#1
hi. Im confused on music theory and the modes. I know the formulae for the different modes and how to make a scale for a particular mode. My question now, is,

how can I choose which mode to play? If the piece is in C major (keepin it simple), I could go to D Dorian, but those are the same notes (so whats the point?)

can I choose to go with a C mixolydian/lydian/phrygian mode over a C major chord? How do I decide which modes are acceptable and which arent?

so bottom line is; I know how to make scales, now wtf do I do.
Gear
Gibson Les Paul std faded, Godin LG
Marshall jcm900
Keeley ds1, maxon od808, boston tu500, RMC Wizard
#2
Quote by Walternativo
how can I choose which mode to play? If the piece is in C major (keepin it simple), I could go to D Dorian, but those are the same notes (so whats the point?)


Since the D dorian (b2, b7) has a different note grouping than C Major, you can phrase with these notes. The notes are the same but you are choosing the notes that emulate the certain feel the modes have.

I hope that makes sense
#3
To see which mode fits, make a triad based on that modal scale.

D Dorian yields a D minor triad. Therefore, it has a minor quality.
Just to add more "color" make it a Dm7.

When playing modally, make sure to emphasize the "modal note", which in this case is the B note. Because the D Minor scale differs from the D Dorian scale in the 6th degree. Bb vs B.

Use a typical vamp like Dm7 - G7 and improvise over it, like you would a normal progression.

To answer your question about how modes are different:
All scales have a different set of intervals which give them a different feel.
The same way A Minor is different from C Major. Same notes used, different feel.
#4
sweet child of mine this question gets asked a lot.

If you are playing in C Major, then you would more than likely use the C major scale (not any of its modes because they will technically just be C major)

If you are playing a C Major chord, then you could play C Mixolydian or C Lydian if you wanted to use modal tones.

What is and is not acceptable is up to you really, trying things is a good way to understand them.


The main thing to take from Modes is that the underlying chord usually defines the tonal centre.... the type of scale you are playing is determined by that. ie D Dorian will be over a Dm chord NOT a C major chord.


Since the D dorian (b2, b7) has a different note grouping than C Major, you can phrase with these notes. The notes are the same but you are choosing the notes that emulate the certain feel the modes have.

this is not correct.
#5
so how do I extend how many notes Im allowed to use? Do I only ever get to use the notes as prescribed by the initial C ionian? Then how do I make the 'point'? How do I let my listener know that Ive 'switched' modes if its all just the same notes (namely just the notes from C ionian).
Gear
Gibson Les Paul std faded, Godin LG
Marshall jcm900
Keeley ds1, maxon od808, boston tu500, RMC Wizard
#6
The main thing to take from Modes is that the underlying chord usually defines the tonal centre.... the type of scale you are playing is determined by that. ie D Dorian will be over a Dm chord NOT a C major chord.



This is very important for you to understand TS.


so how do I extend how many notes Im allowed to use? Do I only ever get to use the notes as prescribed by the initial C ionian? Then how do I make the 'point'? How do I let my listener know that Ive 'switched' modes if its all just the same notes (namely just the notes from C ionian).



The listened won't know if you've changed modes or not if you're just playing over a C major progression because you're still playing in C.


For the listener to hear the difference you would have to shift the progressions tonal centre to another chord. Or else you're still going to be in the original key. This is hard to understand at first so if it's overwhelming go back and make sure you understand major scale harmony completely and then come back to this.
Last edited by Confusius at Oct 22, 2008,
#7
Quote by Walternativo
so how do I extend how many notes Im allowed to use? Do I only ever get to use the notes as prescribed by the initial C ionian? Then how do I make the 'point'? How do I let my listener know that Ive 'switched' modes if its all just the same notes (namely just the notes from C ionian).


as i say, the mode is a function determined by the tonal centre. If your tonal centre is C, then playing C Ionian will ONLY give the ionian sound.

If you change the tonal centre to F (ideally with a #11 chord) then the sound that the 'c major scale' creates will be F Lydian.
#10
the point they are tying to make (in simpler terms) is that you need to change the chord progression so that the note you hear as being the root note, the strongest sounding, is the one of the mode you're trying for, while at the same time kind of putting a little emphasis on the intervals that are unique to that mode.
#11
For me, it's easier to think of modes for what they are; C Dorian has a b3 and a b7. If you played a C major scale, but flatted those two tones, you'd be playing a Dorian scale. The notes may be the same as Bb major, but the tonal centre is different.

If you have any such way, record a straight C major chord. Now play your Dorian scale over that. It probably doesn't sound too good, does it? Reason being, Dorian is a minor scale. So, you might want to try using Dorian over a minor chord instead. Make sense? If you apply those sharps and flats to your major scale to start out with, and think of it for what you're actually doing, it makes much more sense.

On the other hand, if you're playing a scale like Locrian, where nearly everything has been flatted, it's much easier to just think of the note set as C major, but when doing this, you still wanna emphasize the key notes that make Locrian Locrian. You're not going to wanna play a bunch of C major licks there.
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#12
so the tonal center is the bass note and it can shift with new chords? I am so gonna need my guitar teacher for this.
Gear
Gibson Les Paul std faded, Godin LG
Marshall jcm900
Keeley ds1, maxon od808, boston tu500, RMC Wizard