#1
Hi, at tyhe minute im tryin to find out what modes are. Im readin a magazine at the minute which attemts to explain modes, but does not do it very well. Is there any1 who can briefly explain what the basics to modes are? Any response is appreciated.
#2
Modes of the Major Scale

First of all, a mode is a scale derived from a different scale. The basis behind deriving modes is making a note that is not the tonic your new root note! There are 7 basic modes derived from the major scale. If you don't know the major scale, learn it ASAP. The intervals are W W H W W W H.

Anyways, since there are 7 notes in the major scale, you can have 7 different root notes (or starting points) and still be in the same key. For the purpose of this lesson I'll be using the key of C, because it has no flats and no sharps, and is one of the most common keys.
Here's a diagram to help with the concept:

Key of Cmaj: C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F?
[b]C[/b] Ionian     [b]C[/b] D E F G A B [b]C[/b]
[b]D[/b] Dorian       [b]D[/b] E F G A B C [b]D[/b]
[b]E[/b] Phrygian       [b]E[/b] F G A B C D [b]E[/b]
[b]F[/b] Lydian           [b]F[/b] G A B C D E [b]F[/b]
[b]G[/b] Mixolydian         [b]G[/b] A B C D E F [b]G[/b]
[b]A[/b] Aeolian              [b]A[/b] B C D E F G [b]A[/b]
[b]B[/b] Locrian                [b]B[/b] C D E F G A [b]B[/b]
[b]Bold[/b] notes are root notes of each scale.


First of all, start thinking of notes as scale degrees:

  Note: C D E F G A B C
Degree: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1


The names of the modes, in order, are Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian, and they start on their respective scale degrees.

Starting on the first degree, you get 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1, which is Ionian. Also the major scale.

Starting on the second degree, your notes are D E F G A B C D. This is the Dorian mode. Its formula is 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1. Here's why:


 Degrees: 1 2 3  4 5 6 7  1
 D scale: D E F# G A B C# D

D Dorian: D E F  G A B C  D
 Degrees: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1


You should be able to see how the F# was flatted down to F natural and C# down to C natural. That is how each mode's formula is found.

The third mode is Phrygian, its formula is 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1. In the key of C, the notes would be E F G A B C D E = E Phrygian.

The fourth is Lydian. Formula is 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1.

5th is Mixolydian, 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1.

6th is Aeolian, or the natural minor scale. 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1.

7th is Locrian, which is a half diminished scale. 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 1.

These formulas are intervals in relation to the major scale. The major scale is used as a reference for just about everything, and modes are no exception.

Therefore, the 7 modes in the key of C are:
C Ionian
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian
B Locrian
#4
They're relative if they use the same notes - in some cases they use different notes if it's an altered scale like the melodic minor is different for ascending and descending and the bebop scale ( used in jazz ) adds in chromatics - usually the major 7th on a Mixolydian scale.
#6
modes are not derived from the major scale. modes existed before major and minor scales.

the major and minor scales are derived from the modes.
#7
Good, now I don't have to start a thread. Alright I've recently been trying to learn the modes, and I have a few questions. So from what I've got from your post bangoodcharlote, (or whoever wrote that) is that if your song is in the key of C, for example, you can use the C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian and still remain in key. Is this correct? If so, does that mean that if I'm in the key of D, I would just move up all of the scales up one (D Ionian, E Dorian, F Lydian, etc.)? I'm kind of having troubles understanding this, so it might sound stupid.
Quote by highway2hell999
What The Hell Is Bong-water????????????????????????????????
YEAH, A BABY!
#8
^ SD, or casmin wrote that post.

Ok, modes:

All the major modes (Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian) are built from the major (ionian mode) scale.

Ok, lets take the C Ionian mode.
The notes in this, are C D E F G A B C.
Therefore, for each one of those notes, you can build a mode.
C Ionian
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian
B Locrian


Now, lets change the root note of the Ionian Mode to D#.
The Ionian mode is just the Major scale, so whats the Major scale in Eb?

Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

Ok, so you can now build a mode of each one of those as well:
Eb Ionian
F Dorian
G Phrygian
Ab Lydian
Bb Mixolydian
C Aeolian
D Locrian

See how it works?
Been away, am back
#10
Quote by bong-water
if your song is in the key of C, for example, you can use the C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and B Locrian and still remain in key. Is this correct?



well technically yes, because all those modes contain the same notes...

BUT...if you play over a progression in C major, which resolves to C, if you use those notes "c d e f g a b c" you will be playing in C major (ionian) because it resolves to C

if you had a progression using chords in the ket of C major, but it resolved to the chord Dm, playing those same notes would bring out the flavour of D Dorian because the tonic is D


Quote by bong-water
If so, does that mean that if I'm in the key of D, I would just move up all of the scales up one (D Ionian, E Dorian, F Lydian, etc.)?


well you use them in relation to the major scale

in D major, (D E F# G A B C#)

it would go D ionian E dorian F# phrigian, G lydian, A mixolydian, B aeolian and C# locrian

hope i helped you a bit
#11
Quote by quinny1089
well technically yes, because all those modes contain the same notes...

BUT...if you play over a progression in C major, which resolves to C, if you use those notes "c d e f g a b c" you will be playing in C major (ionian) because it resolves to C

if you had a progression using chords in the ket of C major, but it resolved to the chord Dm, playing those same notes would bring out the flavour of D Dorian because the tonic is D



Hmmm, interesting. That actually makes sense to me. Thanks for the help!
Quote by highway2hell999
What The Hell Is Bong-water????????????????????????????????
YEAH, A BABY!