#1
If I'm playing the chord progression Dm-Gm-Am-Dm ( which is a minor chord progression right?) Than I could technically solo in D aeolian over this whole progression...or better yet I could solo in D aeolian over this correct,but If I wanted to make it more interesting could I play D aeolian over the Dm, D Phrygian over the Gm, D dorian over the Am, and than D aeolian over the dm again?Is this possible do I have this figured out right or am I just way off.Any explanation of what I have wrong would be great. If it's just all messed up well thanks for atleast reading it.

And just to see if I have this right, If I'm playing in the Key of D and I want it to be D major.
My chord progression will be Em-A7-Dmaj
and my harmony is going to be based around D so could I use D ionian, D lydian, D ionian over that progression or would I use D D locrian,D lydian,D ionian
Thanks again for any help
Last edited by SprutJenkins at Oct 17, 2007,
#2
you obviously dont underdtand about modes and trying to explain it on here is a nightmare. i would suggest you get a good guitar teacher and get him/her to take you through them thoroughly. you could search through the modes threads but they may not answer all your questions and some advise even though good intentioned is incorrect. good luck though
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#3
Actually, you're almost on the right track. You see, you can play just about any mode/scale over a chord as long as the notes of the chord are in there. You can play D Aeolian/Phrygian/Dorian/Dorian #4/Hungarian Minor etc. over a Dm chord. However, you've got to keep your tonal center right; i.e. you can play G Dorian over Gm, not D Dorian. Your chord's in G so your scale/mode has to be in G.
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Last edited by BassTalk at Oct 17, 2007,
#4
Your progression Dm-Gm-Am-Dm is in F major right? So the modes of F major are:

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

What you would do is play D Aeolian over the Dm chord, G Dorian over the Gm, and A Phrygian over the Am. Note all these have the same notes. However, they have different intervals. Aeolian, Dorian and Phrygian have minor 3rd intervals, hence they are minor modes. Thats why they sound different.

With modes, if you are in say, the key of D major, you don't use all the modes' 'boxes/shapes' starting on D. If you did this you'd have notes out of key. It is the intervals within the modes, corresponding to the chord over which they are played, which give them different sounds.

And just to see if I have this right, If I'm playing in the Key of D and I want it to be D major.
My chord progression will be Em-A7-Dmaj
and my harmony is going to be based around D so could I use D ionian, D lydian, D ionian over that progression or would I use D D locrian,D lydian,D ionian
Thanks again for any help


If your chord progression in D major goes Em-A7-Dmaj, then the modes you'd use to compose a melody would be E Dorian over the Em, A Mixolydian over the A7, and D Ionian over the Dmaj. You use Dorian starting on E over Em, because Dorian has a flat 3rd interval, as does the Em chord. A7 has a flat 7th, so you need to use the mode with a flat seventh, which also has a major third interval. This is Mixolydian and would start on A. Then for D major, use Ionian starting on D.

When I say 'starting on' I mean in terms of boex or shapes, which is probably how you've learnt modes. You don't need to do this, but it makes it easier to get your head round it at first thinking of it this way.
#5
STANDARD RESPONSE TO MODES THREADS FOLLOWS

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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#6
Your progression is Dm-Gm-Am-Dm. Let's look at how we can treat these chords, within a major tonality:

Dm could be the ii of C major, the iii of Bb major, or the vi of F major. So you could play D dorian, D phrygian, or D aeolian over it.

Gm could be the ii of F major, the iii of Eb major, or the vi of Bb major. You could play G dorian, G phrygian, or G aeolian. If you still wanted to think in terms of D, D aeolian is contained within F major and D phrygian is containted within Bb major.

Am could be the ii of G major, the iii of F major, or the vi of C major. You could play A dorian, A phrygian, or A aeolian. If you still wanted to think in terms of D, D dorian is contained within C major and D aeolian is contained within F major.

All of the chords in the progression are in F major/D minor, so to play within that scale would be the easiest way to go about improvising. If you wanted to play something that would really attract peoples' ears and give a sense of movement, treat the chords as all ii's, all iii's, or all vi's. This progression is a minor i-iv-v. If you play D dorian-G dorian-A dorian, the key changes you would be implying would also form a i-iv-v. If you played all phrygians or all aeolians, the same thing would happen. If you wanted something a bit more jarring, try playing D dorian-G phrygian-A phrygian. My advice would be to record a track of you playing this progression for a while (about 10 minutes, maybe more) or use GuitarPro to loop the progression, and simply experiment with what does or does not work.

Just my $.02.