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Old 10.28.04, 8:14 PM
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MODES question

Hey, I recently have been studying modes and have a couple questions.

A. Can I use ALL the modes? For example, can I start in the Ionian Mode and go through every other mode? Or is that not 'allowed' because only certain modes are minor and certain are major?

B. If I wanted to use the Mode before Ionian, would I use the Locrian mode?

C. How do I stay in one mode throughout the entire fretboard? For example, how can i stay in Ionian throughout the entire fretboard? Do i just use the Ionian Shape and move it around or does it change as I change positions.

D. Do these Modes make up the Major and Minor scale or are the Maj/Min scale different?
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Old 10.28.04, 8:59 PM
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A. Not sure I understand your question.. do you mean can you play bits of every mode in the context of a song? If that is your question, the answer is yes.. you can do whatever you damn well please! The only issue is tonality, and how it "fits" in the song.

B. Well, I've never really thought of Locrian is being 'before' Ionian, but it is basically the Ionian mode moved back 1 fret, so I guess in a way, yes, it is "the mode before Ionian."

C. As you move up and down the fretboard, the fingering patterns change. Each scale or mode has 5 fingering patterns (or shapes) that completely cover the fretboard... only 5 because the patterns repeat themselves after the 12th fret. Do help you better understand, here's a link that discusses the major scale and the CAGED method.

D. The Minor "scale" is just the Aeolian mode of the major scale (also known as Natural Minor). It is not a separate scale.

I'll gladly elaborate if you're having trouble understanding. And you should probably rephrase 'A,' I dont understand what you mean. :P

Edit: I found a better page than the one above at CyberFret, here is the link!
http://www.wholenote.com/cgi-bin/page_view.pl?l=912&p=1
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Last edited by DuB; 10.28.04 at 9:22 PM.
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Old 10.28.04, 9:11 PM
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Re: MODES question

A: You can, but It'd sound very odd, though not because some are minor and soem are major, but because without a coherent pattern or melodic hierarchy there's no way to differentiate a tune in say, Cmaj from Amin, or Emin(b2) etc. Commonly, a tune will gravitate towards the one(ionian) and five(mixolydian) chords, with a few fours(lydians) in as passing. With those chords and their inversions, you can move coherently through the whole key. Remember that music is more than scale degrees and notes on a page. Ultimately, it's about what you hear. I forget that a lot and its the cause of most of my confusion, musically anyway.

B: Yes, in CMaj, a B is a B(and its chord is thus locrian), wherever you put it in your range.

C: Yes, but I'd discourage learning music by shapes. You'll regret it in the future as your ability to play music begins to surpass your ability to understand it. The point of modes is simply to show the relations between starting points in various keys and describe the relationships between them.

D: Standard major is Ionian(I), natural minor is aeolian(VI). Majors: I(Ionian), IV(Lydian)(a4), V(Mixolydian)(m7) Minors: ii(dorian)(M6), iii(phrygian)(m2), vi(Aeolian). Diminished: vii(Locrian).
Amodal scales include everythign that doesnt include the pattern whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half or some iteration thereof(Harmonic minor, melodic minor, whole tone, etc.)

Hope that helps.
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Old 10.29.04, 10:30 PM
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So,

A. I CAN use all tthe modes in order but in might not sound very good.

B. I can "use the mode before Ionian"

C. I'm not sure about this one. So I can do this and be in the Ionian Mode still.

E---5 -7----------------------7--9----9---11
A----------4-5-7--7--8-10------------------------9--10--12

Cause its just like the same shape just moving over?
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Old 10.30.04, 1:33 AM
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A. The "order" that the modes come in should be the last thing on your mind when playing. Also, what exactly do you mean by "play all the modes in order" anyway?

B. Yes, to say that you are using "the mode before Ionian" is a valid statement. But its kind of like saying "the street before Elm street." Why say that, or even think of it like that?

C. Um, first of all, did you reverse your E and A strings on your tab there? Should it look like this:

A----------4-5-7--7--8-10------------------------9--10--12
E---5 -7----------------------7--9----9---11--------------

Or did you just accidentally mislabel the strings?
But either way, No, that is not in any major mode. Furthermore, you said something about just moving the same shape up and down the neck (which, by the way, is not correct), but those 3 partial shapes you appear to have made up there are not the same.. you have one that looks like this:

--X--X----X--
------X----X--

And one that looks like this:

---X--X---X--
---X----X----

Now, I could go on and try to explain the correct way of constructing the modes across the entire fretboard, and etc etc, but what you really need instead is to buy this book. It'll give you a solid foundation of all this confusing theory stuff, which is something that we cannot do by simply answering your questions. It's the best book for exactly what you are trying to learn, but beware: it isn't the easiest reading if you're a first time learner. It's one of those things that will have you stumped at first, but then (possibly after multiple reads) it'll suddenly "click." Highly recommended.

PS. I've been reading over my post before I post it. I don't mean to come off as rude if it seemed that way. I'm just trying to help you out. Keep posting questions if you have em.
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Old 10.31.04, 8:32 AM
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You can use every scale EXCEPT hte Lydian.

The Mode Police recently announced they were detaining that scale for questioning and therefore could not be used in any context.
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Old 10.31.04, 1:30 PM
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Re: MODES question

Quote:
Originally posted by FrostyMarine
Hey, I recently have been studying modes and have a couple questions.

A. Can I use ALL the modes? For example, can I start in the Ionian Mode and go through every other mode? Or is that not 'allowed' because only certain modes are minor and certain are major?


Yeah you can use all the modes, but it's not going to soung good if you just progress through them. The trick is to to know what mode works with what type of chords. IE: if you have a dominant 7 chord play a mixolydian scale, stuff like that.


Quote:
B. If I wanted to use the Mode before Ionian, would I use the Locrian mode?
Yes, but once again it depends on your chord progression. The locrian mode only work--ie. sounds good--over certain chords.

Quote:
C. How do I stay in one mode throughout the entire fretboard? For example, how can i stay in Ionian throughout the entire fretboard? Do i just use the Ionian Shape and move it around or does it change as I change positions.
Okay here comes the fun part. I'm going to talk about this question from the perspective of a minor ii V i chord progression in E minor.
ii-----------V--------i
F#m7b5 | B7b9 | Em7

Okay a pretty basic chord progression; in it's self the key is E minor. Pretty basic. Now there's certain modes that are minor and certain that are major. The minor modes are Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian(natural minor) and locrian. And the major modes are Ionian, Lydian, and mixolydian.

Now we can improv over this progression in a couple ways. The first, and easiest being to play it in e minor, or treat the tonic(staring ending note) as an E. This works, and there's nothing wrong with doing this; it sounds good.

But in order to play in a certain mode through this whole progression we must treat the progression as if it's in a different key. What if we treated the i chord in the ii V i progression as the two chord of the next key? This works because a.) the ii chord of any key is minor, and b.) the notes from this scale will match up quite nicely with the chord progression. Doing this is called the Dorian mode. So what you do, to explain this the easiest way, is play a major scale a full step down from the one chord of the progression. So if you in E minor play a D major scale over top of it. The result will be a very bluesy sound.

This goes for any progression or chord, you can treat it in any key you want. Some work some done, it's all about experimenting. You can treat each chord completely seperate if you want as well. So may be you play in D major of the Emin chord(making it dorian), and E major over the V chord(making it mixolydian, your stepping outside the minor key quite a bit here so use with caution) and play a G major or E minor over the ii chord. Hell you could even treat this like a chord in the melodic or harmonic minor scale, and treat it as the diminished vii chord of G minor. It's just a mater of find out what works, and sounds good to the ear.

So to stay in a mode through the whole fret board it's just a matter of finding the "key" you want to play in and connecting all the scalar patterns in that key.

Also, remember, there's no such thing as a bad not just a bad resolution.

Quote:
D. Do these Modes make up the Major and Minor scale or are the Maj/Min scale different?
Yes, and No. See above, some modes are derrived from the major scale some from the minor. In anygiven key the notes in all the modes are the same, but the order they are arranged--more specifically the half steps--give each mode a unique character.

Hope that helped. Also for more web lessons and stuff check out www.wholenote.com.
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Old 12.07.04, 6:45 PM
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Sorry to drag this thread up again but i thought it was a better idea than to start another mode thread. How do you name the modes? For example G A B C D E F# is a G major scale or the G Ionian scale. If i started on A would that be the A dorian scale or the G because it is based on the G maj scale?
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Old 12.07.04, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hairy_jr
For example G A B C D E F# is a G major scale or the G Ionian scale. If i started on A would that be the A dorian scale or the G because it is based on the G maj scale?
It is indeed A Dorian, and not G major

For some reason I can't think of how to put the explanation into words.. everything I come up with just doesn't sound right.. freaking mental block :S So anway, to try and illustrate, I ripped this next thing from a post of mine a while ago on this forum. It shows the notes of the C major scale, and the notes of it's relative modes... you can see from that how they are named.

C Ionian (major): C · D · E · F · G · A · B
D Dorian: D · E · F · G · A · B · C
E Phrygian: E · F · G · A · B · C · D
F Lydian: F · G · A · B · C · D · E
G Mixolydian: G · A · B · C · D · E · F
A Aeolian (minor): A · B · C · D · E · F · G
B Locrian: B · C · D · E · F · G · A

You probably see the pattern there, but if not, hopefully someone more articulate than myself can help you out :S

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Old 12.08.04, 1:51 AM
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Thank you, i can know understand that. But one more question how do you know when to use which mode?
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Old 12.08.04, 5:07 PM
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There might be a list of which modes fit over which chords somewhere on the internet, but if you can somewhat figure it out if you look at modes in this manner: (I'll give two examples)


G minor 7 chord : 1 b3 5 b7
G dorian:1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 (in relation to G ionian)


G dominant 7 chord :1 3 5 b7
G mixolydian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 (in relation to G ionian)

So over a G minor 7, G dorian is a scale that would fit very well, so would G mixolydian over a G dominant 7 chord. When it comes down to it, I'd say it's up to you. (Maybe boyscout could explain this better than I could.)
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Old 12.09.04, 8:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by maxx
(Maybe boyscout could explain this better than I could.)
I can take a shot.

Quote:
Sorry to drag this thread up again but i thought it was a better idea than to start another mode thread. How do you name the modes? For example G A B C D E F# is a G major scale or the G Ionian scale. If i started on A would that be the A dorian scale or the G because it is based on the G maj scale?
Yes it would be A dorian. The scale would contain the notes in G major, but it'd have it's own sonic character due the arrangement of whole and half steps.

Quote:
Thank you, i can know understand that. But one more question how do you know when to use which mode?
Okay, this is a more complex question than you realize. One way to do it is Maxx's way. See how the tones in any given chord can function in a mode. This works and it's pretty safe, but you'll be switching modes every chord change.

Now, certain modes work better of certain chords. For instance if you have a dominant 7th chord a Mixolydian mode would work the best. Or if you had a Major 7th a lydian scale would work, and sound good. This is not rocket science but, we need to take a departure from the typical explination avenues to get a better understanding.

Chords in any key can be related to specific roman numerals. An upper case roman numeral means a major chord, and a lower, a minor. For our purposes lets just look at a major key (using C major to keep things simple.)

C: I ii iii IV V7 vi vii(dim)

In a major key the chord based on the tonic is a Major. What works over major chords? The major scale right? Right. So we'd use an ionian over a I chord. This would include all a I chords extensions as well if it was a maj 6 or maj13 the ionian scale would work the best.

Now, the ii chord. This is the chord based off the supertonic (second) scale degree; it's minor. The obivous explination would be to play the dorian scale over this chord, and that would work, but there's other wasy to look at it. Perhaps you want this chord to function differently? maybe as a vi instead. So what you would play is the natural minor (aeolian) scale over top of it.

Basically what i'm getting at here is it's about how you want to treat the chord. dominant 7 chords function with the mixolydian well because a dom 7th chord often functions as the V7 of a key. So if it functions as the dominant (5th) of a key then a mixolydian would make sense to use.

As far as treating whole chord progressions I posted some stuff about that above. It's all about the analysis and decision on what you want to treat the progress/chords as.

I'll see if i can find a Progression to work with and we'll put some accually knowledge to work instead of speaking theoretically.
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Old 12.09.04, 8:53 PM
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Hokay, are we ready to have some fun?

Dm7 G7 | Dm7 G7 | Em7 A7 | Em7 A7 | Am7 D7 | Abm7 Db7 | C | Em7b5 A7b9 | repeat.

That's from Duke Ellington's "Saton Doll" if any of you are wondering.

The key signature for this song is that of C major, but we've got some crazy stuff going just in this progression from the head of the tune.

First two measures Dm7 to G7. Rember what I said above about 7th's functioning as a V of a key? This is no different. What's goign on here is a simple ii V I progressiong, but we're missing the I chord (he's delaying the resolution just to keep us guessing. The duke's a clever guy like that).

so we have a ii and a V7 chord in the first two measures. What would be a good idea to play over this? A C major scale would work beautifully. Both those chords function well in C major so use a C major scale.

Next two measures Em7 to an A7. Okay, What the hell? that's like a iii and a VI! The VI in a major scale isn't major...WTF? Okay, so before we freak out, it's not in the key of C anymore. Look at the 7th chord--it's the V of D major. Over these two measures we have a wonderful place to play a D major scale. once again we see this is a ii V I progression, but without the I. Not such a big deal.

Next measure Am7 to a D7. Okay, what the crap? a vi to a II7? no, settle down, this is another modulation. Through use of a compostional device (called a pickardy third) the Duke is just modulating around again. Look at the 7 chord. It's the V of G major. So use a G major scale, it's that simple.

Next two measures: Abm7 to a Db7. Sounds crazy huh? once gain modulation: this is in the key of Gb major; use a Gb major scale.

Then it moves to a C again, ah home, our wonderful tonic key again. Wait, that doesn't make sense how did the Duke get all the way back here? Very simple, Ellington moved the progression along by using V7 chords to create some tension and allude to keys, here is no different. One can sub a dominant chord a triton away from another, so, in reality, that Db7 is functioning as the V of the key of C. This presents some very interesting possibilities: you could procede to play a C major scale over that Db7 (it WILL sound off and create some sweet tension), and atticipate the movement back to tonic, or you could just stick with what i had above. The last C or I chord would work with a C major scale.

The very last measure is just an anticipation of movemtn back to the D minor7. It's a ii V i progression in D minor so you could play a D minor (aeolian) scale over that. Then you back into the front of the piece and it's all smooth sailing from there.

I hope that helped. "satin Doll" is a great example of how work within a chord progression to get what keys are going on and what to play over top.
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