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  1. #1
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    Default Modes Explained....Epiphany....awesome, simple vids!!

    Okay I stumbled on to these 2 videos and they are a WONDERFUL introduction or explanation of modes IMHO. I can't wait to get home and try this out. Hang with the instructor a bit once he gets past Ionian and you hear his examples maybe you too will have a light bulb brighten.

    Watch this one first...both are about 7.5 mins long, thats it. Labeled "Pitch Axis Theory"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKbPIGnqt80

    and this one second

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uhN5h1o7ww

    To me this is almost as good as the CAGED epiphany I had awhile back...seriously.
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  2. #2

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    I'll need to watch the videos later at home (harder to do at work, people get mad when others suck up the bandwidth).

    I noticed you wrote, "Pitch Axis Theory".
    Wasn't that a technique that Joe Satriani came up with? I remember reading about it (maybe 10+ years ago). Joe said you can treat a note as home base but when you leave home you can use different scales as long as you remember to come back home. He would mix scales that don't usually work together but the home base made them seem to work.

    P.S. Bard Carlton playing thru the Modes: Click here

    By the way, I made a Modes chart last week and I will post it soon (maybe next week). I like to spread the charts out to give people a chance to digest them before I post a new one. I think you guys will like it.
    Last edited by beboy; 11-05-2008 at 03:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Bekaybe Guest

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    I already had this particular ephipany.... Glad you got it Wolfy. Your world's about to open up big time.

  4. #4
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    Yep, you know how I have struggled to find any value in learning modes. I think these videos show the value immediately.

    Beboy you are spot on. This instructor gives credit to Joe somewhere in one of them and says he is heavily influenced by Satch and Vai. YOu have a great memory
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  5. #5

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    Modes are actually a really simple concept once you get your head around them. Thanks for the videos.
    Sometimes life sucks, but God is always good!!!

  6. #6

  7. #7
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    Alright I have worked with these for awhile and I really think I am starting to get over the fundamental block I had on playing modes. It's going to be awhile before I go to far beyond the basics but I have been having fun.
    A couple of cool things I noted tonight.....the A phyrigian goes great over the A-Bb-C "Malaguenea" progression :guitare2: and correct me if I am wrong(please) but to some extent these are interchangeable
    For instance take a 1-4-5 progression using E-A-B. Overtop this progression you could play any of the E modes (E mixolodian, E Ionian, E Lydian etc.) or you could play E mixolodian, A mixoldian, B mixolodian and still have a "similar flavor" cohesion.
    Also it seems like some of the modes blend better than others.

    Once scale I always like that fits a little with the phyrigian is the Gypsy Scale as I know it in A for example

    I suck at drawing these out but it's as follows:
    Low E string: A-Bb
    A String Db-D-E-F
    D String G-A-Bb
    G string Db-D
    B String E-F-G
    E String A-Bb-Db
    This is the scale I use on Peyote Train (but in E) on myspace
    http://www.myspace.com/tazmorific
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  8. #8
    Bekaybe Guest

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    Jeff -

    You have to pay attention to the third of the chord you are playing over.

    So, if you are playing a C chord, which has a major third, you might choose to play any mode with a Major 3 in it (Ionian, Lydian, Mixolydian). As you go forward, you'll see that the 7th will also make a difference.... thus, if you're playing over a C7 (which has a flat 7) the Mixolydian is the only major mode that fits because it has a Maj. 3 and a flat 7, while Ionian and Lydian both have Major 7ths which would clash with the flat 7 of a C7 chord.

    Likwise, and more related to your observation re: Phrygian...

    If you're playing over a chord with a Minor 3rd... say Am... you might chose from any of the Minor modes, Dorian (my personal favorite) Phrygian, Aeolian.

    Once again, as you go forward the 7th (and the 6th) will begin to make a difference as well.

  9. #9
    Bekaybe Guest

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    More fun with Modes....

    So, the other thing that's mildly important to realize (and it was an epiphany for me) is that these modes aren't just magically put together by some old greek dude who thought it sounded cool.

    They are all based on the fact that to construct a Major scale you have steps between the notes. So:

    Major Scale is
    C-D-E-F-G-A-B and the steps between these notes are:
    W-W-H-W-W-W-H Where "W" = Whole step (2 frets) and "H"= Half step (1 fret)

    To arrive at the Dorian, in this case D Dorian, (or the 2nd mode) you simply move it over one, so:

    D-E-F-G-A-B-C Resulting in the following steps:
    W-H-W-W-W-H-W (or, D whole step to E, half step to F whole step to G and so on...)

    You can continue this process through the entire scale, arriving at the "Formulas" for each mode. The formuals, whole steps and half steps are just another way to understand it - like Intervals are. That is to say, you could arrive at the same "formulas" based on an analysis of Intervals... the Dorian mode of whatever key will ALWAYS have the same intervals.... as it has the same steps.
    Last edited by Bekaybe; 11-06-2008 at 11:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Bekaybe Guest

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    Oh... and you can do even more things once you've begun to understand the various formuals....

    So, you've been wanking away to a tune, I'll use Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones... you've found playing your lead in EMinor Pent sounds alright.... But... it's wrong, here's why. (Edit: "Wrong" is too strong a word here, really... but.. whatever Edit... actually, considering Edit II below, it isn't too strong... lol)

    You take the chords of the song: E/D/A for the verse. The Chorus is B/E

    Now, draw out the notes which compose those chords (the triads)

    So what notes make up an E chord: Root: E 3rd: G# 5th: B
    What notes make up a D chord: Root: D 3rd: F# 5th: A
    What notes make up an A chord: Root A 3rd: C# 5th: E
    And finally, the last chord remaining B: Root B 3rd D# 5th F#

    Now, take all the notes and list them out in order from the root of the first chord... in this case E

    We have an: E, G#, B, D, F#, A, C#, and a B (Check my work, I don't think I missed any)

    Now... put them in the proper order
    E - F# - G# - A - B - C# - D
    Calculate the steps from note to note:
    W-W-H-W-W-H-W

    Check your charts... is there a mode which has this forumla?

    Of course there is: Mixolydian is W-W-H-W-W-H-W

    Sympathy for the Devil is not in E Pentatonic Minor, it's actually E Mixolydian. The Pentatonic Minor works because it contains a similar structure (Namely: the major 3 and flat 7), but the song is actually E Mixolydian.

    Edit II
    Correction: I mispoke... the Eminor Pent works because ... well... I dont know why.. I guess it just is something people are used to hearing?

    Anyway, the E Minor Pent contains a G (Minor 3rd of E), not a G# as it should.. Regardless... but for this mistake, the rest of what I said is still right, I do believe...

    Edit III: After discussing this with Wolfy and our bass player, I've discovered another mistake... the B in the Chorus, must be a Bmin chord (I always just play a B5, so....) Because a B Major chord has a D#
    Last edited by Bekaybe; 11-06-2008 at 02:22 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Wow, that is very interestingly spelled out!
    Thanks Bekaybe.....I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think hearing it spelled out followed by some of your analysis really goes a long way. So when we do Sympathy (maybe tonight?) we should each jam over mixolodian. I need Beboy to get his mode charts up....hint, hint
    Total Modal course time too!
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  12. #12
    Bekaybe Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy1
    Wow, that is very interestingly spelled out!
    Thanks Bekaybe.....I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think hearing it spelled out followed by some of your analysis really goes a long way. So when we do Sympathy (maybe tonight?) we should each jam over mixolodian. I need Beboy to get his mode charts up....hint, hint
    Total Modal course time too!

    Right.... I'll save you the charts... just play A Major (Or F# Minor) over the progression and end your phrases on the E instead of the A or F#.

    I'll see if I can do this - attach an Excel sheet where I was able to convert the modes to something I already knew...

    Cant do it for some reason..... I'll try another way.... just a second..



    You can get that chart by following this link:

    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...onverted-1.jpg

    To "read" it, all you have to do is say "I want to play in A Lydian" and then, assuming you know the Major scale shape like the back of your hand .. or the Minor (as was the case for me), find A Lydian on the chart, go to the right until you see what the conversion is - in this example E Major (Or C# Minor)

    So... if you play an E Major scale shape over your A chord, you're now playing A Lydian.... But.. be sure to resolve to the A in your solo or improv, not the E (which is what will come natural to your fingers)
    Last edited by Bekaybe; 11-06-2008 at 12:40 PM.

  13. #13
    Bekaybe Guest

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    While I strongly recommend you actually do this work on your own to facilitate understanding, I've attached a chart which shows the Steps (Wholes and Halfs) as well as Intervals in each mode.
    As you can see, the chart I posted directly above first looked like this:



    Feel free to print your own from here: http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...calesmodes.jpg


    Again, however, I strongly recommend you personally put pen to paper and process this information rather than stare at it.

  14. #14
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    Excellent Charts....I think
    No, seriously, VERY good stuff but let me test my learning.....

    "Sympathy" played in the key of Amaj using 1-4-5 (A-D-E) with a 2-5 chorus(B-E) which is what we do. ideally you would solo in A mixolydian as per your earlier explanation.
    To play "A mixolydian" according to your theory and charts you could
    1) Play A major scale shape starting and stoping on the E notes
    2) Play D major scale shape anywhere
    3) Play B minor scale shape anywhere

    This kind of makes sense (but it hurts), let me ask you a next question Sensi...

    If a Dmaj or Bmin scale works do you have to start and stop them on an "E" note as well to get the mixolydian feel? Why or why not?
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  15. #15
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy1
    Excellent Charts....I think
    No, seriously, VERY good stuff but let me test my learning.....

    "Sympathy" played in the key of Amaj using 1-4-5 (A-D-E) with a 2-5 chorus(B-E) which is what we do. ideally you would solo in A mixolydian as per your earlier explanation.
    First, this is true to an extent. That is to say, the theoretical key is indeed A Major. But, it's not quite true because the song does not begin on A, but intead E, so the tune is actually E Mixolydian by name.

    Remember, the theoretical key is different from the associated modes.

    Because our root chord is E, we refer to it when deciding the mode name... thus E Mixolydian, not A Mixolydian....

    To play "A mixolydian" according to your theory and charts you could
    1) Play A major scale shape starting and stoping on the E notes
    No. "A" Mixolydian (and maybe you meant to say E?) would be the same as playing either the D Major or B Minor scale shapes. It's important to understand, when I say "Play D Major or B Minor" in this context, I am simply talking about the shape of the scale.

    Yes, however, you would indeed play the major scale SHAPE that you already are fluent with, in the converted key (A Mixolydian is the same as D Major) and yes, you would start and stop on the A note, and not the D (as you would normally want to)

    2) Play D major scale shape anywhere
    3) Play B minor scale shape anywhere
    Both true. It need not be played only in one position. If you know how to find a D-string rooted Major Scale with the greatest of ease, then you are free to play that scale and not ruin the mode you're in.

    This kind of makes sense (but it hurts), let me ask you a next question Sensi...

    If a Dmaj or Bmin scale works do you have to start and stop them on an "E" note as well to get the mixolydian feel? Why or why not?
    I don't want to confuse the issue here because I think you're asking me something you're not intending to ask me. It relates to the confusion regaridng calling it A Mixolydian (which it is not, in relation to Sympathy) instead of E Mixolydian....

    But, if I understand your general question, yes, starting and stoping on a particular note of any particular scale shape will determine the "FEEL" (It has to do with the way the notes are laid out on the fret board, in terms of steps/intervals)

    EDIT: Functionally, it's exactly what the guy in the video was doing. I've simply given the modes a name, and done all the conversions for 7 Keys for ease of reference. That way, if you know you're supposed to be playing a song in D Dorian Mode (For example, Black Magic Woman) you already know how to play C major, so .. just play C Major and start and stop on D. In other words, rather than have to think and convert and such on the fly (ie when playing in a band context), just look at the chart, say "Oh, C Major... start and stop on D.. got it...) and you're off.
    Last edited by Bekaybe; 11-06-2008 at 01:39 PM.

  16. #16
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    So I guess that was a lousy example song
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  17. #17
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    Okay modes for dummies (somebody correct me if I'm wrong but this seems to make sense to me)

    All you need to play in the mode of your choice:
    1) Know the major scale shape
    2) know the order of the modes
    3) Know what key you are in
    and....Have at least 7 fingers (well that's for me)

    Major scale shapes...find elsewhere

    order of modes
    1) Ionian
    2) Dorian
    3) Phyrigian
    4) Lydian
    5) Mixolydian
    6) Aeolian
    7) Locrian

    So Key of "E"
    If you want E Lydian for example
    Lydian is #4 so put E on your index finger and count back to your pinky
    E-D-C-B
    Now you play a Bmajor scale starting and stopping on E and your playin E Lydian

    Again key of G
    G mixolydian scale
    Put G on your thumb since mixolydian is mode #5, and count back to your pinky
    G-F-E-D-C
    So "C" major starting and stopping on G would have you playing leads in G mixolydian

    This seems to correspond with Bekaybe's charts and seems like a practical way to remember this stuff easily. Now all I need is an acronym
    I-D-P-L-M-A-L Hmmmm...

    I
    Do
    Prefer
    Large
    Meals
    At
    Lunch

    Works for me
    Last edited by Wolfboy1; 11-06-2008 at 03:14 PM.
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  18. #18
    Bekaybe Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy1
    So I guess that was a lousy example song
    So it would seem... :mad:

  19. #19
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    Okay, but is my last post correct?
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  20. #20
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy1
    Okay, but is my last post correct?
    It appears to be, yes.

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy1
    All you need to play in the mode of your choice:
    1) Know the major scale shape
    2) know the order of the modes
    3) Know what key you are in
    and....Have at least 7 fingers (well that's for me)
    Here's how I look at it:

    All you need to play in the mode of your choice:
    1) Know the major scale shape and the Key you are in.
    2) Take the chord the band is playing and start on that tone of the scale.

    If its a 1-4-5 in C Major (C-F-G):
    Band is playing C - you play C Major scale starting and focussing on C.
    Band is playing F - you play C Major scale starting and focussing on F.
    Band is playing G - you play C Major scale starting and focussing on G.

    Don't change the scale, just change the note you focus on.

    Or another way to use Modes is to take the Key you are in and move the Root note so that that tone is in a different position in the Scale. This is what the guy did in the videos Wolfboy posted.

    I just posted my Mode chart.
    http://truefire.com/forum/showthread...=9471#post9471
    Last edited by beboy; 11-11-2008 at 08:46 PM.

  22. #22

    Default

    Hey Wolfboy,

    Good discussion. I tried to check out the videos you mentioned but when I jump to You Tube, I get a message that says it (they) are private videos. Any suggestions.

    Thanks.

  23. #23

    Default no luck

    I tried to view the videos, got a pink bar with "this video is private" for both . . .

  24. #24

    Default modes

    Wolfboy,
    May I point out errors in the following . . . ?

    So Key of "E"
    If you want E Lydian for example
    Lydian is #4 so put E on your index finger and count back to your pinky
    E-D-C-B
    Now you play a Bmajor scale starting and stopping on E and your playin E Lydian


    Don't confuse the construction of the Lydian mode with the way you extract it from the parent major scale.
    You can turn any major scale into the Lydian mode, with the same root as the major scale, by sharping the 4th degree.
    However, when you extract the Lydian mode from it's parent major scale all you have to do is play from the 4th (not the sharped 4th) of the parent major scale to the 4th an octave higher in order to play the Lydian mode from root to octave.
    For example, play the C Major scale from the 4th degree, F, up to F an octave higher. This will give you a one octave F Lydian scale:

    c-d-e-F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F-a-b-c

    If you examine this against the F major scale you will see that you have now played an F Major scale with a sharped 4th, B natural instead of B flat.

    Also, in the example you gave, don't forget the sharps in the key of B major.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kommetjie
    Wolfboy,
    May I point out errors in the following . . . ?

    Please point them out!!! My theory knowledge is sorely lacking and I get cornfused often

    I like what you added, I gotta think about it till it hurts before it sinks in. Thanks man appreciated!
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goerman
    Hey Wolfboy,

    Good discussion. I tried to check out the videos you mentioned but when I jump to You Tube, I get a message that says it (they) are private videos. Any suggestions.

    Thanks.
    I just checked them out again.
    They work fine for me, I have no idea why it says private for you guys? I do have a yahoo ID but I didn't log in to view them as far as I know.

    edit: Looks like I am logged in by my computer when I get on Youtube. THat's probably the issue.
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  27. #27

    Default video

    Wolfboy,
    I can now access the mode lesson videos, thanks.
    Also, please tell me how you put a quote in a panel when you want to comment on it . . .

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kommetjie
    Wolfboy,
    I can now access the mode lesson videos, thanks.
    Also, please tell me how you put a quote in a panel when you want to comment on it . . .

    You hit the quote button in the bottom right of the persons thread you wish to quote. You are immediately popped into a reply box with the persons thread you quoted already in the box. Their post is in between quote brackets above where you will type. You can actually edit their quoted material as well (Often I delete everything except exactly the lines I wish to quote). Then you type your comments underneath the last quote bracket and hit reply as usual.
    Too soon we grow old, too late we grow wise

    "I once played notes so fast that light emanated from the strings whereupon, I saw God.... who then told me to relax and start playing music."

    "You know, once you've had that guitar up so loud on the stage, where you can lean back and volume will stop you from falling backward, that's a hard drug to kick." David Gilmour

    Truefire Science Officer (dabgonit....where's my blue shirt!)

  29. #29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfboy1
    You hit the quote button in the bottom right of the persons thread you wish to quote. You are immediately popped into a reply box with the persons thread you quoted already in the box. Their post is in between quote brackets above where you will type. You can actually edit their quoted material as well (Often I delete everything except exactly the lines I wish to quote). Then you type your comments underneath the last quote bracket and hit reply as usual.
    Thanks, I shoulda known!!!

  30. #30

    Cool Writing A chord progression..For Modes...

    Hi All,,
    I watched the Vids,,,and this was a good explanation and different perspective for me..
    Thanks…

    How do you approach writing a chord progression, say for like E Lydian..
    Seems to me that if I use the normal way I look a the chords of a Major Scale its just not the same…

    Take (I) Emaj7, (II)F#maj-7, (III)G#m-7,(IV)A#m-7-5,(V) Bmaj7,(IV)C#m-7, (VII)D#m-7….(Weird ,,,Major scale is made up of more Minor chords than Major..)

    If I took a I-IV-V approach I don’t think it would sound that good….

    Any Thoughts ?

    Thanks
    Mark :mariole:

  31. #31

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by torr71
    Hi All,,
    I watched the Vids,,,and this was a good explanation and different perspective for me..
    Thanks…

    How do you approach writing a chord progression, say for like E Lydian..
    Seems to me that if I use the normal way I look a the chords of a Major Scale its just not the same…

    Take (I) Emaj7, (II)F#maj-7, (III)G#m-7,(IV)A#m-7-5,(V) Bmaj7,(IV)C#m-7, (VII)D#m-7….(Weird ,,,Major scale is made up of more Minor chords than Major..)

    If I took a I-IV-V approach I don’t think it would sound that good….

    Any Thoughts ?

    Thanks
    Mark :mariole:
    Just in case the modes are melodic approachs of the same major scale.
    The chords should fit because they are diatonic chords 8they belong to the major scale).

  32. #32

    Default Its The Chord Progression Which Determines the Mode

    Here's how I look at it:

    All you need to play in the mode of your choice:
    1) Know the major scale shape and the Key you are in.
    2) Take the chord the band is playing and start on that tone of the scale.

    If its a 1-4-5 in C Major (C-F-G):
    Band is playing C - you play C Major scale starting and focussing on C.
    Band is playing F - you play C Major scale starting and focussing on F.
    Band is playing G - you play C Major scale starting and focussing on G.

    Don't change the scale, just change the note you focus on.
    This isn't wrong per se, however in this example one is playing the C major scale over a C major (Ionian) progression with an emphasis on targeting chord tones. The result is going to be very C Majorish (which fits the progression).

    Hi All,,
    I watched the Vids,,,and this was a good explanation and different perspective for me..
    Thanks…

    How do you approach writing a chord progression, say for like E Lydian..
    Seems to me that if I use the normal way I look a the chords of a Major Scale its just not the same…

    Take (I) Emaj7, (II)F#maj-7, (III)G#m-7,(IV)A#m-7-5,(V) Bmaj7,(IV)C#m-7, (VII)D#m-7….(Weird ,,,Major scale is made up of more Minor chords than Major..)

    If I took a I-IV-V approach I don’t think it would sound that good….
    Your approach for writing a chord progression is fine. ie. map out the diationic progression of your specific mode and go from there. I think the key to getting the modal tone you are targeting is to emphasise and resolve to the root of the mode NOT the Parent Scale (in this case B major). So a potential issue with your I IV V is the Bmaj7 may be tonally(?) confusing. Try something like: E F#7 E D#m E C#m F#7 E an you can really hear this progression WANTING to resolve to the E root as opposed to B. THis may not be a very useful progression in a musical composition but certainly demonstrates the Lydian tonality.

  33. #33

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by torr71
    Hi All,,
    I watched the Vids,,,and this was a good explanation and different perspective for me..
    Thanks…

    How do you approach writing a chord progression, say for like E Lydian..
    Seems to me that if I use the normal way I look a the chords of a Major Scale its just not the same…

    Take (I) Emaj7, (II)F#maj-7, (III)G#m-7,(IV)A#m-7-5,(V) Bmaj7,(IV)C#m-7, (VII)D#m-7….(Weird ,,,Major scale is made up of more Minor chords than Major..)

    If I took a I-IV-V approach I don’t think it would sound that good….

    Any Thoughts ?

    Thanks
    Mark :mariole:
    While there may be different thoughts on this, I think the most common way to produce chord progressions off of a mode is to treat the mode just as you would a major or minor tonal center (they are also modes, after all). That is to say, to find the quality of chord built off a specific degree of a mode, simply build the thirds from the notes in the mode. The one problem I see in your example is the II chord is listed as a maj 7th chord, which would include an E sharp, which is not in the E Lydian scale. I would make the II either a dominant 7th or a Maj 6th chord to comply with the sound of the mode. Try both to see how they sound, but to me, the Maj 6th chord (F sharp, A sharp, C sharp, D sharp) would best represent the Lydian sound. A dominant 7th chord in the II slot just doesn't seem right to me. One thing you may want to think about is that playing a Lydian mode based on the tonic of a major key (ie, C Lydian over C maj, even if it's a standard diatonic progression) is a common way to add color to the major sound, even if the rest of the chord progression follows the standard major set, instead of Lydian.

    Another thing to consider is that making the V chord a dominant 7th is almost always a home run, even if it's not exactly in line with the mode. You may want to toy around with different alterations of the V7 chord (flat 9, sharp 9, Sharp 4, sharp 5) to see if one works better than others. Of course, that wouldn't really apply to the Locrian mode, which has a flatted 5th, but I can't think of any songs based on a Locrian tonal center.

    My experience with different modal tunes is that they don't necessarily adhere to traditional diatonic harmonies. The songs are more centered on the sound of the mode itself, instead of the usual tonic, sub-dominant, dominant (or what have you) resolutions. The most famous example of modal composition is So What by Miles Davis (also the same progression as Impressions by Coltrane). It does not contain any diatonic chords, it's just D minor, and E flat minor, both with a Dorian sound. Many modal compositions are built on long sections of one chord with a specific modal sound, a two chord vamp, or a simple progression (i-iv-V7, for example).

    The one common modal sound that does usually feature diatonic chord progressions based on the pattern of the mode is Phrygian, especially E Phrygian. It's a very distinct sound used in traditional flamenco music, as well as many jazz tunes. Play this progression: lEmin l F maj lG maj F maj l E min l. ( l to l = 4 beats). You should recognize it's sound immediately. You can repeat that progression ad nauseum, and play E Phryigian over the whole thing. The same tonal center lends itself to a C maj - B7 (altered) - E min progression, which is a common minor key turnaround (tri-tone substitution for ii half-diminished - V7 (altered) - i).

    One last thing I'd like to touch on, I've heard people on here reference the concept that all theory can be distilled down to a major scale (or perhaps major or minor). While I'm sure someone who subscribes to that school would make a very convincing argument for that side, it's been my experience that it's only common among strictly classical people, and specifically classical theory majors, which is to say people who think about playing more than they play. In cases like this, where you're analyzing a tonality that is specific to a mode or scale that is not strictly major or minor, I think trying to relate it to a "parent" or "relative" major or minor scale only serves to confuse things. As I touched on earlier, if you are dealing with something that centers on a scale or chord that is not a traditional major or minor tonality, treat the tonal center (E Lydian, as in the original example) as you would a major scale in a traditional diatonic sense. Which is to say, treat the I as a I, a V as a V, etc. Build the diatonic chords by finding the thirds in the scale. If you come across a chord that just doesn't seem to sound right in the context, maybe it's just not meant to be. Each mode, or other type of non traditional major/minor scale has it's own distinctive sound, and therefore, it's sometimes unreasonable to think that they should hold the same characteristics. Long story short, if you're fooling around with chord progressions based on a mode or non-traditional scale, and there's a chord that just doesn't sound right, don't play that chord.

    Sorry if this all sounds convoluted, I drank a ridiculous amount of coffee today.

  34. #34
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default

    Whats SOUNDS right....

    I've been fooling around lately with notes that aren't supposed to be there... a good example might be the following:

    We all know the minor pentatonic

    I-bIII-IV-V-bVII

    Whether we "know" it or not, we all (probably) have some idea about the "blue note" (bV) and so we can add it without a big deal. Some of us will add a major 3rd too and now we've got:

    I-III-bIII-IV-bV-V-bVII

    Now, you could also toss in the II and the VI (ie Dorian (Maybe I shoulda just started with Dorian, since this is a Modes thread)

    Now you've got
    I-II-bIII-III-IV-bV-V-VI-bVI

    9 notes at your disposal, where we started with just 5

    A theorist more schooled than I might be able to tell me why all this makes sense theoretically. But, for my purposes, in this move towards chromaticism, it doesn't matter WHY. If it sounds good, play it! Of course, your ear will tell you if the note works or not...

    On the other hand, I do firmly believe there needs to be some theoretical foundation in the old noggin none-the-less. I mean, I don't think you can say to yourself "Just use any of these 5, 7 or 9 notes and you'll never go wrong" and wank up and down the pattern. You have to know where the b5 sounds good.. you can't just play it because it's there.

    Not sure if I'm really explaining myself well here.. hope you get my point. :D

  35. #35

    Cool Food For Thought...

    Hi People,

    Thanks for all of your in depth answers. I have a lot to chew on..
    I do believe ,,I will have more question than answers after I digest this info….
    So.... I'll Be Back so.... Stick Around..... :mariole:
    Thanks Again..

  36. #36

    Default

    I'm pretty sure I know what you're saying BKB, which I believe makes me clinically insane. But seriously, I agree wholeheartedly, if it sounds good, who cares if it's written in a theory book. What I wrote earlier was in reference to the concept of creating diatonic harmonies built off modes, but there are many examples of chord progressions or melodic lines that completely eschew the "rules" of classical and modern theory, and yet sound f'ing fantastic. That's the reason why I love David Bowie's writing, he consistently breaks all the rules, but in brilliant ways. For example, he regularly writes songs that are firmly in a major key, yet plays the ii and iii chords as major. Make sense? No. Sound great? Hell, yeah! A couple other progressions that I love, but have never seen a theoretical explanation of are bVI-bVII-I, used liberally by The Beatles (Billy Shears), and I-II-VI-V-bVII, which I always associate with Chuck Berry, even though I can't think of any of his songs that use it (David Bowie uses it in Suffragette City).

    As far as what you were saying about adding notes to pentatonic scales, I guess in my mind, I classify a lot of those as sort of grace, passing, or color notes, depending on the context. For example, if in the key of A, I will play a different set of notes if I want a "country" blues sound, or a "city" blues sound (those are just terms that I use in my head). For a "city" sound, I play a straight minor pent (A,C,D,E,G), with the blue note (D sharp or Eb, as you like it) thrown in accordingly. For a "country" sound, I will center around mostly four notes of the major pent (A,C sharp,E,F sharp), but throw in a C natural as a grace note leading in to the C sharp, and an F natural to lead in to the F sharp. But if I start bending notes (still in "country" sound), it's always bending from B to C natural, or F sharp to G, but only if the line is going to resolve down to the A or E, respectively. And I don't go to the blue note in "country" sound. I have heard some of the guys I consider to be "the greats" (Guy, Berry, Clapton, Page, Gilmour) move freely between the "country" and "city" sounds in the same solo (or even one phrase), but I haven't figured out how to do that, (hopefully) yet.

    I don't know if that's really a move towards chromaticism, but that reminded me of the time one of my high school friends asked his guitar teacher what chords are implied by a chromatic scale. His reply was, "Well, there are two answers to that: 'All of em', and 'None of em'"

  37. #37
    Bekaybe Guest

    Default

    Perhaps I chose the wrong word? By "chromaticism" I was simply saying moving towards being able to utilize all 12 notes, though I must confess I truly have very little grasp as to how that's possible (in terms of sound and theory)

  38. #38

    Default

    Oh, I wasn't commenting on what you wrote, just using it as an excuse to relay an amusing story. As far as I know, the term chromatic can be used to describe any time there are two or more half steps in succession. I have heard of such things as "a chromatic approach to harmony", or whatever, but I'm pretty sure it's nothing I'd want to spend time on.

    There is "12 tone harmony", where compositions are based on a series of notes where each tone is used before any are repeated. I'm sure you can find out more on wiki, but it generally sounds as random as you think it would.

  39. #39

    Default BTW...Thanks For This

    Great Stuff!

    Thank you.

  40. #40

    Default

    Hi all, I believe that the origin of the whole confusion and misunderstanding about Modes is that some tutorials/teachers are not considering a premise that: modes are based on major scale patterns, the 7 chords derived from the major scale and this major scale played over a tonal center be it just a single chord or a chord progression (where one of its chords is the tonal center)

    Considering the Cmajor scale: C D E F G A B we have the following chords: C Dm Em F G Am Bm(b5,b7) ... thus for any major scale we have: I IIm IIIm IV V VIm VIIm(b5,b7) chords ... and based on this, if we play a Cmajor scale starting in any place over, let's say, IIIm which is Em chord or a chord progression where Em chord is the tonal center, then we have the Phrygian mode sound. Now if in another chord progression we have F as the tonal center, when we play the Cmajor scale we have the Lydian sound effect ... plus if you now major scales and I IIm IIIm IV V VIm VIIm(b5,b7), you don't need charts.

    In sum: a major scale played over a tonal center == greek modes

    But the confusion appears because instead of thinking this way, they are modifying the major scale in order to achieve a particular sound (make a 'fit') not even considering that this modified scale is played over a chord or chord progression, instead playing this mod scale over anything ... you can see an example of this happening in this tutorial link: http://www.zentao.com/guitar/modes/index.html ... and if we have to learn different scale shapes/patterns and starting points to represent modes then it's really going to be a bit 'confusing' and this is not what the greeks did when they were creating the modes concept ... unless there are 2 kinds of modes (greek modes and scale modes)? now i'm confused :-(
    Last edited by sohdubom; 12-16-2009 at 01:50 AM.

  41. #41

    Default My take on modes

    Hi all,

    I was emailed about this thread by someone affiliated with this forum. My name is Marc Schonbrun, and I've just released "The Efficient Guitarist" with TrueFire. I have some very strong opinions on Modes. I think, in general, that modes are overcomplicated. I think they are very simple. They are no different than any other scale. What matters is how you define a scale. To me, a scale is just a sound. It's a collection of intervals that sounds like something. We give it some fancy names, but I do think of them as colors. Major and minor scale are pretty easy colors to think about. We typically call them happy and sad as basic descriptors. I think what gets students in trouble is when they think that major, minor and pentatonic are the "easy" scales and everything else requires a college degree to understand. What major, minor do is give you a foundation. The fact that we learn major and minor first is largely historical and goes way back to classical music theory. Those were the keys that you composed in in the common practice era.

    When I think about the other modes, I still think of them as colors. They are completely related to major and minor scales, because I think they are derivative. Look at this example:

    C D E F G A B C = C major scale

    C D E F G A Bb C = C mixolydian

    Even a person who didn't know anything about music would see that they are closely related. They are 6/7th the same. The only difference is the Bb. That Bb has some ramifications (changes the color of the scale to more bluesy, creates some new chords and changes the quality of some existing ones in C major). But that's all it does. Oh, and by the way, C mixolydian = F major. But that doesn't help you, does it? It's a fact, but it's not important to deal with at the onset.

    So, what do you need to take away from this? Since those scales are so similar, it's easier to describe them in relation to each other. Mixolydian is just like a major scale, just with a one note change. Take major and lower the seventh tone one half step. Mixolydian = major b7.

    That's it. Nothing more complicated that that. This is the exact reason that The Efficient Guitarist Book I only deals with major, minor and pentatonic and stresses learning the intervals. Modes will be a breeze to learn once you know the basics.

    Learning modes is pretty easy. Getting the entire picture, that is, seeing C-Gm-Bb as a chord progression and understanding instantly that it's C mixolydian will take a while. There's no way around learning the theory and getting your ears around the new sounds. But that wont stop you from being able to use them right away.

    I'll be talking about this more on my blog: http://www.theefficientguitarist.com/

    Thanks for listening,
    Marc

  42. #42

    Default

    Here's a video of Marc's that's a lesson on modes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwpbft_ZXj8
    Last edited by jimiclaptoncarl; 01-09-2010 at 04:03 PM.
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