Erm.... if your playing the chord C and wanted to improvise with the phrygian mode would you use A major scale? and then would it be called A phrygian. If i got it totally wrong can you tell me whats right, cheers.
If you're playing the chord C and wanted to improvise with the phyrgian mode you would probably use C Phrygian or E Phrygian. C Phrygian because the roots are the same and the difference between the notes in the chord and the scale sorta clash to sound cool. E Phrygian because the notes in E Phrygian are relative to C.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

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oh okay, erm so if i wanted to play in the dorian mode of C maj would i use d dorian?
Yes.
oh okay, i think i've finally got it
To add on to that, those are called "relative modes" (C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, B Locrian). Relative modes are when they're the same notes in a different order. Just remember that they are still in different keys. Even though D Dorian has the same notes as C Ionian, D Dorian is in the key of D because it starts on D (but you can still use it to improvise in a song that's in C).

There's also the term "parallel modes". Those are like C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian. Same root note, different mode.

Modes are really confusing at first so don't give up on them. I've spent the past year learning how those damn things work.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
oh okay, i think i've got the basics of them.
metal4all, you cannot play E Phrygian over a C major chord. Thats just C Ionian because the root note is C (the chord determines the mode). Get back in the box, retard! Nah just kidding man

Threadstarter, you could try playing C phrygian over C. This will create tension as the notes will clash. Generally you should play C phrygian over a Cm chord as the intervals match up.

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:
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so if i wanted to play in C phrygian mode over a C chord, i would basically play a E minor scale because phrygian is a minor mode?
Last edited by bass wizard at Nov 18, 2007,
No, you would play C phrygian.
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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,
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There's also the term "parallel modes". Those are like C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian. Same root note, different mode
.

its called pitch axis
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But isn't phrygian the 3rd mode so it would go C,B,A so actually would it be A minor?
I think you are very confused.

Yes, phrygian is the 3rd mode.
It contains the intervals 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
C Phrygian is C Db Eb F G Ab Bb
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
Quote by bass wizard
But isn't phrygian the 3rd mode so it would go C,B,A so actually would it be A minor?

Goes the other way. C, D, E. So E phrygian.
Quote by bass wizard
But isn't phrygian the 3rd mode so it would go C,B,A so actually would it be A minor?

C Phrygian is the third mode. C D E.

C Phrygian is a minor mode, yes, but it is not the same as the minor scale, which is also known as the Aeolian mode.
Quote by Eggmond
.

its called pitch axis

Oh thank you joe satriani, i've never heard of such a thing. Pitch axis is when everything revolves around a pedal tone and it is a way to use modes, i was simply talking about what some modes are called.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
C Phrygian is the third mode. C D E.

C Phrygian is a minor mode, yes, but it is not the same as the minor scale, which is also known as the Aeolian mode.

But I was tought to count back fromm the note not foward? Which one is it?
Forward
If it's the third mode, it starts from the third note of the major scale
If it's the sixth mode, it starts from the sixth note of the major scale
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
Oh okay. Cheers
yeah, when you say "count backwards" you are right... in order to find your respective major scale.

example: C phrygian

to find your major pattern, you will need to move 2 whole tones backwards... and so you end up with Ab Major... which you can play over your Cm7b9 chord and have a very C Phrygian sound.
I thought i was, anyway it's okay becuase my guitar teacher went through it with me!
Quote by metal4all
To add on to that, those are called "relative modes" (C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, B Locrian). Relative modes are when they're the same notes in a different order. Just remember that they are still in different keys. Even though D Dorian has the same notes as C Ionian, D Dorian is in the key of D because it starts on D (but you can still use it to improvise in a song that's in C).

There's also the term "parallel modes". Those are like C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian. Same root note, different mode.

Modes are really confusing at first so don't give up on them. I've spent the past year learning how those damn things work.

I don't think thats correct. An D dorian is in the key of C because it has the same notes as a C scale, just in a different order. DEFGABCD are the same notes as in a C scale, and when you write out the key signature on a piece of paper you wouldn't write the key of D, which has two sharps. Just like C's relative minor is A minor, and an A natural minor has the same notes as a C scale, so you would write it in the same key as C(no sharps or flats).

I mean someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think of the modes as different forms of the major scale, not different keys. Isn't that right?

Check out the guy that posted a real nice lengthy one about this subject, it has all the stuff pretty correct as far as I know.
you make a fair point.

i dont know whats right and whats wrong when modally defining keys.
you are saying that Cmajor is the same key as Aminor???

i think i tend to disagree, the key should be named as C major or A minor or D dorian... but i can easily be proved wrong by a 'conventionally taught' musician

Quote by phillyguitar
Check out the guy that posted a real nice lengthy one about this subject, it has all the stuff pretty correct as far as I know.

that would be Optimus Prime, he is the leader of the Autobots, always posts the same text and transforms into a lorry.
Quote by phillyguitar
I don't think thats correct. An D dorian is in the key of C because it has the same notes as a C scale, just in a different order. DEFGABCD are the same notes as in a C scale, and when you write out the key signature on a piece of paper you wouldn't write the key of D, which has two sharps. Just like C's relative minor is A minor, and an A natural minor has the same notes as a C scale, so you would write it in the same key as C(no sharps or flats).

I mean someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think of the modes as different forms of the major scale, not different keys. Isn't that right?

Check out the guy that posted a real nice lengthy one about this subject, it has all the stuff pretty correct as far as I know.

I thought that same thing for a while but i was corrected by one of the really smart mods here ( i think it was kirby, but i dont remember)

edit: i was right

Quote by MT Music Theory Sticky
C Ionian (another name for the major scale)
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian (another name for the minor scale)
B Locrian

This order of modes is the same in every major key (Ionian is always first, Dorian next, and so on).

Now, each of these modes contain the same notes as its parent scale, in this case, C major. So, D Dorian, for example, is D E F G A B C. Notice how D functions as the root note, not C. The thing to remember that many people get confused about when learning about modes is that none of these modes are in the key of C! They share the same notes as C major, but they are not in the key of C major. D Dorian is a D scale with minor tonality, and its root note is D. The same idea goes for the other modes.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
Last edited by metal4all at Nov 19, 2007,
Quote by branny1982
that would be Optimus Prime, he is the leader of the Autobots, always posts the same text and transforms into a lorry.

1. I'm a tool-loving transformer, not just a transformer.
2. Its always the same text because its always the same questions
3. It's a truck, not a lorry
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
Quote by metal4all
I thought that same thing for a while but i was corrected by one of the really smart mods here ( i think it was kirby, but i dont remember)

edit: i was right

Actually, that's what I've been taught, but I've been corrected differently on a few occasions. However, whenever I see a thread asking that question and I even made one myself I believe, no answer seemed to be reached. Freepower, John, and the rest of the brains here reviewed that article (which I wrote by the way ) so I'm assuming that the information is correct. So please, if you know the answer to the mode/key thing above, please enlighten us.
it's the chords that make the mode, so you can't play Cmajor chord to get C phrygian, you'd play Cm7 or Cmaj7 or Cmaj to get the phrygian mode sounding while playing the phrygian mode. if you don't understand the basic chord structures and major scale harmony you won't understand this. Cmajar chord has a major 3rd interval, C phrygian has a minor 3rd interval

C major chord
C E G

C phrygian
C Db Eb F G AB Bb C

so a chord for C phrygian mode

Cmin ( C Eb G)
Cmin7(C EB G Bb)
Csusb9( C F G Bb Db)

with regard to phrygian, i've seen some guys play dominant chords as a 3rd chord and just plain a plain sus chord, the dominant causes some tension because one note clashes. it's pretty common in funk if i'm not mistaken, give it a try
Quote by kirbyrocknroll
Actually, that's what I've been taught, but I've been corrected differently on a few occasions. However, whenever I see a thread asking that question and I even made one myself I believe, no answer seemed to be reached. Freepower, John, and the rest of the brains here reviewed that article (which I wrote by the way ) so I'm assuming that the information is correct. So please, if you know the answer to the mode/key thing above, please enlighten us.

I remember we had those discussion/argument threads about it and i just gave up saying d dorian is in c major. I do know that it was one of the mods that got me to change my mind though.

I wonder if it's some kind of musical mystery because it can be argued both ways.

Your article was well written by the way.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”

-Max Planck

☮∞☯♥
Quote by jimmypage1904
it's the chords that make the mode, so you can't play Cmajor chord to get C phrygian, you'd play Cm7 or Cmaj7 or Cmaj to get the phrygian mode sounding while playing the phrygian mode

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