What modes create what moods?

Guitar Tricks Forum > Music Theory > What modes create what moods?

New Member

Joined: 07/30/00

Posts: 12

i play metal music in a band. when i solo i can never get off the minor pentatonic scale. it's like a bad habit. i've been working a lot on modes recently, but i don't know when to use them to create moods. someone please help me!

#1

i play metal music in a band. when i solo i can never get off the minor pentatonic scale. it's like a bad habit. i've been working a lot on modes recently, but i don't know when to use them to create moods. someone please help me!

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 04/29/00

Posts: 267

In metal, the only modes you pretty much need are Aeolian, Dorian, and Phrygian. But here are all of them.

Ionian - The basic major sound. Think 'happy' or 'triumphant'.
Dorian - The all-in-one blues, rock, and metal scale. This one's great for a jam in minor.
Phrygian - The exotic diatonic mode. Sound a little middle-eastern/Egyptian. Used frequently in riffs.
Lydian - The Vai mode. Creates a dreamy atmospere. Very hard to master.
Mixolydian - The Satch mode. Used in acoustic blues a lot, and good for guitar rock instrumentals.
Aeolian - Straight minor; think 'sad' or 'depressing'. Used in classical.
Locrian - Used a lot in metal riffs for that really EVIL feeling. I don't think I've ever heard it in a solo.

#2

In metal, the only modes you pretty much need are Aeolian, Dorian, and Phrygian. But here are all of them.

Ionian - The basic major sound. Think 'happy' or 'triumphant'.
Dorian - The all-in-one blues, rock, and metal scale. This one's great for a jam in minor.
Phrygian - The exotic diatonic mode. Sound a little middle-eastern/Egyptian. Used frequently in riffs.
Lydian - The Vai mode. Creates a dreamy atmospere. Very hard to master.
Mixolydian - The Satch mode. Used in acoustic blues a lot, and good for guitar rock instrumentals.
Aeolian - Straight minor; think 'sad' or 'depressing'. Used in classical.
Locrian - Used a lot in metal riffs for that really EVIL feeling. I don't think I've ever heard it in a solo.

Senior Member

Joined: 06/22/00

Posts: 207

The most important part is knowing what chords to play them over. I think it's been stated in a past theory discussion, so go check it out. The idea is, if you think you're playing E phrygian, but the bassist is playing C, and the other guitarrist is playing a C riff, You're going to sound like you're playing C major and just landing on E a lot.

#3

The most important part is knowing what chords to play them over. I think it's been stated in a past theory discussion, so go check it out. The idea is, if you think you're playing E phrygian, but the bassist is playing C, and the other guitarrist is playing a C riff, You're going to sound like you're playing C major and just landing on E a lot.

New Member

Joined: 07/28/00

Posts: 23

Try these scales...
(@=Root X=Fingering)

Major
[@X___@]
[__XX__]
[[email protected]]
[______]
[XXXXXX]

Blues
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]__]
[X___XX]
[______]

Pentatonic/Chromatic
[@XXXX@]
[_XX___]
[[email protected]]
[X__XXX]
[______]

Dorian Mode (Bluesy)
[__XX__]
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]]
[X___XX]

Phygrian Mode (Slightly Eerie)
[@XXXX@]
[X___XX]
[_XXX__]
[XXX_XX]
[______]

Aeolian Mode (Dark Evil sounding)
[___X__]
[@XXXX@]
[____X_]
[XXXX_X]
[XX__XX]

Harmonic Minor (Classical sounding)
[___X__]
[@X_XX@]
[__X_X_]
[email protected]_X]
[XX___X]
[____X_]

Diminished (Play this one a half step higher than the chord you are soloing over)
[__XXXX]
[@X_X_@]
[_XX_X_]
[[email protected]]
[XX____]
They're very versatile and you can combine them once you get familiar with them.


[This message has been edited by Vulgar Display of Jeff (edited 08-03-2000).]

[This message has been edited by jbroder (edited 08-03-2000).]

#4

Try these scales...
(@=Root X=Fingering)

Major
[@X___@]
[__XX__]
[[email protected]]
[______]
[XXXXXX]

Blues
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]__]
[X___XX]
[______]

Pentatonic/Chromatic
[@XXXX@]
[_XX___]
[[email protected]]
[X__XXX]
[______]

Dorian Mode (Bluesy)
[__XX__]
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]]
[X___XX]

Phygrian Mode (Slightly Eerie)
[@XXXX@]
[X___XX]
[_XXX__]
[XXX_XX]
[______]

Aeolian Mode (Dark Evil sounding)
[___X__]
[@XXXX@]
[____X_]
[XXXX_X]
[XX__XX]

Harmonic Minor (Classical sounding)
[___X__]
[@X_XX@]
[__X_X_]
[email protected]_X]
[XX___X]
[____X_]

Diminished (Play this one a half step higher than the chord you are soloing over)
[__XXXX]
[@X_X_@]
[_XX_X_]
[[email protected]]
[XX____]
They're very versatile and you can combine them once you get familiar with them.


[This message has been edited by Vulgar Display of Jeff (edited 08-03-2000).]

[This message has been edited by jbroder (edited 08-03-2000).]

New Member

Joined: 07/28/00

Posts: 23

Sorry...The spacing on this message board sucks...But, you get the idea...

#5

Sorry...The spacing on this message board sucks...But, you get the idea...

Administrator

Joined: 10/31/00

Posts: 3317

Trying for better spacing....


code:

Major
[@X___@]
[__XX__]
[[email protected]]
[______]
[XXXXXX]


Blues
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]__]
[X___XX]
[______]


Pentatonic/Chromatic
[@XXXX@]
[_XX___]
[[email protected]]
[X__XXX]
[______]


Dorian Mode (Bluesy)
[__XX__]
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]]
[X___XX]


Phygrian Mode (Slightly Eerie)
[@XXXX@]
[X___XX]
[_XXX__]
[XXX_XX]
[______]


Aeolian Mode (Dark Evil sounding)
[___X__]
[@XXXX@]
[____X_]
[XXXX_X]
[XX__XX]


Harmonic Minor (Classical sounding)
[___X__]
[@X_XX@]
[__X_X_]
[email protected]_X]
[XX___X]
[____X_]


Diminished (Play this one a half step higher than the chord you are soloing over)
[__XXXX]
[@X_X_@]
[_XX_X_]
[[email protected]]
[XX____]
[/code]

#6

Trying for better spacing....


code:

Major
[@X___@]
[__XX__]
[[email protected]]
[______]
[XXXXXX]


Blues
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]__]
[X___XX]
[______]


Pentatonic/Chromatic
[@XXXX@]
[_XX___]
[[email protected]]
[X__XXX]
[______]


Dorian Mode (Bluesy)
[__XX__]
[@XXXX@]
[______]
[[email protected]]
[X___XX]


Phygrian Mode (Slightly Eerie)
[@XXXX@]
[X___XX]
[_XXX__]
[XXX_XX]
[______]


Aeolian Mode (Dark Evil sounding)
[___X__]
[@XXXX@]
[____X_]
[XXXX_X]
[XX__XX]


Harmonic Minor (Classical sounding)
[___X__]
[@X_XX@]
[__X_X_]
[email protected]_X]
[XX___X]
[____X_]


Diminished (Play this one a half step higher than the chord you are soloing over)
[__XXXX]
[@X_X_@]
[_XX_X_]
[[email protected]]
[XX____]
[/code]

Senior Member

Joined: 06/22/00

Posts: 207

I'd like to clarify something he said about the diminished scale. First of all, that's the whole half diminished, the fingering he showed. Second, you're only going to use it with any regularity in jazz.
Both the whole half, and the half whole, will work on diminished chords. The half whole is also used for soloing over certain altered dominant chords, since it has the b9, the #9, the major third, the #11, the 5, and the 13. Keep in mind, it will not work over altered fifth chords, or chords with something other than a natural thirteenth. The whole half works over other chords and I dont feel like writing this stuff out right now. You probably don't have to worry yourself with diminished scales too much.

#7

I'd like to clarify something he said about the diminished scale. First of all, that's the whole half diminished, the fingering he showed. Second, you're only going to use it with any regularity in jazz.
Both the whole half, and the half whole, will work on diminished chords. The half whole is also used for soloing over certain altered dominant chords, since it has the b9, the #9, the major third, the #11, the 5, and the 13. Keep in mind, it will not work over altered fifth chords, or chords with something other than a natural thirteenth. The whole half works over other chords and I dont feel like writing this stuff out right now. You probably don't have to worry yourself with diminished scales too much.