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 Modes 
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Viking Kong
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Post Modes
So I'm drawing out some fretboard diagrams and figuring out modes for myself, but what's the best way to understand them? I know it's just the same shifted around the same key but where do I start?

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Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:17 pm
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Dr. X

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I tend to think of them as different steps in a major scale.

So take C major, for example. Going from C to C, with no flats or sharps, gives you a C major scale.

Modes are basically another way of applying this same scale to other keys, resulting in interesting tonal flavors. If you play C major over a D minor progression, you'll get a D Dorian flavor. Over E minor? You get the Middle-Eastern sounding Phyrigian...and such and such.

Another way to use modes without going through all that transposition is to memorize the degrees of the major scale that get altered to form a mode.

For example, say you want to play C Dorian, but you don't want to or don't have time try and figure out what major scale corresponds to it. All you have to do is lower the 3rd and 7th degree of the C major scale, and you'll have C Dorian. Each mode has a similar formula (Mixolydian = flat 7th, Lydian = #4, etc). Google can tell you the rest.


Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:28 pm
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Viking Kong
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I know nothing about modes, although I did study them for a while.

The guy who thaught them to me did a very good job, since he didn't focus on the shapes, but on the notes and on the sound each mode has.

After that, it was fairly easy to find the "mode notes" on my regular major and minor pentatonics.

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Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:48 pm
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The best way is to just play stuff and learn the sound, the theoretical part will come easier when you understand why things sound a certain way.

Just record yourself playing a C5 and solo over it, trying to emphasise ending on C, E, G but using C major scale and it'll sound like Ionian.

Record yourself playing an F5 and solo over it, trying to emphasise ending on F, A C but using C major scale and it'll sound like Lydian.

Then you can start to worry about how all the modes are made up, it's confusing at first.


Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:31 pm
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Viking Kong
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One thing that I've noticed is that both of these videos explain, or show to some degree the different modes, and can take away some of the confusion. The other guys posted some good advice here too, but if there's something you want to watch and listen to, these are some pretty good videos. I don't know about the availability, though.

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Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:10 pm
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Motorman
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Frank Gambale's Modes - No More Mystery video is also great for this purpose. :)

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:11 am
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God Of The Sun
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Instead of the method of starting a major scale on each different scale tone (C, D, E, F, etc.), try playing each mode starting on the same tone (C for example) so you can actually hear the different tonalities of each mode. Sure you'll have to dig up the scale formula for each one but it's worth the trouble.

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:45 am
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Viking Kong
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teddygorm wrote:
Frank Gambale's Modes - No More Mystery video is also great for this purpose. :)


The pinball playing intro is genius as well! 8)

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:16 am
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probably also best posted in the music theory topic

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:14 am
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Viking Kong
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MissMisstreater wrote:
probably also best posted in the music theory topic


Aahh yes. Sorry man. But thanks everyone, I'll check/try these things out soon.

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:18 pm
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Motorman

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Post Re:
shackleton wrote:
I tend to think of them as different steps in a major scale.

So take C major, for example. Going from C to C, with no flats or sharps, gives you a C major scale.

Modes are basically another way of applying this same scale to other keys, resulting in interesting tonal flavors. If you play C major over a D minor progression, you'll get a D Dorian flavor. Over E minor? You get the Middle-Eastern sounding Phyrigian...and such and such.

Another way to use modes without going through all that transposition is to memorize the degrees of the major scale that get altered to form a mode.

For example, say you want to play C Dorian, but you don't want to or don't have time try and figure out what major scale corresponds to it. All you have to do is lower the 3rd and 7th degree of the C major scale, and you'll have C Dorian. Each mode has a similar formula (Mixolydian = flat 7th, Lydian = #4, etc). Google can tell you the rest.


interesting examples. I'm in this phase right now to learn all. Can you, or anyone else explain the last part a it more explained in details, perhaps another example?

And how do you guys can get some of the scales seperated from each other? some sound so much similar..

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Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:35 pm
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Viking Kong

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Post Re: Modes
The reason why they sound so similar is because if you play them by themselves...like so

G ionian
A Dorian
B phyrgian...
so on and so on...


is because they all have the same notes and are the same thing (If you play it without a keycenter...).


You SHOULD play them in relation to some kind of chord to understand what they sound like.


For example, if you play A dorian "shape" to an Am7 vamp it's going to have the dorian "sound" (minor sound, with a major 6th). If you play an A Dorian shape to a G major chord vamp, then it's going to sound like G ionian (super happy G major sound). Keep in mind you still have to emphasize certain sounds and "colors" to make these modes sound good.


After you understand the sounds, then you can make scales sound "modal" depending on which notes you emphasize (even without chords underneath them). You will hear people mention "colors". This is what they mean. For example, to make the scales mentioned above have a dorian "color"...emphasize the A, C, F#, and G. (The 1, minor 3rd, major 6th, and minor 7th of A Dorian). If you want a G Major "color", the emphasize G, B, D, and F#. It doesn't matter if you play G Ionian, A Dorian, or B Phrygian, if you emphasize those notes you'll get a different modal "color".




Also, learn the different notes between each mode. What do I mean?


Ionian - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (Everything is major, no sharps, no flats...hence, "Major scale")
Dorian - 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7 (difference to major scale is flat 3 and 7...that's why it works so well over a min7 chord)


and etc. Learn the difference and it'll be easy to visualize where the different notes are.


I hope I didn't confuse anyone further. :chew:


Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:07 am
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God Of The Sun
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Post Re: Modes
Refried Bean wrote:

Ionian - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (Everything is major, no sharps, no flats...hence, "Major scale")


that aint no major 5th :wink:

root
maj 2nd
maj 3rd
perfect 4th
perfect 5th
maj 6th
maj 7th

I know what your saying, just didnt want anyone walking away thinking a major scale has a major 4th

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Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:58 am
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Viking Kong

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Post Re: Modes
Oooh yeah. Forgot to mention that. :oops:


Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:29 am
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is evil...Evil Joe
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Post Re: Modes
I have always felt that just understanding the "Math" of modes one only 20 % of being able to use them effectivley....It really comes down to playing along with a back track and feeling/finding the vibe of that mode... this is where the fun comes in.

the math is very easy the feel is what makes the player unique.

you have already played c lydian to death .. in every e minor solo you have done ! LOL


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Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:27 pm
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Viking Kong
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Post Re: Modes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwhzkC1E2Uw

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Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:47 pm
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Post Re:
dave5150 wrote:
teddygorm wrote:
Frank Gambale's Modes - No More Mystery video is also great for this purpose. :)


The pinball playing intro is genius as well! 8)

his attire is questionable though. :lol:

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