Okay, im looking at modes, now i used to think it was the order of the notes in the scale which determined what note it was , eg your in the key of C and you play the notes D E F G A B C, that would make it a dorian, but recently have read that it is the chord progression behind the scale that makes the mode. For instance, in the key of c, if i play a dminor chord, then a c major behind that, it is a dorian mode. Im really confused now, so does that mean, it goes like this

IM in the key of C

I got C D E F G A B C, this is the chord progression i use....

C major Dminor Eminor F major

Now, i could use c major for all of these right? but im wanting to know, for each chord change would i have to change the mode im in? for instance, on the d minor would i play dorian, then on the eminor play phrygian?

Also another question,

The notes in the D dorian are D E F G A B C right, well say im playing the chord progression above, why could i note play the dorian scale over that whole progression? I could couldnt i, cause its all the same notes in the key of c?

Thanks for reading, sorry for my blabbing, i find it hard to put what i want to say into words and i over think alot of things.

Thanks
you understand what's going on, the only thing that you've missed is your last question.

if you are in the key of C major, and you are playing an f chord then the d dorian scale would not work. this is because you have to follow the key signature of chord. this means that you would have to us a scale that has a Bb. so as YOU have already said - 'it is the chord progression behind the scale that makes the mode'
You're not playing modal music, if you're in the key of C then your progression resloves to C and you'll be playing in C.

If you analyze each chord in isolation then technically the mode will change with each chords, although you'll be playing the same notes. However, each chord isn't in isolation, they're in a progression and as such you'll be playing in C all the way through...modal music and key based music are different.
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you understand what's going on, the only thing that you've missed is your last question.

if you are in the key of C major, and you are playing an f chord then the d dorian scale would not work. this is because you have to follow the key signature of chord. this means that you would have to us a scale that has a Bb. so as YOU have already said - 'it is the chord progression behind the scale that makes the mode'

They key signature of the chordd, okay, so why in dmin do i play the dorian scale which is D E F G A B C, d has 2 sharps F AND C, so why am i not using these. If you have to follow the key signature of the chord, wouldnt that totally destroy the purpose of modes? The key is c major, it wont change when im plasying a chord progression that involves f, so i dont see what i should have to use a Bb?

I dont mean to come off smart but i really dont understand where your coming from here. Keep in mind i am noob.

Peace
Quote by steven seagull
You're not playing modal music, if you're in the key of C then your progression resloves to C and you'll be playing in C.

If you analyze each chord in isolation then technically the mode will change with each chords, although you'll be playing the same notes. However, each chord isn't in isolation, they're in a progression and as such you'll be playing in C all the way through...modal music and key based music are different.

Hey man, care to explain a bit deeper? What do you mean if i anaylyzy each chord in isolation? I understand that modal music and key based music are different, im just trying to get a better grasp on the use of modes, like if you read my post again maybe you could explain t ome what im asking.
Basically, if you're using a complex chord progression then it's key based - you look at the overall tonality rather than the individual chords. Modal music is older and more rigid and uses a specific set of intervals, usually over a static bassline or chord.

With your progression you'll just be playing in C major, because you're looking at the progression as a whole, the "big picture" as it were. Now, if you were to play the notes of C major over an extended Dmin vamp then you'd be playing in D Dorian, because that static root note establishes the tonal centre as D.

Either way you're always playing the same notes, it's what's behind everything that defines it...for a complex chord progression the tone that everything resolves to is your key and that in turn gives you the scale to work from, for a single chord vamp then it's simply whatever that chord is and you can apply the modes if you so wish.
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good point. one thing you said that isn't true was the D dorian bit. If you are playing a Dorian scale starting on D, then you are in the key of C so there are no sharps. the dorian scale is the 2nd mode and the aolian (the major scale) is the first one.

you make a good point about following the key of each chord, you could be right the only thing that would resolve this is to try it.
I didn't say to play a Dorian scale beginning on D, I said if you play the notes of C major over a D minor backing that you'd be playing in D Dorian, which is correct.
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steven seagull you are genius, i thought i understood modes but its gonna take a few more readings of your contributions to let it sink in!
i was replying to hurricane fresh!
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steven seagull you are genius, i thought i understood modes but its gonna take a few more readings of your contributions to let it sink in!

Im not, I'm just regurgitating everything I learned from Archeo, bangoodcharlotte and all the other clever people in MT

They know this stuff better, I'm just good at "dumbing it down"!
Actually called Mark!

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haha fair enough

UG really has helped to make things clearer then, it's not just a place for 13 olds with 300 quid wanting a valve powered halfstack then!
Quote by steven seagull
Basically, if you're using a complex chord progression then it's key based - you look at the overall tonality rather than the individual chords. Modal music is older and more rigid and uses a specific set of intervals, usually over a static bassline or chord.

With your progression you'll just be playing in C major, because you're looking at the progression as a whole, the "big picture" as it were. Now, if you were to play the notes of C major over an extended Dmin vamp then you'd be playing in D Dorian, because that static root note establishes the tonal centre as D.

Either way you're always playing the same notes, it's what's behind everything that defines it...for a complex chord progression the tone that everything resolves to is your key and that in turn gives you the scale to work from, for a single chord vamp then it's simply whatever that chord is and you can apply the modes if you so wish.

okay so basically your saying, if i were to isolate the chords, or use a dminor chord for lets say 32 bars,, then it would be appropiate to use a d dorian, but if im quickly changing through chords such as, c major, d minor, e minor, F major, then it would be more appropiate to play in the key of C rather than try and say do the phrigian scale while the e minor is playing.... Is that at all correct?

Also, i still dont fully understand, do i follow the key signature or the key of the chord in the progression. If im in c, and i want to play a c mixolidian, would i play the notes of G or would i play the notes of C arranged from G TO G, and would this mode only be appropaite for G in this key?

Thanks alot, really appreciate this help in clearing stuff up.
Quote by Mesa_Rory
good point. one thing you said that isn't true was the D dorian bit. If you are playing a Dorian scale starting on D, then you are in the key of C so there are no sharps. the dorian scale is the 2nd mode and the aolian (the major scale) is the first one.

you make a good point about following the key of each chord, you could be right the only thing that would resolve this is to try it.

Isnt aolian 6th mode and Ionian the first?
In all honesty, either way you're doing exactly the same thing, it's more a case of the correct way to describe it. If you play C major over your chord progression and look at each chord on it's own then i suppose technically you ARE playing D Dorian over D min, E Phrygian over E min etc, it's just that modal thinking is based around static roots and isn't flexible enough for complex chord progressions.

It doesn't matter how you arrange the notes as the pattern of intervals doesn't change. If you play D E F G A B C D over a C backing it's still going to sound like C major.
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In all honesty, either way you're doing exactly the same thing, it's more a case of the correct way to describe it. If you play C major over your chord progression and look at each chord on it's own then i suppose technically you ARE playing D Dorian over D min, E Phrygian over E min etc, it's just that modal thinking is based around static roots and isn't flexible enough for complex chord progressions.

It doesn't matter how you arrange the notes as the pattern of intervals doesn't change. If you play D E F G A B C D over a C backing it's still going to sound like C major.

Ah yess finally i understand it, so its basically all about the chord behind the scale that will determine the mode, i could play a c major scale over the e and it would give off a phrigian feel right.
Exactly, because the backing chord is what establishes the overall tonality, so you hear the notes of C major but in the context of E, and that's basically how modes work. That's what you don't actually need them in modern music, we have chord changes to work over and they establish the tonality.
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Thanks alot for all the help steve. I really appreciate it.