Originally Posted by: shapertakh
n e ways.......ill try to rephrase.......i tend to think of scales and modes as this drop down menu thing (correct me if im wrong here too)....ill use the A maj / F#min example again.........heres what i think like
A major scale - (Ionion Mode)
|______ B - (Dorian Mode)
|______ C# - (Phrygian Mode)
|______ F# - (Aeolian Mode)
|______ G# - (Locrian Mode)
QUESTION: im in the key of A major irrespective of the modes i change.....its like theres this one door (A maj) to this gallery that has all the "mode" rooms.....unless untill i modulate and get the notes from some other scales ill remain in the key of A major.......correct or incorrect???
which actually means that even if i skip the A and start at f#m and use the progression mentioned before (i.e F#m D E) id still be in the key of A major????
hope im clear....or atleast this becomes clear to me :p
You are correct. If you use a chord progression that is a match with A Major and it's modes, you are in the Key of A. The second part regarding F#m, D and E progression is a bit tricky. This could be played in the key of F#m. The tough part is making it sound like it. The Major key has a stronger cadence than the minor key, so the progression needs to establish what the Tonic is. An almost foolproof way to establish the Tonic is by the Lead tone.
So, playing the E Major Chord in an F#m progression, E really wants to resolve to the A Major chord because G# is the M3rd of E and the M7th of A. That is why E is the dominant to A. The M7th (G#) is the Lead tone to A but it isn't to F#m or F# anything. In fact, F#m is the 2nd (Dorian) of E Major. To sound like F#m there are things to consider in the cadence that establish it.
The Major scale has one diatonic function; Major.........
The minor scale has three functions; Natural minor, Harmonic minor and Melodic minor.
The F# Natural minor has a weaker cadence because there is no lead tone to the tonic (it has a b7th).
To strengthen the cadence, the F# Harmonic minor scale could be used because it raises the b7th interval up one semitone to a M7th interval. This would raise the E note to E# (F note) which changes everything. Now the 5th chord (C#m) of F#m becomes C# dominant (Major) and produces a Lead tone (F) to F#m. The C#7 (Dominant 7th) is also a common chord used to strengthen the cadence. It's all in how you establish the Tonic.
On to modes.
Your drop down list (good by the way) shows B Dorian as one of the modes in the key of A.
The reason that B is connected to the Dorian mode in this Key (A) is because the intervals starting from the B note require a m3rd and m7th interval.
This creates a minor structure from B. So to use a B chord in the key of A, it must be a Bm chord. This means that the Dorian mode is minor.
Any mode that has 1st-m3rd-P5th intervals are minor. The minor modes are Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian. The Locrian mode also has a m3rd interval, but isn't titled a minor mode because it's diminished 5th interval is no longer a Perfect 5th. So the Locrian mode is considered Diminished, but you really need to establish it's properties in a progression to emphasize the notes that give it's diminished qualities. Remember that the Locrian mode starts and finishes on the note that is One semitone flat from the Ionian (or Root note).
Hey, that interval is also the Lead Tone, isn't it??????
Anyway, There are two things to always remember. Intervals are either Perfect or imperfect. When you look at the Major scale, notice that all of the Major Chords in Key are Rooted from Perfect Intervals. After that is established, try to take advantage of them to create interest with the imperfect.