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Thread: Modal interchange and borrowed chords+soloing

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Modal interchange and borrowed chords+soloing

    Hi all,

    I've been looking at modal interchange for chord borrowing and soloing tips and had some questions:

    1. So, I can use the modal interchange idea to borrow chords from the 7 parallel modes from the same root note (e.g. C Ionian/Dorian/Phrygian/Lydian/Mixolydian/Aeolian/Locrian). Looks like this is the same as borrowing chords from 7 different Major Keys (e.g. C/Bb/Ab/G/F/Eb/Db Major). But does modal interchange show how to borrow from the other remaining 5 Major Keys (e.g. A, B, D, E, Gb)? Most sites only cover parallel modes when discussing modal interchange, but to cover these cases, seems some 'non-parallel' modes are also needed (i.e. C# Phrygian/Dorian/Locrian/Aeolian, Cb Lydian). We can still borrow chords from these other 5 Major keys, right? And we can still use the above 5 modes for soloing over those chords, right? Just want to make sure I'm not missing something important ��.

    2. For modal interchange, sometimes a borrowed chord can come from multiple modes (e.g. In the key of C, Ebmaj could be from C Dorian/Phrygian/Aeolian, maybe others if we consider parallel modes of Harmonic/Melodic Minor as well - need to check). So, I can try using these modes when soloing over a borrowed chord to explore new sounds. But some modes are a struggle (e.g. C Aeolian is good over the Ebmaj above, but having difficulty making the C Dorian work - something with the natural 6 isn't clicking for me, but the b6 in C Aeolian sounds good and 'makes sense'). Are there any tips on selecting a good mode to use for soloing over borrowed chords when there are multiple options in the chord/scale charts? Also, sometimes it's hard to make use of the new notes in the new mode I selected, even if approaching the new notes by half-step. Any ideas that can help make them "work" without avoiding them entirely?

    Last edited by shaunp; 12-21-2019 at 08:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by motherlode View Post
    Hi motherlode, thanks for the link. It covers the parallel modes well. I think that parallel modes gives 7 out of the 12 Major keys for chord borrowing, so I'm curious how to borrow from the other 5 keys. Not sure if that makes sense, but that's what I'm going for in #1 above.


  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Fair enough. I'd love to know those other techniques then, beyond modal interchange. Pointers appreciated.

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