I've been playing a lot of modes lately, and was wondering about chords based off of modes. DO you base the chords of modes, or would the chord structure come from the normal scale, pre-moding? For instance, could you make an E locrian chord, and would it then be, E G Bb?
That would be Edim, and it would work with E locrian. It's not called a locrian chord.
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Ah, so does that mean there are not chords based of modes?
Pretty much. You can think of chords as being built from modes, but they're not named after the mode.

Eg Dorian contains the intervals 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7, which can be used to form _m _m7 _m6 _madd11 etc chords, but they aren't called dorian chords.
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
Okay thanks, I guess I should have assumed that. Thanks!
A _M7add#14 is sometimes called a lydian chord. I think some people refer to an _mb9 as a phrygian chord.

But the majority of people will call it by its proper name, so dont worry about it.
Lets say we're in D Dorian, improvising. I remember bangoodcharlotte mentioning that it would have Dm7 and G7. I guess I understand the Dm. Why make it 7 though? And, is there a G7 because it contains a B natural note, which is the note that makes a difference between the D dorian and D minor scale?

I bet that doesn't even make sense. Anyone help?

EDIT: Please don't tell me to read the stickies and lessons lol, I read it a few times a week and I still don't get that part. Is it only those 2 chords you can use? Or can you use others, just that those 2 are the best for this mode? Thanks
Last edited by one vision at May 26, 2008,
Quote by one vision
Why make it 7 though?
You don't have to. I think the progression has a jazzy vibe and jazz often has 7ths, but it is by no means mandatory. I usually play Dm rather than Dm7 actually. I'll stop saying that; good call.

Quote by one vision
And, is there a G7 because it contains a B natural note, which is the note that makes a difference between the D dorian and D minor scale?
The idea is that you pick a chord that contains the modal tone, B. G, Em, and Bmb5 all contain the B note, but Bmb5 is diminished and resolves to C too nicely, so that is thrown out. That leaves you with a progression of Dm and G7 and/or Em. I don't like the Em chord as much and I've seen Santana make use of the i IV7 progression, so that's how I get Dm G7. The dom7 is put on the G because the idea behind a mode is that it wants to resolve to the parent scale but you don't let it; you make is resolve to Dm rather than C. G7 has a strong pull towards C, but the G7 --> Dm resolution works as well.
^Thanks, understanding it a lot more now. And yes, when I started learning modes, I always wanted to resolve to the parent scale, and that confused the hell out of me. That was before I learned to look at modes as individual scales rather than associate them with the parent scale.

But let's say we're composing, what harmony can I use in the song. Pretty much every chord formed off of the scale degrees? D E F G A B C?
So..
D Minor
E Minor
F Major
G Major (7)
A 7
B Diminished
C Major

It works the same way as with normal major/minor scales right?

EDIT: Btw, I didn't mean to tell you to stop calling it a Dm7 lol, I just wasn't completely clear why it was 7ed. It doesn't make a huge difference (the 7), I just thought it was a rule with modes or something.
Last edited by one vision at May 26, 2008,
Quote by one vision
EDIT: Btw, I didn't mean to tell you to stop calling it a Dm7 lol, I just wasn't completely clear why it was 7ed. It doesn't make a huge difference (the 7), I just thought it was a rule with modes or something.
I should at least state the the 7 is not important on the Dm chord, that I often include it, but it's far from necessary.
Quote by demonofthenight
A _M7add#14 is sometimes called a lydian chord.

Not a #14, a #11. The "Lydian" chord is a maj7#11.
Quote by :-D
Not a #14, a #11. The "Lydian" chord is a maj7#11.
Ah shit thats what I meant... you gotta believe me

To BGC,
is the E of D dorian considered a modal tone? its a unique note in the dorian mode too.

And can seventh chords be used for the modal notes? Can you use out of key (non-diatonic) chords in your modal progressions?
Quote by demonofthenight
To BGC,
is the E of D dorian considered a modal tone? its a unique note in the dorian mode too.
No. B is the modal tone.

Quote by demonofthenight
And can seventh chords be used for the modal notes?

Quote by demonofthenight
Can you use out of key (non-diatonic) chords in your modal progressions?
You can do what you want, but that will probaboy fvck everything up (that's the technical term) and send your resolution somewhere weird. Write something and PM it to me; I'll see what I think.
^why only B? is it JUST the major sixth in dorian, the minor second (here comes the guesses) in phrygian and minor sixth in aeolian?

And I'm not sure if i said my question right, when I said seventh chords I meant like a Cmaj7 contains a B note.
One last question, is one of the goals in writting modal progressions for the chords to specifically point to the modes? And to resolve on that said mode, obviously.
Quote by demonofthenight
One last question, is one of the goals in writting modal progressions for the chords to specifically point to the modes? And to resolve on that said mode, obviously.
Yep.

If you make the progression too complex, it will just resolve to the I of the parent scale.