#1
Hello fellow guitar players. I love playing writing leads, particularly with metal. I know th eminor pentatonic and I learned the modes and basic arpeggios, as well as the minor harmonic scale. I'm looking for something more to challenging that could also improve my soloing. Any thoughts on what I should learn next? Thanks, everybody.
#2
I'm pretty sure you didn't actually learn the modes. You just think you did.

But to clarify, can you tell us how you'd use the modes you've learned, and how did you learn them exactly? Just curious.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#3
Quote by Kevätuhri
I'm pretty sure you didn't actually learn the modes. You just think you did.
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire
#4
Like Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etc, how they each have a chord that goes along with them, notaion (root, maj 2nd, etc).
say im in e minor, i like to play arpeggios Em7, then Gmaj7, then Dmaj7, then back to root. I learned them by charts and then looked up which chords were assigned to them. If I am missing anything, please let me know (self taught), I would love to find out.
#5
You mean you learned the scale in every position?

You learned something extremely useful, but it wasn't modes. Just keep doing what you're doing, but recognize that modes and positions are different things.
#7
Quote by lukethrash7506
cdgraves I know the modes are the same scale just starting with the next note in the scale as the root, is that what you mean?


This is why I asked in the first place. I know where you're coming from with that assumption, but if you play the notes of say G major scale, it will sound like G major no matter what root you start on or what order you play the notes in, if the chords are in G major. A lot of people think that modes are that easy, just play the same scale but starting on a different note, but in reality you're just playing the same scale in a different position. It takes a lot more than just moving the root note to make a song modal.

What you're describing sounds a bit like "chord scale theory", which I recommend you shouldn't learn. It's mostly used in jazz, and even in jazz some people dislike it. Instead of using a lot of different scales to match each chord, I think you should look into using a single scale, that matches all of the chords. So I think you should look into keys, which are a lot more common than modes. Most music you've ever heard in your life is tonal, and keys are a central concept in tonal music. I would not worry about modes that much, but if you want to play around with modal shapes and see if you can come up with some cool sounds you need to treat each mode as it's own scale, not a position of the major scale. So you should think of Dorian as a minor scale with a raised 6th, and Lydian as a major scale with a raised fourth etc.

As to your original question, "what should I learn next", you could look into the blues scale for some groovier melodies, or the diminished scale for some more evil sounding stuff just for fun. Metal soloing definitely isn't about rules, so I wouldn't dive too deep into complex theory, instead I'd just learn some cool solos to see how they work.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#9
Learn a solo or melody for each mode so that can see how they can be used in a musical context. That should be your focus as mentionned above. Satriani has a song built around each :

Cool #9 - dorian to the core!
Always with me always with you - main melody ionian then solo switches to minor
Flying in a blue dream - Lydian
War - melody is phrygian then solo is dorian
Raspberry jam delta v - mixolydian

You can research more examples but those will give you an idea of the sounds.
#10
If I had a nickle for every time someone said to me "I learned the modes" I would be a wealthy man indeed. TS, you learned some interval patterns and note patterns. You learned a tiny bit of chord association. That doesn't mean that you've learned the modes. Even if it did, there's a big difference between knowing the modes, and knowing how to use them; which is something that a lot of people really struggle with. Modes have more to do with the tonal center of a piece than with which notes are being played. Knowing notes is not enough.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
#11
You only "know the modes" when you can sing them and when you can instantly identify which one applies to a given part. It takes a lot of practice and experience to be able to do that.

That being said - it all starts with learning some patterns etc which you've already begun to work on so keep at it!
#12
Modality is a harmonic concept, so it's hard to call a scale a mode all by itself. If you're playing over a C chord, everything you do relates to that C. There's no such thing as playing "E Phrygian" over C - that's just C starting on E. The same thing was said above.

The upside is that in spite of the misunderstanding, you learned something a lot more useful. Being able to play a given scale in any position is how you start getting really fluent with the fretboard. Moving between positions opens up your melodic possibilities.
#13
But all you have to do is move the pattern you have starting on E down, so it starts on C and you have C Phrygian, no? I think you guys are trying to make it sound harder than it is
#14
Quote by NSpen1
But all you have to do is move the pattern you have starting on E down, so it starts on C and you have C Phrygian, no? I think you guys are trying to make it sound harder than it is


That's playing out of key
#15
ok, I need to be more specific, Phrygian is a minor mode so you wouldn't play it over a chord progression in C major, but if you're playing those notes over a tonal center of C with the appropriate chords (e.g. Db major), then you're playing C Phrygian. Is that right?
#16
Quote by NSpen1
ok, I need to be more specific, Phrygian is a minor mode so you wouldn't play it over a chord progression in C major, but if you're playing those notes over a tonal center of C with the appropriate chords (e.g. Db major), then you're playing C Phrygian. Is that right?


Yes. But my point was that the modes aren't just different positions of a single scale. If the tonal center is C, you can't play "E phrygian", because everything is measured against C. You're talking parallel modes, I'm talking relative.
#17
Hungarian minor is identical to the harmonic minor scale but with a raised 4th, so you get this central little chromatic bit in it with the #4, 5th, and b6. Generally I hear Hungarian minor used in two contexts, either a "pesky evil" sound, or a "depressing romantic" sound. I'm pretty sure Ryan Knight is using it in the solo for this track:



You could also try whole tone scales (for weird atonal stuff) as well as the 12-tone technique.
#18
NSpen1

I think that that is a good way to play around with new sounds and it's an easy way to use modes in actual music, but the composition would still be tonal, which by default makes it not modal. Whether or not you should call it "phrygian" or "minor with an accidental", I don't really care, and TS shouldn't really bother with semantics either. Just make a mental note that tonal and modal music are different concepts. But "true" modal music is so rarely used nowadays that the way you explained is a fine way to utilize modal sounds imo.

HaydenHohns

I don't think I would recommend anyone to look into the 12-tone system unless that is specifically what they're after. I mean, that's pretty complex theory that has little practical use in metal or popular music in general. But using the chromatic scale properly in a musical context is a different thing and will yield cool sounds.
Quote by Jet Penguin
Theory: Not rules, just tools.

Quote by Hail
*note that by fan i mean that guy who wants his friends to know he knows this totally obscure hip band that only he knows about with 236 views on youtube. lookin' at Kev here
#20
Quote by Kevätuhri

I don't think I would recommend anyone to look into the 12-tone system unless that is specifically what they're after. I mean, that's pretty complex theory that has little practical use in metal or popular music in general. But using the chromatic scale properly in a musical context is a different thing and will yield cool sounds.


The chromatic scale isn't really a scale though, it pretty much exists only in theory as a way of demonstrating all the notes in the western tuning system and how to use accidentals with chromatic notes (sharpen when ascending, flatten when descending), unless your solo straight up uses every note from top to bottom linearly, you'd just say your're playing some chromatic notes, or you're playing atonally; because really technically every scale comes from the chromatic scale, but you wouldn't write a melody that is 100% diatonic and say "this is from the chromatic scale"; that's like getting a quote from a book and then saying "this is from the dictionary", like yeah those words do come from the dictionary, but that's not really where that quote comes from.

Atonal music is also a very complex form of music that is difficult for a beginner to write in, because in order for something to be truly atonal it must use every note pretty much equally, and not suggest any tonal center, otherwise it'd just be a tonal piece with shit tons of accidentals. What TS should be doing is learning how each note, diatonic or chromatic, relates to the tonal centre and what emotion they elicit.
Quote by Fat Lard
post of the year, thank you
#21
(Was trying to reply to Kevätuhri but a bug is removing it)
Thanks, that's the way I've always thought of it and what I've picked up from reading guitar magazines when they talked about using dorian or mixolydian as a scale in a solo. Or from looking at Satriani's music, like the examples given above.
I guess I'm confused about what "true" modal music is then, not totally sure I really want to ask?! A quick google doesn't shed too much light - "Modal music uses diatonic scales that are not necessarily major or minor"?
But then I found

"A Pure Modal Chord progression/section has 3 prerequisites:

1) The start chord must be anything other than a Tonic of the Key or I.

For example in C major a modal progression can begin with any chord that doesnt have C in its name. e.g. if the progressions starts with C, C Maj7, C Ma9 c6 etc. it ISNT modal. In A Harmonic Minor, any Am chord would also be not modal.

2) The progression must resolve to the same chord as the start.
3) All the chords and melody notes must be from the Mode. "

From the answer at the bottom of this page.
http://music.stackexchange.com/questions/51314/how-are-chord-progressions-built-in-a-modal-context-vs-traditional-major-minor-c?noredirect=1
Does that make sense?

'Chromatic scale' use in metal :
0:54


And I don't find this song on Youtube, so I'll have to post my tab instead.

Last edited by NSpen1 at Feb 8, 2017,
#22
Quote by NSpen1

"A Pure Modal Chord progression/section has 3 prerequisites:

1) The start chord must be anything other than a Tonic of the Key or I.

For example in C major a modal progression can begin with any chord that doesnt have C in its name. e.g. if the progressions starts with C, C Maj7, C Ma9 c6 etc. it ISNT modal. In A Harmonic Minor, any Am chord would also be not modal.

2) The progression must resolve to the same chord as the start.
3) All the chords and melody notes must be from the Mode. "


None of those are true. Those "rules" might be good guides for someone just learning the differences between modal and tonal music, but they are way overbroad and don't really address the underlying difference, which is the difference between harmonies in motion and harmony standing still.

1) Ionian is as modal as any other interval pattern, we're just used to the sound

2) Modality excludes progression/resolution in the proper technical sense

3) You can change it up in a modal piece however you like, it just can't be about resolving harmonies to and from a defined tonics

Modal music is typically about exploring an interval pattern (the mode) built from a tonic, in contrast to Functional (or tonal) harmony, where the idea is to build tension and release with harmonic resolution.

You might look up the distinction between a sequence and a progression. A progression is typically, by the textbook definition, a series of harmonies in circle of 5th order that get you to the tonic. Those resolutions have to make voice leading sense, which is why Circle of 5ths the natural order of most tonal progressions*. A sequence is just a series of chords or harmonies that follow a pattern other than root movement by 5th/4th. Pachelbel's Canon in D is probably the most well-known example of a sequence (down a 4th, up a step), but they're everywhere.

And you most definitely can go out of the mode and still retain an overall modal quality of the entire piece. Using a bunch of secondary dominants would probably take away from modality, but you can use them to get away from the original mode and establish a new tonic, or introduce a tonal sequence/progression, or just to change the mode of the existing tonic. For example, a contemporary guitar piece called "Un Die de Novembre" is modal and walks down a i VII iv6 v sequence in Am for the first several bars, but after deviating from the Aeolian mode, it uses a regular V to re-establish the tonic of the original mode (notice the alternation of minor v and major V).


*Note: pretty much all of classical and jazz music is about finding creative ways to get through the circle of 5ths by proxy, using secondary dominants and other chromatic devices. The point is that they can pretty much all be explained by voice leading. Exceptions to that tendency are usually saved for specific effect.
#23
cdgraves
It's amazing how stuff you find on the internet can be so wrong / misleading !
Thanks for that, so that clears a few things up and gives me some more to think about.
For any practical use of modes though I'm still going to be following the more modern usage, applying them as patterns you can play over a progression in a major or minor key with altered chords if needed.