#1
I know pentatonics and the major and minor scales, and intervals and stuff, and I'm trying to learn modes. My question is, if the modes all have the exact same notes, then how would they sound different? Say you have a progression going C, Am, G, Dm ( I think theyre all in C ), then how would it make a difference whether I use Ionian, Aeolian, Mixolydian and Dorian when improvising over it if its all the same seven notes?
#2
there not your obviously looking at fingering chart those modes are at different spots on the neck depending on what key and what mode u start out on
#3
I meant the modes of C major: C ionian (C D E F G A B C), A Aeolian (A B C D E F G A), G mixolydian (G A B C D E F G) and D dorian (D E F G A B C D). All of these have the same notes so why would they sound any different when improvising? And how could i make the distinctive qualities of the modes stand out, instead of them all just sounding like C major?
#4
Quote by TyphoidSpider
I meant the modes of C major: C ionian (C D E F G A B C), A Aeolian (A B C D E F G A), G mixolydian (G A B C D E F G) and D dorian (D E F G A B C D). All of these have the same notes so why would they sound any different when improvising? And how could i make the distinctive qualities of the modes stand out, instead of them all just sounding like C major?



They are all in different keys. They are related to C major because they run along each note of that scale. To get a D mixolydian for example you would have to translate/ transpose.
#5
Oh, I think i might get it now, so if I was to play C mixolydian over that C maj progression, it would sound kinda cool because of the b7. I always thought that would sound horrible because of the note being out of key. I geuss C locrian would sound shocking over it. Thanks, I think something just clicked in my head. If anyone else wants to tell me something about modes feel free, because I really want to learn to use modes well. Thanks
#6
Threadstarter:
Modes cover a very wide range. From scales, progressions, chord construction etc.
You get get Major, Melodic minor and Harmonic minor modes (Major modes are the easiest ones and ones most people start with, however, if you want to learn about modes of the Harmonic and melodic minor scales, ill find you the link in a minute).

First of all, ill explain the notes of modes.
Whats the difference between these two intervals: 3 - b3 ?
Ones a major 3rd and ones a minor third right? Well, what do they sound like?
Play a Major and Minor barre chord. One sounds happy, one sounds sad.

Modes use these to help them sound distinct, however, if you play each major mode like the major scale, but just starting on a different note, they're bound to sound the same, why? because your not emphasizing the notes which are UNIQUE to that mode.

For example, lets take the Ionian mode and the Lydian Mode.

Ionian:           1  2  3  4  5  6  7  1
Lydian:           1  2  3 #4  5  6  7  1


Whats different about these two modes? What makes each one sound unique? Well, look at the lydian mode, it has an augmented fourth and the Ionian mode has a Perfect forth.

To make the lydian mode have its unique sound, you have to identify the interval(s) which make it unique, and emphasize them, make them sound more important.

Its like, why does the locrian mode sound evil / dark / etc? Mainly because its a diminished mode, it has b3 and b5. The b5 makes it unique because no other mode has it, making it the only Major diminished mode.


Ok, now you (hopefully) understand that, Ill move onto your chord progression.
Ok, A major chord progression goes like so: I ii iii IV V vi vii°

Capitals mean Major chords, Lowercase mean Minor chords and ° means diminished chord.

That pattern of chords only applies to the Major / Ionian mode.
(I can go into why its that series of chords if you want.)

So lets look at the chords your using:
C Am G Dm

You think its in the C Major scale? Ok, write out your C Major scale, then apply that series of roman numerals to it:

R  W  W  H  W  W  W  H     <-- Major scale steps
C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C     <-- C Major scale

I ii iii IV V vi vii° I    <-- Major scale progression

Using this progression, you can get the chords:
C Major
D Minor
E Minor
F Major
G Major
A Minor
B Diminished


The chords you used are all in that series so yes, your chord progression is in the key of C Major.

Now, if you wanted to write a progression over another mode, for example phrygian (for its spanish flavour), you would need an entirely different progression.

Infact, this is the progression you would need for a phrygian progression:
R  W  W  H  W  W  W  H     <-- Major scale steps
C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C     <-- C Major scale

i bII bIII iv v° bVI bvii i    <-- Phrygian mode progression

Using this progression, you can get the chords:
C  minor
Db Major
Eb Major
F  Minor
G  Diminished
Ab Major
Bb Minor


As you can see, the chords you wrote down dont match the chords in the Phrygian progression. This follows on that each modal chord progression is unique, exactly the same that each mode is unique because of the intervals.

I can explain why you get certain chords for each progression etc if you want.
If you want any more help, just shout!
Been away, am back
Last edited by Logz at Jun 25, 2006,
#7
Those chords are also in Ab major (and another 5 modal progressions I think) so basically, if I was to play a progression in Ab major but I started with the Cm chord, that would make it a C Phrygian progression. Oh well, I think I must be thinking too logically and not creatively. Could you please tell me the progressions for other modes, I understand why/how to get them but I couldnt be bothered figuring them out.
#8
^ The chords C Am G Dm arent in the key of Ab major. The chords in Ab Major would be:
Ab Major
Bb Minor
C Minor
D Major
E Major
F# Minor
F# Diminished

Modes of the major scale - chord progressions over them;


Ionian      ->  I   ii   iii   IV   V   vi   vii° 
Dorian      ->  i   ii  bIII   IV   v   vi° bVII
Phrygian    ->  i  bII  bIII   iv   v° bVI  bvii
Lydian      ->  I   II   iii  #iv°  V   vi   vii
Mixolydian  ->  I   ii   iii°  IV   v   vi  bVII
Aeolian     ->  i   ii° bIII   iv   v  bVI  bVII
Locrian     ->  i° bII  biii   iv  bV  bVI  bvii
Been away, am back
#9
the feel of your mode comes from the root note...you would emphasize this particular note over others to make it sound distinct,so while you are playing the exact same notes it's where you start and stop that make it unique
#10
^ Did you read my first post? Its not just the root note, its the intervals which make it unique as well.
Been away, am back
#11
i agree with deathdealer.

if your playing a chord progression in the key of Emin. let's say Em7-Bm7-Am7-Bm7-Emin7

the notes in the E aeolian are exactly the same as the notes in the G ionian mode, but it would sound stupid for you to make G sound like home or tonal center.

in that progression the notes should resolve or lead to E.
E should be emphasized, bringing that minor sound to the progression. same with all the other modes.

then again, it could be only me who thinks this way
#12
Logz, I understand intervals and all taht jazz...but I dont understand the roman numerals and how to apply them to scales and progressions and such.

Could you explain them please?
:stickpoke

Baby, if I were biscuits and you were gravy, I'd sop you up

FIGHT IGNORANCE

"I fear for my flesh, but I fear for my spirit even more..."
#13
Roman Numerals are an easy way to number and describe chords in a progression.

Starting with the basics:
A capital numeral indicates a Major chord.
A Lowercase numeral indicates a Minor chord.
The symbol ° indicates a diminished chord.


The next thing. In an average 7 tone scale, you can build 7 different chords from it, therefore, you need 7 numerals to describe all the chords.

If you take the major scale, we already know (from the posts above) the scale goes like so:
Major -> Minor -> Minor -> Major -> Major -> Minor -> Diminished

So first, convert that into roman numerals:
I -> II -> III -> IV -> V -> VI -> VII

Next, change those roman numerals to represent Major and Minor chords:
(A diminished chord is represented as minor, due to the b3).
I -> ii -> iii -> IV -> V -> vi -> vii


Next, find which chord should be diminished, and add the symbol to it:
I -> ii -> iii -> IV -> V -> vi -> vii°


Hope hat helps.
Been away, am back
#14
Gotcha, thanks a ton bro.
:stickpoke

Baby, if I were biscuits and you were gravy, I'd sop you up

FIGHT IGNORANCE

"I fear for my flesh, but I fear for my spirit even more..."
#15
Logz, how do you know which chord should be diminished?

this is really helping man, you're explaining thiings really well.. thanks a lot..


does anyone else love the term "tonal center"?
#16
Quote by jacoinmalawi
i agree with deathdealer.

if your playing a chord progression in the key of Emin. let's say Em7-Bm7-Am7-Bm7-Emin7

the notes in the E aeolian are exactly the same as the notes in the G ionian mode, but it would sound stupid for you to make G sound like home or tonal center.

I sometimes do that sort of stuff, like making a G the note it's all about in my solo. That's a nice thing to do, it adds something special to the solo
#17
This should be in the Best Threads archive
:stickpoke

Baby, if I were biscuits and you were gravy, I'd sop you up

FIGHT IGNORANCE

"I fear for my flesh, but I fear for my spirit even more..."
#18
hey logz you said before:
R W W H W W W H <-- Major scale steps
C D E F G A B C <-- C Major scale

i II III iv v° VI vii I <-- Phrygian mode progression

Using this progression, you can get the chords:
C minor
Db Major
Eb Major
F Minor
G Diminished
Ab Major
Bb Minor

why did you say Db and all those flats when the mode intervals are:

i II III iv v° VI vii I <-- Phrygian mode progression

shouldn't the progression be written as
i bII bIII iv v° bVI bvii, also why is the first one i (minor) at the start and I (major) at the end of that progression?
btw here what you wrote:
i II III iv v° VI vii I <-- Phrygian mode progression


any additions/help would be sweet, i'm sure many can learn from it
cheers;
- tommy
Last edited by tombomb22 at Jun 25, 2006,
#19
Quote by tombomb22
shouldn't the progression be written as
i bII bIII iv v° bVI bvii, also why is the first one i (minor) at the start and I (major) at the end of that progression?
btw here what you wrote:
He did it wrong.

Phrygian should be i bII bIII iv v° bVI bvii i. So C Phrygian would be Cm, Db major, Eb major, Fm, G dim, Ab major, Bb minor, Cm.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Jun 25, 2006,
#20
so if you use a chord which is not in that progression, would it sound wrong? or would that be switching modes? or you just wouldnt do it?
#21
Quote by Applehead
so if you use a chord which is not in that progression, would it sound wrong? or would that be switching modes? or you just wouldnt do it?
You mean something like going from a C Phrygian progression to an F#m chord? That would be changing key completely. This is acceptable, you just have to adjust your scale appropriately.
#23
Quote by Applehead
ok, so i wrote a progression.. it goes Am, F, C, Em. what the hell is that?
I would consider than an A Aeolian progression, but you're really going to hate this next part. You could be playing A minor pentatonic licks over than F chord and guess what...IT'S F LYDIAN!

The idea is that in (mostly) jazz, the soloist will pick a new scale for each chord. It would be fine if you played A Aeolian, F Phrygian dominant, C Phrygian Dominant, E Dorian (that may sound terrible, I don't know nor do I care). Most rock is more simple than that. You're going to get your little A Aeolian scale and go shred. You aren't going to think, "Oh, now I'm playing F lydian," and that's fine. You should just know that you are in fact playing F lydian when you get to that F chord, assuming you still play C D E F G A B C.

I think the confusion comes from guitarsts thinking of scales as box positions. That is fine for knowing where scales are and how to play them, but in music theory, the boxes are meaningless. There are no boxes on the piano or trumpet or harp, but this stuff has to apply to them as well.
#24
Ive corrected the two mistakes in my post.

Quote by bangoodcharlotte

Phrygian should be i bII bIII iv v° bVI bVII i. So C Phrygian would be Cm, Db major, Eb major, Fm, G dim, Ab major, Bb major, Cm.


The 7th degree in that progression (bVII) would be bvii, not bVII, making the chord Bb Minor as oppsed to Bb Major.
If the normal progression for the ionian mode is I ii iii IV V vi vii°, if you start from the phrygian degree, you would get this progression (ignoring the flats) i II III iv v° VI vii

I dont think im wrong, but if i am, just lemme know

Quote by Applehead
Logz, how do you know which chord should be diminished?


Ok, To know which chord should be diminished in a progression, you need to remember, the only mode of the Major scale that is diminished, is the locrian Mode.
A Diminished mode / triad has the intervals 1 b3 b5.

If you take the Ionian Mode for instance, the 7th degree (7th note) of that, is the start of the locrian mode, therefore, for a major scale (ionian mode) chord progression, the 7th degree, or chord will be a diminished chord.

If you take the next scale along, dorian, you know you need to start on the second degree of the major scale, therefore, your locrian mode will be shifted one degree towards the tonic. This will make it the locrian mode be on the 6th degree, instead of the 7th. Therefore, the 6th chord in a Dorian mode progression will be diminished.

And so on. If you need more help, im sure myself or bangoodcharlotte will help as best we can

Quote by tombomb22
hey logz you said before:

why did you say Db and all those flats when the mode intervals are:

(quote from Logz)

shouldn't the progression be written as
i bII bIII iv v° bVI bvii, also why is the first one i (minor) at the start and I (major) at the end of that progression?


Yea, sorry, I've re-read what i wrote and made corrections where it was wrong
They werent big mistakes, but for someone learning modes, it would have definatly confused them, so i apologise
Been away, am back
#25
Quote by Logz
Ive corrected the two mistakes in my post. The 7th degree in that progression (bVII) would be bvii, not bVII, making the chord Bb Minor as oppsed to Bb Major.
If the normal progression for the ionian mode is I ii iii IV V vi vii°, if you start from the phrygian degree, you would get this progression (ignoring the flats) i II III iv v° VI vii
You're right! Post edited!
#26
Quote by bangoodcharlote
You're right! Post edited!


hurrah
I had to read the posts so many times, just so i wouldnt make a fool of myself again!
Been away, am back
#27
Ah ha, i get you now with the diminished chgords. man, this is really srarting to sink in now. from what i am understanding on modes, you choose what mode you want to use depending on what sound you want to create? not because of some guideline. correct? so if you want ` dark sound you would use Locrian etc..?
#28
yea but how would you explain all this to someone who has no music theory and cannot read music all they use r tabs?
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now its time for me to go reduce my risk of prostate cancer.

#29
Applehead: Yes. They're all guidelines, but you can break the crap out of them The best way to find out what sounds good is to try. Just try a locrian over a major chord The only piece of advice I can give to you (since it has all been explained here) is to look at the chord underneath and find a scale with those tones in it. Example: over maj7 you can play Ionian and Lydian

Freeallboutu91: I wouldn't bother learning him/her something like modes if he/she doesn't know any theory and I think everybody here agrees with that.