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Thread: Relative Modes

  1. #1

    Default Relative Modes

    Hi. In terms of theory it's not too difficult to see that if I'm playing over a let's say, A Dorian main progression, the obvious choice is to choose A Dorian to play over it, but I could also use B Phrygian and E Aeolian since they are Diatonic to the A Dorian progression, but even though I decide to go with B Phrygian and/or E Aeolian I will be 'sounding' Dorian, not phrygian nor aeolian.

    So why should I decide to choose B Phrygian and/or E Aeolian?

  2. #2


    You have to work on them and learn the difference in Sound, training your ear. Then what changes/melody does using the b9 of the Phrygian work with the melody more about ear. This is the stuff you work on for hours, days, .weeks, year on in the woodshed learning sounds and how you want to use them.

    You have to learn the sound of the natural 6th of Dorian.
    The b9 of Phrygian.
    In relation the Natural minor or Aeolian.

    Don't forget have learn sound of Jazz minor (AKA melodic minor ascending) and Harmonic minor.

    Practice is more about training your ear than your fingers.
    Steve B.
    I want to be as famous as midnight as powerful as a gun
    as loved as a pizza - Macy Gray

  3. #3


    If you are playing over an A dorian progression, and playing the notes of A dorian/B phrygian/E aeolian (They are the same notes) your ear if even remotely trained is going to lead your playing to focus on the A as the root (ending phrases on the A etc). So you're playing in A dorian regardless of what mode you think you've chosen

  4. #4


    I just asked that because in the exercise I'm doing I was supposed to find relative modes. Not that the exercise is wrong, but it leads to confusion ... but thanks All for the feedback :-)

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