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#1
I thin we need a dedicated sticky to illustrate and elaborately explain the difference between modes and scales, and include things like when each is used, why they are used, what differentiates them, limitations, advantages and so on.

I still am having trouble with differentiating between scales and modes, I remember someone posted that with scales you can play accidentals which correct me if I am wrong are sharps and flats, but I mean if a mode contains any accidentals they will be played wont they? And also how are modes more limiting than scales, they contain 7 notes which don't have to played in any specific order (I think) so how are modes more limiting??
TESTAMENT, SCAR SYMMETRY......SELF EXPLANATORY


ALEX SKOLNICK, PER NILSSON........ADULATION MANDATORY


Gear: JACKSON RR3


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#2
They're more limiting because you can only use those seven notes. As you said, in keys, you're free to use stuff outside. Plus, in modes, you have to stick to one tonal center and never go far from home for it to continue to have that sound and not resolve to a relative major or minor.

And dear God yes, we need a modes sticky.
#3
I think we need to start banning people who don't read the theory sticky.
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.
#4
Modes Sticky.. as in a little FAQ..

i think its a good idea BUT who's gonna write it..
cuz everyone thinks there way is right..

we'd still argue day-after-day

Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
#5
Quote by grampastumpy
They're more limiting because you can only use those seven notes. As you said, in keys, you're free to use stuff outside. Plus, in modes, you have to stick to one tonal center and never go far from home for it to continue to have that sound and not resolve to a relative major or minor.

And dear God yes, we need a modes sticky.



Yes, but I still can't use notes outside the C major scale for example except the 7 notes from which it is constructed and therefore I am still limited to seven notes................right?
TESTAMENT, SCAR SYMMETRY......SELF EXPLANATORY


ALEX SKOLNICK, PER NILSSON........ADULATION MANDATORY


Gear: JACKSON RR3


Member#25 of the IRON MAIDEN ARE GODS CLUB. PM Revelations to Join
#6
Quote by breakstuff
Yes, but I still can't use notes outside the C major scale for example except the 7 notes from which it is constructed and therefore I am still limited to seven notes................right?
You will still be in the key of C major if you play an F# or an Ab as long as it resolves to C. Modes are not so forgiving.
#7
Quote by grampastumpy
You will still be in the key of C major if you play an F# or an Ab as long as it resolves to C. Modes are not so forgiving.


...And before you ask "Well couldn't I also add an F# to C phrygian?". The answer is NO. If you add the F#, you will no longer be playing a mode, rather Ab minor, with a non-scale tone of F#. It is not that there are rules against playing that, only that if you do the names MUST be changed.
#8
Quote by grampastumpy
You will still be in the key of C major if you play an F# or an Ab as long as it resolves to C. Modes are not so forgiving.



But how is that possible when the notes of the C major scale are C D E F G A B C as you know. I don't get how I remain on scale even though I am playing a note which isnt included in the scale?
Is it because maybe one of the seven modes derived from the C major scale contains an F# OR Ab?? Which then implies that playing any of the notes within the seven modes derived from a major or minor scale are considered on scale.
TESTAMENT, SCAR SYMMETRY......SELF EXPLANATORY


ALEX SKOLNICK, PER NILSSON........ADULATION MANDATORY


Gear: JACKSON RR3


Member#25 of the IRON MAIDEN ARE GODS CLUB. PM Revelations to Join
#9
Quote by breakstuff
But how is that possible when the notes of the C major scale are C D E F G A B C as you know. I don't get how I remain on scale even though I am playing a note which isnt included in the scale?
Is it because maybe one of the seven modes derived from the C major scale contains an F# OR Ab?? Which then implies that playing any of the notes within the seven modes derived from a major or minor scale are considered on scale.
Well you don't remain in the scale, you remain in the KEY. Modes don't have keys, except for their parent scales if you look at it that way, and they are just scales, so leaving said scale is abandoning the mode.
#10
Quote by grampastumpy
Well you don't remain in the scale, you remain in the KEY. Modes don't have keys, except for their parent scales if you look at it that way, and they are just scales, so leaving said scale is abandoning the mode.


No. Modes do not share a key with their parents scale. The only use in parent scales is to learn where modes are derived from. Aside from that, they only complicate thing.
#11
So is this statement correct?

"Playing any of the notes that are within the seven modes derived from a scale are considered in Key."
TESTAMENT, SCAR SYMMETRY......SELF EXPLANATORY


ALEX SKOLNICK, PER NILSSON........ADULATION MANDATORY


Gear: JACKSON RR3


Member#25 of the IRON MAIDEN ARE GODS CLUB. PM Revelations to Join
#12
Quote by isaac_bandits
No. Modes do not share a key with their parents scale. The only use in parent scales is to learn where modes are derived from. Aside from that, they only complicate thing.
"If you look at it that way", I meant in that finding where they came from way, not that it actually IS its key.
#13
I thin we need a dedicated sticky to illustrate and elaborately explain the difference between modes and scales, and include things like when each is used, why they are used, what differentiates them, limitations, advantages and so on.



Modes ARE SCALES!!! I think that the statement "Modes V.S. Scales" contradicts itself.
Last edited by bigtimber112 at Apr 2, 2008,
#14
Quote by bigtimber112
Modes ARE SCALES!!! I think that saying "Modes V.S. Scales" contradicts itself.
Holy Jesus, I never noticed that...if anything it should be "Modes vs. Keys".
#15
"Playing any of the notes that are within the seven modes derived from a scale are considered in Key."

Anyone care to answer if this is correct?
TESTAMENT, SCAR SYMMETRY......SELF EXPLANATORY


ALEX SKOLNICK, PER NILSSON........ADULATION MANDATORY


Gear: JACKSON RR3


Member#25 of the IRON MAIDEN ARE GODS CLUB. PM Revelations to Join
#16
Quote by Archeo Avis
I think we need to start banning people who don't read the theory sticky.


agreed and we have already talked about this and decided it would be ignored just like the thoery sticky
song stuck in my head today


#18
Quote by lbc_sublime
agreed and we have already talked about this and decided it would be ignored just like the thoery sticky



Warnings would suffice...
#19
Quote by grampastumpy
Holy Jesus, I never noticed that...if anything it should be "Modes vs. Keys".

or modal music vs key based music.

thats where the differences used in these arguments are relevant.
shred is gaudy music
#20
Quote by breakstuff
"Playing any of the notes that are within the seven modes derived from a scale are considered in Key."

Anyone care to answer if this is correct?



yes and no..

modal music is different than "in key"
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
#22
ok, you guys who understand the theory never really explain one big thing. Take, Sultans of Swing. I have heard it's in Dminor. I have also heard it uses C mixolydian. Ok, now, knowing that they both have 7 notes, and these notes are exactly the same, which is it, is that song what you guys call "modal music" or is in the key of Dm. There's a lot of us I think trying to figure this mode stuff out, but we never really get a straight answer that clarifies things so we can understand.
#23
if it is by the dire straights it is not Cmixo

to me it seems like the chord progression wants to resolve to Dm and the Bb and AM chords don't support mixo intervals
song stuck in my head today


#24
Quote by GuitarMunky
or modal music vs key based music.

thats where the differences used in these arguments are relevant.
Great point actually. We do have this tendency to remove things from context around here...
#25
Quote by lbc_sublime
if it is by the dire straights it is not Cmixo

to me it seems like the chord progression wants to resolve to Dm and the Bb and AM chords don't support mixo intervals


Well alot of blues stuff does use dominant chords, and major thirds with minor sevenths, which do reflect mixolydian, but are definitely not modal, as they also use b3, and b5. Blues does not follow many traditional classical and jazz theoretical ideas, and should not be classified as this. It should be referred to as Xmin, and then have the accidentals added for the blue notes.

I have not analysed "Sultans" but I imagine it is quite similar.
#26
if i were to lay A7 would that be

a)1 3 (5) B7
b)1 3 (5) 7
c)1 b3 (5) b7

????

i assume not C seeing as it is minor
song stuck in my head today


#27
Quote by lbc_sublime
if i were to lay A7 would that be

a)1 3 (5) B7
b)1 3 (5) 7
c)1 b3 (5) b7

????

i assume not C seeing as it is minor
a, assuming that capital b is supposed to be a flat sign.
#28
Quote by grampastumpy
a, assuming that capital b is supposed to be a flat sign.



yeah sorry i left my finger on shift
song stuck in my head today


#29
Quote by lbc_sublime
if i were to lay A7 would that be

a)1 3 (5) B7
b)1 3 (5) 7
c)1 b3 (5) b7

????

i assume not C seeing as it is minor


A is a (dominant)7. B is a major 7. C is a minor 7.

A7 means A(dominant)7, but the dominant is understood, hence the parenthesis.

A7 has a natural tendency to pull to D major, or dependent on context, to D minor. It will usually have D major, or D harmonic minor played over it. However, if used as a vamp it will require the use of A Mixolydian.
#30
Trying my hardest to keep my rage at a minimum here...
Quote by grampastumpy
They're more limiting because you can only use those seven notes. As you said, in keys, you're free to use stuff outside. Plus, in modes, you have to stick to one tonal center and never go far from home for it to continue to have that sound and not resolve to a relative major or minor.
No you dont have to only use seven notes. You dont HAVE to do anything. You cant choose a tonal centers when using modes, because the chords/bass will decide that or (if there are no chords/bass) the first or last note (or maybe even the most used note) will become the tonal center and therefore decide the mode.
Quote by Archeo Avis
I think we need to start banning people who don't read the theory sticky.
Theory sticky sucks to hell and is even more confusing. I dont blame them
Quote by breakstuff
Yes, but I still can't use notes outside the C major scale for example except the 7 notes from which it is constructed and therefore I am still limited to seven notes................right?
Your not limited to anything. If it sounds good, goddamn do it. And before you flame me (reader) EVERYTHING can be explained by some theory.
Quote by isaac_bandits
And before you ask "Well couldn't I also add an F# to C phrygian?". The answer is NO. If you add the F#, you will no longer be playing a mode, rather Ab minor, with a non-scale tone of F#. It is not that there are rules against playing that, only that if you do the names MUST be changed.
Names mean nothing. Modes are just the home notes (but not as homelike as pentatonics, but more homey than accidentals), and should be tailored to fit the chord/bass/arpeggios patterns underneath the melody. The answer is never NO.
Quote by isaac_bandits
Well you don't remain in the scale, you remain in the KEY. Modes don't have keys, except for their parent scales if you look at it that way, and they are just scales, so leaving said scale is abandoning the mode.
Scales, by simplist definition are a group of notes. Thats it. Keys are mostly just for the instruments and to make playing a set written melody as simple as possible. Keys are only for writting down music, as in non-improvisational music. Improvisational music is free. You can play whatever you want, as long as YOU dont think it clashes badly with whatever is underneath you musically.
Quote by bigtimber112
Modes ARE SCALES!!! I think that the statement "Modes V.S. Scales" contradicts itself.
Scales=a group of notes Modes=a group of intervals that relate to a tonal center. Very different. Not even comparable.
Quote by bigtimber112
Warnings would suffice...
Most of us here post to help people, not to warn/ban them. Alot of noobs to theory dont want to read big blocks of texts.
or modal music vs key based music.

thats where the differences used in these arguments are relevant.
Key based music (diatonic songs) are old fashion. It went out of fashion by the mid baroque era and than back in fashion in folk song america and out of fashion again in the early jazz era and is comming back in fashion with techno/rnb/pop rock. The musicians here are asking about improvisation and writing (normally, sorry to generalise) metal/jazz, which is almost never in key. Diatonic music doesnt take much formal training to write and can be written successfully by anyone with more than a year of a musical instrument underneath their belt.
Quote by farcry
ok, you guys who understand the theory never really explain one big thing. Take, Sultans of Swing. I have heard it's in Dminor. I have also heard it uses C mixolydian. Ok, now, knowing that they both have 7 notes, and these notes are exactly the same, which is it, is that song what you guys call "modal music" or is in the key of Dm. There's a lot of us I think trying to figure this mode stuff out, but we never really get a straight answer that clarifies things so we can understand.
A song cant be in a mode, the modes defined by the tonal center etc (dont want to repeat what I've already said)
A7 has a natural tendency to pull to D major, or dependent on context, to D minor. It will usually have D major, or D harmonic minor played over it. However, if used as a vamp it will require the use of A Mixolydian.
Most chords pull towards their fourth/fifth degree chords. You can than play these chords as major or minor, doesnt matter, as it sounds just as good. You will have to play a minor mode over these chords, and you may have to play something special over the original chord if your going to a fifth/fourth degree chord thats not the same tonality (major or minor)
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#31
As well as agreeing with most on Demons post, i just want to say-

You do NOT HAVE to use only 7 notes in modal music
Where has this come from? It is ridiculous!

Some people are starting to think that the difference between key based and modal is whether or not accidentals are used.

Not true.

Accidentals are MUCH rarer in modal music.... but please don't presume they cannot occur.
#32
Quote by branny1982
As well as agreeing with most on Demons post, i just want to say-

You do NOT HAVE to use only 7 notes in modal music
Where has this come from? It is ridiculous!

Some people are starting to think that the difference between key based and modal is whether or not accidentals are used.

Not true.

Accidentals are MUCH rarer in modal music.... but please don't presume they cannot occur.
Branny, if I remember anything from my time here at MT so long ago, its that your a genious.

That whole, modal music doesnt use accidentals thingy seems to be really common lately. Check charlie parker and miles davis and dizzy gillespie and so on. It's modal music, but it uses more chromatics and accidentals than any other music whatsoever.
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[U]        |/     .-.              [/U]
[U]       /|_     `-’       |      [/U]
[U]      //| \      |       |      [/U]
[U]     | \|_ |     |     .-|      [/U]
      *-|-*    (_)     `-’
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        L.
#33
A song cant be in a mode,

Surely a song that is E phrygian over Em is in E phrygian?
You'll have to spell out exactly what you mean

The musicians here are asking about improvisation and writing (normally, sorry to generalise) metal/jazz, which is almost never in key.

I don't know much about jazz, but did you just say that almost all metal is atonal?
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#34
Quote by Ænimus Prime
Surely a song that is E phrygian over Em is in E phrygian?
You'll have to spell out exactly what you mean?
If its just E phyrgian over just an E chord, yeah why not. But very few successfull songs are like this. Most songs take advantage of "chord progressions" which would change the tonal centre and therefore change the mode.
Quote by Ænimus Prime
I don't know much about jazz, but did you just say that almost all metal is atonal?
Not atonal, as that means no tonal centers at all, its just that they use a lot of out of key notes and accidentals and do interesting things like that. SOME Metal uses alot of chromatics and alot of key changes and SOME metal players use modes very effectively. SOME metal. Theres also alot of other metal which is just thrashing powerchords and E chugging, what I call sceneboy metal.
#35
its just that they use a lot of out of key notes and accidentals and do interesting things like that.
If they use out of key notes, then surely the song must be in a key.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#36
Quote by Ænimus Prime
If they use out of key notes, then surely the song must be in a key.
*silently swears*

I didnt mean that it was keyless, I meant that it wasnt diatonic, as in only using 7 notes. Some metal these day is really complex music.
#37
Modes are still scales, purely not your standard major or minor. They are no more limiting than standard major or minor, provided you know them as well as other scales and know what chords they work over.
For example over a blues chord progression in A, if you were using the A blues scale (Amin pentatonic + Bb) and you played a short section in A dorian (A B C D E F# G A) It would add a bit more interest to that particular section than just staying in the pentatonic or blues scale
#38
I didnt mean that it was keyless, I meant that it wasnt diatonic, as in only using 7 notes.
K.

Some metal these day is really complex music.

I know donkey, I know.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
#39
Quote by feelthedemon
Modes are still scales, purely not your standard major or minor. They are no more limiting than standard major or minor, provided you know them as well as other scales and know what chords they work over.
For example over a blues chord progression in A, if you were using the A blues scale (Amin pentatonic + Bb) and you played a short section in A dorian (A B C D E F# G A) It would add a bit more interest to that particular section than just staying in the pentatonic or blues scale
I normally think of scales as a group of notes, something formal that you say about an already written song. This song is in A harmonic minor so on. This just means that the it resolves best to A minor, has a i-V7 and contains mostly just A harmonic minor notes. I dont write with scales, I dont improvise with scales, I work out the scale after the peice is complete. Its just something that helps describe the peice.

When improvising I use pentatonics as my safest of safe notes, modal notes as my home notes, and accidentals as my risk notes. Minor/major Pentatonics are just the notes that are common to minor/majopr modes, which makes them good safe notes. I dont use it as a scale.
The "blues scale" is just minor pentatonics with a b5, which is stupid because you should always consider using a b5 as an accidental, as its by far the tastiest accidental. Although it's named blues SCALE, I dont consider it as a scale either. Actually, references to blues scales annoy me for the above reasons.
#40
I normally think of scales as a group of notes, something formal that you say about an already written song. This song is in A harmonic minor so on. This just means that the it resolves best to A minor, has a i-V7 and contains mostly just A harmonic minor notes.
I would say that's a key

Minor/major Pentatonics are just the notes that are common to minor/majopr modes, which makes them good safe notes. I dont use it as a scale.

It's a group of notes, which by your definition is a scale. Using that group of notes is using that scale. Just because you freely use other notes to fit the sound you want doesn't mean that you aren't using the minor pentatonic scale.
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
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