#1
Hey there,
Alot of you may know me from around these forums, as I've been here for a really long time, and I've showed a few lessons on these forums (they're in the archive section now). I decided to show you guys a new exercise, that some of you may already know, but some will not!
Now before I post this, I apologize to my college because I kind of "borrowed" 100% of the 2 octave portion of this exercise from them, but I think that it can be a big helping hand for those who want to learn it!

As a note, this lesson will get very intensive, you probably won't want to do all of it in the same sitting.

Alright,

This exercise focuses on Scales and Modes, eventually in two octaves.

Let's start simple:
A scale is simply a series of 7 notes which ascend/descend in either whole tones or semi tones to create different tonalities, and for the sake of this exercise, we are starting with the Ionian (Major) scale.

Using C as our root, a standard major scale is as follows:

    tone      tone       semitone      tone       tone      tone       semitone.
C          D         E            F           G         A          B            C



That is the basic major scale!
There are several different ways you can play this scale with your left hand, allow me to tab a few out:
(These all start on the first C on your A string)

The most commonly used major scale box is starting on your second finger (middle finger)
G||----------------------|-------2----4----5----||
D||------------2----3----|--5-------------------||
A||--3----5--------------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||



The second most used is starting on your fourth finger, but involves a shift:
G||----------------------|--0----2----4----5----||
D||-------0----2----3----|----------------------||
A||--3-------------------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||


Keep in mind that I only used the open string because we're in 3rd position, if we were in 8th position it would look like this:


G||----------------------|-----------(4)----5----||
D||----------------------|--5----7----9----(10)--||
A||-------5----7----8----|-----------------------||
E||--8-------------------|-----------------------||



And one more way,


One of the least common, but still used (especially in college) is starting on your first finger (in Stretch position):
G||----------------------|------------4----5----||
D||-----------------3----|--5----7--------------||
A||--3----5----7---------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||

(To hit the 5th fret, you use your second or third finger, and your fourth finger to hit the 7th fret, keeping your first finger anchored on the 3rd fret the entire time)


You can use these boxes and move your major scale to any part of the neck starting on your E and A strings (because these patterns are 3 string patterns, if you started on your D or G strings you would have to shift to continue the scale).

Now for modes.

Modes are simply defined as scales, nothing more, nothing less. What most musicians, if not all musicians, most commonly associate modes with is the "Modes of a major scale." (or of a natural minor, or harmonic minor, or melodic minor, or whatever)

If you've heard that, and have no idea what it means, allow me to simplify it as easily as I can for you.


A mode is when you start with a major scale, and then begin playing the scale on scale degrees other than the root.

(using the C scale as an example)
The first "mode" of the C major scale is playing the exact same scale you just played, but instead of starting on C, you will start on D and continue to D using all the notes of the C major scale.

To show this in tab form I have put C Major Scale first, and its first mode following:


G||----------------------|-------2----4----5----|----------------------|--2----4----5----7----||
D||------------2----3----|--5-------------------|-------2----3----5----|----------------------||
A||--3----5--------------|----------------------|--5-------------------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------|----------------------|----------------------||


Easy, Huh?
We call this the Dorian Mode. The only difference between the standard Dorian mode and what I tabbed out is the position in which you would normally play it.

I will now tab out and label all of the modes how I play them, not necessarily the ''right'' way.

I. Ionian (Major Scale)
G||----------------------|-------2----4----5----||
D||------------2----3----|--5-------------------||
A||--3----5--------------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||


II. Dorian (Natural Minor Scale with a natural 6th)
G||----------------------|-------4----5----7----||
D||-----------------5----|--7-------------------||
A||--5----7----8---------|----------------------||
E||----------------------|----------------------||


III. Phrygian (Natural Minor Scale with a minor 2nd)
G||-----------------------|-------------7----9----||
D||------------------7----|--9----10--------------||
A||--7----8----10---------|-----------------------||
E||-----------------------|-----------------------||


IV. Lydian (Major Scale with a sharp 4th)
G||-----------------------|--------7----9----10----||
D||-------------7----9----|--10--------------------||
A||--8----10--------------|------------------------||
E||-----------------------|------------------------||


V. Mixolydian (Major Scale with a minor 7th)
G||-------------------------|--------9----10----12----||
D||--------------9----10----|--12---------------------||
A||--10----12---------------|-------------------------||
E||-------------------------|-------------------------||


VI. Aeolian (Natural Minor Scale)
G||--------------------------|--------------12----14----||
D||--------------------12----|--14----15----------------||
A||--12----14----15----------|--------------------------||
E||--------------------------|--------------------------||


VII. Locrian (Natural Minor Scale with Minor 2nd and Minor 5th)
G||--------------------------|--------------14----16----||
D||--------------------14----|--15----17----------------||
A||--14----15----17----------|--------------------------||
E||--------------------------|--------------------------||


And that brings us back to Ionian.

You can apply this pattern to every single note available on your bass! From A to A.
The only limit is how many frets you have!
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Last edited by TomD03 at Sep 12, 2008,
#2
Alright, now that we have covered the Major Scale and its Modes, let me move on to how you can apply this in two octaves.

Allow me to introduce you to a Tetrachord.
A Tetrachord is a 4 note pattern with a shift, allow me to tab out the 4 tetrachords we will be using.

*Note* I am including how you shift with each of these, the numbers after "Shift = #" are which fingers you use, and "--->" means the actual shift. The number which comes after "--->" is what finger you shift to, and you continue the pattern from there. *Note*

Major (Shift = 1 --> 1 3 4 3 1 ---> 1):
G||-------------------------------------||
D||-------------------------------------||
A||--3----5----7----8----7----5----3----||
E||-------------------------------------||


Minor (Shift = 1 ---> 1 2 4 2 1 ---> 1):
G||-------------------------------------||
D||-------------------------------------||
A||--3----5----6----8----6----5----3----||
E||-------------------------------------||


Phrygian (Shift= 1 2 ---> 2 4 2 ---> 2 1):
G||-------------------------------------||
D||-------------------------------------||
A||--3----4----6----8----6----4----3----||
E||-------------------------------------||


Lydian (Shift= 1 3 ---> 2 4 2 ---> 3 1):
G||-------------------------------------||
D||-------------------------------------||
A||--3----5----7----9----7----5----3----||
E||-------------------------------------||


What is the point of this? Why am I showing you these tetrachords? Well allow me to explain.
Every scale is made up of two tetrachords, which gives us our 8 notes of a scale (7 + the octave). When we were doing the box style of scales, we were using two tetrachords, but without shifting. Now, I will tab out a C major scale using two tetrachords, and label which ones I used.

C Ionian (TC = Maj, Maj)
G||-------------------------------------------||
D||----------------------5----7----9----10----||
A||--3----5----7----8-------------------------||
E||-------------------------------------------||

As you can see, on the A string we use one tetrachord, and on the D string we use another! We use a pair of Major tetrachords, and this makes our Major scale.

The last part of this lesson is all you, I am no longer tabbing anything out, it is for you to practice and figure out on your own, I'm simply giving you the tools to do so.
This is a chart of every combination of tetrachords crossing 4 strings in two octaves, shifting on different stings, over all the modes of the major scale.

If you figure out how I connected the two tetrachords in the last example, it will be easy for you to figure out this chart. If you could not figure that out, keep trying! It is essential for this part.

Here is the chart.
*Note 1* Where it says ---, you continue the scale without shifting, and shift on the next string. *Note 1*
*Note 2* If one of the lines has a * next to it, that means you will have to hit a note that isn't covered by one of the tetrachords, but you can figure that out on your own. *Note 2*

Ionian 

 E    A    D    G
Maj  Maj  Min  ---
Maj  Maj  ---  Maj
Maj  ---  Maj  Maj *
---  Lyd  Maj  Maj


Dorian

 E    A    D    G
Min  Min  Phry ---
Min  Min  ---  Min
Min  ---  Min  Min 
---  Maj  Min  Min

Phrygian

 E    A    D    G
Phry Phry Lyd  ---  *
Phry Phry ---  Phry *
Phry ---  Phry Phry
---  Min  Phry Phry *

Lydian

 E    A    D    G
Lyd  Maj  Maj  ---
Lyd  Maj  ---  Maj
Lyd  ---  Lyd  Maj
---  Phry Lyd  Maj *

Mixolydian

 E    A    D    G
Maj  Min  Min  ---
Maj  Min  ---  Min
Maj  ---  Maj  Min
---  Maj  Maj  Min

Aeolian

 E    A    D    G
Min  Phry Phry --- *
Min  Phry --- Phry 
Min  ---  Min Phry
---  Min  Min Phry 

Locrian

 E    A    D    G
Phry Lyd  Maj  --- *
Phry Lyd  ---  Lyd *
Phry ---  Phry Lyd
--- Phry Phry  Lyd *



Thank you for reading this wall of text, I really hope you got something out of it!!!
Again, thank you to my college for the Tetrachord Chart, it helped me immensely and I hope it helps those of you who use it!

Cheers, see you next time

- Al

Edit: There may be some errors in the Tetrachord chart, as far as *'s go, if anyone finds one, let me know and I'll check & change it

Edit 2: I took a Star off of the dorian mode, as I played through, and it doesn't seem that you have to do any strange shifts! Misprint on my part!
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Last edited by TomD03 at Sep 12, 2008,
#3
Thank god for you. Seriously, I've been trying to learn this stuff since I began, but I would always give up...but now I have no reason not to learn this.

I say again, thank God or whatever deity you worship for you.
Last edited by goest at Sep 11, 2008,
#4
Quote by goest
Thank god for you. Seriously, I've been trying to learn this stuff since I began, but I would always give up...but now I have no reason not to learn this.

I say again, thank God or whatever deity you worship for you.


No problem!
If you ever have a question, feel free to PM me (though admittedly I don't check them too often )
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#6
Haha, as kind of a bump/update (bumpdate?) I just wanted everyone to know that I will be recording videos of all the examples in this lesson, but it may not be for a while - seeing as I live in an apartment and bass amps are loud :P
If I get a chance, I will record them though! Keep an eye out
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#7
Thank you for this lesson, I got to wirte it down later when I get home.

Also I know about how you feel about the apartment thing, I cant play past 8 pluged in.(really sucks)
#8
Im going to print this here lesson
and apply it to muh playings.
...it was bright as the sun, but with ten times the heat
#9
Awesome!! Thank you so much. I've been meaning to learn this stuff..i feel so lazy not knowing it..lol....Thanks a lot!!
#11
I prinetd this out took it and my bass to high school and took to my studies during english, calculus and a web designer class. That was a great bit of info you wrote up here thank you very very much. ^^

PS: i asked my teachers to let me do this, its not like i just did it, however i still got the "wtf are you doing??" looks from others.
"Rome wasn't built in a week"

"Yeah but when they built rome, they didnt go "hey look, there's a functional building" AND ****ING KICK IT OVER AND PISS ON THE ASHES BECAUSE THE PEASANTS WERE CRYING THAT IT WAS TOO GLORIOUS AND AWESOME."
#13
Man... modes looks so much easier to remember on a bass
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#14
I'm taking suggestions for new lessons!

I just want to know what people were interested in seeing, or what is it that people were having comprehending

Message me or respond, I read both
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#15
one thing iv always kind of had trouble with is applying all these things to my playing
i have a bad habbit of thinking of everything in the shape it plays on the fret board and i cant really think fast enough while im playing to apply it either

when Moses brought down the plagues upon Egypt one of them involved Behringer amps


Dont be so humble, your not that great....
#16
Quote by TomD03
A scale is simply a series of 7 notes which ascend/descend in either whole tones or semi tones to create different tonalities, and for the sake of this exercise, we are starting with the Ionian (Major) scale.


Well what about the pentatonic, hexatonic and octatonic scales? Scales don't need to have 7 notes. IIRC some scales don't even repeat over one octave but over two, though granted they are very rare.

Also your definition of tetrachord could hardly be called a definition. A tetrachord is a musical scale of four notes, bounded by the interval of a perfect fourth, that comes in 3 varieties, the most common today being the diatonic variety.

Apart from that, good stuff.
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#17
my god. i play guitar and ive never been able to find anywhere that gives a pretty basic and easy way of understanding modes. thank you so much...im going to spend the next few weeks enveloped in theory.

Thanks Tom
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#18
Quote by sinan90
Well what about the pentatonic, hexatonic and octatonic scales? Scales don't need to have 7 notes. IIRC some scales don't even repeat over one octave but over two, though granted they are very rare.

Also your definition of tetrachord could hardly be called a definition. A tetrachord is a musical scale of four notes, bounded by the interval of a perfect fourth, that comes in 3 varieties, the most common today being the diatonic variety.

Apart from that, good stuff.



For point one:
These are basic scales man, I'm not talking about Bebop scales, whole tone scales, altered scale, or any of that stuff - so for the purpose of this lesson, scales have 7 notes.

For two:
You are definitely talking out of your ass for the tetrachord portion.
Yes, there are 3 main tetrachords, the diatonic, the chromatic and the enharmonic but that is not what I am using. What I am using as tetrachord is the exact definition of a tetrachord. A tetrachord can be broken down into two words.
Tetra - Four
Chord - Notes which make up a scale
These are different permutations which are used to create the 4 patterns I used in this lesson.

Thanks

and as for the lesson of application, that would be a difficult one to write, but I'll attempt it! It may not be for a while though, seeing as I'm a full time student haha.
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#19
Quote by TomD03
For point one:
These are basic scales man, I'm not talking about Bebop scales, whole tone scales, altered scale, or any of that stuff - so for the purpose of this lesson, scales have 7 notes.


It's misleading at best, false at worst. All you needed was the word most in the sentence and it's done. Plus I'd count pentatonics as one of the most basic scales.

For two:
You are definitely talking out of your ass for the tetrachord portion.
Yes, there are 3 main tetrachords, the diatonic, the chromatic and the enharmonic but that is not what I am using. What I am using as tetrachord is the exact definition of a tetrachord. A tetrachord can be broken down into two words.
Tetra - Four
Chord - Notes which make up a scale
These are different permutations which are used to create the 4 patterns I used in this lesson.


The tetrachord is a very clearly defined thing, if you don't follow that definition then you're not right. Three of the patterns you give fit the definition of a tetrachord, one doesn't. Plus chord is from the Greek word for strings, lyres and simple harps would be tuned as a tetrachord.
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#20
Quote by sinan90
It's misleading at best, false at worst. All you needed was the word most in the sentence and it's done. Plus I'd count pentatonics as one of the most basic scales.


I'm afraid sinan is completely right. It was misleading and pentatonic and blues scales are amog the first scales people learn.
#21
I am pretty smart about modes but when i got to the chart, my brain stopped working. is the chart for shifting between modes?
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#22
Quote by SomeGuyInJersey
I am pretty smart about modes but when i got to the chart, my brain stopped working. is the chart for shifting between modes?


nope, it's each mode in two octaves - check out the initial tetrachord example with the one octave major scale, and see if you can get what's happening there, then apply that to the rest of the modes in the chart.
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#23
Quote by sinan90
It's misleading at best, false at worst. All you needed was the word most in the sentence and it's done. Plus I'd count pentatonics as one of the most basic scales.


The tetrachord is a very clearly defined thing, if you don't follow that definition then you're not right. Three of the patterns you give fit the definition of a tetrachord, one doesn't. Plus chord is from the Greek word for strings, lyres and simple harps would be tuned as a tetrachord.



Alright, I made a point today to check out my school notes today, and here is the exact definition from my music school of what a scale is.


Scale: Established series of 6 or 7 notes on a definite tonal centre.



That is directly from my notes at college. What you're calling attention to are exceptions! If we define everything including their exceptions, the definitions would be much too cumbersome to even comprehend.
Incorporating pentatonics, blues scales, bebop scales and everything, I'd have to change the definition to this:

A scale is an established series of 6 or 7 notes [except for the times it isn't] on a definite tonal centre.

That's just silly.

If you want to argue this point, I want to see your evidence as to why my entire collegiate institute should change their definition just to incorporate your exception.


And on my second point.
Yes, lyres are tuned as tetrachords, I am fully aware of that. I have been a trained classical musician for the past 13 years thank you very much.
I understand your argument that the tetrachord should only ascend to the perfect 4th, I know that - but modern styles have opened this up!
Yes, by the classical definition you are correct, but I am not doing classical music here.
I am not making a new definition, I am creating an exception which is worked into this lesson.
I assume you are complaining about my usage of the Lydian mode as ascending in whole tones up to F# - not F. But, in order for my chart to work, that is how I must write it.
It would be totally possible to write it in the conventional way, such as this:

C ---> first finger shift ---> (conventional Lydian) D ---->shift----> E F# G,

but that is absolutely impractical for this exercise, as it requires two separate shifts on one string.

Are you wrong? No
Am I right? No
This is just for this exercise, I'm not saying "This is how it is and you can not change it."


Thank you,
- Al
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Last edited by TomD03 at Sep 15, 2008,
#24
I liked the clear, concise explanation of the modes of a major scale - would be a good FAQ addition. A lot of modes lessons don't really make it clear.
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#25
Quote by TomD03
Alright, I made a point today to check out my school notes today, and here is the exact definition from my music school of what a scale is.


Scale: Established series of 6 or 7 notes on a definite tonal centre.



That is directly from my notes at college. What you're calling attention to are exceptions! If we define everything including their exceptions, the definitions would be much too cumbersome to even comprehend.
Incorporating pentatonics, blues scales, bebop scales and everything, I'd have to change the definition to this:

A scale is an established series of 6 or 7 notes [except for the times it isn't] on a definite tonal centre.

That's just silly.

If you want to argue this point, I want to see your evidence as to why my entire collegiate institute should change their definition just to incorporate your exception.



The definition I like to use, and think is most appropriate is that a scale is a group of notes arranged in ascending and descending order to conveniently represent part or all of a musical work. That way there are no problems with the number of notes. So you can have everything from the ditonic scales to octatonic scales, without the issue of a number of notes. As soon as you take out the number of notes part in that definition that you gave I'd agree with it wholeheartedly.



And on my second point.
Yes, lyres are tuned as tetrachords, I am fully aware of that. I have been a trained classical musician for the past 13 years thank you very much.
I understand your argument that the tetrachord should only ascend to the perfect 4th, I know that - but modern styles have opened this up!
Yes, by the classical definition you are correct, but I am not doing classical music here.
I am not making a new definition, I am creating an exception which is worked into this lesson.
I assume you are complaining about my usage of the Lydian mode as ascending in whole tones up to F# - not F. But, in order for my chart to work, that is how I must write it.
It would be totally possible to write it in the conventional way, such as this:

C ---> first finger shift ---> (conventional Lydian) D ---->shift----> E F# G,

but that is absolutely impractical for this exercise, as it requires two separate shifts on one string.


I've got nothing wrong with how you're playing it, what I've got issue with is calling something that's not a tetrachord a tetrachord then giving a shoddy definition of a tetrachord as a four note pattern with shift in it.
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#26
Quote by sinan90
The definition I like to use, and think is most appropriate is that a scale is a group of notes arranged in ascending and descending order to conveniently represent part or all of a musical work. That way there are no problems with the number of notes. So you can have everything from the ditonic scales to octatonic scales, without the issue of a number of notes. As soon as you take out the number of notes part in that definition that you gave I'd agree with it wholeheartedly.


I've got nothing wrong with how you're playing it, what I've got issue with is calling something that's not a tetrachord a tetrachord then giving a shoddy definition of a tetrachord as a four note pattern with shift in it.



Sorry man, I'm not arguing with this anymore. Either drop it or take it to my PM box, I don't want this cluttering up my lesson.
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#27
Shameless bump
I have lots of new things to add to this lesson which will be accomplished in the coming weeks, including some various ways to approach modes if you're still having trouble understanding them, and how to practically apply your newfound knowledge of modes to writing lines, and soloing!

Edit: I'd also like to throw in that I am 100% certain that my definition of "Scales" and "Tetrachrods" is correct, so please ignore the previous comments which were trying to slander that
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#30
What about the blues scale? S'one of the most important sales in my opinion.

Other then that. Bump 'cause this is awesome.
#31
im going to go back and read over this.. it didnt sink in the first time, about mode's and stuff..

What i understood the first time though is that when your playing a scale and modes etc is that you play the normal scale but you add notes onto the scale i.e. D note.. or do you just go and play the D scale and mix it with the C scale, im not quite sure about that.

sorry if this sounds retarded.
#32
Quote by Bass First
What about the blues scale? S'one of the most important sales in my opinion.

Other then that. Bump 'cause this is awesome.



The blues scale is actually taken from field hollers and african tribes singing, how there were 1-4-5 tribes, and when they did their movements they would harmonize in perfect 4ths or 5ths, and eventually their melodies led to the minor 3rd, flat 5, regular 5, flat 7, and in order to try to imitate the sound it made, the blues scale was notated. It's similar to the pentatonic, actually almost identical. Sorry for the history lesson, but it's true!
And you can't define by the exceptions.


Quote by Daniel8488
im going to go back and read over this.. it didnt sink in the first time, about mode's and stuff..

What i understood the first time though is that when your playing a scale and modes etc is that you play the normal scale but you add notes onto the scale i.e. D note.. or do you just go and play the D scale and mix it with the C scale, im not quite sure about that.

sorry if this sounds retarded.


Nothing sounds retarded dude.
Look at it this way, play your C major scale ascending, one octave. Now go back to the beginning, but instead of playing your first C, start on the D and re-do the C major scale, but up to the D instead of the C.
Sry that's a bit of a rushed explination haha
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#33
Thank you

ok i understand now, hmm they dont seem that complicated then.. everybody is saying that there a bitch to learn, but basically i'd just been playing from the D to the next D an octave higher?

( i hope i do have that right or i will sound pretty stupid)
#34
Quote by TomD03
The blues scale is actually taken from field hollers and african tribes singing, how there were 1-4-5 tribes, and when they did their movements they would harmonize in perfect 4ths or 5ths, and eventually their melodies led to the minor 3rd, flat 5, regular 5, flat 7, and in order to try to imitate the sound it made, the blues scale was notated. It's similar to the pentatonic, actually almost identical. Sorry for the history lesson, but it's true!
And you can't define by the exceptions.


That's fair enough but i still think you should've mentioned it in there somewhere as it's very important for improv. and stuff. But it's a "scales" thread so heh.
#35
I wouldn't say this is really a "pro" lesson since i knew most of this. :P
Still really helpful though.
Quote by brandooon
Buy both pickups. Rub icyhot on both of them. Sandwich your penis between them and walk to the nearest homeless shelter with your brand new icyhot penis sandwich.