#1
Ok. So this is a broad question, and there's probably a lot of room for opinion but it's something that I completely missed in my lessons.

I know the modes and I know them in melodic and harmonic minor.

Let's say we're using, in the key of A minor, a progression like...

A minor, D minor, C major, F major, back to A minor. I don't even know what that sounds like at the moment, as I am guitarless, but let's assume.

When you hear someone say "soloing in E Phrygian," does that mean the person is staying in the phrygian shape beginning on the 12th fret? Is it possible to solo in phrygian (in this key) in other places on the fretboard? (this question applies to just modes in general) And why would we choose a specific mode? Let's say someone's playing in A Aeolian over an a minor chord. Would it not be just as easy to do so in F lydian, only emphasizing the correct notes? When we get down to it, there are only seven in this instance. Does it matter where, geographically, on the fretboard they are?

Thanks guys.
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#2
No it doesn't matter where u are.. The "box" shape at the 12th fret is just for getting into modes. Ultimately u want to be able to play it everywhere on the fretboard. (or not if u can get interesting ideas from just that shape).

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#3
Oh ok. So when someone's soloing in D Dorian, what they're referring to is simply the tones the lead outlines? Taking this one step further, can any lick (that has substantial resolve on certain tones) be considered to be in a mode? In essence, is playing over a d minor in A minor basically (in simplest terms) playing in D Dorian? I mean unless you're focusing on undertones like a B to simulate a B dim. 7 tone?

Thanks for the help, man. I was looking at your channel. Got some good influences in there. A lot of mine.
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#4
This is a contentious question you are likely to get many different answers depending on the author of the post you're reading.

I am of the opinion that melodies can be modal without harmonic backing. That is to say you can play a melodic line or lick that has substantial resolve on certain tones and consider it modal.

Does that mean everytime you play a solo in A minor and a D minor comes along you are suddenly playing in D Dorian? No, at least not everytime.

How long is the D chord played for? Does it give you ample time to really make that D offer real resolution? Or is that individual lick over that individual chord (when considered in the context of the solo as a whole) providing some build up or climactic tension?

Remember just because your lick climaxes on a D or D is a prominent feature in your licks you play over a D chord it doesn't make D the point of resolution for your solo.

You can think and play modally over each chord if you want to and start venturing into some pitch axis and modulation. Even with more straightforward progressions this way of thinking can be very useful - particularly when you come across borrowed chords such as secondary dominants or when other chords are temporarily tonicized.

However some people might always look at playing certain notes over a Dm chord as Dorian regardless of what is happening in the rest of the piece. This is one way of thinking. I think there's a time and place. My philosophy is: If it is the best way you can accurately describe what is really going on in the music then it is correct - even if your 60 year old music professor disagrees with you.

I've even seen people that describe their playing as B Mixolydian over a harmonic progression in E major. They described it this way because they were resolving using the 5th as the point around which they built their entire solo and to which they resolved to when the harmony resolved. Hence the solo was resolving to B while the harmony was resolving to E. Is he wrong to say this? I'll leave that for a fool to answer.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Nov 10, 2008,
#5
Wow. +1
Well that was way beyond helpful. Thanks so much, man.
I'll keep all that in mind.
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#6
theoretically yes. The trick is (and what separates the more advanced guitarist from the less) to link (for example) the word Dorian to it's characteristic sound.

Another 1 of my weird examples:

You can buy a ferarri in blue, and technically it's still a ferarri, but it's character lies in it's distinctive "ferrari" red.

Same goes for modes, you want to emphasize certain notes that make/colour the mode, and most of the time is that the character comes from the scale tones with the different root note as a tonal centre.

IE: C major scale played over a D minor chord (starting on a D note) is D dorian (ussualy people add "add9" to the chord, cause this seems to outline dorian better)

Cmaj with the 7th added (b note) seems too outline Ionian better (Major scale).

There are many "rules" and no "rules" at the same time. The musical part is bending those rules to creat interesting ideas. You got to know/understand the rules to bend em, whether u know ur theory on paper or if u understand the sonic(sound) characters of each mode.

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