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Thread: Modes (And This Time its Personal)

  1. #1
    FUBAR'd Metalliska's Avatar
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    Modes (And This Time its Personal)

    Right I know all the modes, thats Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixylodian, Aeolian and Locrian. I know that these are formed by playing from major scales from their various degrees, Phrygian - 3rd, Mixylodian - 5th. I've also been lead to understand that the names given to the mode simply describe the relationship between Chords and Scales. For example the Relationship between the Chord Dmin and the Scale of C major is described as Dorian The relationship between the chord of D Major and the Scale of G Major is called Mixylodian. So i'm in college and the lecturer puts on a Jazz Peice by Miles Davis and he says, this is in D Dorian, and he plays the D dorian scale ( D E F G A B C [D]), now does that mean that the entire song is played over the chord Dmin or is it played over a vairety of chords and if so isn't he playing through a C major, or at least the modes of a C major, and if so what is the ****ing point of having modes in the first place? You play a C Major scale over G Dm and C you're effectively playing 3 different modes, G mixylodian, D Dorian and C Ionian, most songs have a movement of at least three chords, so almost every song ever written has three modes, so how can you say a song is in D Dorian unless that song is completely played as a Dm chord? Even if you only play the notes (D E F G A B C [D]) over the G Dm C, you're still playing three modes and still basically playing the C major Scale. Whats the point in modes????
    Matty

    "People say crazy things during sex, one time I called this chick mom!"
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  2. #2
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    It does sound .... strange. Unless you just think about the structure of the mode. If you think of the major scale in a linear fashion, the notes follow in the W-H formula. The modes also happen to have their own linear W-H formula. In essence, you're right in that, your not playing different notes when you play in the key of Cmaj or E Phrygian, but when you play in E Phrygian, it definitely has a different flavor than Cmaj. So, it's prolly more to do with simple naming, as they do share notes, but they definitely dont share the same vibe.

  3. #3
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    looks like someone has discovered that modes are not that hot and hard as everyone thought?!?!

    OMG .... tutorial book sales will go down ... we won't see anymore threads about mode .... guitars will die and all guitarists will have more time to practice rather then understand modes

    heeeeelllllllpppppppppp the secret is out

    that is basically it ... i guess
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  4. #4
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    Smile

    As far as i know, in modal jazz many songs aren't based on only one chord, but the whole song has got "modal" color: On a Dm7 you can play D dorian scale, and on a F#m7 you can play a F# Dorian. If there's no tonal structure, you can play a lot of funny things.
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  5. #5
    Registered User ashc's Avatar
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    The idea, by using this example, is that it should sound like the piece is minor and the Tonic is D (min). But, when the sixth note is used it's the natural 6th not the minor 6th. It's not C major, it's D min with the natural 6th. Like the purple haze solo is in Em not Dmajor..

    You could take away the 6th (and the 2nd) from the mode, then try using pentatonics over the song, Dm is going to sound more appropriate than C major.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalliska
    now does that mean that the entire song is played over the chord Dmin or is it played over a vairety of chords.....
    Could be either way. If you treat every mode as it's own scale, the same way you look at Ionian, you have chords built off of each degree, each with it's own specific quality. If you use a series of chords, (I'm avoiding the term progression), each will have the quality dictated by the mode you're using and the "progression", (so much for that ) will "resolve" to the tonic - D minor, in this case.

    You can determine that a song is in Dorian, Mixolydian, etc. the same way you would determine that it's Ionian or Aeolian.

    If the tune you were listening to was So What, I believe that one uses a static D minor, moving up a half step, (as a "B" section) then back to D minor. In that case it's Miles' use of melody notes that determines modal "key center"

    Someone let me know if I'm wrong on this !!
    -Maybe Zatz will come along and post all those links, again -

    -best
    Mike

  7. #7
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    Personally I just think of modes as the Major Scale all over the next. There really is no need for the whole mode fiasco

  8. #8
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    thinking of modes as displaced major scales prevented me from understanding what they could do for a very long time. i still have doubts that i've tried to bring up in posts here before, but i never really felt like those doubts have settled in my mind. in any case, one thing i do get is modal harmony. as far as i know, anyway.

    your teacher probably meant that the song's chordal harmonization was derived from the dorian scale. in which case, instead of pulling chords from the bag of Imaj7, iim7, iiim7, IVmaj7, V7, vim7, vii 7 (b5) <<(by the way could someone tell me the "name" of this final chord? is it dim or half dim?)

    you build with these:

    I-7, II-7, bIII maj7, IV7, V-7, VI-7(b5), bVII maj7.

    and maybe do a vamp between two of the most distinctive modal chords. which, with dorian, might be I-7 and bIIImaj7, for instance, since some key things about the dorian sound are the flat seven and the flat third. put it in C for simplicity, that'd be c-7 and eb maj7. then you could improvise over that with c dorian.

    here are the modal harmonizations. i think i noticed an error in these once, but i forget where:

    http://www.riddleworks.com/modalharm2.html


    Last edited by fortymile; 09-28-2004 at 02:05 AM.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  9. #9
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    by the way could someone tell me the "name" of this final chord? is it dim or half dim?
    half diminished
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  10. #10
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    so to get this straight...
    a full diminsihed chord has a flat 3, a flat 5, and a flat FLAT 7? double flat 7?
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  11. #11
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    lol bloody hell you got me doubting myself luckily!

    i checked out on the web and this is the result

    full diminished (aka dim7) - 1, b3, b5, bb7
    half diminished (aka m7b5) - 1, b3, b5, b7

    hope that helps
    Last edited by rmuscat; 09-29-2004 at 06:12 AM.
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  12. #12
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    yeah thats what i thought. i keep learning this and forgetting it. as a rock song writer i dont use a full diminshed chord ever. or even a half diminshed one.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortymile
    yeah thats what i thought. i keep learning this and forgetting it. as a rock song writer i dont use a full diminshed chord ever. or even a half diminshed one.
    Do you use dominant chords ??
    If so, you should check out szulcs' article Tritone, substituion and cycle four, (that's close to the right title). It's one of those works that becomes a constant reference.
    ........or, endless headaches -

    -best,
    Mike

  14. #14
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    thanks for the idea. i'm going to put that in my mozilla homepages and check it out. i love the sound of dominants but don't use them nearly enough because i don't always know how or when. its one of those things that i know if i knew how to use them better my songs would go to the next level. all the best radiohead and NIN songs use dominants.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  15. #15
    Mode Rator Zatz's Avatar
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    Interesting fact about diminished and half-diminished chords is that they have similar moveable patterns on the fretboard - the same grips shifted a string away from each other:

    Half-diminished:

    ...-|---|---|-...
    ...-|---|-x-|-...
    ...-|-x-|---|-...
    ...-|---|-x-|-...
    ...-|-x-|---|-...
    ...-|---|---|-...

    Diminished:

    ...-|---|-x-|-...
    ...-|-x-|---|-...
    ...-|---|-x-|-...
    ...-|-x-|---|-...
    ...-|---|---|-...
    ...-|---|---|-...

    But note that the roots will not be the same.

    On acoustic guitar these chords sound very nice and I often use iim7b5 chords as a substitution for ivm7 in minor, and Xdim as a transition between two diatonic chords, especially when I want to create chromatic bass line.

    Zatz.
    Last edited by Zatz; 09-30-2004 at 12:52 PM.
    Zadd9 -> A6 -> T#9b5 -> Zmaj7

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