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Thread: Modal Vamp

  1. #1
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    Modal Vamp

    Hi
    I am reading about the minor modes and I have a question regarding the D Dorian #4 mode of the Harmonic Minor.
    If I want to vamp a chord how to find the right one(what would be the best chord) to accenturate and bring out the flavour of this mode.

    And also if I want to Vamp two chords i-iv which are Dm to G#m(G#-B-D#?????)where the notes in scale are D E F G# A B C.

    Thank You
    Last edited by ssyniu; 05-19-2017 at 06:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by motherlode View Post
    For clarification, we’re talking about the 4th mode of ‘A’ harmonic minor.

    d…e…..f…..Ab…..a.…b…...c
    1…2…-3….+4…..5….6…..-7

    The characteristic tone of the Dorian mode is the (major 6th). Hence, the tonic chord is a minor6 chord, not the minor7.


    D-6 (f c d b c) <—> (f c e a c)
    We want to maintain the integrity of the Dorian tonic chord. Scale alterations should be kept in the melody.


    Now (Ab-)…as you can see, the ‘Eb’ in the chord is out of scale.
    The diatonic chord would be (Ab dim), but if it's 'Ab minor' that you want...

    For the answer I look to it's parent scale’B lydian’…and ask:

    Q. What is the chord in ‘B lydian’ that supports the (maj3rd) with a (maj6th) on the bottom?

    A. Ab-11 (Gb..Db..Ab..Bb..b..Eb)

    Note the chord voicing…they're colorful…and they're modern …
    My Friend I really appreciate your anwsere( you are the only one who bother to help).
    But I cannot understand what are you trying to say in some parts of your post,and you are confusing enharmonics very much.

    "For clarification, we’re talking about the 4th mode of ‘A’ harmonic minor.

    d…e…..f…..Ab…..a.…b…...c
    1…2…-3….+4…..5….6…..-7"

    I am aware that we are talking about the 4th mode of A which is D and I wrote that in my question.

    When you were explaining first part of my question "D-6 (f c d b c) <—> (f c e a c)
    We want to maintain the integrity of the Dorian tonic chord. Scale alterations should be kept in the melody. "

    to me D6 would be(D F A B)

    Ad here"The diatonic chord would be (Ab dim), but if it's 'Ab minor' that you want..." (go for it????? you meant??)I don't understand??

    All the best.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by motherlode View Post

    Good, and I simply restated it in my response. This is not theory 101…in the real world enharmonic thinking and speaking is commonplace.


    Yes, that’s how you spell (D-6). My example is voiced.
    The point is this, the tonic chord of Dorian is a minor6 chord. Voice the chord to fit the musical idea. Simple.


    Well, there isn’t an (Ab minor) chord diatonically in that scale, nevertheless, you introduced a borrowed chord. So I worked with that, and I explained the thought process.


    Yes, that’s exactly what I did. I set your words to music ... to suit my taste.

    Good Luck.






    Thanks

    "Yes, that’s how you spell (D-6). My example is voiced.
    The point is this, the tonic chord of Dorian is a minor6 chord. Voice the chord to fit the musical idea. Simple."

    Well not that simple to me thats not Dm6 chord anymore.I am a beginner everybody were,right?
    Could you have some more patience and explain this voicing concept like to a beginner.
    How did you came up with this kind of voicing based on music theory or music theory doesn't apply to your idea.

    "Well, there isn’t an (Ab minor) chord diatonically in that scale, nevertheless, you introduced a borrowed chord. So I worked with that, and I explained the thought process."

    I didn't introduced I was just asking about G#m why did you changed to Ab I don't know.? Maby enharmonics is something that I shouldn't be concerned too much.I don't know can you explain.

    "I want to Vamp two chords i-iv which are Dm to G#m
    Yes, that’s exactly what I did. I set your words to music ... to suit my taste. "

    And this here its from my first post and you mixed this with the second.

    All the best friend.
    Last edited by ssyniu; 05-21-2017 at 07:32 AM.

  4. #4
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    "D-6 (f c d b c) <—> (f c e a c)
    We want to maintain the integrity of the Dorian tonic chord. Scale alterations should be kept in the melody. "

    Ok I think I understand partially the example in the first bracket its D-6 it has root-d,3rd-f,6th-b but why c,c is the 7th??? What is the name of the chord in the second bracket.???
    All the best.

    "We want to maintain the integrity of the Dorian tonic chord"
    Did you mean the two chords in the progression should share as many same notes???
    "Scale alterations should be kept in the melody. "
    And "have fun" with the rest scale notes playing the melody???

    What are "scale alterations"?

    Thanks
    Last edited by ssyniu; 05-21-2017 at 07:25 AM.

  5. #5
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    Hi
    You’ve asked a question about how to execute the harmony in an unusual mode. There are two components – the how (i.e. the best way to play a chord that achieves what you want – to express the sound of the mode) and the what (the mode itself). You then asked the same question with respect to a chord change which was outside the initial mode. Your responses to motherlode’s answers suggest you might not know some of the fundamentals of either of these.

    It might therefore be too soon for you to work on Dorian #4. This is not a criticism, but it is context for what follows, which is trying addresses some of the premises to your questions which you might not be clear on.
    Motherlode can correct me, but here are some basics which I recognised from his responses to you.

    Firstly, the voicings. You don’t need any special theory about these – you just need some curiosity and basic theory. The basic theory supplies the understanding for what notes make up the chord. The curiosity helps you think about the interval relationships between each note in a chord and between one chord and the previous / next, and how that affects the sound of the voicing, and whether you like all of this. There is, of course, discourse around these principles, which you can come to in good time.

    Secondly, the modal harmony you are investigating. Modes have what are called "characteristic notes". In the system of notes commonly characterised as the major scale, they are part of the tritone. They are not unique to the mode - they are just the note that distinguishes the mode from others which are similar to it. So, Dorian's is the maj 6th, because that is the point of difference between it and the other minor modes in the major scale system (except locrian, but that's a different story).

    Modal compositions (that stay in the one tonal centre) generally sit on / frequently return to the tonic chord. You also said you wanted to 'vamp a chord'. To be regarded as of that mode, the tonic chord should express the characteristic note in that tonic chord. Therefore, a D minor chord with the maj 6th is called for.

    You want to work with a mode that is an altered version of a very common mode (Dorian). The alteration (G# / Ab) is not a part of that mode's tonic chord. So, it's something better left to the melody. You can conceivably include it in an extension, but would need some artistry.

    Things got confused when you said you wanted to alternate between D minor and G# / Ab minor "where the notes notes in scale are D E F G# A B C" i.e. your original mode. This is what motherlode meant when he said the Eb note in Ab minor was out of the scale. So, whereas it looks like you acknowledged the disconnection between your proposed harmony and the scale, when motherlode pointed this out you sound confused.

    However you describe it, two minor chords a tritone apart represent a blended tonality, in that there is no ‘key’ to which both chords belong. There's myriad music theory approaches to rationalising this, but at the end of the day, you're dealing with a new bunch of notes and, importantly, a new hierarchy in their organisation. The clue to that is in motherlode's reference to the parent scale being B lydian.

    Finally, the reason that C is included in the voicing he gave you for D-6 is: where we want to include the characteristic 6th tone, we can also (but don't have to) include the 7th, thereby regarding the chord as a form of D-13 (D F A C B).

    Don't let the enharmonics side track you. We're playing in equal temperament here. The notes are literally the same.

    My answer here may leave you as confused as before, for which I apologise. I used to hate being told that the questions I was asking were too advanced. But seeing as you want an explanation suitable for a beginner as to how to voice a chord, you can’t get the most from motherlode's explanation.

    Best,
    Tom

  6. #6
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    Thank you motherlode, as careful study of your examples will be a big help to myself and others.

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