Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24

Thread: Modes Explained Properly!!!!!!!!

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    116

    Modes Explained Properly!!!!!!!!

    If you have read the (modes explained thred),please disregard it because it is NOT how most guitarist use the modes.
    I sometimes use a minor mode over a major chord or progression but only in certian circumstances.
    I should have known that it would cause more confusion than clarity.
    The thred was aimed for begginers and it will do nothing but CONFUSE them COMPLETELY.
    So please accept my appology...
    Now lets start fresh.Many begginers know where the modes come from but dont understand how to use the modes.,so lets take a sample progression first and explain how we can use a mode over it.
    The progression will be C...F...Am...Em...Dm...G7...F..This is a completely diatonic(all notes and chords belong to the key) progression.
    Now you have 3 choices here to play over these changes(apart form arpeggios etc.).
    1.play the C major scale over all the chords
    2.play the diatonic modes over the respective chords(which is just like playing C major over all the chords)PLEASE NOTE: you are NOT using the modes effectively if you play the modes that are diatonic to the key.eg:the key is Cmajor and the chord is Dm and you play D dorian.
    This is the same as playing C major because all the notes of D dorian are diatonic to Cmajor.
    3.introduce modes that are not diatonic to the chords.(prefered choice)
    Choice no.3 is the prefered one because it will give us some nice outside notes to color the otherwise diatonic progression.
    So we start with the C chord.What are our options?
    1.C,ionian(Cmajor)
    2.C lydian(diatonic to Gmajor)
    3.Cmixolydian(diatonic to Fmajor)
    Why are these our options?
    Because these modes are major modes and the chord is a major one and the lydian and the mixolydian have only ONE note different in comparison with Cmajor.
    The lydian has the F# and the mixolydian has the Bb.
    These 2 notes create a dissonance (tension)in the key of C because they are not apart of the key,but they add a welcome bit of variety from the other (diatonic ones).
    BUT use them as passing notes and dont sustain them too long,becuse they sound much better when they resolve(move to),the NEAREST note that is apart of the key.(especially when it is chord tone )
    Now the F chord.
    Our options are
    1.F.lydian(diatonic to Cmajor)
    2.F ionian (diatonic to Fmajor)
    3.Fmixloydian(diatonic to Bb major)
    The lydian is diatonic so there will be no outside notes,but the ionian has a Bb and the mixolydian has a Bb and a Eb.
    Now the Am.
    1.A aeolian(diatonic to C major)
    2.A dorian(diatonic to G major)
    3.A phrygian (diatonic to Fmajor)
    the A aeolian is a poor choice because it brings in nothing new.
    The the dorian has a F# and the A phrygian has a Bb.
    Now again these notes sound strange to the key of C major but BEAUTIFUL when they move to a chord tone or diatonic note.
    I wont go through the rest because you should get the idea by now.
    BUT just remember that if you play the modes that are diatonic to the key and that corespond to the chord of the moment you are not playing modally,all you are donig is agreeinig completely with the key and you may as well play the scale of the key (in this case Cmajor).

  2. #2
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    626
    Peter,

    Let me first say that I think it's great that you want to help others and pass on information. But most of the information that you posted above is just not true.

    In such a diatonic progression ( C...F...Am...Em...Dm...G7...F..) , talking about modes at all is basically pointless. You gave examples of three different modal choices to play over each chord that would only possibly work if each was isolated from the rest of the progression, which is clearly not the case.

    My advice to you would be to continue with your study (which is great) but before you post something that is intended to help others, please check your information and your own understanding of it.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    116
    can you then please give me a lesson on how to use the modes.

  4. #4
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Funky Munky World
    Posts
    3,904
    Peter, Have a look at some of the st4rictly threads in the strictly forum which demonstrate isolating the modal sound over a vamp.

    The real idea behind modal playing is to temporarily trick the listners ear into believing the root lies elsewhere than the parent key.

    So playing Phrygian over Em F tricks the lsiunters ear into believeiong that E is the tonic for a period of time.

    As soon as we enter in other chords or Cmaj, the listerners ear will start to hear Cmajor again and the modal illusion is lost.

    Modes work best over one or two chord vamps which absolutely avoid the true tonic of the key.

  5. #5
    Registered User SeattleRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    626
    Peter,
    It's nearing 1:00 AM here in Seattle so I'm going to have to wind down the old brain here, I'm afraid....

    The search function on this board will likely turn up a huge amount of info regarding modes.

    Think of this though:
    The approach you take to imrovising or composing lines over a chord progression should be appropriate for the particular type / genre of music. You used the progression of C Maj, F Maj and G Maj earlier. I would suggest that instead of looking at this progression through "modal eyes", make sure you can improvise over this with a simple C Major Pentatonic scale (same as A minor pent) and sound good doing it. Chord tones should also be a big priority. Theory is great for introducing you to new sounds and understanding but to develope any musical vocabulary, you're going to have to do a lot of listening.

    What kind of music do you like? Maybe I can make some suggestions that are in line with what you enjoy.

    Until then, good night!

  6. #6
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Funky Munky World
    Posts
    3,904
    Whoops sorry Russ...thought you'd gone to bed already.

  7. #7
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Britney's basement
    Posts
    1,072
    RUSS and RUSS: Ok, so I'm studying the Dorian mode (over Am7) at the moment, and I was under the assumption that I could play the same Cmaj7 and Gmaj7 arps (that I've been improving with over Am7, and which create a very Dorian sound) over any diatonic chord to G major and that those arps would conjure up the modal sound of the chord I was jamming over. For example, I tried playing those same arps over D7 (Diatonic to G major), and the notes seemed to fit, but they didn't bring out the Mixolydian sound as I expected them to...What am I doing wrong here?

    Anyways, Peter, there are several ways to use modes. You can use one mode over an entire diatonic progression, or part of a progression, or you can play a different mode for every chord in a progression, and you can also use the pitch axis technique which involves playing as many relative scales and modes as you want over a root bass note, or you can use it with a chord, but you will be restricted (depending on how many intervals the chord contains) to your scalar and modal choices because of intervals included (or not included) in the chord besides the root, for example, the third. There is a lot of info on this site in the articles and forums which go into great detail about pitch axis and modal theory...There is a lot of info, but I think the concept is a lot simpler than it's made out to be sometimes...
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  8. #8
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,056
    Quote Originally Posted by curiousgeorge
    RUSS and RUSS: Ok, so I'm studying the Dorian mode (over Am7) at the moment, and I was under the assumption that I could play the same Cmaj7 and Gmaj7 arps (that I've been improving with over Am7, and which create a very Dorian sound) over any diatonic chord to G major and that those arps would conjure up the modal sound of the chord I was jamming over. For example, I tried playing those same arps over D7 (Diatonic to G major), and the notes seemed to fit, but they didn't bring out the Mixolydian sound as I expected them to...What am I doing wrong here?
    When playing with a certain chord, using arpeggios from the 3rd, 5th, and 7th of the chord help bring out certain colorful notes of the mode. For Am7, you were using Cmaj7 and Gmaj7, and in additiona to that, Em7 also works.

    The reason why this is works is because each of those arpeggios still contians a lot of the chord tones of Am7. In fact, if you take an Am13 chord, the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th spell a Cmaj7 arpeggio; the 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th spell an Em7 arpeggio, and the 7th, 9th, 11th, and 13th spell a Gmaj7 arpeggio.

    The reason why those same arpeggios don't work too well on D7 for D mixolydian is because they prominantly the 11th of D7, the note G, which doesn't sound all that great. Instead you will want to use arpeggios that prominantly use more consonant notes aginst the chord.

    For D7, again use arpeggios from the 3rd, 5th. In this case, it would be F#m7b5 amd Am7. I intentionally excluded the 7th, Cmaj7, because it uses the 4th/11th prominantly against D7. This works well for minor triad based chords, but not for major ones. However, if the 7th creates a chord using the #11, then this isn't a problem. For example, if you used Cmaj7(#5), which is from the D lydian dominant mode, the problem won't exist because there won't be the natural 11 clash against the 3rd of the D7 chrod.

  9. #9
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Britney's basement
    Posts
    1,072
    Quote Originally Posted by Poparad
    For D7, again use arpeggios from the 3rd, 5th. In this case, it would be F#m7b5 amd Am7. I intentionally excluded the 7th, Cmaj7, because it uses the 4th/11th prominantly against D7. This works well for minor triad based chords, but not for major ones. However, if the 7th creates a chord using the #11, then this isn't a problem. For example, if you used Cmaj7(#5), which is from the D lydian dominant mode, the problem won't exist because there won't be the natural 11 clash against the 3rd of the D7 chrod.
    Alright, your first paragraphs I get. thanks! Can you elaborate a bit more on this one? I'm not quite clear about what the problem is with using the Cmaj7 arp. What works well for minor triad based chords, excluding the 7th? I'm confused here...
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,056
    The problem with major triads is the 4th scale degree. On a D major triad, whether it's simply D major, D7, or Dmaj7, the note 'G,' which is the natural 4th scale degree, clashes with the third of the chord, F#. Because of this, care must be taken when using this note. On minor chords, this clash doesn't exist because the distance between the b3 and the 4 is a whole step, which is much more consonant.

    The reason why Cmaj7 doesn't sound that great over D7 is because Cmaj7 uses a G natural in it. That in and of itself doesn't make it sound bad, but it's hard to use it the right way over the chord. The other problem is that other than the note C, Cmaj7 doesn't include any of the chord notes of D7 (D, F#, A, and C). This same problem exists for minor triads, but it tends to not be as noticeable of an issue. You can still use an arpeggio built from the 7th of the chord, but it helps if you follow it by an arpeggio that contains more of the core notes of the original chord (D7 in this example).

  11. #11
    fan of the G string curiousgeorge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Britney's basement
    Posts
    1,072
    Quote Originally Posted by Poparad
    The problem with major triads is the 4th scale degree. On a D major triad, whether it's simply D major, D7, or Dmaj7, the note 'G,' which is the natural 4th scale degree, clashes with the third of the chord, F#. Because of this, care must be taken when using this note. On minor chords, this clash doesn't exist because the distance between the b3 and the 4 is a whole step, which is much more consonant.

    The reason why Cmaj7 doesn't sound that great over D7 is because Cmaj7 uses a G natural in it. That in and of itself doesn't make it sound bad, but it's hard to use it the right way over the chord. The other problem is that other than the note C, Cmaj7 doesn't include any of the chord notes of D7 (D, F#, A, and C). This same problem exists for minor triads, but it tends to not be as noticeable of an issue. You can still use an arpeggio built from the 7th of the chord, but it helps if you follow it by an arpeggio that contains more of the core notes of the original chord (D7 in this example).

    Ok, thanks P!... Are there any arpeggio shapes diagrams or charts you guys know of for reference?
    Last edited by curiousgeorge; 06-04-2006 at 08:40 PM.
    Karma Chameleon...You come and go...You come and go, oh..........MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,056
    There are a lot of ways to finger an arpeggio, and I've always mapped my own out on the fretboard. I think I learned them and the fretboard more thoroughly by doing so.

  13. #13
    Modbod UKRuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Funky Munky World
    Posts
    3,904
    Poparad good.
    Clashing third and fourth bad.

    Russ rest now.

  14. #14
    Registered User dmsstudios's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Lost City of Atlanta
    Posts
    310

    Getting your modal foot in the door...

    Peter,

    I know exactly what you're talking about. It makes sense to me. Of course I associate chords with modes, and modes with positions, and positions with 7 positions, and 7 positions with 7 positions. Is that 49 permutations? Hmm...

    Players that are new to modes just need to get started playing them until they realize how deep it can all go. If I was a beginner and tried out your concept I'm sure I would turn out just fine - and, I'd be playing the guitar with a whole new set of understanding. Good job, buddy!

    Mode theory is relative, in that there are many levels of modal understanding. If you stay true to the classical application of modes, your music will likely be unoriginal and uninspiring.

    Of course if we are discussing STRICT mode theory, then there are flaws in what you said. But, we've been hearing the same strict modal compositions for hundreds of years. Think it's time to push the envelope, guys?

    Mods, that being said, I really do respect the hell out of you guys (and the other music theorists here!)

  15. #15
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Norway - South West coast
    Posts
    1,321
    Hi all,
    Like dms, I'm a little surprised by this thread. I have great respect for Russ and Russ, but I can't really understand this mode thread. In jazz it's "normal" to explore different modes over one chord, like we more or less did in the "Stricktly pitch axis". A lot of Peter's posting seems ok'ish to me. In rock it is normal to try to find one modal scale that fit the whole chord progression for the solo, but there are also other great ways of doing it. Expecially if one chord is hold for a long time during the solo. Could one of you (or both) be a little more specific in your view on the original post?

Similar Threads

  1. Modes. Why is it so hard?
    By Los Boleros in forum Improvisation
    Replies: 479
    Last Post: 09-15-2014, 03:15 AM
  2. Modes Explained!!!!!!!!!!!
    By peter_traj in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 06-04-2006, 07:37 AM
  3. modes in melody
    By peter_traj in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-21-2003, 10:27 AM
  4. Modes?
    By JEM555 in forum Music Theory
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 10-27-2002, 10:52 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •