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#1
So I get the whole concept of modes but it never really made sense to me and I think I finally know why. Lets say I'm playing in C and I play the ionian, is the next scale I got to if I'm staying in C, D dorian, or C dorian?


-don kappyton
#2
I had the same problem as well. I'm fairly sure that if you're staying in C, you say D Dorian, but you may want confirmation.
#3
if you`re playing in C,it means you`re in C ionian,therfore the next one is D dorian
#4
I'm pretty dure you say D Dorian or the dorian mode of C
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#6
AH but now it makes no sense. Why are there modes if its the same notes, because when your playing a lead you don't stay in one scale. this sucks


why is it that whenever I think I finally get music theory it goes and blows a load in my face.?.
#7
Quote by don kappyton
AH but now it makes no sense. Why are there modes if its the same notes, because when your playing a lead you don't stay in one scale. this sucks

The harmonic context will determine the mode you're playing. For example, if you're over a static C major chord, you won't be playing in D Dorian because the harmony doesn't suggest it. What makes the modes unique are their intervallic spellings, and you need the correct harmonic backing to bring out those intervals. You won't get far thinking about it as just moving to a D Dorian scale, for example, because you'll still be playing in C major and just beginning the specific melody or phrase on a D.
#8
In C its

C Ioninian
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian
B Locrian


Basically you just start on the Second note of the last mode.

Example

cDefgab for Ionian

D is the second note/mode so

dEfgabc

and so on


when in different keys you just shift the notes over.

Key of G

GABCDEF#

G Ionian
A Dorian
B Phrygian
C Lydian

and so on.
Last edited by memyselfandus at Sep 16, 2008,
#9
Quote by memyselfandus

Basically you just start on the Second note of the last mode.

Example

cDefgab for Ionian

D is the second note/mode so

dEfgabc

I'm not sure what you're trying to say with this. If you took D Dorian (DEFGABC) and began on the second note, you'd have E Phrygian (EFGABCD). In order to obtain E Dorian, you'd have to begin on the second note of the D major scale. D major is D E F# G A B C#, and E Dorian is E F# G A B C#.
#10
A way to think of modes is

In C
C ionian is cdefgab
D Dorian is defgabc
E Phrygian is efgabcd

you just start on the second Note of your current mode to get your next mode..
#11
Quote by :-D
I'm not sure what you're trying to say with this. If you took D Dorian (DEFGABC) and began on the second note, you'd have E Phrygian (EFGABCD). In order to obtain E Dorian, you'd have to begin on the second note of the D major scale. D major is D E F# G A B C#, and E Dorian is E F# G A B C#.


Speaking in the key of "C"
#12
Don't think of it in notes, notes by themselves mean nothing, is the intervals that matter. C Ionian (major) and D Dorian (Minor with a #6) have the same notes, but if you look at the intervals they are completely different. C to D is a major second, C to E is a major third. D to E is a major second, D to F is a minor third. Are you following?

Just remember that notes don't matter, it's the intervals that do.
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#13
Quote by :-D
The harmonic context will determine the mode you're playing. For example, if you're over a static C major chord, you won't be playing in D Dorian because the harmony doesn't suggest it. What makes the modes unique are their intervallic spellings, and you need the correct harmonic backing to bring out those intervals. You won't get far thinking about it as just moving to a D Dorian scale, for example, because you'll still be playing in C major and just beginning the specific melody or phrase on a D.


^this is true

if you play your D dorian pattern over a C major progression, your just going to hear it as C Major. You have to understand where to apply the scale.

D dorian progression = tonal center of Dm while using the key signature for C/Am (no sharps or flats).
shred is gaudy music
#14
Yes the intervals of each mode are what give each mode its own little sound if used right.
#15
Quote by memyselfandus
Yes the intervals of each mode are what give each mode its own little sound if used right.



but D dorian uses the same intervals as C ionian so how is that gonna sound any different
#17
Quote by don kappyton
but D dorian uses the same intervals as C ionian so how is that gonna sound any different


It has completely different intervals. The Major scale is a scale consisting of a root and the following intervals...

- Major second
- Major third
- Perfect fourth
- Perfect fifth
- Major sixth
- Major seventh

The Dorian mode is a scale consisting of a root, as well as the following intervals...

- Major second
- Minor third
- Perfect fourth
- Perfect fifth
- Major sixth
- Minor seventh

It is not even remotely similar to the major scale.
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.
#18
^What he said.

Major Scale = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Dorian Mode = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
Phrygian Mode = 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Lydian Mode = 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
Mixolydian Mode = 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
Aeolian Mode = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
Locrian Mode = 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7

Notice the different intervals. You need to understand there is more than one kind of relationship between modes.

There are relative modes this is modes that share the same notes but with a different home note or root.

And there are parallel modes which share the same root or home note but have different intervals.

Parallel Modes
C Ionian = C D E F G A B C
C Dorian = C D Eb F G A Bb C
C Phrygian = C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C
C Lydian = C D E F# G A B C
C Mixolydian = C D E F G A Bb C
C Aeolian = C D Eb F G Ab Bb C
C Locrian = C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C

All of these would be played over a harmony that establishes C as the root or home.
You will notice Locrian is the only mode that contains a flat 5. Of the other six three contain a minor third and three contain a major third. We can then categorize our modes into three groups:

Major Modes
Ionian (Major Scale)
Lydian (Major Scale with a sharp 4)
Mixolydian (Major Scale with a flat 7)
-(on a side note the Major Pentatonic Scale is the Major Scale minus the 4 and 7, the two notes that differentiate the major modes)

Minor Modes
Aeolian = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 = (Natural Minor Scale)
Dorian = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 = (Natural Minor Scale with a natural 6)
Phrygian = 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 = (Natural Minor Scale with a flat 2)
-(on a side note the Minor Pentatonic Scale is the Natural Minor Scale minus the 2 and 6, the two notes that differentiate the minor modes)

Locrian Mode
Locrian Mode is all by itself because of it's flat five. Works over a m7b5 chord. Or for a different sound in riffs and stuff accenting the b5.

In order to get a sense of the flavour of these modes play each Major Mode and Major Pent in C over a static C major chord. Then each minor mode and the minor pent over a static C minor chord.

For the Locrian I guess you would play a Cdim or Cm7b5 and play over it.

Relative Modes
Parent Scale = C Major Scale
C Ionian = C D E F G A B C
D Dorian = D E F G A B C D
E Phrygian = E F G A B C D E
F Lydian = F G A B C D E F
G Mixolydian = G A B C D E F G
A Aeolian = A B C D E F G A
B Locrian = B C D E F G A B

It is useful to know that these modes are related and share the same notes as the C major scale so that you can use your knowledge of the C Major Scale patterns on the fretboard in order to access these modes.

However, you need to realize and reflect in your playing the correct root. The C in C Ionian is the root. It is stable and when you move to it there is a feeling like you're returning home. In G Mixolydian however the G is the root and the C is the 5th. The C will no longer feel like home and will create an expectation to return to the G.

Relative Modes can also be useful in songwriting. Having a verse in Am and a chorus in C Major for example will create different sound and feelings between the verse and chorus. This is because even though they are using the same seven notes they are using them in different ways creating different relationships between the notes by identifying different roots.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Sep 16, 2008,
#19
The thing about modes is, you can use them to write modal music (having an Amaj7-D7 progression in Dmixo for instance, if I am right), or just as a scale in a minor/major progression (and use of alterations, etc, like harmonic minor)...

Quote by GuitarMunky
^this is true

if you play your D dorian pattern over a C major progression, your just going to hear it as C Major. You have to understand where to apply the scale.

D dorian progression = tonal center of Dm while using the key signature for C/Am (no sharps or flats).


And what about Locrian?

I know it was added after the whole modal-tonal center stuff, but I don't know how it would apply...
I never saw anything in Locrian (apart maybe from some film/game soundtracks), so I can't really tell
#21
Basicly one of the first things to remember when it comes to using modes is the order of the chords in any given key (1major, 2minor, 3minor, 4major, 5major, 6minor, 7diminished)...for example in C this would be C major (based on the first degree of the Cmajor scale) use the ionian mode because C feels like the 'home' chord in the progession, Dminor (based on the second degree) use Ddorian, then Eminor (based on the third degree) etc...this is my understanding of modes anyway, if im missled please let me know.
#22
There are basically three ways to use modes

1. As melodic devices for soloing over diatonic chord progressions in major and minor keys. This is the idea of using D Dorian over a Dm chord. Usually for this to work you would need the chord to last long enough to fully develop a melodic idea. You also need to have a good working knowledge of which modes will go with which chords.

2. As melodic devices for soloing over "modal" progressions. This would involve harmonizing modes and creating modal progressions that establish the correct tonic then soloing over that progression with the mode.

3. As a source of creating "altered" scales. A specific chord progression will often create an expectation to hear a certain scale. You can use a mode in place of that scale in order to create an element of "surprise". For example using C Dorian where normally you would expect to hear C Aeolian. etc. This is where it comes in handy to categorize modes into Major and Minor groups.
Si
#23
Ah, what do u mean by 'diatonic'? also if u can elaberate on no'2 it would be much appreciated...
#24
^diatonic means sticking to the same 7 notes. This was usually done in pre-baroque music.

I think he's talking about using modes to write progressions, which is called modal progressions. Modal progressions is where you outline a mode by using a specific chord progression. This is how I write modal progressions:

What most musicians mean by modes is 'modal progressions', where the progression will specifically point to a specific mode. This is achieved by outlining that specific mode (usually dorian as it's the easiest).

But how do you outline a mode?
Each mode has a special note that only that mode has, in dorian it is its natural sixth, aeolian is an exception to this. BTW you should know the formula's of the modes before using them, not just their fingerings. Alot of guys call this special note the modal note.

So all we do is find chord that contain this special note. In D dorian these chords are G7, Bm7b5 and Em. But, we cant just throw these chords together, we have to make sure we dont resolve to the I chord of the parent scale, or else all modal feeling will be lost. So that means we cant use Bm7b5, as it only really moves to C well. I personally wouldnt use Em, as it doesnt really move well (in my opinion) to either Dm or G7. So this leaves us with G7, which still contains the modal note and still moves well to Dm.

So our progression is: Dm7 - G7.

Quote by :-D
The harmonic context will determine the mode you're playing.
Only in modern modal music. Modal medieval music had to outline the mode and resolve on the right note effectively.

Apart from that, this thread has my approval. Carry on.
Last edited by demonofthenight at Sep 17, 2008,
#25
Quote by demonofthenight
Only in modern modal music. Modal medieval music had to outline the mode and resolve on the right note effectively.

Apart from that, this thread has my approval. Carry on.

Well, yes, but I'd say it's generally safe to assume that he's not writing medieval music. Besides, during the medieval period, you don't even have to refer to the music as "modal medieval music", since the key system had not been created. Everything was in Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian or Mixolydian, which were the church modes.
#26
Quote by :-D
^What exactly do you mean "what about Locrian"? I don't know what your specific question is.


About the tonal centre since he said "D dorian has a tonal center of D minor"
I don't know how intervals in Locrian establish a tonal center....
#27
Quote by gonzaw
About the tonal centre since he said "D dorian has a tonal center of D minor"
I don't know how intervals in Locrian establish a tonal center....


well your not going to find many songs (if any at all) based on locrian. It is generally avoided, although im sure because of that some "clever" musician will be determined to write a song with it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

You can use the scale over a m7b5 chord. ( as in a ii V i in minor where the ii = m7b5)
keep in mind that your essentially just playing the minor scale......

Dm7b5 - G7b9 - Cm

D locrian - some sort of altered scale - C minor

or

C minor - some sort of altered scale - C minor
shred is gaudy music
#28
Quote by GuitarMunky
well your not going to find many songs (if any at all) based on locrian. It is generally avoided, although im sure because of that some "clever" musician will be determined to write a song with it. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

You can use the scale over a m7b5 chord. ( as in a ii V i in minor where the ii = m7b5)
keep in mind that your essentially just playing the minor scale......

Dm7b5 - G7b9 - Cm

D locrian - some sort of altered scale - C minor

or

C minor - some sort of altered scale - C minor


It is that I never heard (or can't remember) any examples of Locrian, only minor tonalities with diminished chords/scales/etc...

So if you would be playing the minor scale, how can you make the m7b5 chord the tonal center? Or is it too unstable to even attempt to do it?
I am sure there is some way around it...
#29
So if you would be playing the minor scale, how can you make the m7b5 chord the tonal center?


The same way you make any other chord the tonal center. Create a one chord vamp.
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.
#30
Quote by gonzaw
It is that I never heard (or can't remember) any examples of Locrian, only minor tonalities with diminished chords/scales/etc...

So if you would be playing the minor scale, how can you make the m7b5 chord the tonal center? Or is it too unstable to even attempt to do it?
I am sure there is some way around it...


Diminished chords generally don't function as tonics. They are unstable as you know, so you really cant have tension and release, because the tonic is the tension.

So there really is no work around..... it is what it is. If you want to make a piece thats all tension .... do a 1 chord m7b5 vamp (as suggested by archeo).

I wouldn't worry about it too much though. There is a reason its not used very often. (honestly I can't think of any piece that features a locrian melody)
shred is gaudy music
#31
Quote by kwikfingers-uk
Ah, what do u mean by 'diatonic'? also if u can elaberate on no'2 it would be much appreciated...

Sure I may not have written things quite the way I was thinking of them with regards to the diatonic part. Here are the first two again explained in more depth.

1. Using modes as sources of melodic ideas to suit individual chords in chord progressions that are in minor or major keys. For example you may have a progression like this...
|C / / / |C / / / |F / / / | G / / / | The tonal centre is C. You would simply use the C Major Scale to build melodic ideas around this progression.

However, some people prefer to think in terms of F Lydian and G Mixolydian when soloing over the F and G bars respectively. You're still using the C Major Scale but the argument goes that thinking in terms of F Lydian as they're playing can make it easier fto come up with melodic ideas that are more "F" based over that F chord. Note though that it is just as valid to say the whole solo is in the C Major without any need for reference to modes.

However, if the chord progression starts using non diatonic notes (notes outside the major or minor key) in some of the chords thinking modally over each chord might become the preferred way to go about creating melodic ideas.

For example if you were in the key of C major and came across a bar of Em7b5 in your progression you might do well to focus your melodic ideas around the E Locrian mode for that bar if the chord is followed by an F you could continue to develop this E Locrian or to switch back to C major since F is common in both E Locrian and C Major .

A more common occurance might be the use of a secondary dominant. Where in the key of C you come across perhaps a bar of D7 in which case you might employ a D Mixolydian mode for melodic inspiration over that bar of D7.


2. A sources of melodic ideas over modal progressions. A modal progression is a chord progression that uses chords built from the mode. They can be as simple as a single chord vamp or they can be more complex using six or all seven triads depending on what the occasion calls for.

Now just as a mode will use the same seven notes as it's parent major scale so too the harmonized chords of the mode will be made up of the same seven notes and consequently be the very same chords used by the parent major scale.

For example harmonizing the C Major gives us C Dm Em F G Am Bdim. Similarly harmonizing D Dorian give us Dm Em F G Am Bdim C. Same chords right? - But the key thing to remember is that the function of each chord is different.
In the C major scale the tonic is a Major triad. In D Dorian it is minor triad.

In C Major the Dm is the submediant chord and provides a sense of moving away from the tonic C. In a D Dorian "modal" progression the Dm is the tonic - the stable chord that resolves the progression.

Check out the different harmonic function the Dm takes on in the following progressions
|C |Dm | F | G | C

|Dm | F | Em | G | Dm

|G | Am | F | Dm | G

|Am | Am | Dm | Em | Am

All these progression use chords that can be found in the harmonized C Major Scale. Each one includes Dm. However each progression implies a different tonal centre. Consequently the Dm serves a different harmonic function. In the first and last progressions it is used as the submediant and subdominant respectively. It creates a sense of movement away from the tonic chord. In the third progression the Dm is used as the minor dominant chord providing a movement toward the tonic G. In the second progression the Dm is used as the tonic chord providing resolve to the progression which heightens on the G.

So once we have harmonized the mode and created a modal chord progression we can then use the same mode as a source of melodic ideas over the entire progression. For example
G | Am | F | Dm | would work with an entire melodic structure built from the G mixolydian mode.
Si
#32
Quote by gonzaw
It is that I never heard (or can't remember) any examples of Locrian

Metal bands like Slayer use Locrian quite a lot.
#33
Thanks 20Tigers, that's given me some food for thought, i now have a better understanding how they (the modes) can be used although i dont really know where to begin as far as applying them and incororating them into my music. thanks again for your response mate.
#35
best place to start is with a single major chord or a bass line based on one chord. Maybe it's a C Major. Then play the C Ionian over it. Then C Lydian Then try C Mixolydian over the chord to get a feel for what each of them will sound like.
Then play each of the minor modes over a minor chord or bass line and get a feel for how they sound.
Si
#36
Quote by 20Tigers
best place to start is with a single major chord or a bass line based on one chord. Maybe it's a C Major. Then play the C Ionian over it. Then C Lydian Then try C Mixolydian over the chord to get a feel for what each of them will sound like.
Then play each of the minor modes over a minor chord or bass line and get a feel for how they sound.


i see what your saying but the problem im having when playing modes is i dont really know where to 'rest' and what notes sound 'modal' if you see what i mean? i know that each mode has a one note that is unique and emphasizes the sound of that mode...do you know of a guide of some sort that has these 'modal' notes listed as im sure this will help me loads?
#37
Modes follow a pattern as the half steps shift to the left see if you can follow me here...
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 = Ionian  (Half steps are after the 3 and 7)
 1  2 b3  4  5  6 b7 = Dorian  (The 3 and 7 become flat.  The Half steps are now after the 2 and 6)
 1 b2 b3  4  5 b6 b7 = Phrygian (2 and 6 are now flat as well.  The Half steps are now after the 1 and 5)
[s]b1 b2 b3  4 b5 b6 b7[/s]   (to continue the pattern we would flat the 1 and 5 next but since we can't have 
                       the root as a flat we rewrite the same intervals in relation to a natural root 
                       and since they are all flat except the natural 4 we get...)
 1  2  3 #4  5  6  7 = Lydian (4 is sharp. The half steps are now after 4 and 7)
 1  2  3  4  5  6 b7 = Mixolydian (4 is natural again and 7 is flat. The half steps are now after 3 and 6)
 1  2 b3  4  5 b6 b7 = Aeolian (3 and 6 have become flat and the half steps are now after the 5 and 2)
 1 b2 b3  4 b5 b6 b7 = Locrian (the 2 and 5 are now flat and the half step is after the 1 and 4)
One more step takes us back to the Ionian mode.


This pattern made it so easy to remember the intervals for the modes. It took me longer to remember their names than to remember the intervals of each.

Perhaps the most influential note in any scale (aside from the root note, and possibly the fifth) is the third degree. This will determine whether a scale or mode is Major or Minor in quality. So the next thing to do is to divide the modes into major and minor groups according to their thirds. We will leave out Locrian.

[B]MAJOR MODES[/B] 
1  2  3  4  5  6  7 = Ionian (aka Major Scale)
1  2  3 [B]#4[/B]  5  6  7 = Lydian (difference between this and Ionian is the #4.
                      This is the Lydian Modal Note)
1  2  3  4  5  6 [B]b7[/B] = Mixolydian (difference between this and Ionian is the b7. 
                      This is the Mixolydian Modal Note)


[B]MINOR MODES[/B]
1  2 b3  4  5 b6 b7 = Aeolian (aka Natural Minor Scale)
1  2 b3  4  5  [B]6[/B] b7 = Dorian (difference between this and Natural Minor is the natural 6.  
                      This is the Dorian Modal Note)
1 [B]b2[/B] b3  4  5 b6 b7 = Phrygian (difference between this and Natural Minor is the b2.
                      This is the Phrygian Modal Note)


Locrian is the only mode with a flat fifth.  
This is considered the modal note of Locrian.  The flat 2 is pretty influential also.


From here you can figure out all the modal notes of the different scales.

E.G. C Scale = C D E F G A B C
C Lydian = C D E F# G A B C (#4 = F# = C Lydian Modal Note)
C Mixolydian = C D E F G A Bb C (b7 = Bb = C Mixolydian Modal Note)

Now it's not just about resting on these "modal" notes or focusing your playing around them. They will tend to fall in at the right time and generally shouldn't stick out as something the average listener would pick out and say "woah what was that note?". Things should still run along smoothly. Worrying too much about the modal note can cause a wreck. The root note is still the place to "rest". As are chord tones or other tones that sound right (usually by acting some kind of extension) over the chord playing at the time.

For example in C Mixolydian you wouldn't just bang away on the Bb. It would be as much a part of your playing as a sixth would in any other context. You might give it special attention (use it as a target or "rest" note) if a G minor were playing since the Bb is one of the chord tones from that chord or over a C major triad where it would bring about a dominant seventh flavour to what is happening. But your playing would still be built around the C root and will be used to fit smoothly with the harmony.

I'm not sure if this answers your question but reading your question I understood you were wanting to know what the modal notes of each mode were. Hopefully I've given enough information so that you can work these out on your own without a cheat sheet or at least given you enough so that you should be able to confidently make your own cheat sheet.

As far as where to rest? This is kind of a learned thing. I am still working on this myself. I concentrate on the intervals and try to learn what works where. I play around with modes in different contexts and listen a lot to what it sounds like. I know that a flat seven in Mixolydian will create a different effect over different chords in a progression and slowly I get the knowledge of when to slip it in and when it might be a bad idea. Though I'm gradually getting better at this in my own playing, I am not quite at the point where I can thoroughly explain when and how I think it's a good idea any more than what I have already given above.

So hope this helps.

Regards,
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Sep 19, 2008,
#38
Every little helps buddy, the more way's i hear this subject explained the more i figure out what i need to be practicing to achieve my goals. i guess im just trying to put off the painstaking parts to theory i.e learning all the notes on the fretboard off by heart etc...but ive been playing for a long time now and i really WANT to get this stuff under my belt. Once again i thank you for taking the time to help! Cheers Si, best of luck with your own playing to.
#39
Quote by don kappyton
AH but now it makes no sense. Why are there modes if its the same notes, because when your playing a lead you don't stay in one scale. this sucks


why is it that whenever I think I finally get music theory it goes and blows a load in my face.?.


Basically in a nutshell, it depends on what chords you are playing over.

If you take the notes in C Major, and play over a CM chord, you will be playing CM.

However if you take those same notes and play over a Dm chord, you will be playing D Dorian. Since you are playing a D minor, the root of the notes becomes D instead of C. It makes sense right?

If you take the notes in C Major and play over an F chord, you will be playing F Lydian.
#40
So the chords behind the scale determines the mode? So if I'm playing Am F G I'm playing in A aeolian?
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