#1
Hi MT'ers,

The reason for starting this thread is that there's so much uncertainty about modes and their progressions, particularly the 7th degree of the Major Scale....and the usual advice is "just play a one chord vamp (m7b5)".

So I just wanted to shed some light on this mode. I'd appreciate some feedback from the reg's who have a firm grasp on modes, your opinions, agree / disagree.

It's hard to create a Locrian progression cuz it's so unstable.

I've come up with a progression which works, it's in the key of A Locrian. Now the basic principle is to keep A as the bass, and just shift diatonic triads around underneath it.

Bare in mind that a key doesn't have to start on the chord of the same name as in the following example.

Dm/A Am7b5 (Cm/A) F/A Eb/A

As for voicing the chords on the guitar and your choice of rhythm, I'll leave that to your discretion as I'm sure y'all pretty capable of that stuff. (Sorry if that's extremely patronising).

What to use:

A Locrian Scale
Amin7b5, D minor, Eb Major and F Major arpeggios
C Minor Pentatonic: Notes in relation are - b3 b5 b6 b7 b2
D Minor Pentatonic: P4 b6 b7 R b3
G Minor Pentatonic: b7 b2 b3 P4 b6

Thanks,
M
Last edited by mdc at Nov 2, 2008,
#2
Quote by mdc

I've come up with a progression which works, it's in the key of A Locrian. Now the basic principle is to keep A as the bass, and just shift diatonic triads around underneath it.

well I can tell you right off the bat that this doesn't make sense.
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#3
Quote by mdc
What to use:

A Locrian Scale
Amin7b5, D minor, Eb Major and F Major arpeggios
C Minor Pentatonic: Notes in relation are - b3 b5 b6 b7 b2
D Minor Pentatonic: P4 b6 b7 R b3
G Minor Pentatonic: b7 b2 b3 P4 b6

Thanks,
M
Could you please explain this part?
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#4
I see what you're trying to do, but no. Sorry.

The problem with diminished chords (of any type) is that the diminished fifth (a tritone in place of a fifth) spilts the chord and makes the root ambiguous. This means our ears will register it as any chord but the diminished chord. Most of the time, a diatonic diminished chord will sound like a functioning dominant chord.

The other problem is this, however you voice the chords doesnt matter. The chord will still want to resolve somewhere other than on that diminished chord. You just cant get a resolution on that diminished chord.


Might I suggest something else?

Lets take music writing back 500 years, back to the time of modes. If you write say 3 or 4 melodies that all outline the locrian mode and all resolve on different notes of a diminished chord (use counterpoint), you will effectively get a locrian progression.

So far, I havent been able to come up with anything that sounds good. Bm7b5 - Fmaj7add+11 - Dm13 sort of works if you mess around with the voicings, but only because the way I voiced that bm7b5 made it sound like a Dm6 chord. I guess there was a reason "locrian" didnt exist before guys like ellington rediscovered modes.
#5
As I've said before in many a locrian-themed thread, establishing a tonal center, even with a diminished chord vamp, is extremely difficult. When I'm trying to get a locrian sound, I'll generally use a minor chord to establish the tonal center and a iii chord to suggest a flat fifth. It's not strictly locrian, but it's really the closest you're going to get. I wrote a short piece a while back at someone's request to show this type of progression in action, so here it is (in MIDI form)...

http://www.yousendit.com/download/Y2orTG01YUk4NVd4dnc9PQ
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.
#6
last semester i wrote 5 pages on this topic basically. i'll see if i can find it even though its hand written i could scan it, it would explain a lot...
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#7
Quote by metal4all
Could you please explain this part?

Those were suggestions on what to use for improvising over the progression. The pentatonic list are how the notes relate to A (tonic).

Cheers for the input everyone. When I looped the progression on my pedal I felt I was able to improv over it and get a resolution to Locrian, it wasn't a strong res, but it was there.

Quote by Arch
When I'm trying to get a locrian sound, I'll generally use a minor chord to establish the tonal center and a iii chord to suggest a flat fifth.

The iii chord which you'd use, would that be 3 semitones above the tonic? So the b3 of that minor chord will act as a b5?

Quote by aetherspear
well I can tell you right off the bat that this doesn't make sense.

What is it that you don't get? Just for the record, here's how I voiced this on the guitar.

------------
-6-4-10-8
-7-5-10-8
-7-5-10-8
-0-0-0--0
-------------


Quote by mercedes
last semester i wrote 5 pages on this topic basically. i'll see if i can find it even though its hand written i could scan it, it would explain a lot...

I'd really appreciate that if you could.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 3, 2008,
#8
The iii chord which you'd use, would that be 3 semitones above the tonic? So the b3 of that minor chord will act as a b5?


Exactly, yes.
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.
#9
the only vamp I know of that strictly implies locrian (which I found with help from metal4all) would be something like a Im7b5 - b5 or something similar. for instance

Em7b5 - Bb/E
#10
for locrian (key of B ), a simple progression is
2 bars Bm7b5 1bar Cmaj7 1 bar Fmaj7 groovy stuff !
#12
Quote by ibanez1511
for locrian (key of B ), a simple progression is
2 bars Bm7b5 1bar Cmaj7 1 bar Fmaj7 groovy stuff !
That would resolve to Cmaj. In effect, that progression is in C ionian.
#13
Quote by one vision
^You mean key of C?

B Locrian is a mode of the C Major scale.


But it's not C major. It has the same key signature, but that's not the same thing as key.
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.
#15
Quote by branny1982
^with that progression, it may well end up being C major.


I can almost guarantee you it will. The Bm7b5 functions as a dominant in the key of C major, so the progression is basically a IV-V-I. A less locrian progression you could not make.
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.
#16
Quote by The4thHorsemen
the only vamp I know of that strictly implies locrian (which I found with help from metal4all) would be something like a Im7b5 - b5 or something similar. for instance

Em7b5 - Bb/E

I looped this one when I got home today and that (to my ears) resolves to Locrian pretty good too. Thanx.

Quote by ibanez1511
for locrian (key of B ), a simple progression is
2 bars Bm7b5 1bar Cmaj7 1 bar Fmaj7 groovy stuff !

That is groovy actually! I like this one. Maybe I'm being too lenient, and trying to kid myself that all these ideas are resolving to Locrian, but I genuinely can hear that this one is capable of it.

Cuz i'm improvising over the progressions once I've looped them, maybe that's forcing the issue slightly, creating a fake sense of resolve. I don't know really.

I liked the MIDI piece aswell, Arch. I can hear how that can work.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 3, 2008,