Originally Posted by John825
My main question; what's the point of modes?
Its a really good question... for me, modes is a part of understanding the "why" of things just coming together so that when you come up with something you like, understanding modes may help in understanding what is going on, and how the idea could be repeated or built on elsewhere.
Here's a simple, real world example: First of all, I'm so sorry I can't make a video tutorial of this... I'd really like to but my house is in pieces as we are undergoing a major renovation. However, I think you'll still be able to try this out with just an explanation.
On my Boss DR880 which has drum & bass sounds & preset patterns, I found a medium tempo pattern where the bass did two measures of A, and two measures of F. This riff has a definite minor sound to it, as F is the 6th note in the Am scale. I programmed this pattern to repeat twice, and then switch the bass line to play C (instead of A) to F. This has a definite major sound as F is the 4th note in the Cmaj scale. If you are able, see if you can get the same thing going with a buddy bass player, or a beat-box.
Ok, when you start to solo over it is when things get interesting. I came up with a melodic riff that worked over the A to F pattern... sounded great. What scale am I playing the riff in? A Minor. Then, I continued to play the same riff as the pattern switched to C to F... keep in mind, I'm playing the exact same notes. But now it sounds like I'm playing a Cmaj scale.
Of course most of us know that the notes in Cmaj and Amin are the same, since A is the Relative Minor scale for Cmaj. If we were just sitting with our guitars, I'd emphasize this, and modes, by playing the same notes, but resolving A when wanting to use Amin, and resolving to C when wanting to use Cmaj. But in the jam scenario I described, I'm keeping the riff the same and letting the BASS player set the "mode" so to speak.
I'm sorry if the sounds confusing... it makes a lot more sense when you try it yourself. You could even do it just recording your guitar doing the chords. Its actually a pretty cool sound, and it really does sound like its the lead guitar that's changing from minor to major, when in actuality its the rhythm section. Just one simple way modes can be used creatively.
Hope this helps!