# need help

canuck7
Senior Member
Joined: 12/12/02
Posts: 241
01/03/2003 5:19 pm
hey everyone,
i'm having trouble figuring out modes, so i was wondering if anyone here could help me out with them.

i am specifically interested in figuring out the Phyrgian and Mixolydian modes.

i'm just not sure how to figure out any of the modes and especially how to write using these modes. anything is much appreciated.
Thanks for listening to this small piece of me.
canuck7
Senior Member
Joined: 12/12/02
Posts: 241
01/06/2003 2:48 pm
hey come on,
can anyone offer some support here? if you know ANYTHING, i'd like to hear, even if by some small chance i already know it.
Thanks for listening to this small piece of me.
TheDirt
Registered User
Joined: 03/28/02
Posts: 569
01/06/2003 7:24 pm
To form the Phrygian mode, take a root note, then go up a half step, a whole, a whole, a whole, a half, a whole, and up a whole to get back to the root.

So, for example:
E Phyrgian = E, F, G, A, B, C, D
A Phyrgian = A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G

Notice that the Phyrgian mode is the same as the natural minor scale but with a b2. For comparison to the major scale, it has a b2, b6, and b7.

------------------------------------------------------------

To form the Mixolydian mode, take a root note, then go up a whole step, a whole, a half, a whole, a whole, a half, and finally a whole to get back up to the root.

Example:
G Mixolydian = G, A, B, C, D, E, F
D Mixolydian = D, E, F#, G, A, B, C

Notice that the Mixolydian mode is the same as the major scale, but with a b7.

I hope this helped...
"You must stab him in the heart with the Bone Saber of Zumacalis... well, you could stab him in the head or the lungs, too... and the saber, it probably doesn't have to be bone, just anything sharp lying around the house... you could poke him with a pillow and kill him."

- Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Universal Re-Monster
SLY
Un-Registered User
Joined: 08/08/02
Posts: 1,613
01/06/2003 7:36 pm
I'll try to explain how to get all the modes from a major scale.

Let's take the Cmaj , which is the basic scale... It goes on like this C D E F G A C D E F G A C D E F G A C etc.

The C note here is called the root, the D is the 2nd , E is the 3rd etc.

So if you start and end on the root which is C, you'll be playing a major (ionian) mode. [C D E F G A C]
If you changed the root into D, you'll be playing the dorian mode. [D E F G A C D ]

and so on, here is the list of the seven modes of the major scale:

1-Ionian (major)
2-Dorian
3-Phrygian
4-Lydian
5-Mixolydian
6-Aeolian (natural minor)
7-Locrian

If you're interested in phrygian & mixo modes... play the same notes of the Cmaj scale but start and end with E , that's E phrygian... and G from the same scale for G mixolydian... move the patterns you come up with up and down the fretboard for other Phrygian and Mixo modes.

The Modes has been discussed in full details several times on this forum, try searching for older posts here... You'll also find helpful related info like chord progressions .

[Edited by SLY on 01-06-2003 at 01:39 PM]
TheDirt
Registered User
Joined: 03/28/02
Posts: 569
01/06/2003 8:00 pm
To write a song using a mode, you need to use chords constructed from the mode which you will use for the song.

I wrote a song the other day in G Dorian, and so I'll show it to you for purpose of illustration (please don't steal :)

The first thing we need to do is create our G Dorian Scale. The pattern for Dorian is whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half, whole. G is the root, up a whole step is A, then half to Bb, then whole to C, whole to D, whole to E, half to F, and whole back up to G. Notice that these are the same notes as are in F Major (Ionian), except the root is G.

G Dorian - G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F

The second thing we need to do is establish which chords we can use in G Dorian. We do this by writing out the scale and using the easy little "every other" method of forming chords. Using this method we come up with (which once again are the same chords that one could use in F Major):

G, Bb, D - G Minor
A, C, E - A Minor
Bb, D, F - Bb Major
C, E, G - C Major
D, F, A - D Minor
E, G, Bb - E Diminished
F, A, C - F Major

Now, since we're writing a song in which G Minor is the "focus chord", we need to write a progression that revolves around it. My song has two main parts, A and B respectively.

Part A - Gm7, Am(b6)

In Depth on Part A - the first part is just a vamp between G Minor Seventh and A Minor Flat Sixth. The reason that the 6th is flat in my A Minor chord is because an A Minor 6th chord contains A, C, E, and F#, but since we're in G Dorian, the key signature denotes that our F's are natural, and therefore our chords must reflect that.

Here's the tab of how I play the chords. Paste it in Notepad to see it correctly.

Soft Jazzy Feel

|---------1--------------------1--------------
|------3-----3--------------5-----5-----------
|---3-----------3--------5-----------5--------
|---------------------------------------------
|---------------------0-----------------0-----
|-3----------------3--------------------------

The rhythm I use is just a little arpeggiation, with a little stretch. I grab the G on the low E string with my thumb just because that's how I'm comfortable playing it... I use my thumb a LOT. The reason I include the 5th fret on the B string instead of the open E string is purely tonal.

Part B - Bb - C, Gm (Paste into Notepad to view correctly)

In Depth on Part B - Gm, C, Dm would be a 1-4-5 in Dorian. I switch the order of the chords to 4-5-1 to give it a 2-5-1 jazz feel and instead of the Dm (D, F, A), I substitute in a Bb (Bb, D, F). The Bb and C chords are each one half a measure and the Gm is one full measure. I could half opted for a full measure on Bb and C and two measures for G, but this way, I've seemingly upped the tempo, even though it's the same BPM.

Funk feel

|---------------------------------------------------------
|---------------------------------------------------------
|--------3-------------5---------------------3------------
|-----------------------------------5------x-----5---3h5--
|-1--1-1----1--3-3--3-----3--------------x---------5------
|----------------------------3--3-3----x-------3----------

Now this part is a little more difficult to explain how I play it because I use a slap/pop technique, but I'll try... Slap the Bb, then double slap the Bb and pop it's octave. One more slap to the Bb and then, double slap the C, a slight pause, then slap the C again and pop it's octave.
Slap the G, double slap the G, pop the octave, and then this is the hard part... mute the bottome three strings and pop with your thumb, index, middle, and catch the Bb on the pop with your ring finger, then slap the G, pop the octave, slap the D, and Pop the F and hammer on to G. It should be a fast "tat, tat, tat, Bb". This is a really simple rhythm except for the last part... Whew! I've been playing with a bassist friend and I've picked up a few of his tricks.

And for lead, I simply improvise in G Dorian, and there you have it, a modal song!

Main Points:
1. Decide on mode
2. Determine available chords
3. Make sure that the focus of you chord progression is your main chord
4. Experiment and have fun!!! I wasn't thinking, hey, I want to write a G Dorian song when I wrote this song, I just f****d around until I came up with it.

Damn, that was a long winded post, sorry for making you read all that... I really hope that helped clear up some things.

[Edited by TheDirt on 01-06-2003 at 02:03 PM]
"You must stab him in the heart with the Bone Saber of Zumacalis... well, you could stab him in the head or the lungs, too... and the saber, it probably doesn't have to be bone, just anything sharp lying around the house... you could poke him with a pillow and kill him."

- Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Universal Re-Monster
griphon2
Senior Member
Joined: 08/14/02
Posts: 297
01/10/2003 12:30 am
Please look in the "box" post. Theory is a wonderful thing in terms of logic. But it can be a real pain in the butt when it comes to playing. All music is sound, listening!!
It is quicker to just do. Any reasonable ear can discern what is being heard. In time you should be able to sing.
Do NOT be concerned as to where you should start a scale.
In time the ear will determine your choices. I have a severe habit of playing these scales from the 3rd, 7th or extension. The key is not what you play, but how you resolve. You start at one point, reach the pentultimate and end. The ending is what makes what you play make sense. This will always be a split second decision. In time, you'll
get good at it.
A lie goes around the world before the truth gets it's shoes on. (Mark Twain)