Controversial view on music theory?


Jarsew
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Jarsew
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03/25/2010 6:34 pm
I guess I should clarify this before anyone brings it up, I am fully aware I dubbed some musicians as "artificial" sounding yet at the same time my friend here wrote all this stuff on a computer; Which to a very technical sense is artificial.

I use that "artificial" phrase when I sense no emotion in the music. But as CSchlegal pointed out to me, the idea that I get a negative or 'dislike' feeling from a musical piece, is indeed an emotion.

Also keep in mind, that every section of melody your hearing is written independently. Each melody has is own track, which a keyboard was used to write it. So he'll have 4-5 keyboards doing quite different melodies yet flowing in harmony together very nicely. This would be a good example of counterpoint? correct me on that if Im wrong. :D
# 1
Douglas Showalter
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Douglas Showalter
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03/25/2010 8:02 pm
I really like this stuff. I am a HUGE electronic music fan and am a producer myself. I think your friend's stuff is great and encourage you to always surround yourself with people whom inspire you and if possible, make music with those people.

My point in asking for this is that their are so many people out there that think they have the answers. The truth is, there is no right way to go about doing music. If theory has a part in that, great. If not, fine. To quote James Mercer (The Shins/Broken Bells) "whatever it is you do, just make sure it's good." I really believe in that statement, and while good can be subjective, I think people know "good" when they hear it in whatever way it applies to them. Some times we can be influenced by people who just have their own opinions, and their attempts to impose them on others can really mask their discomforts with what they are frustrated by. Sounds like your friend is doing what he wants, and is making good music. That is the key.

Thanks for sharing, and best of luck on your journey! :o
Douglas Showalter
# 2
quickfingers
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quickfingers
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03/29/2010 10:36 pm
Originally Posted by: Jarsew

I understand the importance of knowing what key your in and what not. But going further into it such as Modes? Ick, i cant stand the concept of Modes. I am in the Key of C and have my root note be E. So what good does it do to call it E Phygrian? Why name it? What difference did it make? Supposedly (as I have read) a lot of Irish/Celtic/folk songs are written in Dorian? Well, so what? Does that change anything? I grantee half of those Irish guys didnt know what Dorian was and were writing in it, they simply just liked the sound! It fit their emotion at the time, and thats all there is to it.




fail. modes stem back to the catholic church, circa 1000 AD. why have modes? because each mode, scale, or set of tones has a SOUND to it. someone says "dorian" and i know what overtones the song/riff will suggest. and for the record, musicians hundreds of years ago were totally aware of these just as they are now. did the celts call it "dorian"? maybe, maybe not- but isn't that trivial?

for someone that deals with a string instrument, you should understand how important the relationship between tones can be. a guitar player can not know the name of any note on his fretboard, but someone can say " i want these particular tones played for my scale" the string player can figure that out much easier than a horn player or the like. it's all right in front of us...so why not get to know it?
"the more you know, the less you know. I don't feel like i know shit anymore, but i love it."
-Mike Stern

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# 3
guitarplayer196
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guitarplayer196
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04/05/2010 3:18 am
Originally Posted by: JarsewHello,

I understand the importance of knowing what key your in and what not. But going further into it such as Modes? Ick, i cant stand the concept of Modes. I am in the Key of C and have my root note be E. So what good does it do to call it E Phygrian? Why name it? What difference did it make? Supposedly (as I have read) a lot of Irish/Celtic/folk songs are written in Dorian? Well, so what? Does that change anything? I grantee half of those Irish guys didnt know what Dorian was and were writing in it, they simply just liked the sound! It fit their emotion at the time, and thats all there is to it.

Views?

Your quote above isn't a good example of use of modes since you described the same scale just starting at a different place(C major and C E Phrygian) since E is the 3rd degree of the major scale.

Take the key of C from the major scale(also known as Ionian)and make that the root note for the Phrygian mode(C Phrygian) - now you have a completely different sound that will work well with key of C. Phrygian is spanish sounding mode. What a mode does is change the relationship of the notes in the scale, for example, a major scale(Ionian) and minor scale(Aeoleon) have different intervals between notes of the scal, which give them their unique sound( a C major scale sounds alot different than a C minor scale)

The best lesson on modes I have ever come accross comes from here(This guy is very well known in Europe and on Youtube). Watch this youtube video and I think you will have a better understanding of the importance of modes(2 parts):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKbPIGnqt80&playnext_from=TL&videos=jRti7fHmcwE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uhN5h1o7ww&feature=channel

This should give you a good foundation of modes - it did for me.
"I learned a long time ago that one note can go a long way if its the right one and it will probably whip the guy with 20 notes." Les Paul - 2002
# 4
Jarsew
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Jarsew
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04/05/2010 6:14 pm
Originally Posted by: guitarplayer196Your quote above isn't a good example of use of modes since you described the same scale just starting at a different place(C major and C E Phrygian) since E is the 3rd degree of the major scale.[/QUOTE]
Im sorry, but is that not exactly what modes are?

To my understanding, E Phrygian means that you play within the Key of C; yet rather than having your resolving note, the tonal center, be C, you play in the key of C in such a fashion where you make the resolving note E, rather than C (even through your in the Key of C)

[QUOTE=guitarplayer196]Take the key of C from the major scale(also known as Ionian)and make that the root note for the Phrygian mode(C Phrygian) - now you have a completely different sound that will work well with key of C.


As for being "able" to play C Phrygian over the Key of C, I personally would never. But hey thats music, that could probably work for some people...

Key of C: C D E F G A B C

C Phrygian: C C# D# F G G# A# C
(Key of G#)

There is just to many "clashing" notes but like I said, that could be preferred for some people.
# 5
guitarplayer196
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guitarplayer196
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04/05/2010 10:39 pm
Originally Posted by: JarsewIm sorry, but is that not exactly what modes are?

To my understanding, E Phrygian means that you play within the Key of C; yet rather than having your resolving note, the tonal center, be C, you play in the key of C in such a fashion where you make the resolving note E, rather than C (even through your in the Key of C)



As for being "able" to play C Phrygian over the Key of C, I personally would never. But hey thats music, that could probably work for some people...

Key of C: C D E F G A B C

C Phrygian: C C# D# F G G# A# C
(Key of G#)

There is just to many "clashing" notes but like I said, that could be preferred for some people.



Check out:

http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=11126 -

I never said anything about how GOOD the C Phrygian mode would sound over the C major scale - it would not be a choice I would make, but it is common in spanish music. The mode played deffinelty will change thae character of a song either in a good way or a bad way.

Have you ever played an Em scale over the Key of E major - very common in rock and blues - that is playing the E Aeolian mode over the E major scale(Ionian mode). Its the diffenence in the intervals between notes that give it a different sound, the "clashing notes" is what give it the distinctive sound. You still need to choose the stronger notes within the mode based upon the underlying chord prograssion.

We need an instructor to chime in on modes from a practical use standpoint, - Lydian and Mixylodian seem to be the more popular rock modes(such as the flatted 5th is part of the Lydian mode, which is very common in hard rock). The youtube videos I linked are really good - I have started using modes based upon this explanation.
"I learned a long time ago that one note can go a long way if its the right one and it will probably whip the guy with 20 notes." Les Paul - 2002
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ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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04/05/2010 11:08 pm
Originally Posted by: guitarplayer196
We need an instructor to chime in on modes from a practical use standpoint ...

I've done that in depth:

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=370
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=770

And in numerous threads in the Music Theory forum. :)
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guitarplayer196
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guitarplayer196
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04/06/2010 6:39 pm
I will revisit those lessons
"I learned a long time ago that one note can go a long way if its the right one and it will probably whip the guy with 20 notes." Les Paul - 2002
# 8
ChristopherSchlegel
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04/06/2010 7:22 pm
Originally Posted by: guitarplayer196Those are good lessons and threads on what modes are on how to play them, but still not clear on how us newer lead players actually use them in a practical music band situation -I am just coming from playing pentatonics and want to expand from there.[/quote]
If you want to know how to get from pentatonics to modes, then I suggest you look more closely at this tutorial:

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=770

In that tutorial I show how to use the first pentatonic box as a visual tool to see & play all seven diatonic modes. For example, here for lydian:

http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13430&s_id=770

Then, in the next lesson I play the patterns along with a backing track to give a practical example of how each visual pattern sounds & how stereotypical licks will sound.

http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13431&s_id=770

This is done for all seven modes, and then they are directly compared & contrasted later.
Originally Posted by: guitarplayer196There is a current thread modes in Music Theory, but after 8 pages of posts I am more confused than ever.

Please have a look at these threads:

http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29979
http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30690
[QUOTE=guitarplayer196]
Since the most common Major Chord progression in rock is a I IV V progression, can someone give me an example of how they would use a mode, such as a Lydian Mode(which has the flatted 5th) over a progression that the rest of the band is playing. Such as D(I) A(IV) G(V) - Can you refer to actual notes so I can see the relationship.

Assuming the key of D major:

D - I chord
G - IV chord
A - V chord

The modes of D major are based on the notes of the D major scale:

D ionian
E dorian
F# phrygian
G lydian
A mixolydian
B aeolian
C# locrian

So, if your music is only D (I) - G (IV) - A (V), then you can play the G lyidan mode over all of it & stress the chord tone of the current chord. Or you can think of playing the D ionian mode while the D chord is happening, the G lydian mode while the G chord is happening, then the A mixolydian mode over the A chord.

You can also play the E dorian mode, or the B aeolian mode, and so on. All of this simply means you are in the key of D major, of course.

You can also use modes in an ornamental manner. This means, regardless of the actual key you play what mode you happen to desire the sound of at that point in the music.

So if you play D lydian over your D (I) - G (IV) - A (V) progression, you will be playing:

D - E - F# - G# - A - B - C#

Notice that G# is not in the key of D major, and will therefore create a certain, specific dissonance. Especially when the G chord sounds.

How does one know when to use a mode in an ornamental manner? A manner that "goes against" the key, instead of being part of the key? Only by practicing them, becoming familiar with their sounds & fretboard patterns, in order to play the mode that you desire, when you desire "that specific" sound. And that is another place that my modes tutorials will be of assistance.

Make sense?
Christopher Schlegel
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guitarplayer196
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guitarplayer196
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04/07/2010 9:42 pm
Originally Posted by: CSchlegelIf you want to know how to get from pentatonics to modes, then I suggest you look more closely at this tutorial:

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=770

In that tutorial I show how to use the first pentatonic box as a visual tool to see & play all seven diatonic modes. For example, here for lydian:

http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13430&s_id=770

Then, in the next lesson I play the patterns along with a backing track to give a practical example of how each visual pattern sounds & how stereotypical licks will sound.

http://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=13431&s_id=770

This is done for all seven modes, and then they are directly compared & contrasted later.

Please have a look at these threads:

http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=29979
http://www.guitartricks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30690

Assuming the key of D major:

D - I chord
G - IV chord
A - V chord

The modes of D major are based on the notes of the D major scale:

D ionian
E dorian
F# phrygian
G lydian
A mixolydian
B aeolian
C# locrian

So, if your music is only D (I) - G (IV) - A (V), then you can play the G lyidan mode over all of it & stress the chord tone of the current chord. Or you can think of playing the D ionian mode while the D chord is happening, the G lydian mode while the G chord is happening, then the A mixolydian mode over the A chord.

You can also play the E dorian mode, or the B aeolian mode, and so on. All of this simply means you are in the key of D major, of course.

You can also use modes in an ornamental manner. This means, regardless of the actual key you play what mode you happen to desire the sound of at that point in the music.

So if you play D lydian over your D (I) - G (IV) - A (V) progression, you will be playing:

D - E - F# - G# - A - B - C#

Notice that G# is not in the key of D major, and will therefore create a certain, specific dissonance. Especially when the G chord sounds.

How does one know when to use a mode in an ornamental manner? A manner that "goes against" the key, instead of being part of the key? Only by practicing them, becoming familiar with their sounds & fretboard patterns, in order to play the mode that you desire, when you desire "that specific" sound. And that is another place that my modes tutorials will be of assistance.

Make sense?


Chris:
Thanks for helping with the practical aspect of it - Your example shows that both myself and the original poster were actually both right but looking at it from the 2 different uses. In your first example, playing the A mixolodian mode over a song in D major, I understand it is the mixolodian mode but in my mind, I just equate it to D major, just starting at a different, non D root (In this case).
The ornamental use(which is the way I look at modes of being of value) is a bit more complex and how the lead guitar part will have its own distinct sound since we are including some notes that are not part of the major scale.

So now I can spend the year or so trying to master this.

as always, I appreciate your help.
"I learned a long time ago that one note can go a long way if its the right one and it will probably whip the guy with 20 notes." Les Paul - 2002
# 10
ChristopherSchlegel
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04/08/2010 12:11 am
Originally Posted by: guitarplayer196
Thanks for helping ... So now I can spend the year or so trying to master this.

Welcome, of course. Best of success with it! :)
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Jarsew
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Jarsew
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04/08/2010 12:29 am
Originally Posted by: guitarplayer196Chris:
Thanks for helping with the practical aspect of it - Your example shows that both myself and the original poster were actually both right but looking at it from the 2 different uses. In your first example, playing the A mixolodian mode over a song in D major, I understand it is the mixolodian mode but in my mind, I just equate it to D major, just starting at a different, non D root (In this case).
The ornamental use(which is the way I look at modes of being of value) is a bit more complex and how the lead guitar part will have its own distinct sound since we are including some notes that are not part of the major scale.

So now I can spend the year or so trying to master this.

as always, I appreciate your help.


The easiest way I became to understand it, and the trick to smoothly change keys within a song; is that if your playing a G Major chord, you can "get away" with soloing any of the G Major scale modes (Ionian, Lydian, Mixo). Same with Minor. If your playing an F minor chord, you can typically get away soloing with F Aeolian, F Dorian, F Phrygian over that F Minor chord.

Fm: F G# C

F Aeolian: F G G# A# C C# D# F (key of G#)
F Dorian: F G G# A# C D D# F (key of D#)
F Phyrg: F F# G# A# C C# D# F (key of C#)

As you see, in all 3 modes you are still hitting the notes that create the F minor chord while changing keys and as well as simply stepping out of the box. I know I stomped on modes, but I will admit I use the modes as a fast tool to figure out all the keys I can mess with that "support" a certain chord and an easy way to glide between different Keys.
# 12
tooearlyforjoke
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tooearlyforjoke
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04/11/2010 3:51 pm
i dont have the time to waste but truly for anyone who really thinks about it.


Theory vs Non


You have no choice play an instrument , make music, somehow theory was applied. Question is, are you attempting to analyze your/someones music, or are you attempting to communicate to other musicians without just using "tones" . Theory is the basis of communication. Its as useless as ... numbers.....temperature scales, and even words like whats hot and whats cold.... and who says A has to be 440 ?


Dont bog down worrying about what you know.... its a damn circle, your gonna end up where you started at one point or another.

btw i have tons of a jazz theory "knowledge" and i dont know jack.....

Still shreddin...... and yea...everyone is better keep postin on YouTube

lol
# 13
ChristopherSchlegel
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04/12/2010 12:44 pm
If you change your sharps to flats, those mode look a little easier to understand. The problem starts here:
Originally Posted by: JarsewFm: F G# C

That is better written as:

F minor: F - A-flat - C

And the modes make more sense, too:

F Aeolian: F - G - Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb (key of Ab)
F Dorian: F - G - Ab - Bb - C - D - Eb (key of Eb)
F Phrygian: F - Gb - Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb (key of Db)
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therory
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therory
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04/19/2010 1:03 am
OH Oh I want that guy to play with me if he can do all that stuff.

I think comunication before a song is played comes up alot especially if you have never played togeather before. Intervals are explained by such words as the mighty modes, is it major you want or minor? is there a turnaround? Are we just into power chords? These questions I would like to have answer to or told before we play. I noticed most ear players do not know the basic chords for a major scale like the Maj, minor, minor, major etc.
I do agree that there are those that can blow a person away in their playing but I find they cannot play well with others if faced to something new. The therory training gives one a head start to say.
I spent years putting new songs into bands I played with that could have been done much sooner if I had interval and basic chord structure training. We were only a cover band so the rules were simple.

Its funny how one can finish a course on music that you really though was good then wonder why to took it. One really does get something out of it but the nature of our desire to learn goes on to a higher level after each lesson. Give yourself some credit. You may be suprised to know others want to play like you!
# 15

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