#1
I only take a half our guitar lesson, so im still a little confused on how this works.
I understand that modes get different sounds from the same notes.
But how can I use modes along with chord progressions? what is the relationship between c ionian, d dorian, e phrygian, etc...? what keys are these in?
i just want to be able to understand what im doing. i feel very unmusical when i cant figure this stuff out.
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#2
STANDARD RESPONSE TO MODES THREADS FOLLOWS

This assumes you have a strong understanding of intervals and the major scale. If not, this should help:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html

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 have different tonal centres defined by their harmonic context (in other words, the chords determine the mode).

Because the tonal centre is different, the way each note relates to the tonal centre is different. This is what gives each mode it's own 'colour'
I think of modes as unique collections of intervals.
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 dorian you start at F. Dorian has a Major second (2) interval, which is G. Then it has a minor third (b3), which is Ab. Then a Perfect fourth (4) which is Bb. A Perfect fifth (5) which is C. The Major sixth (6) is D. The minor seventh (b7) is Eb. And you end up with the notes F G Ab Bb C D Eb which correspond to the intervals 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7.

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, again 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.

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

I hope this helps.
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#3
Personally I have always used 7 chords as a means of entering/exiting tonality, and basically am of the opinion that pretty much anything goes depending on what's next.

Given the dissonant character of the chord itself, "wrong" scales will not necessarily "not work" because (in my opinion) nothing is really that harmonious with the chord anyway...

So the "worse" the scale choice, the better.

I like to slip into whole tone, various pentatonic scales, harmonic minor, whatever. Just as long as I resolve to something sweet and harmonious, it's money.

In fact, the worse it sounds, the more awesome it sounds when you make the resolution.
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#4
Well to answer your question, C Ionian, D dorian, E phrygian...etc all contain the EXACT SAME NOTES, but in different order. So in each of those modes, you play the exact same notes, emphasizing a different tonic. It's much like C Ionian and A aeolian are relative major/minors--they contain the same notes but you just emphasize the 'A' instead of the 'C' to get that minor feel.
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#5
Quote by zipppy2006
Well to answer your question, C Ionian, D dorian, E phrygian...etc all contain the EXACT SAME NOTES, but in different order. So in each of those modes, you play the exact same notes, emphasizing a different tonic. It's much like C Ionian and A aeolian are relative major/minors--they contain the same notes but you just emphasize the 'A' instead of the 'C' to get that minor feel.


Emphasizing won't do it. The progression will establish the tonal center for you. It doesn't really matter at all in what order you play the notes.
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#6
And as the progression establishes a tonal center, you should work to hit certain target notes within the mode; for example, if the progression was Lydian then you would want to work to land on the #4 over a Lydian chord.
#7
man, im so confused. no one really explained yet if like c ionian, d dorian, etc.. have like different key signatures. and im a little confused about key signatures in the first place. i never really learned intervals. and i dont understand how a progression can have a mode.
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#8
Quote by adamrandall
man, im so confused. no one really explained yet if like c ionian, d dorian, etc.. have like different key signatures. and im a little confused about key signatures in the first place. i never really learned intervals. and i dont understand how a progression can have a mode.

c ionian and d dorian have the same key signature. c ionian = c major, key of c major. d dorian is the scale you get when you play the notes in the c major scale but start on the d, so the key is the same. same for e phrygian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aeolian, and b locrian.
you don't know intervals? if by that you mean major and minor scales, you're in over your head. go back and learn the major and minor scales and the basic theory behind each, and establish some basic knowledge of intervals (M2, m3, A4, P5, etc). Without that you really can't grasp modal concepts, so you've accidentally overextended yourself here. Learn how key signatures match to major and relative minor keys while your at it and how to identify the corresponding major or minor scale of minor and major scales, respectively. then you should be ready to try your hand with modes.
#9
d dorian is the scale you get when you play the notes in the c major scale but start on the d, so the key is the same. same for e phrygian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aeolian, and b locrian.


This is a terrible explanation. It doesn't explain what modes are, how they're used, or why they sound the way they do. The progression will determine the tonal center, and therefore the mode. It doesn't matter what order you play the notes in. You can play the notes CDEFGAB from D to D all you want, but if the tonal center is C, it's still C major. D dorian is a D major scale with a flatted 3rd and 7th.
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#10
^exactly

so for instance if you played a chord like cmaj you would be using the scale Cmaj makes sence right?

so when you play a chord like Dm6 which has a minor third and a major 6th.
you would use D dorian. because it is minor implying a flattened 3rd but has a major sixth.

major scale
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

minor scale
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

dorian interval
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 8

you can only really say you are playing dorian using the intervals in you chords and solo's combined
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