View Full Version : Modes - Whats the point!
07-03-2002, 06:01 AM
Ages ago i was asking about the key of a song, so if for example ther key was C i could then solo/jam over it with the C major scale for example. So modes... contain the same notes as the scale but might be called the D Dorian!
Whats the point in giving a scale 7 other names when its the same set of notes!! did modes evolve from another instrument because on guitar they are pointless!!!!!
07-03-2002, 10:04 PM
Playing C Ionian, then D Dorian, E Phyrgian, etc. is pointless, I agree. The point of modes is that each mode has it's own sound. Try playing C Lydian, then C Ionian, C Mixolydian, C Dorian, C Aeolian, C Phyrgian, and finally C Locrian (I put them in this order, because that's the order from "brightest" to "darkest" in sound). Now, if you're soloing over something in C Major, C - Am - F - G, for example, try using one of the above C modes. It's not about using relative modes, but rather paralell modes. Don't use C Ionian then A Aeolian, F Lydian, and G Mixolydian, that would be just giving one set of notes 7 names. Try C Lydian followed by C Ionian, C Mixolydian, then C Lydian again...
Oh, also, to the best of my knowledge, modes evolved on the organ centuries ago. Modes are just as useful on the piano as they are on the guitar, however.
07-04-2002, 10:55 PM
well say you do have a progression in c, well you might just get tired with the so8nd of the "happy" ionian sound, and maybe you could imporvise with the lydian to get a different more mysterious sound. plus it looks cooler when you go upand down the fretboard with modes, and it can make you more creative.
07-05-2002, 05:10 PM
Thats C major
So is the examples below the modes?
--------------10------12------- D dorian
Ie. a mode isnt every note of the scale on the guitar, otherwise it wouldnt be a mode it would be identical!
If thats what you guys have been talking about all this time then at last!! but when i solo i try to use all the notes. Are modes then the names given to parts of the solo that concentrate on a small part, ie not every note on the guitar of that scale?
So if you do a run from C (8fret 6string) to C (10fret 4th string) that C major scale. Is the mode where you concentrate on going up the scale but starting off on D (10fret 6string) to D (12fret 4th string) is that the mode D Dorian?
I just dont see the point in modes? Is it simply a way of teaching you which scales you can move to by giving them the same name (root note) ?
[Edited by Axl_Rose on 07-05-2002 at 05:16 PM]
07-05-2002, 08:57 PM
You're missing the point I'm trying to make, Axl. The harmony dictates your tonal center. Whatever chord the progression seems to revolve around, or what it seems to best resolve on, that's the tonal center (ex- C, Am, F, G. The tonal center is C. Try just stopping the song on any other chord. It just doesn't sound right). Well, now that you have your tonal center, pick a mode with that tonal center as the root note. Since our tonal center is C, we can use C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phyrgian, C Lydian, C Mixolydian, C Aeolian, or C Locrian. And these modes do cover the entire fretboard. The mode of C Ionian on the fretboard is EVERY C, D, E, F, G, A, and B over the ENTIRE fretboard. C Aeolian is every C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, and Bb over the whoel fretboard.
Those little shapes are used, because it's easier to visualize a small box than an entire fretboard pattern when improvising. If my hand is somewhere around the 8th fret, I know I have a C at hand on the 6th string, so I can use one of my little mode boxes. If I was around the 3rd fret, I use that box starting on 5th string. If I was able to just visualize the entire C Ionian scale over the fretboard, then there'd be no problem, but I'm not there yet :)
07-07-2002, 07:52 AM
So is the purpose of modes to show the link between scales, ie to show and make it easy for us to pick scales that sound right, and to move to different scales. So i should be thinking of soloing in C major(ionain) and then instead of calculating what other scale would sound nice to move to I just think of another mode in C, ed C Dorian or whatever? Is that the point? to move between C modes for a different feel as opposed to staying in that mode.
Thats another thing i dont get, how scales have relative minors, C and A minor, they are modes, ionain and Aelion, how do you know Let it be solo is in C or A minor for example?
07-07-2002, 11:32 AM
Yes, you have it! Changing modes with the same tonal center = different mood for the solo!!
Well, any major keys relative minor is the minor key 3 half steps below that major key (If you have Bb major, then 3 half steps down is G, so Bb's relative minor is G minor). Anyway, this is more for reference than anything else. Say you're playing a song that goes, C - Am - F - G. This is in C Major, and the tonal center is C, but you can go ahead and solo with your A Minor pentatonic box without being out of key, because A Minor and C Major are relative (they both have the exact same notes). The only thing which you may need to watch out for is the notes you emphasize. Don't go emphasizing the A a lot in A Minor Pentatonic if the tonal center is C...
07-09-2002, 04:37 AM
modes are really just a quality or coloring; the opening of "Dancing Days" is in the fourth mode (Lydian if that's important); so is that latest Aerosmith single (name escapes me now); it's that augmented fourth that gives it the unmistakable color of the fourth mode; start messing with two and three tone chords without your basic I-IV-V progression; listen to Zappa "Black Napkins" or "Sheik Yerbouti Tango"; different modes are associated w/ folk music from different nationalities (this maybe a stereotype, but noone ever said that stereotypes can't be genuine); play your cmaj starting from the third or fourth or second scale tone; you'll hear the different qualities come out; it's just inspiration; theory is crap without inspiration; it's John Tesh and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
07-15-2002, 07:26 PM
TheDirt yeah you hit the nail right on the head, modes make it easier to think about switching keys, but if all you do is stay in the same key then modes are pointless (for the most part) but see my music teacher had my class do a composition project but we could only use the notes of c major (not this is my 7th grade class not a class at Berklee) and i don't really like major sounding music for the most part so i used E phrygian and got a completely different sound than anyone else (partly because they didn't know what they were doing) but still i used E as the tonal center not C. also look into classical music, like bach or Matteo Carcassi which his preludes i'll use as an example it starts in Em (e,f#,g,a,b,c,d,e) and then shifts into G major (g,a,b,c,d,e,f#,g) while the notes are the same the tonal center chages and so does the mood. the point is being the same as but different also like if you use a lot of 7th chords mixolydian sounds great over them because if you're in E mixolydian the E7 chord has e,g#,b
and e mixolydian is spelled (e,f#,g#,a,b,c#,d,e) so instead of saying i'm in a major and may progression has a lot of E7 chords it's more fitting and easier to think in e mixolydian instead of A major although they have the same notes, i hope i didn't drag this out too long.
[Edited by shredisnotdead on 07-15-2002 at 08:01 PM]
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