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Modes,not as hard as some make them out??

lynchpin

Member
Messages
94
I have been trying to understand these things for years. Last night I did some research and got to where it made sense, to me anyway. Epiphany! I looked at the usual mode charts In C of course, with all the Greek or Latin names and i realized they are the same scale patterns I've been using since I was a kid. I said OK i'l play along, so I memorized the names for each pattern instead of calling them box 1,2,3,4,& 5. I was playing Mixolydian, Phrygian, and they didn't sound any different at all with the new names. Same fingering same scales different label. So I tried starting with C and ending with C and thought that was Modal. Still no real flavor change...then it sruck me to just plug in the Mixolydian into where the Ionian was and play from C to C. Thats when it all made sense. I could do this with all of them. It seems (I may be wrong ) but, when I was playing Mixolydian it was basically the same as my box scales in the fey of F#. So are modes just playing in another key within the parameters of starting and stopping with the notes of the key that youre in?
 

EDS

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
389
This is probably the wrong forum for this question...but here is a basic and concise way of thinking about it.

You play notes in C major against a C major chord - you're in C Ionian.

You play the same notes in C major against a D minor harmony (the 2nd note/chord of the key of C) - you're in D dorian. D is now the root.

You play the same notes again against an E minor harmony - you're in E phrygian. E is now the root.

You can keep going on through all the diatonic chords.
 

lynchpin

Member
Messages
94
Kind of backwards from what I was thinking. I was looking at making the mode fit the chord progression not playing up the C scale pattern to fit other keys. What i mean is staying in the same key as you go through all the modes as opposed to changing keys every time you change modes. And your right this is the wrong forum but i just didn't want to wait a month for a response in playing and technique. Anyway I understand them now, but which modes are best for blues and rock?
 

billm408

Member
Messages
3,015
OK... aside from modes, and completely off topic, I'm more interested in your posted location; guard, trustee or inmate? :eek:
 

EDS

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
389
I was looking at making the mode fit the chord progression not playing up the C scale pattern to fit other keys. What i mean is staying in the same key as you go through all the modes as opposed to changing keys every time you change modes.
I think you're on the right track, but just for clarity, my earlier explanation was using the C major scale's modes on different chords, NOT different keys. C maj, Dm, Em etc., are all in the same key of C.


Aside from the major scale, the main modes you'd want to explore for rock/blues would probably be Dorian (2nd mode - similar to minor pentatonic with an added 2nd and 6th scale degree) and Mixolydian (Major mode with flattened 7th used over Dominant 7th chords).
 

EDS

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
389
Also, I neglected the obvious - the natural minor scale (6th mode Aeolian) is also used in rock.
 

lynchpin

Member
Messages
94
Thanks EDS. I'll give those a try. BTW I think the term for what I meant was 'derivative' modes. C Aolian, C Dorian, C Phrigian etc...
 




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