#1
Lately, it seems like every time I try to write a modal progression, the chords don't resolve to the mode that I want and if they do resolve (which doesn't happen as much as it should), I don't understand why they did. So the question that I'm trying to ask is, how can you tell if chords will resolve the way that you want them too? Is there some certain rule of thumb that is used, or is it just trial and error?
#2
Trial and error is always an option, but this is what I do. Mind you, modal music is NOT common.

Take the tonic. For the example, I will use Am.

I want to play A Dorian. The "modal tone" is the natural 6, F#. The chords in he G major scale (the parent scale of A Dorian) with F# in them are D, Bm, and F#dim. F#dim will want to resolve to G, so that's no good. You're left with D and Bm. Your progression should consist of Am, D and Bm.

Get it? Or do you need another example.


And yes, the two other chords you can use will always be relative major/minor of each other.
#3
Quote by linfield44
Lately, it seems like every time I try to write a modal progression, the chords don't resolve to the mode that I want and if they do resolve (which doesn't happen as much as it should), I don't understand why they did. So the question that I'm trying to ask is, how can you tell if chords will resolve the way that you want them too? Is there some certain rule of thumb that is used, or is it just trial and error?

You can't really make a complex modal progression wihtout it resolving to the ionian chord. You might try stressing the intervals unique to that mode and avoid the V-I cadence. But it is way easier to just drone one chord to get a modal sound.
#4
I'm not a fan of modes at all. Personally, I find them overrated and limiting. The problem with modes is that they're harmonically unstable and therefore harmonically limiting in the context of a song. Very rarely (that is to say, never) will I set out to write a song in a particular mode. I'll never say "Ok...I'm going to write this part in lydian", but I will often opt to use a #4 over a natural fourth, the difference being that the former rigidly defines a set of intervals, whereas the latter takes advantage of harmonic ambiguity to alter the notes to my liking. For example, instead of writing a song "in lydian", I might decide to create a bit of ambiguity by failing to specify the fourth in the progression for a few bars, giving me the option to raise it a create a lydian sound if I so choose.
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.
#5
Quote by bangoodcharlote

Get it? Or do you need another example.


I understood everything you said, except I don't understand what a "modal tone" is, i've never heard the term before.
#6
Quote by linfield44
I understood everything you said, except I don't understand what a "modal tone" is, i've never heard the term before.


You can think of it as the one note that "defines" the mode. For lydian it would be the #4, for dorian it would be the natural 6th, etc.
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.
#7
Quote by Archeo Avis
Personally, I find them overrated and limiting.


The problem that I'm having is that they are very limiting, and I have to think a lot before writing modes, which is why I don't like to use them as much as other people do, but I still want to understand how they work.
#8
Quote by Archeo Avis
You can think of it as the one note that "defines" the mode. For lydian it would be the #4, for dorian it would be the natural 6th, etc.


ok thanks, i guess that i already understood the term in context.