View Full Version : Songs with the locrian mode!

01-31-2003, 07:07 PM
Do any of you know any songs in which the locrian mode is used? (anything from Sabbath to Vai to Malmsteen.)

Bongo Boy
01-31-2003, 11:30 PM
I don't, but how can one know that a tune uses a given mode? What would be the indicators to a listener, and even to the reader who has the written music?

02-01-2003, 03:14 AM
I *think*:
the way to identify a mode would be by listening to the note that the solo/whatever resolves around. As I understand it, modes are defined by what they accompany.

If you're playing in the key of C, and playing a B chord, over which you are playing the C major scale that resolves to B, it would be B locrian. I think. This isn't well cemented in my brain, and I could be looking at it backwards.

But I think Locrian is really hard to implement since it would tend to accompany the VII chord, which is an unstable chord to begin with.

Corrections would be greatly appreciated.

Bongo Boy
02-01-2003, 05:14 AM
Yes, I've gathered it it all has to do with tonality--but since I've never listened to music this way, I don't know what tonality means, and I don't know any examples where this resolution to or centering on a tonal center is particularly obvious. None of this makes sense.

02-01-2003, 06:23 AM
I can't do it myself too well, but in theory, finding out what mode a song is in would be just like determining what key a song is in. Just out the notes/chords of a song and see if it fits in any key.

Let's say there's a chord progression:
Bdim, Dmin, Amin, Fmaj, Bdim

Now look at the quality of each chord(ie Major/minor/dim, etc) to determine what key it's in. A diminished chord would usually give it away. Since the vii chord is dim, and in this progression B is Dim, B would be the vii chord, making C the I chord, therefore it would be in the of C(but it's not, though it does contain the same notes of the Cmaj scale).

Where modes come into play is that this progression couldn't be in Cmajor because the progression doesn't even have a Cmajor chord to resolve to. All you have to do to find the resolving chord is listen for the chord where the song seems to rest. It's also frequently the first and last chord of a song.
Since the resolving chord in this progression seems to be Bdim, and the notes are the same as the Cmaj scale, we can assume the progression is in B Locrian due to the fact that a Bdim chord would have to be the vii in Cmaj, and Locrian begins on the 7th note of a major scale.

I'm no expert though, so someone correct me if I'm totally wrong.

02-01-2003, 01:00 PM
Locrian mode ?
Uhmm... "Wherever I may roam" by Metallica comes to mind...