I have a small question about modes of the major scale. I couldn't figure it out from reading the FAQ.

It says in the FAQ that the different modes are distinct from the major scale because of the intervals it then gives this example:

Ionian: 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: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Locrian: 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

I don't understand what this chart is trying to point out.

are the numbers the degrees of the scale? Are they intervals? How should I be reading this?
Intervals as they relate to the degrees of the major scale - for example, for modes starting on C, all those intervals would relate to the C major scale.
The numbers refer to scale degrees, yes. Scales and chords are generally described according to their relationship to the major scale. In this case, the notes that make up the major scale are labeled from one to seven. Using the C major scale as an example...

C-D-E-F-G-A-B
1-2-3-4-5-6-7

What the FAQ is doing is explaining the relationship between the major scale and the various modes. Lydian, for instance, is a major scale with a raised fourth (you will see this if you compare, say, F lydian to F major). It is described as 1-2-3-#4-5-6-7 to communicate that raised fourth. If you want to figure out the notes in a particular mode, just take the notes of the major scale and sharp/flat the appropriate intervals (the actual usage of the modes is something different entirely). Another example: If we want to figure out of the notes in C lydian, just take the C major scale...

C-D-E-F-G-A-B

...and raise the fourth, which gives us...

C-D-E-F#-G-A-B
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what do the b's mean. i am assuming the # means sharp... so does the "b" mean flat. i know basic theory. like i know that it wouldnt be

1 2 2# 4 5 6 6# (instead of 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7... (dorian)) because the notes have to cover line and space in order on the staff... Am i right?
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The "b" means flat. And you can't have something like 1 2 #2 4 5 6 #6 because it's not diatonic.
Quote by zep_n_gun
what do the b's mean. i am assuming the # means sharp... so does the "b" mean flat. i know basic theory. like i know that it wouldnt be

1 2 2# 4 5 6 6# (instead of 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7... (dorian)) because the notes have to cover line and space in order on the staff... Am i right?

The "b" mean flat, yes.
You are correct about the rationale for not describing dorian as "1-2-b3-4-5-6-#6", but there is also another reason for this. Beyond the conventions of standard notation, notes and scales degrees are named according to their function. The Bb in C dorian is so named (as opposed to A#) because it is functioning as a flatted seventh, and not a raised sixth. You can think of it as the distinction between "there" and "their". Yes, they both sound the same, but they denote completely different things.
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Quote by zep_n_gun
what do the b's mean. i am assuming the # means sharp... so does the "b" mean flat. i know basic theory. like i know that it wouldnt be

1 2 2# 4 5 6 6# (instead of 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7... (dorian)) because the notes have to cover line and space in order on the staff... Am i right?
That would be enharmonic to it, but it wouldn't be a dorian scale. You're kinda right about the line and staff thing, but more specifically it's because you can't repeat names in a diatonic scale(ie having 2 D's, D and D#, in a Bb scale. Doesn't work).
The 'b' means to flatten that interval (lower it by one half step). The # means to sharpen the interval(raise it by one half step).

One of the rules of diatonic scales is that each note must only be used once. So having 2 and 2# would make it incorrect. (This would mean in the C major scale, since 2 is a D, the scale would go D-D#, representing 2 and 2#)
Last edited by ERA at Apr 8, 2008,
One of the rules of scales is that each note must only be used once. So having 2 and 2# would make it incorrect. (This would mean in the C major scale, since 2 is a D, the scale would go D-D#, representing 2 and 2#)

This applies only to diatonic scales.
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Quote by grampastumpy
That would be enharmonic to it, but it wouldn't be a dorian scale. You're kinda right about the line and staff thing, but more specifically it's because you can't repeat names in a diatonic scale(ie having 2 D's, D and D#, in a Bb scale. Doesn't work).

Yeah thats what i was getting at. I was just making sure that i was correct by saying that

``````---------------------------------------

---------------------------------------
O     O#
-----------------------O---------------
O
---------------------------------------
O     O#
-O------------------------------------``````

wouldnt be the correct way to put it although it is the same as:

``````---------------------------------------

-----------------------------------bO---
O
-----------------------O---------------
O
-----------bO--------------------------
O
-O------------------------------------
``````

which is the correct way... Yes i realize the sharps should be on the other side of the note.
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Last edited by zep_n_gun at Apr 8, 2008,
Quote by Archeo Avis
This applies only to diatonic scales.

Sorry I should have stated that.

I'll edit
So If I'm gathering everything correctly I can choose a mode....chose a root... and sharp or flat the appropriate interval and I've got a scale?
Last edited by yearzero at Apr 8, 2008,
Yeah you're way off...

D Dorian is

D-E-F-G-A-B-C

You can't use the same note twice in a major diatonic scale. (A-A# should be A-Bb)
I think I'm starting to figure this out

Let Me Try again

G Phrygian would be

The G Major scale (G A B C D E F#) with a flat 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th

so the G Phrygian would be

G Ab Bb C D Eb F ???
Sweetness....thanks for the help guys

As you can tell I'm relatively new to music theory. I'll keep reading the guides for now.