construct
a solo with you from scratch and see exactly if I am starting to understand modes or not.

Let's take C major as our key. Let's give this tune three chords.... let them be C Maj, G Maj and A minor ( the latter 3 chords are mentioned just to show the
song is in C Major). Now comes the solo.... the first chord to the
solo will be C major so if this is fine for you, then here we go:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: C Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be C
Key: C Major
OK, but the first note in your solo doesn't have to be C. It can be any note from the scale; although, while on the C chord, the C chord tones (C, E, G) should be your focal points.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: D minor
Just a moment. You said you had 3 chords, C, G and Am. Now you're adding Dm. Why? (You don't have to make this complicated, you know... )
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Mode: D Dorian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be D
See above. No need for 1st note to be D.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: F major
Why?
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
Mode: F Lydian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be F
Key: C Major
Ditto. (Correct terms, but no need to begin on F. And in fact, no real need for modal terms anyhow...)
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Now here can I do the following:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Lydian
Solo: B major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: B Major Or C major (not sure)
Whoah. E lydian is a major mode. It won't fit Em.
If you want to stay in key of C major, use the C major scale. (The E mode will be E phrygian, but you don't need to know that, nor start on an E note.)

If you're not bothered about staying in C major, other modes that would fit Em would be E aeolian (G major) or E dorian (D major). E harmonic and melodic minor would be other options.
But if you want SIMPLE - - stick with C major.

Or - if you actually want E lydian mode - use an E major chord.
#16
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
Hi wolflen,

So for my example all I have to do is this:

Measure#4)
Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Mode: E Phrygian
Solo: C major scale
First note in solo will be E
Key: C major

Is that it ???
Yes, but still too complicated:

Underlying rhythm chord: E minor
Solo: C major scale

That's all you need. That will produce an "E phrygian" sound for as long as the Em lasts, but it doesn't matter what note you start on, or how you play the scale.
And if the Em is only one measure, then the "E phrygian" sound will probably be less obvious than the sound of "iii chord in C major".
IOW, if your keynote is C, then the modal terms are somewhat meaningless.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

So then I'm always using the C scale and playing different chunks
of the scale over my C scale chords!
Yes. In fact you could play the exact same "chunks", although - as I suggested - beginning from (and ending on) chord tones usually sounds best.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

similarly , If the song would be is let's say the
key of G major instead of C, then I would be playing different parts
of the G major scale over my G scale chords !
Yes.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

And that's all there is to it ....?? Can't be ?
this is too simple I am obviously missing something....
Not really. Except maybe the idea of chord tones.
You should know which notes of the scale are in each chord in your sequence, so you can echo the changes as you play.
You still don't need to do that - random playing on the scale can sometimes sound OK - but it generally sounds better to work from the chord tones (the arpeggios of each chord).

So, eg, in key of C major, when you are on the Am chord, your main notes would be A C and E (Am chord tones), anywhere you can find them on the neck. Your secondary notes (passing tones) will be the other 4 scale notes (B, D, F, G).
On the G chord, your main notes would be G B and D, with A C E and F as passing notes.
No need to stick to any one scale pattern - but obviously the more places you know for your notes (and chord shapes) the better.

Naturally it CAN get more complicated than this! You can accent those non-chord tones, for more expressive effects. You can add "chromatics" - notes from outside the key - which is like adding spices to a recipe (careful with those...). You can bend notes (for bluesy effects).
But you begin from the chord tones, and the scale of the key. That's your foundation.

The difficult thing is not choosing your notes! They're all given to you (by the chord sequence). The hard thing is shaping them into musical phrases - using space and rhythm, dynamics, tone, expression, etc. That's where the creativity comes in - not in "applying modes", or any of that nonsense.
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 27, 2015,
#17
Jongtr,

referring to the last line in your last post,
assuming we go with E major and E Lydian
we would solo with the notes in the scale of
A major Right?

A major is:

A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A

But:

if E major chord is E, G#, B , when I use the
A note in the solo won't this clash with the sound
of the G# in the E major chord?

my question is is it best to avoid the A note I think this case during solo?

just asking!
Last edited by JackOnTheRocks at Aug 27, 2015,
#18
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
Jongtr,

referring to the last line in your last post,
assuming we go with E major and E Lydian
we would solo with the notes in the scale of
A major Right?
Wrong. B major. B C# D# E F# G# A#
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

But:

if E major chord is E, G#, B , when I use the
A note in the solo won't this clash with the sound
of the G# in the E major chord?

just asking!
Good question.
The non-chord tones each have distinctive effects. These can be experienced as "clashes", but also as expressive effects.
On an E major chord, the A note (in E major or E mixolydian) is a classic clashing note, if the G# is prominent lower in the chord. But you can still use it! It's just best not to linger on it. Jazz theory does refer to it as an "avoid note", but that only means as an extension to the chord (unless you get rid of the G#); in melodies or solos it's fine. It can sound very good as a tension, if you resolve it down to G#.

The best thing is to experiment and use your ears. Set up a backing track with an E major chord. Then try playing each note of the scale against the chord, listening for how it sounds. The chord tones (E G# B) will sound right "inside" - although each still has its own character.
You'll find other notes (from whatever scale is appropriate to the key, or whatever mode you choose if there is no key) all sound more "tense" than the chord tones, but to differing degrees and with different effects. You may like some and not others. Some are "sweet", some are more "sour" or "acid". (Try to develop your own characterisations. What does a C# sound like against E major? What about D#? Etc.)
Generally speaking, you only notice these effects when sustaining a note, or repeating it, over the chord. In scale runs (between chord tones) the effects can be imperceptible. But it's about learning when you want to accent a non-chord tone - to get the desired effect - and when you don't.
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 27, 2015,
#19
JongTr,

now for the million dollar question....

I feel like changing key! As a matter
of fact everyone in this forum feels
like changing key I just know it

so let's say I crack up the following:

Measure #5)
Underlying rhythm chord: C# Major
Solo: F# Lydian

F#/Gb scale:
Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, F, G,b Ab

Now I am not sure how the key of C major to
C# would sound like (going from Eminor to C#major)
but that's not the point .... Is what I implied
correct in the sense that while I would be playing
the C# major chord I would be playing the notes
of the C# scale and this would be F# Lydian?

By the way I am open for any other recommendations
reading the choice of the key change.

thanks much appreciate your help.
#20
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
JongTr,

now for the million dollar question....

I feel like changing key! As a matter
of fact everyone in this forum feels
like changing key I just know it
Oh yes, nothing like a good modulation to get things moving....
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

so let's say I crack up the following:

Measure #5)
Underlying rhythm chord: C# Major
Solo: F# Lydian
On a C# chord, that will just sound like C# major. No point in calling it F# lydian - even if you do start on F#, which makes no difference.
(Accenting the F# note is possible, as a sus4 on C#, but that doesn't make it lydian.)
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Now I am not sure how the key of C major to
C# would sound like (going from Eminor to C#major)
but that's not the point .... Is what I implied
correct in the sense that while I would be playing
the C# major chord I would be playing the notes
of the C# scale and this would be F# Lydian?
No, for reasons explained.

As before, this isn't about what you can and can't do, or what sounds good and what doesn't. It's only about finding the right terms for the sounds you're using.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

By the way I am open for any other recommendations
reading the choice of the key change.

thanks much appreciate your help.
You can change to any key you want.
A rise of a half-step (as in C to C#) is sometimes called the "truck driver's gear change", because it's regarded as a crude way of injecting energy into a song just as it's starting to get boring. IOW, let's not write a bridge! Let's just shove the whole song up a half-step and play it again!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TruckDriversGearChange

It doesn't have to be cheesy, of course. You get one in Otis Redding's "I Been Loving You Too Long", where it feels just right (and the song cleverly teases you that you're about to get another one, but you don't).

Changing key for a chorus or bridge is common, where the chord sequence is also different - but the key generally changes back afterwards. (In the TDGC above, the key never changes back; in fact in extreme cases it might keep on getting higher... check out Bobby Darin's Mack the Knife for sheer chutzpah.)
It's less common for a solo to use a different sequence (and key) from the rest of the song. Usually solos are based on existing (vocal) sections of the song.

There are several conventional ways of changing key - good summary here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modulation_(music)
#21
Ok so what would be a good key change:

Measure #5)
Underlying rhythm chord: D Major
Solo: D Lydian (A major scale)

????

if not I plead ignorance .... can you show
a key change example going from C major to
another key ....

thanks
#22
Jack,

It is usually much more helpful to think of a mode as a palette of intervals in its own right, and don't think about where it derives from. Knowing that B Phrygian derived from G major doesn't help your soloing approach for where B Phrygian would be appropriate (e.g. over a rock groove on Bm(7) chord).

The name of the game is bringing out the attention to the tonal centre (B above) and the fact that Phyrgian is being used. Hence there's a lot of soloing using the intervals of the "I" chord of B Phrygian, mixed up with the b2 (C), for example.

The sort of thing you would avoid would be arpeggiating a D7 against that (which is the V of the parent key of G major) ... try playing a Bm7 chord, then a D7 arpeggio followed by a B pitch. It all sounds wrong.

And the above is one of the dangers ...mentally relate back to the parent key, and this sort of stuff can happen, and you may start bringing out that sound instead (centering around intervals in G maj, the "I" chord of G major, or implying the key of G maj (such as using D7 above)).

If you're playing over major / minor diatonic chord progressions, try and get used to doing as above, bringing attention to the intervals from the "I" chord of the diatonic scale.

Havea think how many different ways you can make certain notes stand out amongst those that precede and follow. There are a lot ... playing louder is just one way. There are several others.

Don't feel you must chase the chords. If you do, then try arpeggiating them, mixed up with the approach I've just mentioned.

Listen to vocal melodies used on the songs based on I IV V. You don't hear those melodies obviously chasing each of these. Analyse some of these melodies, for the notes that really stand out to you, and see how where they are in the key. Very often they are from the "I" chord, or notes that resolve to the "I" chord.

You always need to bear in mind how fleetingly or not a particular idea lasts for ... you can literally play anything fleetingly as ear candy ... but hammer the wrong idea for too long, and it will sound horrendous.

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Aug 27, 2015,
#23
can we just take a moment to appreciate that this dude posts in stanzas

also i didn't even realize there was an alignment preset on this forum since i pretty much only use quick post
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#24
This thread...


TS

Forget about modes. You don't understand keys yet, so this is kind of useless. Forget everything you have learned about modes. Also, some random Youtube lessons (even by famous guitarists) may be confusing and misleading. Even the best guitarists may not know how to teach, and they may not understand theoretical things properly. They can use them because they understand them in practice. But their explanations for them are not necessarily correct.

Learn about chord functions, and you'll understand better what scale you should use over which chords. If your progression is diatonic to C major, use the C major scale. There's no point in thinking C-Am-F-G7 as "C ionian - A aeolian - F lydian - G mixolydian", because those are all the same notes, and your key is C major all the time. Also, you won't hear them as different modes. You'll hear it all as C major scale, so why not just play the C major scale?

It's C major all the time.


You are using CST (Chord Scale Theory) incorrectly. Yes, I'm going to say this, because it's just confusing you.

If you are interested in CST, read Jet Penguin's thread about it.


Learn to play in key before worrying about (non-existent) modulations. And forget about the modes. You are not ready for them yet. You really need to understand keys and chord functions before you can understand modes properly. Most of the time you'll only be playing the key scale over the progression, and you may add some accidentals. That has nothing to do with modes.


Don't just look at individual chords. Look at the chord progression as a whole. Are all chords diatonic to your key? If yes, use the key scale. So simple. If not, look at which chords are not diatonic to your key, and figure out where they come from. They are most likely borrowed from the parallel key (minor and major keys with the same tonic are parallel keys).
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 27, 2015,
#25
I have to agree with the others and say your understanding of modes is completely off, and you probably aren't ready to tackle them if you're still having difficulty understanding keys. You're overcomplicating things, if a song is in C major, it's in C major, if it's in E lydian, it's just E lydian, simple. A solo in Gmajor with a I IV V progression doesn't go G ionian, C lydian, D Mixolydian. It doesn't matter what you call it, you're still playing the notes of G major, to the harmonic backdrop of Gmajor, meaning that it doesn't matter what note you start or end on, it'll just sound like G major. All 7 modes use the exact same notes (assuming they're in the same key obviously), the only difference is what note they start on, so playing F# locrian to the backdrop of Gmajor won't sound like F# locrian, it'll just sound like the Gmajor scale.

A way you can think about it is, instead of thinking about individual modes within a song, think of everything as being the diatonic scale (that is, afterall, what the 7 modes are comprised of), and depending on what degree of the diatonic scale your tonal center is on, that dictates what mode you're in.
So let's say we have the notes of Gmajor, and the tonal center is A, then you're in A dorian. Doesn't matter what chord you're playing over, if it exists in A dorian, then you're playing A dorian, and it'll sound like A dorian. Now that's not to say the whole song HAS to be in A dorian, you can change to any mode and any key you want (though generally speaking you're going to make it clear that you've changed, if you change mode for just a bar or something, the listener might not pick up on it) but the main point is that the harmonic backdrop/progression is what dictates the mode, not the note your solo starts on.

Remember, the entire point of music theory is to give us names to sounds, so if your solo doesn't sound like a certain mode, then what's the point in calling it that? It only adds confusion.
#26
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
Ok so what would be a good key change:
"Good" is whatever you like. A matter of personal taste.
You just have to try a few.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Measure #5)
Underlying rhythm chord: D Major
Solo: D Lydian (A major scale)

????

if not I plead ignorance .... can you show
a key change example going from C major to
another key ....

thanks
I have to agree with the others, you should forget about modes entirely, until you understand keys and chord progressions. The best way to do that is not to read theory, but to study a whole load of songs. Pick your favourite songs, and look at the chord changes. Look out for common changes, and more unusual ones. The common changes will sound "normal", "predictable", "flowing naturally" (not a bad thing, and worth knowing). The less common ones will sound "odd" or "surprising" (also a good thing of course, but in moderation).

Listening for key changes can be a little trickier, but they tend to sound like a new light has been thrown on the song. It's more than a chord change, it's like a whole new place. If a chord sequence in one key is like moving around between rooms in your house, a key change is like going outside to someone else's house. It might be next door, with rooms in the same arrangement as yours - but still different (same chord sequence moved up or down) - or it might be further away (different chord sequence altogether).

Here's a few classic songs with great key changes:
Beatles: Penny Lane, Here There and Everywhere, Something
Otis Redding, Temptations: My Girl
Poco: Rose of Cimarron
Bon Jovi: Living on a Prayer (often ridiculed as OTT, but worth studying )
Pretenders: Kid, Back on the Chain Gang
Jackie de Shannon, Searchers: Needles and Pins
Double: Captain of Her Heart

In short, the best way to study music theory - at least as it applies to songwriting - is to take songs to pieces. If you were learning to be a car mechanic, you wouldn't just look at books right? Or ask on forums about the ways you might build a car from scratch, based on a few hot-rodding tips picked up on youtube? You'd get your hands dirty working on real engines, looking at how everything connects up; finding out how they work in practice.
OK, the books can help! - but the songs are where the theory all works in practice. The rules you need to know are all there. Songs never break rules. (If they did, you'd never hear them.)
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 27, 2015,
#27
well all I can say is "sigh"

I hear what you are all saying ....

Yeah well trust me.... me too:



But none this stuff is explained in a clear way.

What everyone is telling me basically is pick
a key.... and play its scale from root to
octave and depending on the note
of the scale you start on it becomes
a different mode !

and just keep doing this because I am
not ready for modes.

swell

But yet what I just said .... are modes!

What confuses me is know what key I am in.
if you are in G Dorian
you are playing G chord with melody in the
F major scale, so what key am I playing ...
F major?

if you are in G Phrygian you are playing a
G chord with a melody in Eb flat scale,
what key am I in ... Eb major?

So taking the first paragraph on F major...
I do F major scale root to octave = with Fmajor chord = F Ionian
I do F major scale root to octave = with G major chord = G Dorian
and so on....

So here again I'm just playing the F major scale all over
the fret board! What happened to the so much elaborated flat the 3rd
and 7th for a Dorian mode.....and flat this and sharp that etc....?

Another thing that confuses me is key changes ....
What exactly do I need to learn to do this successfully ?

If I am in C major and playing A minor, and G major.... and I want to change to
the key of say E minor.... I just go E minor no?

but then what mode can I use over E minor.... these are the gray zones
I have concerning modes.... if there is a good tutorial out there
in x part series .... I would really be open to that.

Ok so this post was everything but quick lol.

a thanks all for your advice.
J
Last edited by JackOnTheRocks at Aug 27, 2015,
#28
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
well all I can say is "sigh"

I hear what you are all saying ....

But none this stuff is explained in a clear way.

What everyone is telling me basically is pick
a key.... and play its scale from root to
octave and depending on the note
of the scale you start on it becomes
a different mode !

and just keep doing this because I am
not ready for modes.

swell

But yet what I just said .... are modes!


no they're not

ignore the scale you're playing. that has nothing to do with what key or mode you're in. what matters is the pull of the chords playing at any given time. modal music typically only has 1-2 chords in the entire song because more than that would default to tonality, which is a strong pull towards resolving at a specific note and modality (modality meaning major/minor, not dorian/phrygian/etc.)

learn about tension and resolution, consonance and dissonance, and the relationships these have with intervals within a specific chord and how those intervals relate to other specific chords within a progression

these sorts of understandings and exercises don't come from "well if xxx chord is playing and i play xxx scale" - they come from taking existing music and analyzing it. this is where your theoretically folly comes from - you're thinking too much towards ideas bigger than your current knowledge, and ignoring the vast amount of resources you can attain from simply taking songs you like, figuring out the chords, and asking yourself "how do these work together?"

by doing this, whenever there's a bit you don't understand, it's typically going to be in the beginning of any basic theory textbook, or in multiple resources online. it boils down, most often, to chord construction, intervals, the circle of fifths, and taking the "in" notes in a key and ascertaining what each chord "typically" will be (I ii iii IV V vi vii(dim) being your standard major key guidelines)

with a basic grasp of these fundamentals, you can take music you know and apply these ideas to them, and you'll realize, a lot of the time, music breaks these "rules", either a little or a lot, in order to keep the listener's ears guessing. by understanding what a tonic is (the chord that a progression/song/section resolves to), you can then begin to understand what rules to break and when, why, and how, and since you're learning these tricks and ideas by studying music, you learn, thereby, how to apply them in a musical fashion

it sounds like at this point you've been led on a path of sitting and listening to yourself play. this is a bad idea, as you've created a divide between what you're playing and making music. go and slow some songs down, figure them out by ear, and write down the progressions, learn to hear where the tonic is, and just start ripping songs apart the same way a budding mechanic would pull apart an engine. there's only so much you can learn from books when you're not doing the legwork yourself, and understanding music comes from learning music, not from learning verbatim what some old dude wrote about music 50 years ago.

it takes time, but in a few years you'll inevitably run into some kid asking similar questions to those you've posed here, running around like a chicken with their head cut off, and you'll understand how silly your understanding of music is at this point in your development.

it's not your fault - bad teachers and scam artists thrive on confusing kids with big words to keep them coming back to try and understand the big picture they're missing. the truth of the matter is, once you have the bare fundamentals down, you can analyze any kind of music yourself and grow fully independently, but when somebody's trying to make their living off teaching, it usually leads to a series of "now practice this scale, practice these chords, practice these scales" because you can stretch that a really long time before the idea finally dawns upon the student "hey, wait, when do i get to actually play music?"

drop what you think you know about modes. it's as simple as that. don't try and understand them, don't give them a second thought. they're completely useless to you at your current level, and once you develop as a musician, they'll probably continue to be completely and utterly useless to you.

also, never, ever use the terms "ionian" or "aeolian" again. they make you look like you have no idea what you're talking about, because they don't exist. they're superseded by major and minor, and outside of purely describing the function of modes, they're obsolete terms that are used as crutch words by people who don't have a clue and want to look smarter than they are.
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Last edited by Hail at Aug 27, 2015,
#29
>> No there not.

How so?

Bof all the articles I have read on line
all say the same thing....

Now if you mean the way to use them
with chords and keys and so forth....
bof that's a different story. Not too
many of those around.

But that's what many articles are saying
over and over again ...

And many articles keep it very simple,
they name the 7 modes and show which
note each mode should start on and
then that's it ... And the title of the articles
is always something along the lines of
"How to use MODES". So do I know what
modes are, apparently not, but do these titles
say what they mean.... I guess so... so not
my fault hein.

It would be so nice if a tutorial can show
the composition of a song using modes
and key changes ... and explaining why
such chords are being used. Never saw
that yet and ironically that's what
every beginner is looking for.

I'm an electronic's programmer, by day,
and there's no one more than myself that would
agree about theory in any field including music.

Anyone's first intuition is look for good educational
articles on line that explain the stuff from the ground up.

And when I mean th ground up, I mean a full
tutorial starting by terminology, scales,
Tonal center(which I still don't understand and God
knows how many articles I read), keys and modes
etc.... exactly as you say.

That's what I am looking for but can't find....

All the fellows here give excellent advice but somehow
it's difficult for a beginner to wrap his brain around
concepts briefly explained in a few paragraphs.

In forums like this where we are communicating
through a time delayed cylinder.... examples
work best.

I know I sound stupid or lazy by asking quick
examples about modes and I appolagize to everyone
for this, but I guess what I am trying to say is perhaps
if modes are that complicated and so over my head,
well then I would need some direction to proper
educational articles, videos or books (although the
latter is a hit or miss depending on the book).
Not every book is for everyone.

As far as decomposing songs... and
listening by ear... I will try that.

Thank you for your reply....
cheers
Last edited by JackOnTheRocks at Aug 27, 2015,
#30
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
well all I can say is "sigh"

I hear what you are all saying ....

Yeah well trust me.... me too:



But none this stuff is explained in a clear way.
I hear you, and sympathise...
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

What everyone is telling me basically is pick
a key.... and play its scale from root to
octave and depending on the note
of the scale you start on it becomes
a different mode !
"Everyone"? Not anyone here.

What you're describing is one way of deriving modes, and of writing them down or spelling them out.
It has nothing to do with playing music.

Call that exercise "relative modes" - the same 7 notes, with a different keynote each time. (Eg, C ionian, D dorian, E phrygian, etc)

What Vinnie Moore was demonstrating was a slightly more useful exercise (but still an exercise, not "music"), known as "parallel modes" - the same keynote, with different scale structures built from it. (C ionian, C dorian, C phrygian, etc.)

Neither exercise, as usually demonstrated - and here's where I sympathise with your confusion - contains any reference to how it might apply in real music.

It's not that the information is wrong. It's just that the people presenting it already take a whole load of other stuff for granted, and often seem to have forgotten they even know it. (Vinnie Moore may be a good guitarist, but he is not a trained teacher.)
It's that other stuff that you need to know. Trying to understand modes, from where you seem to be, is like trying to dance (let alone run) before you can walk.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

and just keep doing this because I am
not ready for modes.
No - if you're not ready for modes (and you probably aren't), such exercises are precisely what you should not do.

(BTW, it might help to bear in mind that nobody in jazz or rock before 1959 had ever heard of modes. Those guys seemed to do OK... Even in rock, none of the 60s greats knew about them, with maybe a couple of exceptions (Doors, Zappa). Again, they managed OK. So you're not exactly missing out on anything basic by ignoring modes.)

Understanding keys means:
1. Learning the major scale. (OK, I guess you know one or two of these already... There are 12 altogether, but you can understand the principles from only one or two.)
2. Learning the chords that can be harmonised from that scale. Triads first.
3. Learning some common sequences used in chord progressions.
4. (above all) Learning some songs; identifying the key they're in, and how they use chords. Looking for any chords from outside the key. Working out how they work (why they were chosen). Looking at how the melody fits the chords.
5. Minor keys. What are the common chords in a minor key? How does it differ from a major key? Can you spot relationships with a major key? (Again, use songs to help answer these questions.)

Etc.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

What confuses me is know what key I am in.
if you are in G Dorian
you are playing G chord with melody in the
F major scale, so what key am I playing ...
F major?
To be "in G dorian" implies G is your keynote. Same as being "in F major" implies F is your keynote.
It's about the sound.
G dorian sounds like the G minor key (in some respects). Gm is chord "I", your "home" chord, which you'd probably start and end on.
Play |Gm - - - |Gm - C - |Gm.... etc. to hear it. (The "key of G minor" would have a Cm chord, that's the difference from "dorian mode".)

The F major key is of course the same set of notes, but sounds very different, because F is "I", "home".
Play |F - - - |Bb - C - |F.... etc, to hear it. Very different sound, yes? The same 7 notes but with a different focal point.

Some people will tell you that G dorian is "in the key of F major", but they are misusing the word "key". What they mean is "shares the same scale as" F major.
G dorian is therefore "relative to" F major, but not contained within it. The "F major key" is really a mode in its own right, more or less (F ionian), just as G dorian is. You wouldn't say the F major key was "in G dorian mode", so the reverse is equally wrong.
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

if you are in G Phrygian you are playing a
G chord with a melody in Eb flat scale,
what key am I in ... Eb major?
Again, no. Using the Eb major scale does not mean you are in the Eb major key - unless you can hear that Eb is the tonal centre, the keynote.
We do have a terminological problem, admittedly, in that we can't name a bunch of 7 notes without putting one of those notes in front. (The exception is the C major scale, which we could call the "natural notes", or the "white notes of the piano".)
So when we say "Eb major scale", it's easy to assume that it's governed by the Eb note. But there's only one mode of those 7 notes in which that's the case - it just happens to be the most common mode (which is why it's called what it is).

This is why it matters to be clear about differentiating "scale" from "key".
The "Eb major scale" should refer merely to those 7 notes in any order. Alphabetical if you like: Ab Bb C D Eb F G.
The "Eb major key" means a musical context in which Eb is clearly heard as the primary note, and an Eb major chord as the key chord (I).

So, to be "in G phrygian" means you have a Gm chord as your main chord (I). Again, like G dorian, it therefore resembles the G minor key in some ways, the big exception being the b2 note (Ab), and bII chord (Ab major).
TO hear G phrygian mode, play this: |Gm - - - |Gm - Ab - |Gm... etc. Hear now much "darker" that is than G dorian? And nothing like the Eb major key!
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

So taking the first paragraph on F major...
I do F major scale root to octave = with Fmajor chord = F Ionian
I do F major scale root to octave = with G major chord = G Dorian
and so on....
No. If you really want to do this exercise (and you don't need to), it should be a Gm chord.
And it doesn't matter what order you play the scale in. The chord governs the overall "key" sound, by virtue of its root. (Provided you are exercising with just one chord at a time.)
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

So here again I'm just playing the F major scale all over
the fret board! What happened to the so much elaborated flat the 3rd
and 7th for a Dorian mode.....and flat this and sharp that etc....?
This is where Vinnie Moore's demo (parallel modes) comes in.
Try it with a simpler keynote, let's say E.
Play an E chord. Let that 6th string ring. Play an E major scale over it (any pattern, any order you like).
Now play an Em chord; again let the low E ring. Now you have already flattened the 3rd, because the chord has G instead of G#, right?
To get E dorian mode, the rest of the scale will include the b7 (D instead of D#) while the other notes remain the same as in E major (F#, A, B, C#).
#31
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Another thing that confuses me is key changes ....
What exactly do I need to learn to do this successfully ?

If I am in C major and playing A minor, and G major.... and I want to change to
the key of say E minor.... I just go E minor no?
Yes, but because the key of C major includes an Em chord, you won't necessarily hear it as a key change. It will probably just sound like "iii in C major". You want it to sound like "i in E minor".
The classic way to do that is to play a B7 chord before the Em. B7 is what's known as the "dominant" chord in the key of E minor. It contains a D# note as a "leading tone" resolving up to E. Play B7 followed by Em, and you should hear Em as a key chord.
However, many songs do this and go straight back into C major afterwards. To really nail a key change, keep playing the Em, maybe with another B7 and/or Am. (Em-Am-B7 are the main 3 chords in E minor.)

You can go to any key you like just by inserting the dominant (V) of the new key at any point. Eg, let's say you wanted to change from C major to D major. You could throw in an A (major) or A7 chord at any point, and then D will naturally follow.

Listen to "My Girl"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IUG-9jZD-g
It's in the key of C, and uses common chords in that key: C, F, Dm and G.
Listen out for 1:35. You hear a Dm chord followed by G. So far, so C major. Dm-G would normally lead quite naturally to C.
But that's followed by Em and A major. OK, Em is still technically in C major, but what they've done is raise the Dm-G by a whole step, in order to move the key up to D major. When the vocals come back in, they're in D. It's the same chord progression as the first part of the song, but raised up a whole step.
They could just have gone straight to D major, but the Em-A is a clever little move. Em is known as a "pivot" chord because it belongs to both keys, and so partly disguises the modulation - smooths it out.

This is the way to understand how to make key changes. Look at the ways that great old songs like this do it. This is one way, but there are others. (I gave more examples earlier.)
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

but then what mode can I use over E minor....
You use the E minor key scale. Don't call it a "mode."
Some would call it "E aeolian", which is a fancier term for "natural minor" (it's a "mode of the G major scale", if you like, but remember you are not "in the key of" G major now!).
But the thing about minor keys is that the scale can change. I mentioned a B7 chord above. That has a D# note, not the D in E natural minor. So you need to change the scale on that chord (just by raising D to D#, everything else can stay the same). E natural minor can be used on Em and Am and the other likely chords in the key. This occasional raising of the 7th degree is known as "harmonic minor". You might also want to raise the 6th sometimes, making "melodic minor".

There's a great series of theory essays on thegearpage which are worth reading.
http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/music-theory-made-simple-0-index-toc.1371119/
Make sure you follow the instructions and don't skip steps, even if you think you know that section - you might do, but there can always be holes in your knowledge that might trip you up later.

More concise lessons can be found here:
http://www.musictheory.net/lessons

But don't bury your head in words on a screen (or in a book)! Listen to songs and try to see how the concepts fit. DON'T learn any theory concept without knowing what it sounds like. Play it on your guitar to make sure you get it.
#32
Quote by JackOnTheRocks
>> No there not.

How so?

Bof all the articles I have read on line
all say the same thing....

Now if you mean the way to use them
with chords and keys and so forth....
bof that's a different story. Not too
many of those around.

But that's what many articles are saying
over and over again ...

And many articles keep it very simple,
they name the 7 modes and show which
note each mode should start on and
then that's it ... And the title of the articles
is always something along the lines of
"How to use MODES".
Stop reading articles on modes!!
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

It would be so nice if a tutorial can show
the composition of a song using modes
and key changes ... and explaining why
such chords are being used. Never saw
that yet and ironically that's what
every beginner is looking for.
Good question. You can find analytical articles on songs in various places.
One of my favourite sites is this:
http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/awp-alphabet.shtml
Every single Beatles song analysed in just one page each!
There may well be jargon there you don't understand, of course, which is why - IF that's the kind of thing you want - some kind of theory primer can help.

See links in previous post .
Quote by JackOnTheRocks

Anyone's first intuition is look for good educational
articles on line that explain the stuff from the ground up.

And when I mean th ground up, I mean a full
tutorial starting by terminology, scales,
Tonal center(which I still don't understand and God
knows how many articles I read), keys and modes
etc.... exactly as you say.
That's what I am looking for but can't find....
Again, see previous links.

And a couple of stickies on this very site may also fit the bill.
Last edited by jongtr at Aug 27, 2015,
#33
Jong's advice is really good.

I'd like to add that (since it hasn't been brought up yet) that the scales you choose to solo with, for the most part, do not have a damn thing to do with the analysis of the harmony on the page, which is solely dictated by melodic context and harmonic relationships.

Ex. I can play CHW - A Lydian#9+ - D Harmonic Major - And G Phrygian over C Am Dm G, but it's still I -VI - IV - V. My improv just sucks.

OP. Step 1 is to learn how keys and diatonic harmony works. The internet is OVERFLOWING with bad info on modes. Do step 1, and then we can move on, but without a good foundation nothing is going to make sense.
"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
#34
Quote by Jet Penguin

I'd like to add that (since it hasn't been brought up yet) that the scales you choose to solo with, for the most part, do not have a damn thing to do with the analysis of the harmony on the page, which is solely dictated by melodic context and harmonic relationships.


Quote by Hail


ignore the scale you're playing. that has nothing to do with what key or mode you're in. what matters is the pull of the chords playing at any given time. modal music typically only has 1-2 chords in the entire song because more than that would default to tonality, which is a strong pull towards resolving at a specific note and modality (modality meaning major/minor, not dorian/phrygian/etc.)


fight me irl
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#35
Quote by theogonia777
The motto is more like: "MT: There is no such thing as a 'quick' question." You could add "about modes" to the end or just end it there. Don't think that it matters too much.


Think about it though.

Quote by Hail
fight me irl


http://youtu.be/h_wlyMX5OfA
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Last edited by theogonia777 at Aug 27, 2015,
#36
Hail, you know I don't actually read your posts because your sig summarizes them perfectly.
"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
#37
You keep referring to Hail's signature. What does it say?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#38
Doesn't matter; the new one is just as relevant as the old one.
"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
#39
Okay, I will be continuing the discussion with jongtr as I sincerely enjoy reminiscing about theory with him even though I suck at it.

So I thank you all for your input about how I should learn the basics before modes and it is in the plans .... the message is loud and clear....

thanks

jongtr:

"Everyone"? Not anyone here."

no I'm talking about typical articles on line ....

What you're describing is one way of deriving modes, and of writing them down or spelling them out.It has nothing to do with playing music.

Call that exercise "relative modes" - the same 7 notes, with a different keynote each time. (Eg, C ionian, D dorian, E phrygian, etc)

What Vinnie Moore was ....

Ratttsss... don't you think that this is valuable information to put in the video or articles .... I don't understand how people leave out such important info.


"To be "in G dorian" implies G is your keynote. Same as being "in F major" implies F is your keynote.
It's about the sound.
G dorian sounds like the G minor key (in some respects). Gm is chord "I", your "home" chord, which you'd probably start and end on.
Play |Gm - - - |Gm - C - |Gm.... etc. to hear it. (The "key of G minor" would have a Cm chord, that's the difference from "dorian mode".)"

Very confused ....
I thought major modes were all in major keys and that minor modes have three modes:
-Natural minor
-Harmonic minor
-Melodic minor
and is completely apart from the major modes???

I was sticking to the major ones only.... but now you mention G Minor ?

There's way more to this than I thought.... I am terribly confused.... but that's ok let's go on...

But for arguments sakes let's continue what have I got to loose LOL.... so you say G Dorian sounds like a G minor key and that the key of G minor would have Gm (as my home chord) and also comprises the C minor chord. ok here's the G minor scale:

G A Bb C D Eb F G

and I see that G minor and C minor in there:

G min: G-Ab-D
C min: C-Eb-G

Sorry for asking but does this have to do with the G Dorian mode again?

So I played this on the keyboard:
Play |Gm - - - |Gm - C - |Gm....
and I prefer the C minor chord as opposed to the Cmaj major chord asides from that I don't know what else I am supposed to hear.

So I will stop here for now.
Thanks for your help
#40
just gonna throw this back out there
Quote by Hail

it's not your fault - bad teachers and scam artists thrive on confusing kids with big words to keep them coming back to try and understand the big picture they're missing. the truth of the matter is, once you have the bare fundamentals down, you can analyze any kind of music yourself and grow fully independently, but when somebody's trying to make their living off teaching, it usually leads to a series of "now practice this scale, practice these chords, practice these scales" because you can stretch that a really long time before the idea finally dawns upon the student "hey, wait, when do i get to actually play music?"

drop what you think you know about modes. it's as simple as that. don't try and understand them, don't give them a second thought. they're completely useless to you at your current level, and once you develop as a musician, they'll probably continue to be completely and utterly useless to you.

also, never, ever use the terms "ionian" or "aeolian" again. they make you look like you have no idea what you're talking about, because they don't exist. they're superseded by major and minor, and outside of purely describing the function of modes, they're obsolete terms that are used as crutch words by people who don't have a clue and want to look smarter than they are.
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
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