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> Modes, Quick question
arctic1234
post Jul 7 2010, 04:22 PM
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Hi, I have just started learning about modes, and it's a confusing subject at times huh.gif

I read in Andrew's theory lessons that all the modes may be divided into major and minor modes:

The Major-Family
Ionian (THE major scale)
Lydian
Mixolydian

The Minor-Family
Aeolian (THE minor scale)
Dorian
Phrygian
Locrian

So here's the question:

* If I where to improvise or play anything in C major would I then be able to use the C Lydian, C Mixolydian and C Ionian scales in my soloing?
* Also,would I be able to play the same thing (as above) using A modes - Am Dorian, Am Phrygian, Am Locrian and Am Aeolian
* ... And not the other way around - C Dorian, Am Lydian etc.

Or have I got it all wrong? unsure.gif blink.gif

This post has been edited by arctic1234: Jul 7 2010, 04:54 PM


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SirJamsalot
post Jul 7 2010, 04:58 PM
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Just remember that all modes are, are different starting points for the same set of 7 notes. In the key of C, the first mode (Ionian) begins with the note C. For Dorian, you start the same scale, this time at the second note D, Etc.

Ionian (Major)
C - D - E - F - G - A - B

Dorian
D - E - F - G - A - B - C

If you have the ability to record, record a C Major chord, then do your Ionion Scale (starting at C). Then using the same Major chord, do a Dorian scale (starting at D), then do the Phrygian scale (starting with E), etc. and you'll be able to hear that all modes can be used to solo over it. In fact, each mode has its own peculiar sound.

Try strumming a G Minor chord, then do your scales starting with Ionion, over the top of that chord, you'll be able to hear a completely different scale-sound because of the Minor key being imposed over the same set of notes.

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stratman79
post Jul 7 2010, 09:31 PM
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You have the right idea.

Your appraoch would only work over say a C major triad chord. Obviously if it was a C7 chord you couldn't play ionian or lydian as they both have major 7's

And again if the harmony (chords) only sit on the one chord, as soon as other chords come into play that defines the key & hence the mode.

Locrian I would say should not really be included in the minor family due to the b5 it's more in line with diminished/half diminished.

Personally I don't like the Dorian is D-D in C approach, I think it is far better to think of it as having a b3 & b7. That way your phrasing will be based (correctly) around D instead of C...

**edit**

Please note that the modes are defined by the harmony, you can imply it with the scale on it's own but as soon as there is a chord involved then that defines it.

To me if you play A Aeolian over C major it just sounds as if you are playing C major in 6th position, you phrasing will naturally make you based it around the C.

Your far better recording a C major triad and playing C ionian, C Lydian & C mixo over it.

Do the same with a minor triad & the minor modes, that will give you a better idea of the sound of the modes.

This post has been edited by stratman79: Jul 7 2010, 09:40 PM
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arctic1234
post Jul 9 2010, 11:11 AM
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Thanks for the replies! smile.gif

It really cleared something up. However as I said, I just started digging into the modes and I must say I don't quite understand the "Dorian is D-D in C approach". Anyway, I have now spent quit a lot of time on "all-guitar-chords.com" to try learn some of the scale and I start seeing some connections which has to do with this approach.

Among other thing I figured out that:
Bb Mixolydian = G Phrygian = Cm/D#
Bb Dorian = G Locrian = Fm/G#

... and so on (I mean I have found other connections) - Except of course for the all root-notes...

This might seem quit obvious to a lot of you, but for me this is still a mystery to be solved. ph34r.gif

May anyone please help me understand this? smile.gif

Edit - - Forgot to mention that I use to practice scales in Gm/Bb, thats why I used this example

This post has been edited by arctic1234: Jul 9 2010, 03:51 PM


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