Yesterday I posted a topic asking for help learning scales. Someone suggested the hopscoth lesson and I must say, it worked perfectly. But what I'm a little confused about now isn't about the minor pentonic scale, but rather the modes.

Should I learn modes separately and find a way to work them together in solos on occasion, or could I learn all the modes as one giant mode and just work them all together in a solo without thinking in my head "all right, I'm gonna switch to the Phrygian mode now?"

The second would be a lot easier for me, which makes me think that it's probably wrong.

Thanks for all your help so far
Last edited by gamayshark at Jul 10, 2006,
Well, you will find modes have a lot of the same notes when it comes to the key. But they do all sound different and they do matter. Best way to learn modes is not to try to solo with them, but come up with lead riffs with in them so you can memorize them better and what makes them sound the way they do. But if you are good enough to solo, then ahead and do it. The point is, yes you gotta learn the modes seperately, that's why they are seperated in the first place. And the seoncd one isn't totally wrong, if you know the notes very well in that mode and you wanna slide to a higher note on the neck that already isn't the mode you're playing in, then it could work and you could kind work outside your original mode. So only to a certain degree would that method actually work.

Hope you understand everything I've said
Simply, the world was too small for a man of his ambition.
Quote by ifeastonbums
GuitarSymphony you are my hero!
I suppose your question is, after brief interpretation...

"Should I solo modally or in one scale?"

Modal soloing is pretty difficult to do correctly at first. It's a lot easier when the chord changes aren't so fast. Like say you have a Dm7 for 4 full bars and then a G7 for for full bars --- you have time to think about changing note emphases to each new chord's important tones. For instance, my band has a song like that, and I literally have enough time to actually do modal soloing. However, generally the way to go is to keep it in one mode, that being the mode which is the key of the song.

Say you have a progression of |: D | C | G | G :|... quite simply, it is in G ionian/major. Considering a "normal" BPM, the chord changes come rather quickly. Just play in G ionian (your "one giant mode," although the words "one giant mode" are real inaccurate for describing what you're playing). Simple enough. When the D chord comes, hit a D note. When the C comes, emphasize the C. That would be a decent solo at a very basic level. Modal soloing over this progression would mean accenting an A and resolving it with some flavor notes (F#, C maybe) down to a D note, and accordingly for each new chord.

Get it yet? So, there is no "right way" to solo --- you can do either one scale, with one emphasized root note (G in our example) or you can play modally.

Looking for my India/Django.
Quote by GuitarSymphony
Well, you will find modes have a lot of the same notes when it comes to the key.

If the modes are in the same key, they will contain all the same notes.

My advice for you would be to learn each mode in a specific key completely independent of one another - that is, one learn mode - become familiar with it and use it. Then move onto another.

A method I find that helps with this is to simply pedal one single chord and play a corresponding mode over it. For example, take C - pedal that chord over and over, now play C Ionian over it to your hearts content, then switch to C Lydian, then C Mixolydian and so on and so forth. It helped me focus on each modes individual characteristics and traits and see them as individuals, as opposed to just modes being a collective group of scales you want to use because, well - you can.

A variation on that would be to get a friend to pedal a chord, or chord progression and for you to play and experiment with modes, then switch places while he plays and you strum. This method might stop you from thinking ''Oh, modes. Boooring!'' as usually if a friend is involved, an element of fun is brought forward, not that learning every single thing shouldn't be fun, of course it should. But I usually find this method keeps people interested.

Edit: Oh, after reading redwing_sucks post I realise I had the completely wrong idea, sorry.

If that is the case, may I recommend Marty Friedman - Melodic Control.
Last edited by Johnljones7443 at Jul 10, 2006,
^No, actually that's the best way to be able to distinguish between modes' sounds... playing all 7 different modes with the same root note. Just make a recording of a C note over and over to a click track or metronome, let it repeat, and start by just playing the mode's position up and down over and over. Then, work on phrasing. Rinse and repeat.
Looking for my India/Django.