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Thread: Minor scales and modes

  1. #1
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    Minor scales and modes

    First let me tell you I never studied the minor scales...

    In case of the Em scale (E F# G A B C D E), which scale must be used in the melody to get that Lydian sound?

    BMaj scale or Bm scale?

    Thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    First let me tell you I never studied the minor scales...

    In case of the Em scale (E F# G A B C D E), which scale must be used in the melody to get that Lydian sound?

    BMaj scale or Bm scale?

    Thank you
    The Em scale (E F# G A B C D E) is an aolian or you can call it relative the minor scale of G. The G major scale srarting E.
    Wonder how you came to BMaj scale or Bm scale ? Bm is minor so it cant be lydian. Bmaj could be but over a f#maj chord. In G the f# is min7flat5

    Lydian is major. In G (G A B C D E F# G) The lydian scale is starting on the fourth of the major scale C. (C D E F# G A B C) and to hear that lydian sound (modal) you have to play it a long time over a G major chord. Or In G, a 2 5 1 lydian harmonisation would be D7/Gmaj/Cmaj. When the melody hits the Cmaj it becomes some kind of lydian résolution.

    Not sure i'm helping. May i ask why you are focusing on modes ?

  3. #3
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Forget about modes. Until you have done everything you can do with the Major scale, the Major Pentatonic, Natural minor scale, Minor pentatonic, Harmonic minor scale, the melodic minor scale and the Blues scale – THEN and only then get into modes.

    Those scales should give you everything you need for quite some time. Learn the above before taking on modes. Or if you must, do a search. Modes have been talked about on this forum a zillion times. Search will take you to a zillion posts on modes.

    To answer your question - Lydian out of an Em scale. Take that Em scale and sharp the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th scale degree and you've got the E Lydian mode.

    I know that went right over your head. That's why I said to forget about modes till you know your way around those other scales.

    Code:
    Major scale generic pattern:
    
    |-7-|-R-|---|-2--| 1st string
    |---|-5-|---|-6--|
    |-2-|---|-3-|-4--| second octave
    |-6-|---|-7-|-R--|
    |-3-|-4-|---|-5--|
    |---|-R-|---|-2--|  6th string

    Scales
    Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7 home bass.
    Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 leave out the 4 & 7.
    Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 take the major scale and flat the 3, 6 & 7.
    Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 leave out the 2 & 6.
    Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 same as the minor pentatonic with a b5 blue note added.
    Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 natural minor with a natural 7.
    Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 major scale with a b3.

    Major modes
    Ionian same as the Major Scale. R, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
    Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7.

    Minor Modes
    Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale. R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7
    Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6.
    Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2.
    Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5.

    The E minor scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 so when you sharped the 3, 4, 6 & 7 you ended up with the E Lydian mode = R-2-3-#4-5-6-7.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-28-2012 at 01:11 AM.

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    The Em scale (E F# G A B C D E) is an aolian or you can call it relative the minor scale of G. The G major scale srarting E.
    Wonder how you came to BMaj scale or Bm scale ?
    Thanks for the reply, Michel

    The way I use to study and know the modes is, for example in the key of C, the lydian mode is the scale on which your key (C) is the 4th degree (GMaj scale, on top of a CMaj chord, obviously).

    I used the same technique in the Natural Minor and Major scales.


    In G (G A B C D E F# G) The lydian scale is starting on the fourth of the major scale C. (C D E F# G A B C) and to hear that lydian sound (modal) you have to play it a long time over a G major chord.
    Sorry, or I haven't understood you, but I think there's some incorrection on what you said. Din't you meant to play it over a CMaj chord, instead?

    Not sure i'm helping. May i ask why you are focusing on modes ?
    I like modes. They're a very good alternative to give variety to my music.

    Forget about modes. Until you have done everything you can do with the Major scale, the Major Pentatonic, Natural minor scale, Minor pentatonic, Harmonic minor scale, the melodic minor scale and the Blues scale – THEN and only then get into modes.
    Hi Malcolm

    As you know I like to be jumping between subjects. Probably not the best way to learn but....I can't help it.
    But I see what you mean, there's a lot of work in the major scales alone.

    Modes have been talked about on this forum a zillion times. Search will take you to a zillion posts on modes.
    Yeah, I know. It happens in all forums. But the variety of posts is so huge that you can get lost very easily. And most of those posts don't teach you modes as if you were a dummie.

    To answer your question - Lydian out of an Em scale. Take that Em scale and sharp the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th scale degree and you've got the E Lydian mode.

    I know that went right over your head. That's why I said to forget about modes till you know your way around those other scales.
    Well, it didn't went over my head. That's the Bmaj scale (the E is the 4th degree of the scale).

    This means you took it from the major scales. That's exactly the relationship I'm looking for regarding modes in minor scales.
    So, if one is looking for a mode of a minor scale, it can be found in the major scales? Is it always like that?
    Last edited by rbarata; 01-28-2012 at 12:35 AM.

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    Malcolm, only now I saw you've edited your post with new information. I'll take a look at it.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    So, if one is looking for a mode of a minor scale, it can be found in the major scales? Is it always like that?
    Well, for starters, the modes of the natural minor scale (say A B C E D F G A) are identical to the modes of its relative major scale (C D E F G A B C) - since they're exactly the same notes, and modes just put them in a different order (the minor scale is itself a mode of the major scale) - do you see how this is the case?

  7. #7
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Look again - I've finished now.

  8. #8
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    This means you took it from the major scales. That's exactly the relationship I'm looking for regarding modes in minor scales.
    So, if one is looking for a mode of a minor scale, it can be found in the major scales? Is it always like that?
    In parallel modes aka pitch axis. The key stays the same and the notes change. So if you want a major mode let the major scale be your home bass. If you want Lydian take the major scale pattern and sharp the 4th. If you want Mixolydian take the major scale pattern and flat the 7th.

    If you want Dorian, that is a minor mode so let the natural minor scale pattern be your home bass and then sharp the b6 to a natural 6. If you want Phrygian use the natural minor scale pattern and flat the 2.

    OK that is how to make modes, the rest of the story is how do you use modes. To use a mode you have to have a modal vamp droning under the modal notes. Why? A chord progression will call attention to the tonal center of the chord progression you want chords that will sustain the modal mood. You get that by having a modal vamp http://www.riddleworks.com/modalharm3.html droning for you to play over. Or if it's just you drone the Big E string and play E Dorian or E Mixolydian, etc.

    Here is a video on modes that I found to be right on. http://scottsbasslessons.com/welcome-to-the-shed You may have to click on the video space several times to get the video to come on......... don't let the glove throw you - skin condition.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-28-2012 at 04:16 AM.

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    do you see how this is the case?
    The root of each natural minor scale corresponds to the 6th degree of its relative scale. Thus, a natural minor scale is the Aeolian mode of its relative major?

    Is this a good conclusion?

    Look again - I've finished now.
    I'll take a look at it tomorrow more carefully, it's 2 in the morning here.

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    The root of each natural minor scale corresponds to the 6th degree of its relative scale. Thus, a natural minor scale is the Aeolian mode of its relative major?

    Is this a good conclusion?
    Correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    I like modes. They're a very good alternative to give variety to my music.
    There is a great deal of confusion about what modes are, and particularly a lot of confusion with players thinking they are playing in a certain mode just because they are using a scale pattern which has been given a modal name.

    However, there has been so much criticism or modes, with so many people saying that players should not even bother to think in terms of mode names, that I think we are now in danger of making the opposite mistake of being far too critical about using names like Dorian, or Lydian etc.

    I suspect that one of the reasons for that confusion is that although the jazz guys often like what they call modal sounds (eg there's a well known LP from Miles Davies, which I believe was trying to experiment with modal sounds), most jazz guitar players now prefer to improvise by using chords tones rather than selecting specific scales or specific arpeggios to fit against the chord harmony. Whereas, non-jazz players, eg rock and fusion guitarists, more often seem to learn and use note-patterns for specific scales and arpeggios to match each chord.

    The reason that becomes a source of confusion is because the chord-tone improvisers are more likely to say "forget about modes". Whereas, the scale players will make very frequent use of modal names as labels for their scale patterns ... they don't necessarily mean they are attempting to play modal music ... they just mean they are playing a particular scale pattern which is most easily identified by a modal name such as Dorian, Mixolydian, or whichever.

    I learnt to improvise from fusion players (mostly using guide-books and DVD's etc), and they all used and taught playing by scale patterns and arpeggio patterns (not by chord-tones) ... and for that, all their explanations are in terms of modal names. So on that basis, I found it perfectly reasonable and logical to use what those teachers were explaining about the use of modes.

    Afaik, there's really nothing wrong or inferior about that approach. And in particular, I vastly prefer the playing from those fusion players who do use and teach that scale/mode/arp approach to improvising. To me their playing sounds great. Whereas, to be frank I really can't stand the playing of most of the well known names in more traditional jazz - to my ears that playing just sounds boring and even "simplistic" or "superficial". That's mainly just my personal taste of course - eg, I love Scott Henderson in his fusion period from 30 years ago with Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul, but I find Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell just horrible lol.

    So in other words - I think it's fine to think in terms of modes as scale patterns, and fine to learn to improvise in that way from players like Scott Henderson and Don Mock, providing that's the sort of guitar playing and sort of guitar music which appeals to your ears and appeals to your taste in music.

    Having said all that in favour of improvising in fusion style using scales, modes and arps, I do also now practice improvising using chord-tones. Or more specifically - I do that by using triads and upper-structure triad-extensions, following two excellent guide-books by Garrison Fewell. That's a fairly recent thing for me, and I've been practicing that on-&-off several days a week for the last 6 months or so. So, IOW, now I improvise using both methods ... though I still strongly prefer using scales, modes, and arps ... probably just because that's the approach used by fusion players who's playing appeals most strongly to my ears.
     
     
    Last edited by Crossroads; 01-28-2012 at 08:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
    Sorry, or I haven't understood you, but I think there's some incorrection on what you said. Din't you meant to play it over a CMaj chord, instead?
    Yes Cmaj. Sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm View Post
    If you want Lydian take the major scale pattern and sharp the 4th. If you want Mixolydian take the major scale pattern and flat the 7th.

    If you want Dorian, that is a minor mode so let the natural minor scale pattern be your home bass and then sharp the b6 to a natural 6. If you want Phrygian use the natural minor scale pattern and flat the 2.
    This is a very neat way of putting it.

  14. #14
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    This is a very neat way of putting it.
    I think I "saw" that after I took up the bass guitar. In bass we play a lot of patterns one note at a time. Once you have the major scale pattern in muscle memory it's not a big step to sharp the 4th or flat the 7th, to get that Lydian or Mixolydian modal sound. Like Crossroads was talking about.

    Speaking of chord tones, a bass line of R-5-8-5 is about as generic as you can get, in that it will fit under any chord except for a diminished chord. So if you want to go on auto pilot R-5-8-5 - changing with the chords - makes a nice groove. And the pattern is a piece of cake.
    Code:
    Generic Major Scale Box. 
    
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    D|---6---|-------|---7---|---8---|
    A|---3---|---4---|-------|---5---|
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string

    Love R-3-5-3 or R-3-5-6 for chord tone bass lines under major chords. R-b3-5-b7 or 8 fits most any minor chord. Those b3's and b7's go together nicely.

    I guess it's the same thing as having your favorite licks for lead guitar.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-28-2012 at 01:43 PM.

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    Oups i see.

    You know what modes are about so you know that it goes
    Imaj-iim-iiim-IVmaj-V7-vim-viim7b5 and back to Imaj
    walternewton in taking you on the rigth trak cause strating on the 6th degree is the same harmonisation.
    vim-viim7b5-Imaj-iim-iiim-IVmaj-V7 and back to vim.
    So the fourth of the vim is iim..... This is a crasy way to look at it and it will take you anywhere

    Hope i din't write something wrong this time. I'm a starter to.

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