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Thread: Just another scale and mode question

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003

    Just another scale and mode question

    Okay here's the thing I don't get. Lets say I want to write a song about 'Flying thru outer space' or 'Mountains' or 'Goin insane' or anything like that where I can visualize how the song should sound. Thats all well and good but how do I play what I hear in my head. What scales express what emotions. Is there a resource or book or something that says 'you use lydian scales for outer spacey type sounds' for example.

    Man this music stuff is hard.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Hey, flathead (cool "handle", BTW)
    Aside from the old "major is happy, minor is sad" type thing, I can't imagine that any books would be available for this. It seems like it's too subjective a topic.
    .......Now if you want my opinion :
    "flying through outer space"; thats whole tone
    "mountains";....pentatonic, don't ya' think,......(or was that hepatonic?)
    "going insane"; that's gotta' be chromatic, with your best speed chops.

    What do ya' think ? am I just "out to lunch"....- melodic minor
    ...........have I misunderstood ?......locrian


  3. #3
    Central Scrutinizer
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Good question, however I think the only person who can truely answer it, is yourself.

    There's an Old Steve Vai Interview (If I happen to run across it I'll post his answers) where he talked a bit about what moods various modes conjured up in him. All I really remember is Mixolydian being kinna like spring time, at least to Mr. Vai.

    So actually I might suggest you ask yourself that question as u play through diffrent modes. What do u hear. How does it make u feel. What images pop up in your head. For example Dorian makes me think of Santana. Not exactly an emotion maybe but state of mind. If I'm playing a Dorian tune I generally try to get into Santana mode. Though it really depends on the song.
    The Allmand Brothers did a lotta Dorian stuff that reminded me nothing of Santana. So how u play it or what type of progession u play it over can perhaps change they way u feel about it.

    As far as Way out there trippy stuff I generally just make something up. Course its nothing brand new. I tend to think in terms of what sounds fit my need so if I toss a #3 into a Pen Minor scale in place of the b3 it's cause it fits my need at the time.
    Ok, there's actually name for that but I tend to do it a lot without really thinking about it. So if I want a sitar kinna thing I over or under bend notes and chose notes that echo what I hear in my head.

    Anyway point is the scale/mode means whatever it means to you.
    Everything u do will affect u personaly in a certain way.
    If u opt to toss in a #5 for no other reason than it sounds good then that will affect u in a personal way.
    "All other things being equal, the simplest solution is usually the correct one." William of Occam

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