Ok so I'm messing around with some modal stuff here...

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by gainiac, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    I'd like to understand the relationship(s) of what's occuring here a little more.........


    I'm doing a vamp with a bluesy feel ....just i - VI - i - V (I guess, constructing off of C# Locrian)

    i VI i V
    C#m7 - A9 - C#m7 - (G6 or GMaj7 or Gadd9 alternating)

    Voicings:

    C#m7
    Fret Finger

    E-9--- 3
    B-9--- 3
    G-9--- 3
    D-9--- 3
    A-x---
    E-9--- 1

    A9
    Fret Finger

    E-12--- 4
    B--x---
    G-12--- 3
    D-11--- 2
    A-12--- 1
    E--x---

    G6
    Fret Finger
    E--x---
    B--8--- 1
    G--9--- 3
    D--9--- 2
    A--10-- 4
    E--x---

    (or)

    Fret Finger
    E-3--- 1
    B-5--- 4
    G-4--- 2
    D-5--- 3
    A-x---
    E-x---


    GMaj7

    Fret Finger
    E-x---
    B-3--- 2
    G-4--- 4
    D-4--- 3
    A-x---
    E-3--- 1


    Gadd9

    Fret Finger
    E-(0)--- 0
    B-10--- 4
    G-7---- 1
    D-9---- 2
    A-10--- 3
    E--x---


    I came up with this because I wanted to accentuate the b5 in the C#min "blues" scale............

    So I got it boppin' over -n- over on a loop and I find that I like how C# Locrian flows over the whole thing........

    Things that I'm pondering....the G6 even with "G" as the lowest note sounds more minor than major to me (I know that enharmonically it is Emin).......

    Another thing, although I'm "thinking" C# Locrian/C# Blues as the "home base" scale because all the fingerings for each chords "mode" come out of the same shape, "technically" I guess I've been playing:

    C#min7: C# Locrian or C# Blues...........

    A9: A Mixolydian/A Ionian "overlapped", which adds the G# providing chromaticism , I derived that from "overlapping" C# Blues and Locrian and applied the same idea to the A9...is that really what good chromaticism is all about??

    Tying together the particular family of scales you're choosing to improvise with, via overlap, then partitioning them distinctly with your phrasing?

    The thing I'm trying to accomplish here is "hearing" multiple scale choices at once, versus thinking of one particular group of notes at a time.......

    G6 or GMaj7 or Gadd9: G Lydian.....

    Would the above be considered "playing the changes?"

    I am targetting consonant chord tones for release for each particular chord.....

    Or is playing the changes more along the lines of superimposing other keys? If so what other alternatives should I (would you) try superimposing here?

    On top of that even, what's a musical/ logical way (Tension...release) to shift this progression through modulations??

    I had a conversation today about the whole "outside" thing with a friend of mine........He said "forget about the root of each chord, play scales/ arps that consist of nothing but alterations and extensions to the chord and steer away from the home notes of the chords, learn to recognize tensions and learn how to just stay there....."

    I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but it seems like the right way to a more "outside" approach......????

    Sorry if this rambles about a bit!!!

    If I had a better idea of what to ask I'd have a better idea of how to end up where I want to be!!
     
  2. ap1

    ap1 Member

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    I don't get it - why is your V a G of some sort? If you're in C#m, your VI is A, but shouldn't your V be G#? What am I missing?
     
  3. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    Maybe my convention is wrong, but G is the 5th degree of C# Locrian, A is the 6th.

    C# Locrian is the 7th mode of D major..........

    In D Major the progression would be : vii V vii IV
     
  4. kimock

    kimock Member

    Messages:
    12,604
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Where the Palm Tree meets the Pine
    Maybe my convention is wrong, but G is the 5th degree of C# Locrian, A is the 6th.

    C# Locrian is the 7th mode of D major..........

    In D Major the progression would be : vii V vii IV

    No 5th, no mode, sorry. Call it what you will, but locrian as a sound just won't sit still with the leading tone of the generating pitch as a tonic.
    It wants to collapse onto the subdominant harmony.
    C# locrian is heard as F# phrygian.
    Locrian got on the bus late, as a feeble attempt to complete the church modes in some theoretical sense....come to think of it, the 7th degree of the major scale was late to the party as well.
    Best go back and take another look at the first six modes.
    The 5 is there for a reason....
     
  5. beePee

    beePee Member

    Messages:
    95
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Long Beach, Ca.
    Locrian doesn’t get much usage. I cant think of one tune(though there must be) that uses it. There’s a few problems I’m having with your tune.

    The I chord would be C#mi7 b5 (or C# half diminished 7)not C#mi7
    C#mi7-C#-E-G-B
    C#mi7 b5 =C#-E-G-B

    The V chord (G Major7th) isn’t serving a dominant function because….IT AIN”T one!. It’s not a perfect fifth from the root either (or Minor second tritone substitute) so there is no strong cadential resolution.

    The other problem is The I chord doesn’t have a strong resolution like a tonic chord.

    Maybe if you tried this I-VI-III- II-I now you have a tritone sub type V chord thing going on…but I’m with Kim Locrian doesn’t have much goin for it.

    BP
     
  6. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    "No 5th, no mode, sorry. Call it what you will, but locrian as a sound just won't sit still with the leading tone of the generating pitch as a tonic.
    It wants to collapse onto the subdominant harmony."

    Please elucidate. By no fith you mean no P5 correct? What do you mean by, "wants to collapse onto the subdominate harmony"?


    "C# locrian is heard as F# phrygian."

    I'm not hearing that, because when I'm improving over this landing on the G provides a resolution against both the A9 and G6, G6 in this particular instance seems to be C#min7b5 without the root in this instance. Tell me why you think that C# Locrian is heard as F# phrygian?



    "Locrian got on the bus late, as a feeble attempt to complete the church modes in some theoretical sense....come to think of it, the 7th degree of the major scale was late to the party as well."

    I've heard conversations eluding to this before, can you point to a more detailed discussion where I can read up on it? I'd appreciate it.

    "Best go back and take another look at the first six modes.
    The 5 is there for a reason...."

    I'm familiar with the other six as well, what in particular should I be looking at? I do understand that V - I is the considered the "strongest" closing cadence. What would you say it is that I may have overlooked?

    Thx,

    Martin

    [/quote]
     
  7. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    Locrian doesn’t get much usage. I cant think of one tune(though there must be) that uses it. There’s a few problems I’m having with your tune.

    The I chord would be C#mi7 b5"

    I got that!

    "The V chord (G Major7th) isn’t serving a dominant function because….IT AIN”T one!."

    "It’s not a perfect fifth from the root either (or Minor second tritone substitute) so there is no strong cadential resolution."

    I get you on that, but why does that always have to be the case?


    "The other problem is The I chord doesn’t have a strong resolution like a tonic chord."

    Because it's a min7b5 and in "tension"?

    "Maybe if you tried this I-VI-III- II-I now you have a tritone sub type V chord thing going on…...."

    Ok, what key? C#? D?


    but I’m with Kim Locrian doesn’t have much goin for it.

    How can one tone row be "invalid" when it's other 6 bretheren are considered to work uncontested?

    Is it a "conditioned" ear kind of thing? Meaning it's merely convention?

    Thx,

    Martin
     
  8. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Messages:
    15,985
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Lost
    No it does not.

    A very common progression in rock is bVII to I.

    Try playing D dorian over this progression: Dm-C-Dm-C-Dm -- What do you do with a drunked sailor. No V chord, sounds great, works fine.

    Play phrygian over this progression:

    E-Am-F

    Now the bii is functioning as the V. Sounds great, works fine.

    YES

    Play a C major scale and stop on the 7th note - B. Now sing the next note. Your ear wants to resolve to C.

    Now start on B and play to A and stop (locrian). Sing the next note. Notice it's not as natural to your ear as the C scale.

    Locrian don't get no respect which is why I use it ALL the time. Screw these rules.

    In jazz, you can use locrian during over the ii on a iib5m7-V7-I. Quite a few use it in that context.
     
  9. ivers

    ivers Member

    Messages:
    3,253
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    Formally, the 'rule' that I see most often is to use locrian over the m7b5 chord. I often avoid it, though, because I rather wanna hear a major second there, at least if I wanna emphasize the ii a bit before moving towards the V. So, I think the scepticism towards locrian perhaps comes more from musical preferences and experiences rather than rules per se.
     
  10. gennation

    gennation Member

    Messages:
    6,775
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Most real modal music doesn't even have chords. It's the intervals of the modes that create the life within itself.

    While nothing in this thread is wrong, there is one variable that's right...the music itself. While the perfect cadence is all over the place in western music, so are songs that don't have these cadences.

    And, someone should mention to John Mclaughlin that the Locrian scale "get the short end of the stick". Same goes for all the other scales not "everyone" plays.

    Some of the most creative musics are built out of peoples concepts, their preseptions. If everyone ended a progression with a V-I, a VI-I, etc...there would be more music that sounds a like than there all ready is!

    I'm hard core into traditional theory, and some bizarre concepts, but rarely do I question something that I write. And, rarely to I even try to figure it out theory-wise, regardless of shaping it because it doesn't have this or that. It is what it is...now I just need to play over it ;)
     
  11. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    "No it does not."

    (Wiping sweat off of brow) That's what I thought.

    "A very common progression in rock is bVII to I."

    Which voicings? I tried it with 7 chords, C#min7 - DMaj#11, that's an obvious one but not really rock......Give me something that'll make me slap myself in the forehead.......

    "Try playing D dorian over this progression: Dm-C-Dm-C-Dm -- What do you do with a drunked sailor. No V chord, sounds great, works fine."

    Yup, I did simple (open position) folk chords for that one. D on 1,2,3 C on 4.

    "Play phrygian over this progression:

    E-Am-F

    Now the bii is functioning as the V. Sounds great, works fine."

    Yup, I got all Spaghetti Western playing that one. Good, Bad and Ugly!



    "Play a C major scale and stop on the 7th note - B. Now sing the next note. Your ear wants to resolve to C."

    OR G!

    "Now start on B and play to A and stop (locrian). Sing the next note. Notice it's not as natural to your ear as the C scale."

    Very true, I felt "hesitant" with regards to where I wanted to go. F is nice as wll as D.

    "Locrian don't get no respect which is why I use it ALL the time. Screw these rules."

    I've been doing min7b5 arps today and I just love the sound the color. Especially over a Maj7 a b5 away....

    "In jazz, you can use locrian during over the ii on a iib5m7-V7-I. Quite a few use it in that context."

    I guess as a Rock player the only way I'm going to learn how to apply more "jazz" concepts to my playing is by learning some jazz!!!
     
  12. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Messages:
    15,985
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Lost
    Regular old major triad. Don't hurt yourself with the slap. :)

    End of "Stairway To Heaven"

    Am-G-F-G-Am

    Or you can use dominant 7ths.

    Ex: a jazzy tune "Killer Joe" and I think the lead solo in Allman Bro's "Don't Want You No More"

    C7-Bb7-C7

    There are more, just not thinking of them right now.

    Very Spanish feel to that mode. You can substitute Emin for Emajor and also mess around with G and G# in the mode.

    Me too, very versatile chord.

    Not necessarily. I love jazz and believe the more you know the better, at the same time, I highly recommend doing exactly what you are doing now. Messing around and finding your own stuff. :dude
     
  13. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    (Doh!!!) It's one of those things I hardly think about anymore!!!

    See, the frustrating thing for me right now is I've used a lot of these "colors" in a creative context.

    The goal right now is to systematically organize the tools I already have at my disposal whereby I can call up the "colors" I've used before in limited (Key) context across all keys....as well as... learning new harmonic applications of stuff that I've already got in "finger memory" by superimposing it over different harmonic contexts and memorizing the associations....???

    Make sense?

    I think I need to study with someone again, the feeling I have lately is I'm scambling for purchase and I can just see over the edge at times.......A lift up would be nice!
     
  14. gennation

    gennation Member

    Messages:
    6,775
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    In that C7-Bb7-C7 lhallam mentioned...I don't know the song but it made me think of something...

    A lot of times when I see two Dominant chords a whole step from each other, you can think "two Mixoldian scales"...but, in the wrong hands that gets a little mundane after a pass or two...so..

    I think of them as the VI and V of a Melodic Minor scale. In lhallam's example...the C7 would be the V of F Mel Min, and the Bb7 would be IV of F Mel Min.

    So, consider playing F Mel Min over those two chords.

    Create a vamp with those two chords and run the Abaug arp (the bIII of F Mel Min) over it. It'll open up a whole other sound that Major Diatonic modes don't have. Then mix your two Mixolydians, C Mixo and Bb Mixo, with the F Mel Min scale and arps. You can even break the F Mel Min down to a "F Min 6 Pentatonic" (F Ab Bb C D F) for a little wider Interval sound.

    You'll find it starts getting deep pretty quick, but with a little practice you'll find some new sounds to use. This will help you have more color than just the sound of one scale or two scales. Experiment with it.
     
  15. ivers

    ivers Member

    Messages:
    3,253
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    Norway
    Those make me think of G melodic minor and F melodic minor.
     
  16. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Messages:
    15,985
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Lost
    Basically you can think of them as ii in a ii - V

    That is Gm=ii and C7=V and as Gennation suggests Fm=ii and Bb=V.

    You can play melodic minor over most any minor chord.
     
  17. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Messages:
    15,985
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    Lost
    Everything you are saying makes plenty of sense.

    For example, you can play a finger memory G minor pentatonic scale AKA Bb major pentatonic over an E7#9 chord and get some interesting sounds. Basically it's the Bb tritone substitute.

    Jazz theory can put it all together for you.

    I like your approach though, trying these ideas on you own and seeing how they sound. That's how the pioneers did it, then they figured out how it all works. In this way, they didn't get mired in the dogma of previous rules.
     
  18. KRosser

    KRosser Member

    Messages:
    14,167
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    I'm not sure what your exact question is, but I think the other poster is onto something - using a C#m7 as the 'home' chord is messing with your ears, because you're not hearing it as a modal progression. You're hearing chromaticism over a 'minor' progression. Change your first chord to C#m7b5, and you'll start to 'hear' the modality of it as a bit more obvious.

    In this 'mode', the G6 or Gmaj7 chord would still be bV, not V - harmonic function is always derived from the major or minor, diatonically, despite the fact that you're in another mode.
     
  19. KRosser

    KRosser Member

    Messages:
    14,167
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena, CA
    "Inner Urge" by Joe Henderson.

    If it doesn't get much usage, I would think that might be a reason to get in there and do some exploring...

    Agreed - G doesn't sound like V because it's not, it's bV. You'll get a stronger resolution going from bII to Im7b5

    That could be a matter of stretching one's ears somewhat - F#m7b5 sure sounds like the point of resolution, to me, on "Inner Urge".

    I disagree. There's lots of potential music in that 'system' like any 'system'...
     
  20. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,147
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Location:
    Da Bronx
    Thanks, I have a few friends who are "anti-theory" believing it's a dogmatic paradigm.

    What I try to explain to them is that music theory ideally is a science of observation of an already occuring phenomena.

    The goal of music theory merely being systematic organization of those observations via nomenclature with which the musician can then share his perspective and ideas with others using a common set of terms.

    I also look at music theory as being akin to a codex containing the gestalt of our predecessors composition.....

    I really wish I was seeing more of the forest for the trees. It's certainly one of those subjects (for me) which gets exponentially larger in terms of the mass of information with every piece of knowledge gained.

    That's why I question my approach. I wonder if I'm making a mountain when I should just stick to molehills. I want to understand completely how everything I know relates to everything else.

    That way I can forget it!

    What gets my goat is the redundancy and multiple names for things depending on how you're deciding to explain something.

    For instance right now it's my belief that Gb Locrian, the corresponding min7b5 arp, and G Lydian constitute essentially the same sound "color" over a Cmaj7 chord.

    All note to note relationships aside their is a certain tonality that presents itself when one tone cluster is juxtaposed against another.

    Is that essentially what modal theory seeks to accomplish?
     

Share This Page