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Author Topic: MODES--understand them at last!  (Read 2981 times)

Offline JayP5150

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MODES--understand them at last!
« on: September 20, 2004, 02:24:00 PM »
There has been a lot of chat about modal playing.  I figured I would address this in its own post.  I'm going to start with the basics and we can go as deep as we want to in this subject (or, at least until I'm out of knowledge--shouldn't take too long!  8O )

When playing modal stuff, remember this: The root chord/key is what changes. The scale stays the same. For instance, using the C major scale, you will get seven different modes.  They are: C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, B Locrian.

That order will not change--ever. Notice that all those modes follow the notes in the C major scale? It's the same way for any other scale. Say you want to play something in B Phrygian--now what? You take the pattern from above and figure out what scale you would use to make that mode. Guess it yet? It's G. Why? Because G major scale is G, A, B, C, D, E, F#

So... your modes out of your G major scale are G Ionian, A Dorian, B Phrygian, C Lydian, D Mixolydian, E Aeolian, and F# Locrian.

Is that making more sense? For practice, anyone who's interested in getting this down, write out your seven major scales (A B C D E F G), and tell me the modes associated with each scale. Two of them are already done for you above. Remember your scale theory: if you do not know the notes in a scale, the pattern is, Root-whole step-whole step-half step-whole step-whole step-whole step-half step (W W H W W W H). That last half step should bring you back to your root note.

Write all of these out and post what you come up with, please. I want to make sure it's clear to you.

Have fun, this drove me nuts for a while while learning it.
Once I get some hits back on the above, I will get into what style of music these best apply to.

Uriah, jump in whenever you feel to, brother.  I have a feeling you got this more than I do, anyway.

Offline uriahsmusic

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....no way!
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2004, 03:00:12 PM »
...............i dont even deal wit music in terms of modes!....i have never had a need!.....i will leave that to others!

Offline JayP5150

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2004, 03:18:57 PM »
Honestly, I don't have to, either, for the stuff I play (if it's not in church, it's bluesy rock--sometimes it's bluesy-rock in church, come to think of it--they let me be myself occasionally), I just think it's good to know.

I figured also, if we're going to get into it so deep, we might as well isolate it to one thread.

Thanks.

Offline E-Phrygian

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2004, 12:01:09 AM »
i think i'm should take part in asking questions about Modal because i'm the one who have bought it up.

For B Phrygian you use G scale

G A B C D E F#

does that mean G Phrygian uses E scale

and F Phrygian uses D scale???

what about other modes? how do you work out what major scale to use with other Modes??


-officially known as "Modeman"

Offline Eggs

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2004, 08:37:39 AM »
F Phrygian would use a Db major scale I believe.

1 Ionian
2 Dorian
3 Phrygian
4 Lydian
5 Mixolydian
6 Aeolian
7 Locrian

All scales use this order.  For example, to find "A" mixolydian, you need to find the scale that uses "A" natural as the 5th degree.  This would be the scale of "D" major.  You would then play the "D" major scale from "A" to octave "A".  That scale is call "A" mixolydian.

There are shortcuts to the process of forming these scales... for example... you can form any mixolydian scale by starting with the major scale and flatting the 7th.  For example, to form a "C" mixolydian scale, start with the "C" major scale, and then flat the "B" natural to "B" flat.  Now when you play the scale with the flatted 7th, you are playing "C" mixolydian.

I am stilling tackling this stuff myself, but I chime in on the things I am fairly certain about.  I'm sure there are others who can expand on what I am saying.

HTH,
Eggs

Offline JayP5150

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2004, 01:31:48 PM »
modeman,

Eggs is right, F phrygian is out of the Db major scale (Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db)--whew! I never write in b's--I always use #'s.  It's a weird thing, the way my mind works notes.

Using the E Major scale, you get a G# phrygian (E F# G# A B C# D# E)

What I meant before, is if you write out your major scale for each key, you can label the degrees of the scale with the modes (like Eggs listed above)  Let's take A major for more practice...

A B C# D E F# G# -- notes
1 2  3   4  5 6   7   -- degree of scale (see Egg's post)

you get...

A Ionian, B Dorian, C# Phrygian, D Lydian, E Mixolydian, F# Aeolian, G# Locrian

You can tag any scale this way.

BTW, Eggs' insight about flatting the seventh of a major scale to find that key's mixolydian is correct.  Above, E is the mixolydian, and E major scale is E F# G# A B C# D#.  If you flat the D# to a D, you have the mixolydian of E, which is the A Major scale.  

That's a neat way of seeing it, Eggs.

Modeman, let me know if that helps.

Offline E-Phrygian

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2004, 04:13:13 AM »
wow guys, this is amazing, i'm actually absorbing it all. I think it is vital to know the properties of all major scales and mode scales.

This is what i've read from another website about modes. In this explaination about modes, the Root does not change it stays on the Key of C.

Ionian = Major scale
Dorian = b3, b7
Phrygian = b2,b3,b6,b7
Lydian= #4
Mixolydian = b7
Aeolian = b3,b6,b7
Locrian = b2,b3,b5,b6,b7

This is what i've read from the internet before i changed myself to modeman and that's why it confuses me when you said only the root changes but the scale stays the same. Can anyone please tell me how the scale can be played without changing the root???

Offline JayP5150

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2004, 09:47:25 AM »
What you posted above is how to start with a scale, then determine all the modes of that KEY.  If you start with a C Major scale, then do all the stuff listed, you will get C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian, C Lydian, etc.

The way I explained it is to keep the exact same scale shape, and move the root note for the key you want.  this way you get C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian (hey, I know him!), F Lydian. etc.

Does that make sense?  It's really just a different way of looking at it.  Let's say you want to play  C Aeolian, you can either figure "Okay, I can flat the 3 6 and 7 of my C major scale," or you can say "I need to play D# Major scale, using C as my root."  It's just two different approaches--you get the same scale shape.  Whichever is easier for you.  For me, it's harder to remember, "Oh I just flat my 3 6 and 7."  It's easier to say, okay, Aeolian is the natural minor scale, and C is the natural minor of D#."

Whichever gets it into your noggin is the way you should think.

Good hunting, though.  Nice find.  I'll save that for myself.

Offline E-Phrygian

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2004, 02:07:54 AM »
i get it totally, cool JayP, i got a flu, haven't touched my guitar since wednesday. My finger tips have softened. I can't really think at the moment. But i will find more questions to ask when i get better. I still don't get it 100% like the use of modes.

Offline E-Phrygian

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MODES--understand them at last!
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2004, 10:25:52 PM »
OH YEAH!!! i think i totally understand modes at LAST!!! Thanks to the help from JayP5150 and Uriahsmusic.
Let me just prove it that i know what it means. First we start with E Phrygian   :wink:  E phrygian scale is the same as C-Major scale but instead of C been the Root, E is the Root. That goes the same for other Modes except they are played in different Keys.

Oh yeah, i was just sitting in front of my desk and it came to me. I really like to thank you guys and Gospel Guitar.
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