Is anyone here on the same page as me?

rich2k4

Member
Messages
2,251
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=787157&page=1&pp=20

having a discussion on that forum about scales and modes. i hope you guys can view it.

i'm rich2k4 on there as well.

is anyone here on the same page as me in terms of thinking? i know Scott Henderson is at least.

the kids there just can't seem to comprehend and understand what they read.

gives me a headache.

please read through the entire thread there, to get everything i said.
 

countandduke

Member
Messages
1,268
Yeah, my recommendation is NOT to get into it too emotionally. Some people don't really seem to get theory and unfortunately those that don't get it often post incorrect information "thinking" they DO get it.

Oh well...

Chris
 

Kappy

Member
Messages
14,033
I agree with you that guitarists (mostly rock guitarists) overemphasize modes and beat modes to death. How many trees have been killed for ******, half-assed books about modes written by guitarists for guitarists? :D

But I disagree with you that they're just patterns for learning the fingerboard and are useless for playing over changes. Modes -- diatonic modes and modes of the melodic and harmonic minor scales in particular -- are extremely useful to know and to use.

P.S. Any forum with avatars and huge, multi-colored font sigs sucks! ;)
 

smorgdonkey

Member
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688
The best player that I ever met always talks in terms of modes when someone asks about solos and such. I can't solo for sh!! but he sure can!!
 

ivers

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3,945
I like modes... for modal music. In functional harmony they don't add anything useful for me in terms of approaching changes musically.
 

gennation

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7,449
I like modes... for modal music. In functional harmony they don't add anything useful for me in terms of approaching changes musically.
Bingo! Learning "Modes" with no reference to actual Modal Music is the cause of most guitarists frustration and confusion.
 

TheJudge

Member
Messages
454
Here's my $.02...

First, the guitar, like any other instrument, or creative endeavor for that matter, lends itself to different approaches and/or perspectives. People are different. If we were all the same, the world might be boring.

Second, each person learns in his/her own way. Some learn visually, some learn by listening, some learn by doing/experiencing.

Modes, for me, are simply a way to expand sonic possibilities to capture a certain mood or emotion. Some people don't understand modes and don't understand how to use them to create music. That's fine. There are plenty of successful musicians who don't know the first thing about modes.
If I want to write a song emphasizing a D minor chord as the tonal center, I might choose D Dorian or one of the other minor modes (phrygian, aeolian, etc.) I can then use any other chord qualities I choose from that mode, or I might borrow from another mode. The world of possibilities is there to use as each one of us chooses.

Forcing people to learn a particular way is not always the best method. Maybe some of us need to be exposed to a wide variety of creative approaches to the instrument, and modes are merely one of those approaches.

Personally, I have never subscribed to the position that there is one and only one way to accomplish something. That position limits creativity for me. However, as I said previously, we are all different, and some people may learn best if they are ordered to follow one particular approach. Who knows!!
 

jtwang

Member
Messages
508
Bingo! Learning "Modes" with no reference to actual Modal Music is the cause of most guitarists frustration and confusion.
+1000.

As for the "pattern"-discussion... I think that approach is a very good way to simplify your way around the fretboard. Doing that, however, makes it easy to completely miss the point of modes and at best you just end up sounding like inversions of a scale. I rather like to think of the modes as variations of major or natural minor; e.g. minor scale with a major (sharp) sixth, major scale with a minor (flat) 7th etc. That approach makes it a whole lot easier to understand and hear what's important and what's not of the different modes. In an actual playing situation though, I usually just play minor or major pentatonics with "modal flavor" notes (as per the tips from gennation's excellent web site).

Also - just like already has been mentioned - guitarist tend to spend waaaay to much time working on modes.
 

Kappy

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14,033
I like modes... for modal music. In functional harmony they don't add anything useful for me in terms of approaching changes musically.
So something like lydian b7 or altered dominant (modes of mel minor) or phrygian dominant (mode V of HM) are only really useful in modal music? I disagree strongly. Also, I see refs to dorian, mixo, and lydian all the time in jazz texts. I don't see them as being useless for application to playing over changes. I do stick to my previous assertion about the (major diatonic) modes being overemphasized by guitarists, but writing "modes" off as being useless doesn't really fly with me.
 

DjangoTwang

Member
Messages
27
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=787157&page=1&pp=20

the kids there just can't seem to comprehend and understand what they read.

gives me a headache.

please read through the entire thread there, to get everything i said.
I read the whole thread. Here are the quotes from your early posts that kind of set the tone for the discussion:

"guitarists put too much importance on modes."

"it's jsut [sic] that a lot of people here at UG have to stop thinking in modes all the time. it makes things more complicated then they really are."

"lot of people here think that mastering the modes is somehow going to be the be all end all quest. that is completely wrong."

Your message might get a better reception in these discussions if you just stuck to the material--it seems you have a good grasp--instead of insisting on lecturing people on what's wrong with their thinking. It makes you sound like you're talking down to the other participants (I'm sure that's not your intent). People's hearing is much better when they're not playing in "defensive mode".

Some of the other participants in the thread seem to be more than happy just to fan the flames of discord. Meanwhile, the OP is still wondering how to approach soloing over that chord progression--if (s)he's still listening.
 

rich2k4

Member
Messages
2,251
+1000.

As for the "pattern"-discussion... I think that approach is a very good way to simplify your way around the fretboard. Doing that, however, makes it easy to completely miss the point of modes and at best you just end up sounding like inversions of a scale. I rather like to think of the modes as variations of major or natural minor; e.g. minor scale with a major (sharp) sixth, major scale with a minor (flat) 7th etc. That approach makes it a whole lot easier to understand and hear what's important and what's not of the different modes. In an actual playing situation though, I usually just play minor or major pentatonics with "modal flavor" notes (as per the tips from gennation's excellent web site).

Also - just like already has been mentioned - guitarist tend to spend waaaay to much time working on modes.
yea i know all of that.

pretty much all i'm talking about, is the way i visualize things on the fretboard, not about actual theory itself.

i actually made a video explaining what i mean.

never thought i'd do a blog type video, very ackward talking to just a camera
 

steven.rogers

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1,629
So something like lydian b7 or altered dominant (modes of mel minor) or phrygian dominant (mode V of HM) are only really useful in modal music? I disagree strongly. Also, I see refs to dorian, mixo, and lydian all the time in jazz texts. I don't see them as being useless for application to playing over changes. I do stick to my previous assertion about the (major diatonic) modes being overemphasized by guitarists, but writing "modes" off as being useless doesn't really fly with me.
I can agree and sympathize with this. Maybe it's a jazz thing, but learning the modes of harmonic and melodic minor has helped me quite a bit in my improvisation.

I do think the major modes are useful to learn (they were for me), but they are definitely way over emphasized sometimes.
 

ivers

Member
Messages
3,945
So something like lydian b7 or altered dominant (modes of mel minor) or phrygian dominant (mode V of HM) are only really useful in modal music? I disagree strongly. Also, I see refs to dorian, mixo, and lydian all the time in jazz texts. I don't see them as being useless for application to playing over changes. I do stick to my previous assertion about the (major diatonic) modes being overemphasized by guitarists, but writing "modes" off as being useless doesn't really fly with me.
It's just an opinion, based on my experience, but if your experience and other people's experience is otherwise, then that's true for you, and I can't argue against it.

Like the modes of melodic minor, I don't view them as modes, but as a minor over a dominant sound... in fact my theoretical point of view in regards of functional harmony is very much centered around chord upon chord, and from that pov it just doesn't add anything usefull to talk about superlocrian or stuff like that.. for me:BEER
 

Kappy

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Messages
14,033
It's just an opinion, based on my experience, but if your experience and other people's experience is otherwise, then that's true for you, and I can't argue against it.

Like the modes of melodic minor, I don't view them as modes, but as a minor over a dominant sound... in fact my theoretical point of view in regards of functional harmony is very much centered around chord upon chord, and from that pov it just doesn't add anything usefull to talk about superlocrian or stuff like that.. for me:BEER
What you say makes a lot of sense. I was just trying to clarify terms. Approaches and nomenclature do/does indeed vary even if the notes wind up being all the same. I think the chord over chord approach is pretty cool. Did you only ever look at it that way, or was it something you evolved into?
 

Super Locrian

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1,508
Well, the goal for most of us is to make music, not to earn study points. You can spend a lot of time studying modes. For many guitarists at the vaguely defined intermediate stage, learning scales, modes etc. takes up a lot, if not most, of their practice time. But there still is a sizeable contingent that's content with learning major and minor pentatonic plus the blues scale, and playing by ear to a large degree. One approach isn't necessarily superior to the other, it depends where you want to go with your music.

Personally, I have begun to think more globally about the guitar. I practice scale fingerings for the main groups of scales, i.e. major, minor, melodic and harmonic minor, diminished and augmented. That's 6 different types of fingerings, instead of 7 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 2 + 1 [31!] which you would theoretically have to face if you studied each possible mode in isolation. I think it's very useful to know the modes of the major scale, and relate these modes to the melodic and harmonic minor scale as in "Lydian b7". In addition to these 6-, 7- and 8-tone scales, we have major and minor pentatonic scales which are ubiquitious, and if you add these 2 pentatonic scales:

* major pentatonic with a minor 7th instead of major 6th, and the
* minor pentatonic with a major 6th instead of a minor 7th,

you can really cover a lot of ground. The key is learning how to apply this stuff intelligently.
 

ivers

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3,945
Did you only ever look at it that way, or was it something you evolved into?
Oh, I got into 'jazz guitar' doing the same as a lot of other people, by learning as many scales and modes as possible (or what seemed possible at the time), and trying to apply them at the right chordal cues, and I don't regret that or anything.

However, when I got heavily into piano players, I just didn't figure out what they were doing at first, so I needed to approach things differently, and since I knew that one could organize extended chords in triads upon triads, I tried to apply that to improvisation too, and found that a lot of piano improv I dug seemed more easy to grasp and learn from that way, so I've stuck with it.

I'm quite abnormally influenced by piano playing, btw, so my goals in terms of where I wanna take my improv is very colored by that.
 




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