#1
I would like to know more about how modes and chords interact, but I only have a basic knowledge of the modes. I know that modes are alterations of the major scale, and I know all of the shapes in the key of G...that's about it. I have no clue how they compliment chords, how they should be used in writing melodies, or how the shapes might change. I've read the sticky, but I just can't get the information through my thick skull. It would help to have someone explain it to me so I can ask questions when needed. Thanks.
#2
read the musicians forum FAQ sticky at the top of this forum. it'll explain everything you need to know.
#3
i've been thinking lately about ways to explain modes better because i've been thinking about teaching, and so far i've got this concept:

it seems most of the confusion about modes comes from the fact that they share the same notes, say C major and D dorian for example. because they share the same notes, one might assume that they should sound the same, but this is only looking at a mode/scale in a very general sense. people say X scale has Y sound, and that might be where the association of same group of notes = same sound comes from. but the sound really comes from all the intervals that make up the scale.

ionian (major) for example has the degrees of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7. regular major scale formula. it is associated with a happy feel, and that is true because the intervals in the scale are all more or less 'happy' intervals. change one note and the overall 'feel' of the scale/mode will change as well.

try flatting the 3rd and 7th, and you get 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7. different intervals, different feel. and that's the dorian mode!

i guess the key factor to understanding how modes work is not to think of them as different arrangements of the same scale, but as different sets of intervals.

try looking at different notes of one major scale and checking out how the other notes in the scale apply to them. in C major, the 7th would be a B, a major seventh. if you checked out the seventh of D dorian, (same notes!) it's a C, which is a minor seventh. already, theres one note that you can use to diferentiate ionian from dorian.

hope this helps