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#1
How do YOU see them? This topic was inspired after talking about modes with a Methodist Monk tenor singer(cool dude)who's heavy into Medieval music(not metal ) and our concepts of modality were way different.

Clarification: If we take say Phrygian. Do you say, oh just start the Major scale off the mediant? Or automatically say b2, b3, b6, b7? Or P1, min2nd, min3rd, P4, P5, min6th, min7th(as in split between minor modes and major modes)? Or more simply, do you think diatonically or chromatically/polymodally? I, in force of habit, think modes as derivative of the major and hence scalar, or diatonic to each chord in a progression. But I'm trying to expand my thinking too.

So I'm curious as how everyone has approached modes and how they've internalized the theory. Cuz I love the chance to see things differently as they help me expand my grasp of theory. thx
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#2
I have always thought of modes as being different degrees of the major scale. This is mainly because it is easier. While this does help somewhat when relating scales to chords, I think it would be much more practical to learn each mode separate from its relation to the Ionian. This is actually something I am working on at the moment... knowing what notes are in E phrygian
automatically is much more efficient than trying to remeber what E is the third of on the spot
I have nothing witty to say here at the moment

Expect a change soon
#3
You should think of E Phrygian as E F G A B C D, not as the C major scale starting on E. While it is the C major scale starting on E, it is not used the same way as the C major scale and should be thought of differently.
#6
Quote by bangoodcharlote
You should think of E Phrygian as E F G A B C D, not as the C major scale starting on E. While it is the C major scale starting on E, it is not used the same way as the C major scale and should be thought of differently.
So you're an advocate for seeing each mode independent of the major scale. But more specifics would help me. So if you don't say, it's diatonic to iii in a maj prog or take a major scale and add the flats, did you see it as HWWWHWW? Just as scale or interval formula on it's own? How does it help you on the guitar specifically? Because freeing my umbilical to major/minor tonality is what I'm experimenting with. thx



EDIT: To branny1982
- It was interesting...he knew them as derivative of major, but primarily saw them each as different tonal system associated with periods, churches, and composers. Which I think helped him understand non-western music a little better then me. But it just made me realize too many people(including me) think of modes strictly within the context of western music - and I thought it was too limiting. and idk about the "most correct" part because church music strictly stays within one mode at a time. Impressionism, Jazz, metal(hehe) has made modes function more abstractly.
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Last edited by KryptNet at Mar 2, 2008,
#7
Quote by KryptNet
So you're an advocate for seeing each mode independent of the major scale.
Yes, but that's only because that's how they're used. 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 (Dorian) and 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 (Locrian) are completely different.


You should know that D Dorian is constructed by playing the C major scale D to D, leading to the intervals 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 b7 however.

Edit: Dorian scale corrected.
Last edited by bangoodcharlote at Mar 2, 2008,
#8
Overrated. People spend too much time on them and never put them to good use as well.
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#9
Quote by notoriousnumber
Overrated. People spend too much time on them and never put them to good use as well.


Agreed.
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#10
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Yes, but that's only because that's how they're used. 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 (Dorian) and 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7 (Locrian) are completely different.


You should know that D Dorian is constructed by playing the C major scale D to D, leading to the intervals 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 7, however.
interesting. I totally don't get the 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 7 thing at all. I'm stuck in thinking Dorian as 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7.
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#11
Quote by KryptNet
interesting. I totally don't get the 1 b2 b3 4 5 6 7 thing at all. I'm stuck in thinking Dorian as 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7.


I believe that was a typo.
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.
#12
Quote by notoriousnumber
Overrated. People spend too much time on them and never put them to good use as well.
Doubly agreed. It's still interesting to see how people approach various aspects of theory. And not all the ways modes are disgustingly overused. But yeah...people, especially metalheads think modes are some kind of profound holy grail of musical knowledge. It's really sad.

EDIT: but modes are the closest thing in Western Music to the idea of music not based on a major/minor tonality.(we've just forced them) That's what I think makes it cool.
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Last edited by KryptNet at Mar 2, 2008,
#14
I try and view each mode as another tonality in itself. Like a major/minor equivalent. This stems from the idea that they create their own unique feeling in the piece, and subsequently describe more complex ideas.

I find it hard to stray from the stream of thinking that says each is a derivative of the Ionian in terms of finding sharps and flats for each scale, but I simply find it easier. I try to view each scale as another tonality when looking at composition as a whole.
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#16
I view them as a differant way of "saying" a scale. if the conventional scale is 1234567, the first mode for me is 2345671, then 3456712, and so on. Its SOOO much simpler then turning each mode into a totally different scale.
#18
Quote by NorseGodofRock
I view them as a differant way of "saying" a scale. if the conventional scale is 1234567, the first mode for me is 2345671, then 3456712, and so on. Its SOOO much simpler then turning each mode into a totally different scale.


Modes actually have virtually nothing to do with scales. Modes are in fact used to develop chord progressions for scales to be used over. When playing Lead Guitar instead of Rhythm you wouldn't really use a mode at all, you'd find out what your rhythm guitarist is playing, why it sounds so sad (Aeolian) and then he'd tell you what scales would work well over it to solo in.

Of course, if you phrase those notes in a way that sounds bright and energetic you're going to ruin pretty much the feel of the entire song. Modes are most definately a useful thing for a rhythmic guitarist to learn, because it's showing what they're capable of and a chance for them to instruct the lead guitarist for a change.
#19
Quote by branny1982
question reasked
I answered you in one of my posts as an edit yesterday cuz I had just replied to a post and didn't want to double post. Just look up^
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#20
Quote by NorseGodofRock
Its SOOO much simpler then turning each mode into a totally different scale.
Perhaps, but it isn't completely accurate. E Phrygian is completely different than C Ionian.
#21
I learn the modes all in the same key, to make sure I don't connect them with the relative major. As far as constructing them goes, I think like

Ionian - Major scale
Dorian - Minor, #6
Phrygian - Minor, b2
Lydian - Major, #4
Mixolydian - Major, b7
Aeolian - Minor scale
Locrian - Not really associated with anything. Flatten everything in the major scale, maybe? XD

This method lets me use the scale forms closest to each mode, while at the same time denoting each mode's tonality. So I think "major scale shapes, with a raised 4th" for Lydian, but I don't think "Major scale, starting on the fourth". If that makes sense.
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#22
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Perhaps, but it isn't completely accurate. E Phrygian is completely different than C Ionian.


Same notes, different roots. If you can play the C major scale anywhere on the neck and know the scale degrees of each note you have essentially mastered every mode from E phrygian (3456712) to G mixolydian (5671234) to B Locrian (7123456).

But no, now I have to remember the shape of 7 different scales instead of one just to know what people are talking about... Those Greek assholes made it so much harder then it could be.

Quote by HammerAndSickle

This method lets me use the scale forms closest to each mode, while at the same time denoting each mode's tonality. So I think "major scale shapes, with a raised 4th" for Lydian, but I don't think "Major scale, starting on the fourth". If that makes sense.


Bold is how I want to think, underlined is what a bunch of homosexual child fiddlers from 400BC want me to think.
Last edited by NorseGodofRock at Mar 5, 2008,
#23
I dunno, those child fiddlers really did understand how modes worked. I mean, it was the exclusive method they used for music. They probably have some credentials for how to properly utilize the nuances of modes.
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#24
Bold is how I want to think, underlined is what a bunch of homosexual child fiddlers from 400BC want me to think.


You're a moron. Memorizing box shapes doesn't tell you what modes, how they function, or why they sound the way they do.
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.
#25
I say people should spend less time practicing theory and scales, and spend more time learning to apply them to music.
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#26
Quote by Mo'Steel
I say people should spend less time practicing theory and scales, and spend more time learning to apply them to music.


How do you apply them if you don't know them?
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.
#27
Quote by NorseGodofRock
Those Greek assholes made it so much harder then it could be.
It is much easier to do something wrong than right.


Can we 'tard-box this guy?
#28
Quote by NorseGodofRock
Bold is how I want to think, underlined is what a bunch of homosexual child fiddlers from 400BC want me to think.

E Phrygian isn't the C major scale starting on the fourth. E Phrygian is E Phrygian.
#29
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Perhaps, but it isn't completely accurate. E Phrygian is completely different than C Ionian.


Ok so how?

I mean Ive never understood why use modes?
To me its just a different position of the major scale...
In conclusion, I know all the modes, but why would you use them any differently? What are they used for?
I mean surely if you played the E phrygian over the supposed 'E phrygian chords' it'd just end up being C major anyways....right?
#30
Quote by Lum
Ok so how?

I mean Ive never understood why use modes?
To me its just a different position of the major scale...
In conclusion, I know all the modes, but why would you use them any differently? What are they used for?
I mean surely if you played the E phrygian over the supposed 'E phrygian chords' it'd just end up being C major anyways....right?

Scales aren't positions, then are notes. Modes aren't the same because even though they have the same notes, they are all in a different order in relation to the backing chords.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=WrAA-MPDJM0

Here. Satch plays all sorts of different modes with a tonal center of E.
#31
Modes are actually far more rhythmic than most people seem to think. A mode is all about knowing what chords to use. It's actually nothing to do with scales, they're just so you know what to play over it.

C Major is not the same as C Ionian. C Major is the notes C D E F G A B C.
C Ionian is a collection of chords comprised from those notes, those generally being C Major D minor E minor F Major G Major A minor B diminished.
#32
Quote by colohue
Modes are actually far more rhythmic than most people seem to think. A mode is all about knowing what chords to use. It's actually nothing to do with scales, they're just so you know what to play over it.

C Major is not the same as C Ionian. C Major is the notes C D E F G A B C.
C Ionian is a collection of chords comprised from those notes, those generally being C Major D minor E minor F Major G Major A minor B diminished.


Wrong. Modes, scales and keys have nothing to do with rhythm, so I'll assume you meant harmony. This is still wrong as modes don't resolve very strongly and most modal progressions are just 2 or 3 chords. Modes are used to give melodic variation rather than harmony.
#33
See in my experience I disagree. Whenever I play around with modal progressions they seem to work much better and give the right sound over it. The way you're saying it there's really not much point having modes at all, yet take Dream Theater's 'Finally Free.' How would they get the unique sounds constantly changing in that without a particular mode for the keyboard, guitar and violin to follow?
#35
Quote by colohue
See in my experience I disagree. Whenever I play around with modal progressions they seem to work much better and give the right sound over it. The way you're saying it there's really not much point having modes at all, yet take Dream Theater's 'Finally Free.' How would they get the unique sounds constantly changing in that without a particular mode for the keyboard, guitar and violin to follow?
I use modes purely for adding color to improvs/melodic lines but never used them as a foundation for constructing a song. Could you give me a quick example of one of your modal progressions? Cause I'm not exactly sure what you mean. As in a progression in one mode or polymodally? But anyway, I'd really like to try it out. thx
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#36
^If you do something where you have an E5 chord and you play an E minor pentatonic lick with an added F note, yes, that's the E Phrygian scale but the song isn't modal just because of that one note. You may end up playing lots of F#s or C# or D# elsewhere in the song.

A modal progression would be something like Am7 D7. Santana uses this progression in "Oye Como Va." Notice that the progression uses 2 chords, not 4 or 5 or 6, as doing so would likely make you want to resolve to G, destroying the A Dorian feel.
#37
^Interesting...a ii-V with no I. I'm guessing a melody in Dorian would make the sound "want" to resolve to Am?
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#38
Don't think of it as ii-V7 in C major. Think of it as i IV7 in A minor.

Yes, an A Dorian melody will make it want to resolve to Am rather than G major, but it will still be slightly dissonant, but in a good way, like a blues song.
#39
Quote by colohue
See in my experience I disagree. Whenever I play around with modal progressions they seem to work much better and give the right sound over it. The way you're saying it there's really not much point having modes at all, yet take Dream Theater's 'Finally Free.' How would they get the unique sounds constantly changing in that without a particular mode for the keyboard, guitar and violin to follow?


If I remember correctly, that song's in D major and uses accidentals which aren't really used when playing modal music.

EDIT; Just realised I was thinking of The Spirit Carries on because they start with the same progression, but I'm pretty sure it's still not modal.
Last edited by Eirien at Mar 7, 2008,
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