Using modes on the fly during solos

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by docgorpon, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. docgorpon

    docgorpon Member

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    I'm learning the position shift of the modes. I have two down so far. As soon as I got into one of the ways Lydian mode is used, I immediately recognized one of the types of chord progressions that I could use it on (the piano outro on Layla). I tend to learn better both in memory and practical use through my ear. Is this a typical method for using modes? Or do most people memorize the possibilities in terms of theory and work that out on the fly? In other words, during a chord progression you're improvising on, do you say "Oh, I hear a melody in my head that's in ____ mode that will work over this", or do you say "ok, this progression ends on a dominant 7th, so I believe this mode will theoretically fit here".
     
  2. Lephty

    Lephty Member

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    For me, the theoretical side of it came first, but after working with the modes for a while I started to "hear" them and use them more intuitively.
     
  3. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Um learn to play over chord changes. Mode goulash doesn't taste good.
     
  4. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Uh-oh...
    Um, nope.

    The Layla outro is a traditional C major chord progression, with one chromatic chord (Bb7#11).
    That's C major scale all the way until you hit the Bb7, then all you need to do is lower the B and A from the C scale to Bb and Ab so it fits the chord. That happens to give you what jazz musicians call "Bb lydian dominant", or F melodic minor, but all that's really happening is the key scale is being adapted to fit the chord. (I.e., you take the chord tones, Bb D F Ab, and fill in the rest from C major: E G C.)

    Some might argue that on the F chord you can "play F lydian mode", but you're still just playing the C major scale. The chord will make it sound lydian, but it's still IV in C major and not I in F lydian - the difference is important!

    I guess you could use C lydian mode on the C chord, but it would sound odd IMO. (But if you like the sound, it's OK!)
    Good.
    No.
    Some might. But they would (hopefully) get the theory right first if they did... ;)
    No.
    Not really.
    I.e., I might see a sequence based on a dom7 chord and think to myself "mixolydian mode", but the other chords would need to come from the same mode for it to mean anything. Not every dom7 is mixolydian. And anyway I'm looking at the whole piece and using the notes it gives me, not caring much what the names for the scales or modes are.

    Modes (properly defined) have no place in chord progressions in major or minor keys - other than as misleading kinds of terminology, or ways of playing wrong notes ;)).

    Modes apply to music which is written in modes to begin with.

    E.g., If you want to hear Lydian mode in use (in rock), try some Joe Satriani, such as "Flying in a Blue Dream". Lydian is his favourite mode (it seems), but is otherwise extremely rare in rock music. (You can hear it in Dream Theater's "Strange Deja Vu", and hints of it in the Beatles' "Blue Jay Way". There are probably other examples, but I don't know any.)

    The way to improvise on any kind of music (key-based or modal) is simply to look at the material it's giving you. What are the chords? What are the notes in the chords (and the melody)? Those are the notes to use. (You don't have to identify the scale or mode those notes make up.)
    If that collection of notes sounds too bland or limited (and most of the time it shouldn't), you're free to introduce any passing note(s) you like (diatonic or chromatic), to give some bluesy/jazzy edge and colour. No need to think modally at all (or indeed in keys, IMO). That's just ways of labelling the material you're presented with. (Labels can be handy, of course, but they don't help you play.)
     
  5. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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  6. docgorpon

    docgorpon Member

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    Well ****. None of that makes a lick of sense to me. Whatever the case, I learned something new to make new melodies that some video said was a Lydian positioning. For the Layla outro, I switched to a different position for the last chord that I would've never thought to do, and it worked nicely. I guess I'll continue to add to my melody/lick library and quit trying to figure out theory. Even the most basic stuff makes not an iota of sense to me. :FM

    edit: The last paragraph gives me hope.
     
  7. Lephty

    Lephty Member

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    Yes that's the difficulty of the way the modes are often taught (have to confess I haven't found a great way around it myself). I'm almost afraid to answer in regards to modes on this forum, but I personally use them all the time. Of course it depends on what you are playing--they are generally useful for improvising over a single-chord vamp or a short, repetitive progression (à la Grateful Dead/Allmans/Phish etc.). They're less useful if you are soloing over a longer series of chord changes. Don't give up on the modes just yet--once the light bulb comes on you'll wonder why you had so much trouble with it.

    Hard for me to guess exactly what you're looking at, but maybe this will help clarify: The coda of Layla is in C major, aka C ionian, which is made up of the same notes as F lydian. So I'm guessing what's happening is that you're playing a fingering that is labeled as a "lydian" fingering that starts on F (which, again, is the same as C ionian). If you play that same fingering starting on C, that would make it C lydian...not quite the right mode for the song, although there's only really one "wrong" note (F#), and placed carefully could actually sound pretty cool.

    Having said that, your approach of wanting to add to your melody/lick library and forget about theory may not be entirely misdirected...although learning the modes could probably widen your palette of sounds.
     
  8. JonR

    JonR Member

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    No such thing.
    OK. You just had a different position for the same scale, which encouraged a different sound or way of playing (same notes, different arrangement). No need to give it a mode name (which has no musical relation to what's going on).
    Any video (or whatever) that describes scale patterns or fret positions as modes - ignore it, throw it away. That really is not what modes are about.

    IOW, what you were doing was not wrong (certainly not if it sounded good!). It's just the mode name that's wrong, irrelevant.
    Good idea!
    Not because theory is a bad thing, but because it's easy to misunderstand and misapply it. Generally speaking, it's a bad idea to study theory first and then try and apply it. It's putting the cart before the horse.

    Play the music first, and maybe if you hit a point where you're curious about how something works, or fits together - or you spot some kind of pattern - that's when it can help to ask theory questions.

    Study songs, and learn your fretboard. Listen and copy. Modes? Forget 'em!
     
  9. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Doc, some people call "positions" of the Major scale "modes".

    If the music is in C Major, but you play in a position that encompasses the notes D to D, or F to F, you're not actually playing "in D Dorian" of "in F Lydian" respectively. You're simply still playing in C Major, but restricting the range of notes you're playing to one specific fingering pattern.

    And that's really how you should think about these: fingering patterns.

    Playing a C Major scale D-D or F-F is just simply starting the scale on some note other than 1 and doing a fingering pattern that maybe runs D-D or F-F or whatever.

    The confusion happens because it is true that these fingering patterns can also be used for modes and many people (on the internet with no filter) have started calling things "mode" when they didn't know any better. A better word would "pattern". C to C gives you pattern 1. D to D gives you pattern 2, and so on.

    HTH,
    Steve
     
  10. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    The way modes are taught make it more complicated than necessary, imo.

    When thinking about modes, I base everything off either the major or natural minor (6th mode aeolian mode). So, Lydian is simply your major scale with a #4 instead of a natural 4. That is the Lydian sound. Mixolydian is a b7 instead of a major 7. That is the mixolydian sound. So you aren't learning new positions, but taking the same major scale patterns you already know (hopefully) and seeing these new color notes within them.

    The hard part of any instrument is the muscle memory stuff. If you can get more mileage out of the patterns you already know, you are working smarter, not harder, imo. Good luck.
     
  11. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I've had students come in with this affliction. It seems to take a while to unlearn.
     
  12. Neer

    Neer Member

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    When I think of modes, I think of a particular sound or chord extension. For instance, I might think Lydian over a I major chord because I want to hear the #11. It really is just a matter of getting to know the sounds of these extensions and which scales or modes contain a few of them that you can string together.

    Thinking in terms of modes can help you play nice chordal stuff with just triads moving through different voicings. In C Maj, if you were to think in Lydian, you could use a D Maj triad over C.

    I don't want to go too much into it, but I wouldn't say to disregard the modes at all. But don't think you need to scroll through all this stuff in your mind as you play. You work these things out in the woodshed. The more you practice, the more you'll have at your disposal. Think of it this way: every note is a tonic in seven modes. If you want to hear the sound of a phrygian mode, loop a C bass note and then play a C phrygian scale. It is essentially like playing the notes of an Ab Major scale, except C is the tonic. You will hear the character of it and it should remind you of a Spanish sound.
     
  13. snouter

    snouter Member

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    You need to clarify what you mean. For example, do you mean you have an F Ionian mode mapped out on the fretboard and you then change your emphasis to a new note such as Bb and use that as the new root, thus the mode changing to Lydian?

    IMO, looking at Layla we can argue first what the keys are and if they change keys.

    The riff/chorus is D Aeolian, 1 flat in the key signature.

    The verse is C# Aeolian, 4 sharps in the key signature.

    The outro is C Mixolydian, 1 flat in the key signature (though sheet music shows C Ionian but are forced to show the accidentals).

    The outro is a I - IV - bIIV progression or C - F- Bb.

    If you don't want to change the notes mapped out visually in terms of one scale, and keep the notes diatonic. it can be approached by using the notes of F major, in other words: C Mixolydian, D Aeolian, E Locrian, F Ionian, G Dorian, A Phrygian and Bb Lydian, all borrowing from the same group of notes.

    Possible clash chords, would be the Bb7(b5). And as mentioned on a post above can be addressed by playing a Bb Lydian b7, the 4th mode of the melodic minor scale. And CMaj7 with its B.

    Next question is this improv in general or trying to hit on the melodic themes of the recorded solos. There seems to be to F to E phrase repeated here and there which in the context of the Bb Lydian give it the bluesy feel of the 5 and b5 of that scale.


    Yes.
     
  14. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    I was using modes before I knew they were called modes due to what players like Blackmore and Mick Taylor were doing.

    The thing about modes is that there are various things that seem to work in rock especially and a lot of it is probably just instinctive after a while and there is mode/scale switching going on to create ideas over basic chord progressions and modal jazz does this as well.

    In the Blackmore "Black Night" solo, Ritchie is switching between the E blues scale with the b5th and the E dorian over a D to E(5) shuffle vamp.

    "Eleanor Rigby" switches modes from the E dorian to the E natural minor in the verse on the Em to C chord change because E dorian has a C# note and so that note gets changed to a C note for the C chord.

    Mode switching is pretty common depending on the context and chord progression.

    EVH plays the "Beat It" solo and the song is basically E natural minor and a Em D C chord progression, but does it have to be only E natural minor for the solo.

    I think Jackson's melody tends to stay away from the 6th and is more E minor pentatonic but the solo can be another story and the 6th can be used and the 6th is C# note for E dorian and a C note for the E natural minor.

    Em to D can also be E dorian.

    Have a look at bar 4 of the "Beat It" solo http://www.ibreathemusic.com/articles/files/16/beatitsolo.pdf

    EVH is using E dorian (contains a C# note) over the Em to D chord changes and then switches to E natural minor (contains a C note) for the C chord change (or just before the C chord change ie anticipating the C chord change).

    So EVH's main things for the "Beat It" solo are mode switching between the E dorian and E natural minor in accordance with the chord progression and also using the E blues scale with the b5th, and so EVH has 3 basic modes/scales to bounce around between to generate ideas.

    The Blackmore "Black Night" solo has a D to E(5) chord progression and so the C chord never comes into it, and so Ritchie is mainly bouncing between the E blues scale with the b5th and the E dorian and the E natural minor is not used because there is no C chord in the chord progression.

    The E minor pentatonic (blues scale with the b5th) is contained within the E dorian and E natural minor notes, and so expanding on the E minor pentatonic (or blues scale) can be done by rolling in notes from the E dorian or E natural minor depending on the chord progression.

    This sort of mode/scale switching approach can be done with other scales and modes as well.

    Slash sometimes switches from the minor pentatonic (or blues scale) to the harmonic minor.

    In country someone can switch from the major to the minor pentatonic with maybe a 5th ie blues scale.

    Elliot Easton is a master at switching between major and minor pentatonics (blues scale), check out what he's doing in the "Shake It Up" solo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  15. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I'd say E major. It starts on C#m, but resolves to E in the end. But the set of notes is the same, so it's an academic point. ;)
    (You may feel the same kind of hair-splitting distinction applies below... ;))
    Not exactly. It's entirely C major (ionian) , except for the Bb7 chord.
    It's true there's little evidence of a B natural in the sections outside the Bb7 chord, but it is there - and there is no Bb note (other than in the Bb7 chord).

    Often, the use of a Bb chord in a C major sequence is a sign of mixolydian mode - especially in rock music - but not in this case. It's C major key, with a chromatic Bb7 (which can be interpreted as a sub for the minor iv, Fm). This is quite traditional in major key progressions; admittedly rare in rock, but very common in jazz tunes.

    In the second part of the outro (which begins with Am7), it's a vi-ii-V-I in C major, with the appearance of D7. Again, this has no "C lydian" meaning, it's a secondary dominant, V/V. Traditional key harmony again, not modal at all.
    Yes, but it's not that simple, as I say. If they were all triads, and you got hints of Bb in the melody on the other chords, then yes, C mixolydian. But there are B naturals in the melody, and an Ab on the Bb chord. A modal interpretation doesn't fit.
    Well, you can try that, but it will frequently sound wrong (IMO). Mainly because that's not what is played on the original (if we're using that as our model ;)).
    Uh-huh. Strictly speaking Bb7#11, not b5. (the chord has a perfect 5th.)
    But anyway, not C mixolydian, right?
    OK. Not C mixolydian either, yes?
    Why the need to find one mode to cover the lot, if it can't be done?
    Of course one should, ideally, use one scale for all chords as far as possible, but the Bb7 in this case is clearly outside the others.
    Good point!
    The recorded solos should certainly give plenty of clues as to a right-sounding set of notes we can use ourselves, but there's no rule says we have to go with that.
    Still, I think it makes sense for a beginner to approach it from that angle. Understand what's there, what's given, before trying to apply some kind of general theoretical principle.

    Normally, what a song gives us (in its chords, melody, riffs and solos) is pretty plain, doesn't require much (if any) analysis or theoretical interpretation. We can take that stuff and mess around with it. Why introduce anything that's not there, just from allegiance to some kind of theory concept?
    Yes, but there is also an Ab in that phrase. So it's not lydian.
    Again, I agree it's a good idea to see exactly what notes the lead line plays over that Bb chord: Ab C D E D C Ab first time; C-D-C 2nd time; D-E-F-E 3rd time; 4th time (after the bridge) it repeats that first line.
    We don't have to name the scale! We could look at it and say "F melodic minor"; or at the Bb chord root and say "Bb lydian b7"; or the keynote and say "C major b6 b7" or "C mixolydian b6" - but it makes no difference to what's there. Why not just copy those notes (add the Bb chord root), and we have a suitable bunch of notes to play with - a full 7-note scale, for which a label is superfluous.
    Of course, that presupposes we know our fretboard well enough to find those notes, without having to dig out a scale dictionary and look up patterns for "F melodic minor".... :rolleyes:

    Meanwhile, the scale we'd come up with on the rest of the chords - going by the same principle of taking what's there - is the bunch of notes commonly called "C major scale". With the exception, naturally, of that D7 in the bridge, where (obviously) we need to use an F# instead of F. Again, we can think of a few names we might want to call that scale (D mixolydian? G major? C lydian?) but why does that matter?
    If we need to know a scale name in order to find a pattern, to enable us to use our fretboard - then maybe we should be learning our fretboard rather than relying on patterns ...
     
  16. JonR

    JonR Member

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    As guitarjazz says, this is an affliction suffered by some guitar students, but only because they've picked it up from some "teachers" who should know better! (or maybe just through a sketchy reading of incomplete websites or videos...)

    The problem, of course, is not so much the misuse of terms, but the need we seem to have to call the different fret patterns something.

    We could simply number them, "1", "2", etc, as you say. But then which one is "1"? The lowest one on the fretboard? The one with the keynote as bottom note? And then there's potential confusion with the other multiple uses of numbers: fret numbers, scale degrees, chord extensions.

    The old system of "position = index finger fret" served well, but depends on knowing one's scales first. Heaven forbid that these days students should learn notes and scales before learning patterns.... :rolleyes:

    In truth, the mode name system only requires the same kind of double-think that the CAGED system of chord shapes does: the same name describing two different things (or two different names for the same thing).
    With CAGED it's hard to escape it, once those 5 open cowboy shapes are embedded in our brains. As we find movable shapes up the neck, we see those 5 shapes all over the place, but producing different chord sounds. Not a problem for most of us, I'm guessing.

    Using mode names for fret patterns, therefore, is fine provided we can employ the same double-think. E.g., just as we can take a "C" chord shape and use it to produce the sounds of 12 different major chords depending on which fret we place it on (with little if any mental confusion), so we should be able to take a pattern we might call "B locrian", and know it can be used to produce any one of 7 modal sounds (the relative modes of those 7 notes) - and all in the same neck position, of course. ("C major 7th position" the old hands would call it.)
    But therein lies the problem of course... People get so excited about this notion of "modal sounds" ("new ways of improvising on old sequences!!!":facepalm) that they naturally confuse it with the pattern-naming system.
     
  17. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    I don't know what others think modes are, but to me they are groups of notes that suggest some possible context application and the dorian could be used in a Sea Shanty or a Metal tune and some of that dorian context would be in them somewhere in some way, but as I said before it really gets interesting when modes/scales are mixed or switched and all of the context implications that can be involved.

    Playing a D dorian is probably not what I'm going to do over a G major type progression in a country tune, because the D dorian seems out of context to me but you never know, and there are no 100% rules.

    The so called altered scale which is a mode of the melodic minor, has no real standout musical context by itself and if there is one then it's a m7b5 sort of context but by itself the mode doesn't suggest much at all to me but other modes might be a different story.

    The application of the so called altered scale is often about using half step resolutions and tension/release using notes from the altered scale which is not really apparent in the so called altered scale by itself.

    Some modes can imply certain contextual moods and have been used because of it.

    Mode patterns on the fingerboard mean nothing more than where the modes notes happen to hang out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  18. JonR

    JonR Member

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    It's not about rules (of usage) but the best definitions of terms. The most sensible ways of referring to the sounds we're using.
    We can use any sound we think sounds good, the only question - if we want to talk or write about it - is what is the right name for it? If there's more than one possible name (and there usually is) what's the best, or least confusing name?

    (I realise you're probably hip to the following, I'm making more general points.)

    So, "D dorian" over a G major sequence makes no sense, because you're using terms referring to two different keynotes, and there is only ever one keynote (tonal centre).
    Even when chords change - if we want scale names referring to chord roots - there is only ever one chord root at a time.

    "D dorian" refers to the set of notes ABCDEFG, with D as tonal centre - keynote or chord root (not "starting note", or lowest note of pattern). In the key of G major, G is keynote.
    If you have a D chord in that key, then (arguably) it might make sense to use a "D-" scale or mode name.
    Normally, of course, that would be D mixolydian (G major scale with D keynote), but - as I think most of us here would agree - it's still just the G major scale, in overall terms. It sounds like D mixolydian while the D chord lasts, but only there. And the mode name doesn't signify any change in scale pattern of position. It's the chord root that makes the G major scale sound like "D mixolydian", not anything a player might do.

    In key of G major, those 7 natural notes (ABCDEFG) will tend to sound like G mixolydian (not D dorian), so if you want to use that scale - and there could be good reasons to do do - that's the best name for it. "Gmajor with b7" would also do, as would "C major scale (over G tonal centre)".

    If you were to choose phrases or positions that start with (or end on) a D note, that doesn't make it D dorian. It just makes it "G mixolydian with an emphasis on the 5th".

    Again, it's about the name that makes sense in relation to the sound we're making. Modes are sounds, not fret patterns.
    Nope - the "sort of context" is an altered dom7. Such as 7b9, 7#9, 7#9#5, etc.
    Kind of, yes.
    Yes. But generally in composition, not in improvisation.

    It's rare to be able to impose a modal sound on a piece of music which doesn't imply that sound in its composition. Occasionally there are compositions which are ambiguous enough to allow that - but I don't know of any in rock.

    That's not to say we can't vary and embellish whatever key scale we're presented with. After all, it's really common to add blue notes and passing chromatics, in rock as well as in blues and jazz. But modal terms are not usually very helpful or appropriate in those cases (they can imply irrelevant restrictions).
    Right. And those places have no specific modal identity.
    A note is a note. Its context (relation to other notes) determines how it will sound. And the context is the chord sequence one is playing over: the series of roots, and the overall key centre.
    The set of notes given by the music (or chosen by the improviser) may well have a sound we can rightly describe as modal, but every note is available everywhere on the neck, so there are no modal "positions". We can play all over the neck in any mode.
     
  19. fenderlead

    fenderlead Member

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    That altered scale application is usually over a 7b9, 7#9, 7#9#5, etc but it's being superimposed over them.

    There is nothing about the altered scale by itself that suggests it goes with a 7b9, 7#9, 7#9#5 in the way that a D dorian suggests it goes with a D minor as far as I can see.

    If we say that D dorian goes with D minor because of the harmonised major scale system then we also have to say that the altered scale goes with a m7b5 chord.

    The altered scale is a superimposed m7b5 sound over a 7b9, 7#9, 7#9#5 and that's ok because there is b7 matching and maybe interesting other intervals resulting.

    And that's another whole topic, about superimposing modes and scales to where they might not be naturally inclined to go and superimposing a D dorian over a G major is possible and superimposing pentatonics over chords is done quite a lot and it just gets down to how the intervals pan out and when superimposing a certain pentatonic over a dominant the main match is the b7th and the other pentatonic intervals might then result in something interesting.

    Basically it's an interval game based on b7th matching, if someone gets a scale or pentatonic or mode and matches a note of the scale or pentatonic or mode to the b7th of a dominant then the other intervals of the scale or pentatonic or mode auto align in some way and maybe some interesting things can result and it doesn't always need to be done with dominants either and major and minor can be used as well.

    A D dorian superimposed over G major is not going to result in a D dorian sort of context but it might result in something interesting for some sort of context.
     
  20. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Actually there is.
    The altered scale is what you get when you take the root-3rd-7th of the chord and add both altered 5ths and both altered 9ths. In that sense there's a direct link: the chord is an expression of the scale, and the scale is all the potential chord tones laid out.

    Personally, however, I like to think of it being derived from the tritone sub.
    We know that we can use Bb7 instead of E7 to lead to A or Am. Both chords share the inner tritone (G#-D, Ab-D) that make the resolution work. The root of each one is the b5 of the other, so E7b5 and Bb7b5 are inversions of the same chord.
    Now, if we stick with a straight Bb7 (keeping the F), and add the E (to maintain the link with the key of A and its V), we have a 5-note scale: Ab Bb D E F (in alphabetical order). To make a full 7-note scale, we can add the most obvious extra notes, C and G (9 and 13 of Bb7).
    Returning to an E7 viewpoint, we find we have (along with the R-3-7) a b9, b3 (#9), b5 and #5 (b13). The so-called "altered scale".
    With a Bb root, we can call it "lydian dominant", but it's really the same thing. Only the bass note of the chord is different.

    We might also spot that - hey! - it's the same notes as F melodic minor. That's a useful observation if we know all our melodic minor scales, but really it's just coincidence.
    Well, it's not quite the same thing, although I see what you're saying:
    we get dorian mode from the ii degree of the major scale;
    and we get "superlocrian" from the vii degree of melodic minor.
    If we harmonise that 7th mode in traditional 1-3-5-7 order, then we get a half-dim chord.
    But that's working in the opposite direction.

    7th mode of melodic minor is not a normal choice for improv on a m7b5 chord.
    6th mode might be (because it gives a major 9th); but otherwise it would be locrian (7th mode of major).
    And when it comes to the vii chord in a minor key, then a full dim7 is used (from harmonic minor).
    Well yes, a m7b5 is one possible superimposition on an altered dom7. But it only gives two additional notes (#9, b5) while doubling up the root and 7th.
    There are more interesting choices, such as (on an E7alt), Fm or Gm triads, Gm7 arpeggios, or even G minor pent.
    Basically any harmonisation from F melodic minor can work. We don't need to think of an E root because that's already supplied.
    Sure ;)
    We need to match more than the b7. The root and 3rd also need to be present in the scale.
    We don't need to include all three in any chord superimposition, however.

    But the point here - as I said before - is not about what we can and can't do, but about what names we give to what we're doing.
    Well yes, it results in a "G mixolydian sort of context". So why not call it that?
    And why not call the scale you're superimposing "C major"? Why call it D dorian?

    It's different if you're superimposing a Dm7 chord - but then you'd just call it the chord (or maybe a D minor pentatonic).
    Once you have the full scale there's no sense in calling it "D dorian" - because modal terms need to take into account the aural tonal centre, which is G in this case. "D dorian over G" just is "G mixolydian". (Same as "C major over G", or "E phrygian over G".)
    You might be thinking "D dorian" (if beginning from the "Dm7/G" idea), but all that's happening is you're accenting the 5th of G mixolydian.

    I.e., it comes down to using words that refer as closely as possible to the sound that's coming out - rather than fooling oneself one is somehow getting a different modal sound somehow. (You may understand perfectly well, but hazy use of terms is clearly often misunderstood by others.)
     

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