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> Modes Of The Major Scale
JesseJ
post Jun 2 2012, 06:41 AM
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Hello everyone at GMC !

I am currently trying to learn all 7 modes of the major scale , and I have a few questions based off some observations I have made

First here are some observations I made
The Dorian mode resemble the D form of the major scale
The Phrygian mode resembles the C form of the major scale
The Lydian mode is the Phrygian mode moved 1 fret lower
The Mixolydian mode resembles the A form of the major scale
The Aeolian mode resembles the G form of the of the major scale
The Locrian mode resembles the Ionian mode moved 1 fret higher

Now lets pretend we are in the key of A major. So I have learnt that scales move in a C-A-G-E-D pattern. So Lets take the dorian mode as an example . Like I said it looks exactly like the D form of the A major scale except they are played in different places on the neck . So If I am playing the Dorian mode can I treat it as an A major scale but with the G form at the position of the E form and then play through the C-A-G-E-D shapes ?

I am not sure if you guys will get what I am trying to say , but if you do any correction or Advice would be MUCH appreciated !! 2


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Marcost
post Jun 2 2012, 08:56 AM
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Hi JesseJ,

I am new to the site and am not an expert, but I thought it was worth mentioning my learnings on modes.

I am also writing this to re-enforce my own understanding so please jump in if I am wrong!

I really didn't get it until I started thinking in terms of what parent key/scale the mode must come from. If you think of the modes as built from each note of the major scale, you can work out the parent scale your mode is from and then apply the major scale for the parent key to the key and mode you want to play in.

The important thing to me was realising that the modes are not new scales or fingerings, they are all based on the notes of the major scale. What makes them sound different is that you don't start/end/imply your melodies and licks from the root of the major scale, but from one of the other notes in that scale.

To play in A Dorian, I approach it this way:

Going up the major scale, Dorian is the second mode, which means it is built on the second note of the major scale. If you want to play in A Dorian, the parent key must be G, as G is one tone down from A. Once you know this, you can work out the A Dorian scale because it is actually the same as the G major scale. Therefore, you can use the patterns of the G major scale to play in A Dorian, but you need to emphasise the A notes rather than the G notes to re-enforce the tonality of the A dorian. I.e make the A the 'root' note.

It is the same thinking as when I first realised that once I had learnt the major scale patterns, I actually knew the minor scale patterns as well. And when I understood modes I realised why this is so - because the minor scale can be thought of as a mode of the major scale. It is the sixth mode, so built on the sixth note of the major scale. As you know, is called Aeolian in mode terms. The A minor scale is therefore the same notes as C major scale, but emphasising the A.

Knowing the root key also tells you the feel of the mode - the feel will be similar to the harmonised chord on each note of the key. We know that the chord built on each note of the major key always follow the same pattern (eg for G major):

G major
A minor
B minor
C major
D major
E minor
F# dim

So this tells us Dorian will have a minor feel as the second chord in any major scale is a minor chord. Note also in the example above, the sixth chord is minor, giving the Aeolian mode its minor feel as we already know.

I think also, the notes of the mode need to be heard over the relevant chord to be most obvious (in this example of A dorian that means the A minor chord), because if you play them over G major it will just sound like the G major scale


In terms of caged, the G major scale pattern starting on the third fret bottom E string is built around the E shape chord so the next one up is indeed D shape, but starting on the A 5th fret bottom E string to give it A dorian feel. And play this over A minor chord to re-inforce the dorian feel.

If you get stuck, just start by playing the G major scale over an A minor chord and you will be half way there! Then start hitting the A's rather than G's and you have got it made.

Hope that is some help!

Regards,

Martin
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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 2 2012, 11:26 AM
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Hey mates smile.gif

I would suggest a different approach: don't look at modes as if they were only some shapes. You can regard a scale as an icecream and modes can be different flavors. They are still being icecream but they taste and smell different wink.gif

Each mode has a characteristic sound which can be emphasized if you know what notes to play in a specific context. If you play a whole bunch of notes consecutively, you might end up with some runs but you won't obtain that certain flavor.

I have dealt with a series of video chat on modes, in which I have explained the important notes to be emphasized in each particular mode. You can start looking on these lesson notes here and follow them to the present day:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...st&p=564197

The principles are the same, but there are a lot of interesting applications and I will assist with answers if you guys stumble upon ideas and concepts which are troublesome in these notes smile.gif

It is good to know the shapes, but it is more important to know which notes make up a mode, which is the characteristic scale degree (the note/ notes offering the specific flavor of that mode) and how to use it in a context.

hope this helps

Cosmin


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dark dude
post Jun 2 2012, 11:59 AM
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Aye, a problem with learning them as shapes and saying to yourself "Well, I'll just emphasize the root note and I'll be fine" is that there are signature notes in each mode that make it sound like it does.

Take the Lydian mode, for instance. The only difference between the Lydian and Ionian is that the Lydian has a sharp fourth, instead of the Ionian regular fourth. If you don't play this note, even if you're emphasizing the root, it'll just sound Ionian.

So, sure, as Cos said, learn why each mode has a certain 'flavour' to get the most out of it. Otherwise, you may struggle to get a particular sound out of a mode, even after playing about with all those shapes. Not saying that learning the shapes is a bad idea, but you really have to do both to get the most out of it.


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Dinaga
post Jun 2 2012, 12:05 PM
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There are many approaches to modes. smile.gif I'm a beginner in modes too, but my approach would be relating each mode to either major or minor scale. That's how I know which note emphasizes the "flavor" of a particular mode.

In those terms, it would be like this:

Lydian = Ionian with sharp 4th note,
Mixolydian = Ionian with flat 7th note,

Dorian = Aeolian with sharp 6th note,
Phyrigian = Aeolian with flat 2nd note.


This post has been edited by Dinaga: Jun 2 2012, 12:07 PM


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Marcost
post Jun 2 2012, 01:32 PM
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Hi guys,

Thanks and sorry to mislead you JesseJ with my over-simplified approach. It was just the way that the logic of modes clicked for me.

Is using the 'important' notes to emphasise the mode similar to 'chord-tone soloing'? I can't/don't do that either but know it's important to sounding good

Regards
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dark dude
post Jun 2 2012, 02:03 PM
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QUOTE (Marcost @ Jun 2 2012, 01:32 PM) *
Hi guys,

Thanks and sorry to mislead you JesseJ with my over-simplified approach. It was just the way that the logic of modes clicked for me.

Is using the 'important' notes to emphasise the mode similar to 'chord-tone soloing'? I can't/don't do that either but know it's important to sounding good

Regards

Hah, no need to apologise at all, t'was a valid post.

It's nice to have many ways to look at modes, for a better understanding and to have an easier time committing them to memory.

Your info. presented some important points, thanks for taking the time to do so, it allowed me to make some little connections I hadn't seen before smile.gif

--

I imagine that chord-tone soloing is about being aware of the chord tones, i.e. 'safe notes' when soloing.

When you're soloing, chances are you'll be playing over chords, the chord tones are simply the most important notes present in those chords (root, third, fifth), and will sound correct when you land on them. Not to say that the other notes in the key aren't correct (or even notes outside of the key), but these notes work nicely when you want to linger on a note for a while.

EDIT: Also, if you learn your arpeggios, you'll also know your chord tones. Arpeggios are made up from these chord tones.

This post has been edited by dark dude: Jun 2 2012, 02:04 PM


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JesseJ
post Jun 2 2012, 02:55 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Jun 2 2012, 10:59 AM) *
Aye, a problem with learning them as shapes and saying to yourself "Well, I'll just emphasize the root note and I'll be fine" is that there are signature notes in each mode that make it sound like it does.

Take the Lydian mode, for instance. The only difference between the Lydian and Ionian is that the Lydian has a sharp fourth, instead of the Ionian regular fourth. If you don't play this note, even if you're emphasizing the root, it'll just sound Ionian.

So, sure, as Cos said, learn why each mode has a certain 'flavour' to get the most out of it. Otherwise, you may struggle to get a particular sound out of a mode, even after playing about with all those shapes. Not saying that learning the shapes is a bad idea, but you really have to do both to get the most out of it.


Okay this is news to me ! I thought a mode was just a reordering of the major scale . So I thought the Lydian Mode was A major scale played from D to D ? I thought the notes stayed the same ? And now you are taking about playing the different notes such as a sharp 4th . Which in essence makes sense . So I guess my next step is to go back to the drawing board and learn the different notes in the modes ?

QUOTE (Marcost @ Jun 2 2012, 12:32 PM) *
Hi guys,

Thanks and sorry to mislead you JesseJ with my over-simplified approach. It was just the way that the logic of modes clicked for me.

Is using the 'important' notes to emphasise the mode similar to 'chord-tone soloing'? I can't/don't do that either but know it's important to sounding good

Regards


Not at all ! everything helps smile.gif I have learnt that every musician knows something I don't ! I am very thankfull for all the advice !

QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jun 2 2012, 10:26 AM) *
Hey mates smile.gif

I would suggest a different approach: don't look at modes as if they were only some shapes. You can regard a scale as an icecream and modes can be different flavors. They are still being icecream but they taste and smell different wink.gif

Each mode has a characteristic sound which can be emphasized if you know what notes to play in a specific context. If you play a whole bunch of notes consecutively, you might end up with some runs but you won't obtain that certain flavor.

I have dealt with a series of video chat on modes, in which I have explained the important notes to be emphasized in each particular mode. You can start looking on these lesson notes here and follow them to the present day:

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...st&p=564197

The principles are the same, but there are a lot of interesting applications and I will assist with answers if you guys stumble upon ideas and concepts which are troublesome in these notes smile.gif

It is good to know the shapes, but it is more important to know which notes make up a mode, which is the characteristic scale degree (the note/ notes offering the specific flavor of that mode) and how to use it in a context.

hope this helps

Cosmin


Okay so here is what I am to do .

1 learn which notes make up a mode
2 learn and memorize the notes on every string so I know where my root notes are at all times
3 learn to play all the modes on the guitar ( this is why I wanted to know about the shapes. I dont want to be stuck trying to make a solo and only knowing the dorian mode in one spot . I want my fingers to be free to play anywhere on the neck .


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dark dude
post Jun 2 2012, 03:29 PM
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QUOTE (JesseJ @ Jun 2 2012, 02:55 PM) *
Okay this is news to me ! I thought a mode was just a reordering of the major scale . So I thought the Lydian Mode was A major scale played from D to D ? I thought the notes stayed the same ? And now you are taking about playing the different notes such as a sharp 4th . Which in essence makes sense . So I guess my next step is to go back to the drawing board and learn the different notes in the modes ?

As Marcost said, you have to relate the mode you're playing to the root note. If I play A, and then a 3rd from that, I'll hear the relationship between the two notes. If I just play a 3rd, I won't have a root to refer to, so it could be anything. Modes are the same, you need to play them over at least a root note to have a point of reference, and ultimately, to hear their 'flavour'.

A major:
a b c# d e f# g#
A lydian:
a b c# d# e f# g#

The fourth note is sharp, it's the only difference in terms of notes. When you play the root note A, and A major's fourth note, that will give you one 'flavour', if you play A lydian's fourth note, it will give you another 'flavour'. Once you train your ear, you will be able to hear a sharpened fourth and that will give the possibility of the lydian mode being used. If you depend on shapes, you won't be able to do this. However, if you're playing the lydian scale at speed, it's the other way round, you can depend on shapes, but not so much on your ear (it will be too fast for your head to process, with shapes you're relying on muscle memory).

It would be good to learn both, yes smile.gif


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Alex Feather
post Jun 2 2012, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (JesseJ @ Jun 2 2012, 05:41 AM) *
Hello everyone at GMC !

I am currently trying to learn all 7 modes of the major scale , and I have a few questions based off some observations I have made

First here are some observations I made
The Dorian mode resemble the D form of the major scale
The Phrygian mode resembles the C form of the major scale
The Lydian mode is the Phrygian mode moved 1 fret lower
The Mixolydian mode resembles the A form of the major scale
The Aeolian mode resembles the G form of the of the major scale
The Locrian mode resembles the Ionian mode moved 1 fret higher

Now lets pretend we are in the key of A major. So I have learnt that scales move in a C-A-G-E-D pattern. So Lets take the dorian mode as an example . Like I said it looks exactly like the D form of the A major scale except they are played in different places on the neck . So If I am playing the Dorian mode can I treat it as an A major scale but with the G form at the position of the E form and then play through the C-A-G-E-D shapes ?

I am not sure if you guys will get what I am trying to say , but if you do any correction or Advice would be MUCH appreciated !! 2


Well your way is possible to do, but it's very complicated! And I would suggest to learn it the normal way just knowing shapes and what mode you are playing!
I was using this system a long time ago and it didn't do any good so I had to re learn everything!
I have a great system how to learn modes in 7 days! It works great and you will know all the modes in a week! Send me a PM and I will help you out! smile.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 3 2012, 12:11 AM
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Great thread! I agree with Cosmin about learning each mode as a scale itself, and not as a shape. You can play the shape but if you don't know which the most important notes are, you won't get its characteristic sound.

Check this cool video about modes by the master Guthrie Govan.



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JesseJ
post Jun 4 2012, 04:44 AM
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I just wanted to thank everybody for all your help on the modes ! It is so nice to have a guitar community like this where we can bring our questions, problems , look for inspiration , and get some laughs smile.gif . So once again thanks to everyone !!!!!!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 5 2012, 04:28 AM
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QUOTE (JesseJ @ Jun 4 2012, 12:44 AM) *
I just wanted to thank everybody for all your help on the modes ! It is so nice to have a guitar community like this where we can bring our questions, problems , look for inspiration , and get some laughs smile.gif . So once again thanks to everyone !!!!!!



Thanks you for being part of this nice community! smile.gif You are now reaching to your first 100 posts here. Congrats!


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