#1
i'm playing a 3 chord progression. Key of G... Gmaj, Bmin, Cmaj. now G ionian sounds right over the Gmaj and C Lydian sounds right over the Cmaj but B phrygian doesn't sound right over Bmin. I was under the impression that the modes would fit over their respective chords, in other words, B is the 3rd degree of the G scale so you'd play the 3rd mode over it which in this case it would be B phrygian. Evidently i'm screwed up somewhere... is there more to this?
#2
well, for one... things can be correct theoretically, but depending on what your ear likes, it may not always sound good. also, is it just a B minor or is it a B minor 7?

try aeolian and see if it sounds better, because phrygian is a very dark scale, whereas lydian/ionian are really bright. aeolian isnt so dark.
#3
you bring up a good point. yeah aeolian was perfect. it's Bmin i'm still playing around with the modes, writing cheesy little progressions and fitting the modes over them trying to feel out this modal theory thing. thanks man
#5
Try playing the different notes of the phyrgian mode.

If you really cant find the notes that sound like you want it to sound, then play the pentatonic minor over that B. Pentatonic minor will still have the same notes as the phyrgian but will sound more stable.

Its just what I would do.
#6
While B Phrygian would be the "correct" mode in this application, perhaps it is its "correctness" that is causing what you might call a stale or fatiguing harmony over the given chord, Bmin. Maybe try relative modes over the Bmin chord to create more tension. *hint: try D Mixolydian without emphasizing either G Ionian or C Lydian (instead, try something like A Dorian - or pentatonic min - over both Gmaj and Cmaj chords an 8va lower than the position you'd be in to begin D Mix, using, oh, I dunno, maybe an intervalic riff based on the cycle of 4ths to lead into D Mix). Or, if you really want to jar people's attention, do something along a neo-classical vein like B Phrygian-dominant (or the relative E harmonic-minor) in an effort to play the min and maj 3rd of "B" (D and D#, respectively) against each other.
...and, of course, when all else fails, trust your ears. They don't lie.
#7
I think you should pinpoint exactly which notes you don't like over the B minor chord. That way, maybe you could just try to avoid playing(or holding) the C over B minor instead of playing C# like you would in B aeolian.
#8
That progression isn't even modal. You're not playing 'C lydian over Cmaj' or 'B phygian over B minor'. You're playing G major over the progression.

If a note doesn't sound good over your B minor chord, dont stay on it too long. Just because it's a note which is in key doesn't automatically mean its going to sound good.
#9
Quote by GrisKy
Maybe try relative modes over the Bmin chord to create more tension. *hint: try D Mixolydian without emphasizing either G Ionian or C Lydian (instead, try something like A Dorian - .

you can't do that - its all the same notes

you're actually not playing in B phrygian over that chord, you're playing in G major cause thats the tonic centre.

Try playing without looking at the fretboard, and without playing in box patterns if thats what you're doing - use your ear and find out which notes you like and dont like and work from there.
#10
If the progression is in G major,l then play G major. Modes have absolutely nothing to do with this, and you aren't ready to be worrying about them.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#11
Quote by paesano
i'm playing a 3 chord progression. Key of G... Gmaj, Bmin, Cmaj. now G ionian sounds right over the Gmaj and C Lydian sounds right over the Cmaj but B phrygian doesn't sound right over Bmin. I was under the impression that the modes would fit over their respective chords, in other words, B is the 3rd degree of the G scale so you'd play the 3rd mode over it which in this case it would be B phrygian. Evidently i'm screwed up somewhere... is there more to this?



Well, that whole thing is in G Major. There really is no need to use modes here. (In fact it would be inappropriate to do so)

An appropriate place to use a mode would be over either a static chord, or a modal progression.

Keep in mind that using the terms ionian or aeolian is unnecessarily redundant because each of those modes exist today as the Major and natural minor scales. It's more consistent with common practice to just refer to them as such.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 17, 2009,
#12
Quote by paesano
i'm playing a 3 chord progression. Key of G... Gmaj, Bmin, Cmaj. now G ionian sounds right over the Gmaj and C Lydian sounds right over the Cmaj but B phrygian doesn't sound right over Bmin. I was under the impression that the modes would fit over their respective chords, in other words, B is the 3rd degree of the G scale so you'd play the 3rd mode over it which in this case it would be B phrygian. Evidently i'm screwed up somewhere... is there more to this?

well you just said the song was in G. so you should be playing the G major scale. thats it.

and yes it sounds fine over B minor actually because the song is in G and B phrygian has the same notes as G major so it fits just fine. im not sure what you are hearing. just play in G and you'll be fine. you could if you wanted play the B minor scale over B minor and C major over the C and G major over the G. thats usually what i do to add embelishments to the chords. but for soloing id stick to G major probably.
#13
Where are you people getting that this progression isn't modal? Break down the triads, look at the notes you've got and WHAM, there's your Gmajor/Ionian key. I-iii-IV. What ****ing planet are you on?

...and by the way, griff and Declan, the modes were created to impart varying moods through their use. G Ionian and B Phrygian might have the same notes, but they are not the same thing. If you can't understand that, then you shouldn't offer guidance here.
#14
Where are you people getting that this progression isn't modal? Break down the triads, look at the notes you've got and WHAM, there's your Gmajor/Ionian key. I-iii-IV. What ****ing planet are you on?


Ionian is not the same as "major", nor is modal music key based at all, and there is absolutely no reason to drag ionian or any other mode into this.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#15
Quote by Archeo Avis
Ionian is not the same as "major", nor is modal music key based at all, and there is absolutely no reason to drag ionian or any other mode into this.


What is the difference between Ionian and major? I can't find anything that doesn't say they are the same.
Quote by UtBDan
this man hits the nail on the head.
#16
Quote by blueriver
What is the difference between Ionian and major? I can't find anything that doesn't say they are the same.


Ionian is modal. Major is tonal. Tonal music has alot more flexibility than modal music, which is generally a vamp to emphasize the tonality, or a two - three chord progression which resolves to the tonic, while containing only notes within the mode.

He should play G major over the entire thing. He might use a "phrygian" box at some point, but its still major. Of course, over the Bm chord, the best notes to emphasis are the chord tones (B, D, F#), but that doesn't make it modal. If C# sounds better to him, over it than C, by all means he should use it. That won't make it "B aeolian" It will still be G major, just using a non-scale tone of C#.
Last edited by isaac_bandits at May 17, 2009,
#17
Quote by blueriver
What is the difference between Ionian and major? I can't find anything that doesn't say they are the same.


"Major" implies tonal music and functional harmony. Modal and tonal music are different musical systems entirely, and you'd be very hard pressed to find genuinely modal music in this day and age. Dragging modal term into the discussion accomplished nothing and just complicates the issue.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#18
Quote by GrisKy
Where are you people getting that this progression isn't modal? Break down the triads, look at the notes you've got and WHAM, there's your Gmajor/Ionian key. I-iii-IV. What ****ing planet are you on?


Well, it would be more consistent with common practice to just refer to at as Major.

The term Ionian is redundant. Since that mode exists today as the Major scale there is no reason to refer back to the modal name. This is also true for aeolian (now exists as the natural minor scale).

bottom line: referring to it as Ionian is not consistent with common practice.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at May 18, 2009,
#19
Quote by GuitarMunky
Well, it would be more consistent with common practice to just refer to at as Major.

The term Ionian is redundant. Since that mode exists today as the Major scale there is no reason to refer back to the modal name. This is also true for aeolian (now exists as the natural minor scale).

bottom line: referring to it as Ionian is not consistent with common practice.


Over a major7 vamp, I'd refer to it as Ionian.
#20
Munky, I'm repeating the use of both terms, Major and Ionian, for the purpose of helping those who might be confused to make the connection that they are structually the same scale. You're right in the fact that "major" is more widely used today to mean the same thing as "Ionian" (except by geeks like us), and I'm sure any of us would be hard pressed to find a sheet of music in the key of "G Ionian". That said, I think the use of the modal name is relevant when discussing other modes.

Isaac, ok, in the truest sense, yes "modal" music is much more structured than modern western music. The use of modal names (in reference to their respective scales, not keys... see above for my earlier connection between the two) to impart direction and a sense of "right notes" to someone who opened the thread with the use of modal names still seems legit to me.

Archeo, I'm pretty sure you have no idea what you're talking about and you just want to be argumentative. You're fired.
#21
To you major/ionian arguers:

Just for your information...

Ionian, Aeolian and Locrian aren't real modes in the pre-baroque sense. Before minor/major tonality was theorised, there were effectively four modes: Dorian, Phrygian, Mixolydian and Lydian.

There was a such thing as plagal modes (hypophrygian, hypolydian and so on), but that simple means the main melody (alot of pre-baroque music was homophonic, as in, chords were not even theorised yet) started a fifth higher, plus or minus some octaves. It still resolved on the same note as the relative authentic modes (the non hypo modes). Therefore, only 4 modes.

My theory is ionian, aeolian and locrian were created when jazzers raised the modes out of their coffin. Let's face it, the names are the same but the way the jazzers used modes in the 1920's is completely different from the way pre-baroque composers used modes. What came back just isn't the same modal theory...

Therefore if we're talking about modes in the jazzers sense, I think it's better as ionian, not major.

Try playing the different notes of the phyrgian mode.

If you really cant find the notes that sound like you want it to sound, then play the pentatonic minor over that B. Pentatonic minor will still have the same notes as the phyrgian but will sound more stable.

Its just what I would do.
Ha ha, that's so contorted. I could barely make sense out of it.
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#22
Quote by Archeo Avis
"Major" implies tonal music and functional harmony. Modal and tonal music are different musical systems entirely, and you'd be very hard pressed to find genuinely modal music in this day and age. Dragging modal term into the discussion accomplished nothing and just complicates the issue.


Yeah, i did notice that the minor and major scale patterns are within the modal patterns that i was learning.

So... what is the difference between modal music and tonal? I'm pretty sure that that's where i'm making the mistake. I understand that GMaj would fit over the progression that's in the Key of G, pretty simple stuff, but what I was trying to accomplish when i starting messing with modes is when you hear a progression that has a bright or major feel to it, and then it switches to a darker minor feel, and so on, i hear satriani do it all the time and that was my goal in learning the modes, i figured that would make it easier for me to do. Like take, "always with me, always with you" for example by Satch, there's a point where there's a rest and then that single strummed chord and then the whole song takes a different turn for a while before coming back to the lead that he starts the song with.

That's just an example, I'm not really asking how to play that, but more to the point of learning what concepts i'd need to know in order to make my music do that. I can write riffs all day but making them into songs that progress and go somewhere is something i haven't figured out yet.

But thanks to everyone for the advice, i'm still not there but if you could explain to me the difference between modal and tonal theory or tell me to pack my ass off to music school like i should have done years ago I'd appreciate it.