#1
Hi ive tried my best read as much as i can about modes.
i just dont seem to be hearing it, i get how there supposed to work. but when improvising i just always end up going into some pentatonic jabble.
and to be honest when they say starting note is differ ant i dont get it.
im totally confused can anyone explain in total plain English haha
chears Carl
#2
Okay, a mode of the major scale contains the same notes as the major scale, but the root is a different note. This is just explaining where modes come from, but I don't think of them like this when actually using them.
D Ionian (major) is D E F# G A B C#
E Dorian (second mode) is E F# G A B C# D
A mixolydian (fifth mode) is A B C# D E F# G
They contain the same notes but start on different root notes.

So, they contain the same notes but they are definately different scales. I think of modes as alterations to the major scale.
Ionian (Major) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Lydian 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
Mixolydian 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Aeolian (Natural Minor) 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Locrian 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

So, for F Phrygian you start with the F major scale, F G A Bb C D E
Then flatten the 2 3 6 and 7 to get 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
And you end up with the notes F Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb.

Now, when playing modes over chords, look at the intervals making up the chord and the intervals making up the mode. If they match up, they will sound good together.
Say a Cm chord comes up, thats 1 b3 5. Look at the modes and you see that Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian all contain those intervals.
So you could play C Dorian, C Phrygian or C Aeolian, which one you chose will give a different feel.
Now if an Amaj7 comes along, thats 1 3 5 7. Compare that to the modes and you see that you can play A Ionian or A Lydian, againg giving different feels.
What about a Bbm7b5? You see that the only mode with 1 b3 b5 b7 is Locrian, so you can play Bb Locrian
With an E7 (1 3 5 b7) you find that only Mixolydian fits, so you can play E mixolydian

JohnlJones Jazz-Theory Bit:
With that E7 you could play E Phrygian, with the b3 funtioning as a #2, to outline an altered dominant chord.
E7 - 1 3 4 b7
E Phrygian 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
This gives the intervals 1 b2 #2 3 4 5 b6 b7 which is a _11b9#9b13 chord.

Remember none of this is law, it's just a guide so don't be afraid to experiment.
Hope this helps

The way to use modes and get their different sounds is to think of the intervals it is made up of. Phrygian has a b2, a dark, dissononant interval. Lydian has a #4, which sounds... I dunno how to describe it but it sounds cool. Mixolydian is like the major scale but has a b7, making it bluesy and dominant.

Just drone the low E string, keep it ringing (clean setting works best). Then on the remaining five stings, play E Phrygian, E lydian, E Aeloian, E Ionian etc. and emphasise the unique intervals in each. Really listen to each scales' characteristics. Try making a melody from each mode while droning the E string.

Once you have done this, watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWHKeC4IEgA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoGQ9yHOyZQ
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#3
so really you can get the modal feel without chords for reference,
because is im playing d dorian or c ionian your not going to really tell much difference on its own?
mmm lol
#4
Rite iv just been thinking say i have a 12 bar blues progression;

C___F___C___C___
F___F___C___C__
G___F___C___G___

So would i play C ionian throughout
then jam over with D dorian? and so on?
or would i jam with C dorian?

erg confusion
:]
#5
Quote by Carl_Martin
so really you can get the modal feel without chords for reference,
because is im playing d dorian or c ionian your not going to really tell much difference on its own?
mmm lol

I'm presuming you meant "can't" there, in which case no, you're spot on...you need the chords to define the modes.

I don't think I've ever seen anybody get their head round that concept so quickly.
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#6
yeah it was cant haha sorry my typing and spelling is a bad combination

Great makes so much more sense now, and i supose it stands to reason you must have some reference for the modes otherwise it just not going to sound any different.
Thanks A Lot Carl
#7
Quote by Carl_Martin
Rite iv just been thinking say i have a 12 bar blues progression;

C___F___C___C___
F___F___C___C__
G___F___C___G___

So would i play C ionian throughout
then jam over with D dorian? and so on?
or would i jam with C dorian?

erg confusion
:]



If you played the notes from C ionian throughout, you would be playing C ionian over the C, F lydian over the F and G mixolydian over the G. It would be impossible to play D dorian over that progression as D is never the root.

If you played C dorian over that progression there would be a clash between the Eb (b3) in dorian and the E (3) in the C chord. But it could sound very bluesy.

Using the guide I posted above, you could play C ionian, C lydian or C mixolydian over the C chord as the intervals match up. You could play F ionian, F lydian or F mixolydian over the F chord for the same reason. And, yes, you could play G ionian, G lydian or G mixolydian over the G chord.
This is because a major chord has the intervals 1 3 5 and those three modes all have those intervals.

However it is very common to play a 12 bar blues as all dominant seventh chords, ie C7 F7 G7. Following my guide you would play C mixolydian, F mixolydian and G mixolydian. This is because a dom7 chord has the intervals 1 3 5 b7, which are only found in mixolydian (of the modes of the major scale).

All this said, it is very common to play over a 12 bar blues using the parallel minor pentatonic, ie you could play C minor pentatonic over that progression and it would sound very bluesy. Even more so if you use the blues scale (minor pentatonic with an added b5)
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums