#1
I know a good enuff deal of scales and i thought i knew what modes are too. I know what they look like anyways. but i want to know how do they relate to scales? what i mean is, i hear ppl saying 'this' (mode) is the major fifth of 'this' (scale) while it is the minor third of 'this' (scale). What's that all about. Help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
#2
Say I have the D major scale (D E Gb G A B Db). Now I'm going to use the exact same scale, only I'm going to start from the 2nd note, E. So I get:

E Gb G A B Db D

Notice how it's exactly the same as the D major, only I've moved it around so I'm starting with E instead of D? Now, if I compare that scale to the E major (E Gb Ab A B Db Eb), you should notice it has a flat third and a flat seventh. This is the dorian mode (1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7). So, if I start the D major from the second note, it's an E dorian.

Now if I do the exact same thing, only this time start from the third (Gb), I get Gb phygrian. The modes go in this order:

Dorian, Phygrian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.

So, the A Mixolydian mode is the major fifth of the D major scale. Make sense? Basically modes are just rearranging the major scale and starting from different points.
#3
This is my understanding of it, and this will mess with you:
Every scale is a mode, and vice versa.

Take C Major (Ionian mode). It contains all the natural notes (C D E F G A B).
Every one of those notes can be the root of the C major scale, only now it will be called *new root**some mode*. For example, B Locrian. Same scale, different root note. Here is the list of scale note versus mode:
Root - Ionian
2nd - Dorian
3rd - Phrygian
4th - Lydian
5th - Mixolydian
6th - Aeolian <--- This is your minor key!
7th - Locrian

This also means that the same root has 7 different modes, and those are all different scales. So C Ionian and C Locrian are not the same scale, even though they contain the same root. Different modes are used in different situations (for example, Aeolian mode is the minor scale, so if playing in C minor, you are playing the Aeolian mode). Often times more than one mode can be used over a progression, but they will yield different results (Mixolydian is often used in country I seem to recall).

I didn't explain everything, but it's late and this is off the top of my head.

[EDIT]Nevermind, the guy above me says everything I don't.
#4
Really good job, you two, explaining this topic.
I already understood it, but I thought I'd comment on that.
Clear information and all.
Good job.

#5
Quote by Insolent
D E Gb G A B Db


You should try to make all your scales diatonic.
Therefore, your D Major scale wouldnt be what you wrote, it would be:
D E F# G A B C# D

Another example, D# Major scale
D# F G G# A# C D D#

This would also be 'incorrect' because you are using the same notes twice.
You have G and G# and D and D#.

You should try to use each note once, so you can change this scale into this:
D# Major scale:
Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb

They are both the same scale, except the latter is more theorectially(sp?) correct.
Been away, am back
#6
Way back when I didn't understand theory, I had an easy time understanding the major scale but a hard time constructing modes.

People would say what Insolent said but I wouldnt get it until I saw the literal example like this. I just am posting this not to be defiant, but it was this visual that made me say "oh, I get it" roughly a year and a half ago.



C Ionian: C D E F G A B C
D Dorian:   D E F G A B C D
E Phrygian:   E F G A B C D E
F Lydian:       F G A B C D E F
G Mixolydian:     G A B C D E F G
A Aeolian:          A B C D E F G A
B Locrian:            B C D E F G A B



also note, as Logz said, don't do "Gb G". It may be correct to you on the fretboard, but in terms of music theory, sheet music, and eventually chords, Gb G... it won't work. F# G.
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#7
I still dont get as to how to use the modes. Is it more on the progression rather than the scales used? Because if there's a progression in the key of C, and I were to use a mode in the key of C...how would it sound different? C major or F Lydian, the way to use it is still a blur to me.

I understand what was previously mentioned, I've read about it a lot of times...but when it comes down to making the sound of the modes obvious, i dont get it.
#8
Quote by winkybear
I still dont get as to how to use the modes. Is it more on the progression rather than the scales used? Because if there's a progression in the key of C, and I were to use a mode in the key of C...how would it sound different? C major or F Lydian, the way to use it is still a blur to me.

I understand what was previously mentioned, I've read about it a lot of times...but when it comes down to making the sound of the modes obvious, i dont get it.


When you play say the major scale. If you play all the notes with no emphasis on any particular note, it will sound the same.

You have to look at the relationships between certain notes, and which intervals make that mode unique, and emphasis those particular notes in order for the mode to have feeling.

I hope that made sence.
Been away, am back
#9
Quote by Logz
When you play say the major scale. If you play all the notes with no emphasis on any particular note, it will sound the same.

You have to look at the relationships between certain notes, and which intervals make that mode unique, and emphasis those particular notes in order for the mode to have feeling.

I hope that made sence.

Yep.

The starting point of the scale also matters. A Aeolian (A minor) has the same notes as C Ionian (C major), but the difference is the position of the notes in the scale.


e------------------------------------
b--------------------------0--1--------
g-------------------0--2---------------
d--------0--2--3------------------------
a---3---------------------------------
E------------------------------------


Play that. That is the C major scale. Then play this:


e------------------------------------
b------------------------------------
g-------------------------0--2---------
d--------------0--2--3------------------
a---0--2--3-----------------------------
E------------------------------------


That is the A minor scale. Notic how they use the same notes, yet they sound different because of where the notes are in the scale and to which note the respective scale resolves to.


-KR
Last edited by kirbyrocknroll at Jul 10, 2006,
#10
^ what he said is fairly correct, however the one thing i learned that really helped define the position isn't just what note you start on but more so what you end on and how it gets there..... a little more theory is in order to understand this but what kirby said is still valid.
#11
thank you to all. thread q's like this really help me understand it all that much more. i'm still gonna have to read more into modes (or just read over the previous material more, idk, lol) but again thanks to all.


...maybe i should look into lessons?...
#12
oh if you think the modes are fun you should try learning some foriegn scales to spice up your sound abit, i havent looked into seeing if all of these foriegn scales are just modes but i read an interview with Nile and they said something about a snake bite scale, now whats up with that??
"In your world you can take a pen and write on a peice of paper and destroy 50,000 people or more and its ok because you dont have to see it" - Charles Mansion
#13
^^^
Check out the Hirojoshi, Kumoi, Pelog, as well as Enigmatic (though not really exotic) scales. You can find them at places like wholenote.com.

Fun stuff...
#14
as good as this advice is, I feel it misses the point of modal theory. Tone in music is essentially the intervals of one note to another, Modes help you understand the intervals between notes. but they are not the end all, they are more of a learning device for intervals.

once you get comfortable with them you start messing with them (or at least I did) I realized that there are scales that modal theory doesnot explain in a single word, for instance, Lydian with a Flatted 7th or Dorian with a sharped fourth ( just to name some favourites) and there is much more... Especially when you look at middle eastern music ( I don't know the technical name) that, instead of 1 sharp and/or flat, you have two sharps and two flats for each note. (pretty damed complicated) since we work on a twelve note system and not a twenty or thirty somthing system, we tend to miss out on some of those notes. simple modal theory Most times can''t come close to cracking that egg.
(disclaimer, I may have some descrepencies in there on the number of flats/sharps and such, but I feel the basic Idea comes across)

http://www.apassion4jazz.net/scales2.html

one of my favourite resouces
#15
Quote by punkslaughter
oh if you think the modes are fun you should try learning some foriegn scales to spice up your sound abit, i havent looked into seeing if all of these foriegn scales are just modes but i read an interview with Nile and they said something about a snake bite scale, now whats up with that??


yeah, i already ahd done that. lol. ur right thos scales are damn weird. to weird for me to know how to use, really. enigmatic...how the hell would use that?! u know? lol. but that website is definitely kickass to the effing core! thanks to all, again.