#1
I've been playing about a year now, just fiddling around on the guitar, playing some easier songs, and I've gotten to the point where I realized that the guitar is something I want to highly accel in.

So..

I googled this site:
http://www.guitarlessonworld.com/lessons/lessons.php

Now, I'm up to lesson 13 and 14, and pretty much understand everything in the previous lessons thus far (to the extent at which whatever it was was described). However, when I learned the E Major scale, and went on to modes... The modes they show are just the E Major scale with different root notes... My question is this:

How are modes useful, and how do you recognize them if they're just the E Major scale with different starting notes? I don't see how it'd be possible to say "Oh, that song is being played in Dorian." or, "He's soloing using the Lydian mode."

It's puzzling to me why the modes exist, and how you can recognize them if they're just the same scale with a different root note. O.o
#2
Yes, basically, modes are the major scale starting on a different note. But that's just an easy way to figure them out. They're useful when you keep the same root note.

Say you have a chord progression in E major but you want to use a mode. You could use E mixolydian which would be the 5th mode of A major. That's how you'd use them. It would sound like E major but with a flat 7th and that's how you'd recognize it.

This is just a brief explanation. There'll be more to it as you get familiar with them
#3
A mode is simply a scale that you can use. If you see an Am chord, you could play Aeolian, Dorian, or Phrygian (or a lot of other things) over said chord.

You would recognize the mode because of the chords over which it is played. For instance, if you see the C major scale being played over an F chord, you would sat, "F Lydian!" If you see the C major scale being played over Dm, you would say, "D Dorian!"
#4
well, the modes exist because they resolve to different notes of the scale...look at the E major scale

E F# G# A B C# D#

a mode is just a major scale starting on the second note of the original E major...this mode would be called the dorian, and since it starts on the F#, you have F# dorian

F# G# A B C# D# E

same notes...then what's the point you say? well, play the major scale in the first postion, then play it in the second...you'll notice that the second scale has a different sound...but how is that possible, they have the same notes? well, the notes surrounding the tonic and the note placement change the resolution, giving it a unique sound...so, the purpose of the modes is simply to give the guitarist a broader selection to achieve a certain mood or sound...through experience and unrelenting repetitive scale runs and scale exercises utilizing these modes, you'll notice the different sounds and be able to recognize them and tell these scales apart
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#5
Alright, I'm sort of seeing how this works.

When improvising a lead over a song that's in the key of E major, you could use any of the modes in the E major scale? If you can, would it be desirable to use more than one mode? I mean, I suppose you could... but then wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having modes, if you're just utilizing the entire E Major scale?

Or am I still not seeing something. :/
#6
Quote by sg-rocker173
Alright, I'm sort of seeing how this works.

When improvising a lead over a song that's in the key of E major, you could use any of the modes in the E major scale? If you can, would it be desirable to use more than one mode? I mean, I suppose you could... but then wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having modes, if you're just utilizing the entire E Major scale?

Or am I still not seeing something. :/
Think about it as individual chords. If you want the true C major sound over an C chord, you would play C D E F G A B C in any order anywhere on the neck. If you wanted a C Lydian sound over that C chord, you would play C D E F# G A B C in any order anywhere on the neck.

Now let's look at a progression: Em Dm G F. This is obviously based on the E Phrygain scale, not E Aeolian, not E Dorian. You would play the notes of a C major scale (E phrygain is the third mode of C major) over this, not the notes of G major.
#7
That's helping.

How do you know that progression is based on E Phrygian?


Ok, so.. when playing a mode over that, the E Phrygian, your root note would be an E on a C Major scale, and you would use the progression of H-W-W-W-H-W-W steps for the rest of that mode?

Erm... If I were playing on an E Phrygian, then I'd be on C major scale, like you said... so I might play something like this?:


A|-7--8--10--12--14--15--17--19-|


7 being the root note of E Phrygian, the rest being the steps for the Phrygian mode.

Am I right or no? :P
#8
1. I know it is E Phrygain because it sounds like it is based on that E minor chord and it contains the notes/chords of the C major scale.

2. E Phrygian is the C major scale based around E.

3. It goes E-half step-whole step-whole step-whole step-half step-whole step-E again.

4. What you said is correct.
#10
Just to put my own mind at rest.

If you were playing over a C chord you could use C ionian/D dorian/E phrygian and so on? or would you use C ionian/C Dorian/C phrygian etc.
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#11
Just C ionian... every other mode starting with C would sound bad because they all have different intervals... C dorian is in the key of Bb major, C phrygian is in the key of Ab major, C lydian is in the key of G major, etc.

If the progression is JUST a C major chord, you use C ionian (or any scale that has a major third and a perfect fifth... lydian, mixolydian, and some others would work, but generally you'd just play C ionian).

If the progression changes chords, like C-Dm-Em, you COULD play modally, as in C ionian over C, D dorian over Dm, and E phrygian over Em. However, to TRULY play modally is difficult, and if the chords don't exactly last forever (say like half a measure each), you'd just play C ionian because all those chords come from the key of C major. This is usually how people do it.
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