#1
Hi everyone

I've gone through most the turorials on modes and some of the suggested chord progressions on this message board, for getting that special flavour that exists.

So Im dealing with A Aeolian at the moment, the Chord progression suggested was Am C G Em. Ive recorded them on the PC and looping it so I can try solo over it.

Now either im deaf or im just not hearing what im supposed to hear. Logic is telling me that out of these 4 chords, only one comes from the Aeolian mode. How the hell does playing that one chord give me a flavour? I thought modes dictate a feeling, a flavour.

I think im missing some peice of the puzzle here.
#2
Those chords fit in the A Natural Minor scale (Aeolian mode). Thus, the appropriate scale to play over it would be the A Natural Minor scale (Aeolian mode). I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that the scale is only Aeolian over the Am chord? This is kind of true, but it's a fairly impractical way to think of it, especially when you first being playing your own solos. Just get your A minor scale and go nuts!
#3
But when you say the best scale to play would be A Natural Minor scale, what difference does it make considering that all the modes of that key have the same notes?

Am I expected to start and end on A all the time? Wheres this flavor people talk about ?

Im really trying hard to understand this stuff. I've learnt all the theory on modes and I still don't get the sound that supposedly exists.

Can someone explain, im dying
#4
Quote by vincpa
Im really trying hard to understand this stuff. I've learnt all the theory on modes and I still don't get the sound that supposedly exists.

Can someone explain, im dying

Drone an open E and keep droning it. Play E Major, E dorian and all the other modes while you keep droning it, that way you should hear the difference.
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#5
Thats easy enough, I can hear it then. It still doesnt answer my question.

Does anyone have a real answer here?

I dont meant to sound offensive, but it seems that people are just repeating what I've pretty much read anyway.

A drone note is fine, but in music, we don't play in drone notes, there are many chords floating around. I can hear the diff while playing the drone note. Noted.

What about a chord progression like the one I've posted? You can't tell me to play the Aeolian mode when every other mode in that key has the same notes.

The chord progression contains one chord from the Aeolian scale, Am, and thats it. If I play D Dorian, I still can't hear a change. Its the same notes.

Im a bit thick so any easy explanations?
#6
In a very simple way: If the chords change fast enough, you don't have the time to establish a modal sound. For example, try playing over Dm in D dorian while the Dm is just repeating forever. Also, try playing Dm - G - C (one bar each) and try to find the D dorian sound. Good luck with the latter.
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#7
But when you say the best scale to play would be A Natural Minor scale, what difference does it make considering that all the modes of that key have the same notes?


They have completely different intervals, and are played in completely different situations. Your tonal center is A, so all the notes in the scale with relate and gravitate towards A. It doesn't matter if E phrygian has the same notes because your tonal center isn't E.
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#8
Does anyone have a real answer here?

I dont meant to sound offensive, but it seems that people are just repeating what I've pretty much read anyway.


It is not the answers that are the problem here.

Let me try to elucidate the matter. There are two types of music we will refer to here, there are many others, but only two pertain to this discussion. There is modal music, and then there is tonal music. The vast majority of the music composed today and in the western classical tradition is tonal music. The majority of traditional Irish and Scottish tunes are modal pieces. Now, when music is tonal, it means there is a specific scale or mode that has one pitch, (the pitch that names the scale, such as A in A major, a.k.a Ionian) which all the music centers around. It just so happens that the major scale (and the Harmonic Minor, rather than the natural minor) have the strongest pull because of the 7th or leading tone. Now this pull is so strong that when the melodic passage is primarily diatonic, the music will naturally resolve to the tonic or tonic chord.

It is modal music that you are interested in, so lets discuss modal music. The example of the drone has already been used. Let me put that into a natural instrumental context, namely, the bagpipe. Almost all bagpipe music is modal because it has a natural drone. This doesn't mean that the polyphonic voice leading of tonal music has to be neglected, because it is very possible for it to play in a tonal context (Highland Cathedral) but it is very unnatural for the instrument in most cases and can only be done with accompanying instruments.

This relates in this manner. So long as we deal with polyphonic diatonic harmonic textures which change at a rapid enough pace to retain the motion of the music, the music will remain tonal because of the natural pull of the major scale (or whatever the tonic be). The natural modes which occur in the major scale do not have a pull nearly as strong as the major scale, and thus, this hierarchal relationship necessitates what we call the "drone" to emphasize modal characters which would otherwise be lost in the far stronger and better suited tonality of the piece. So then you ask the question, "So Eric, why on earth can't we use, for example, D dorian as the tonic, and center chordal relationships around it?" The answer to that question has already been given, the pull that Dorian has is simply not of the strength that Ionian has and thus it would render it useless as a tonal center (in a tonal context).

A prime example of modal music in Jazz is the Miles Davis tune "So What." I suggest you go give it a listen to hear what modal music sounds in a modern context. Elvenkindje's example fits perfectly with it.
#9
Very nice post!
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