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  1. #1

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    ok... so, my question is: do the 7 modes of the major scale have movable patterns one can practice with backing tracks?

    the reason i ask is not laziness (maybe a lil' ), it's because i'm still a beginner with theory and constructing stuff sometimes feel like rocket science. plus, i'd like to train my ear and i wouldn't want to come up with a screwed up pattern or something.

    ps: modes also kind of give me a headache... but in a good sort of way they're hard but interesting.

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  3. #2

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    I'm a long time classical but new to jazz player; I've finally arrived at a system where I'm (1) learning chords to standards, (2) melodies in a couple positions, and (3) ARPS over changes. I'm letting the modes take care of themselves for a while!!

    Major, minor, pentatonic, some dorian and mixo, but keeping it simple for now as to not burn out brain!!

    Sailor

  4. #3

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    One way to learn the modes, and build your theory chops as well, is to learn the ionian mode and then just change one note to build the other modes.

    Take any fingering of your major scale, one or two octaves, and then use this forumla to build the other modes.

    Lydian - raise the 4th note

    Mixolydian - lower the 7th note

    Dorian - lower the 7th and 3rd notes

    Aeolian - lower the 7th, 3rd and 6th notes

    Phrygian - lower the 7th, 3rd, 6th and 2nd notes

    Locrian - lower the 7th, 3rd, 6th, 2nd and 5th notes.

    If you notice, starting with Lydian and moving down the chart you are only lowering one note each time to produce the next mode.

    Lydian - #4
    Ionian - b4
    Mixolydian - b7
    Dorian - b3
    Aeolian - b6
    Phrygian - b2
    Locrain - b5

    It's a good way to work out the modes because you are constantly relating every fingering back to one that you already know. It also helps get the sound of each mode into your ears as when you practice all the different modes in a row you start to hear how each gets "darker" as you move down the chart.

    MW

  5. #4

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    How about just staring on different notes too?? For dorian I just start on RE and be mindful of the key signature!!

    Sailor

  6. #5

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    first of all, thanks for the replies Matt and sailor.

    now, hehe... this is where idiocy takes over for me and i feel like i'm learning rocket science to brush my teeth. it seems simple enough but i get confused...

    i understand the raising and lowering of the notes but what gets me confused is this: when i change a pattern, which mode am i fingering? where's my root? does it change or stays the same and how do i apply it?

    for instance, let's say i take i take the G major scale. i'll use this pattern:
    1---5-7-8--
    2---5-7-8--
    3--4-5-7---
    4--4-5-7---
    5-3-5-7----
    6-3-5-7----
    (sorry for the bad illustration )

    my roots are in the 6 string 3rd fret, 4th string 5th fret and 2nd string 8th fret.

    so, the way i'm understanding it is: when i change the pattern my root will be on the frets i mentioned. so i'll be making G ionian (the major scale), G dorian, G phrygian, G lydian, G mixolydian, G aeolian and G locrian. but, should i practice them playing them over G chords or should the chord be the key they're in? (i.e: G dorian is the 2nd degree of F major, G phrygian is the 3rd degree of E major, etc)

    i might have some mistakes, like i said... i'm still kinda new to theory, but so far this has been the most challenging thing besides ear training.

    and, again, thanks for the replies guys.

  7. #6

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    There are a number of ways to learn the modes. I will give you the method I use with students, which seems to get the most mileage for me.

    I teach the major (Ionian) and natural minor (Aeolian) scales first. After getting those down in at least 2 positions, then I lay the major scale down on fretboard paper in black ink. For Mixolydian mode, the only difference is the addition of the b7, and I note that in blue ink on the above pattern. This way they can see that note in the major scale patterns they already know. Lydian just adds the #4, and I put that in blue, so they see where it lies on the pattern.

    For minor, I do the same, adding the notes different from the natural minor scale in a different color, which covers Dorian, Phrygian and Locrian. This way, by using two basic scales, students can easily create these other sounds without learning new patterns, or thinking, "okay I am in Bb, what is Lydian?" or such. This is a good starting point, but I do think it is important to absorb more about the modes later on.

    That is just the modes of the major scale, then there are the modes of the melodic minor and harmonic minor scales.

    I have written the above everytime a modes confused poster writes, so forgive me if you have seen this before.
    Last edited by derek; 12-16-2008 at 06:27 PM. Reason: disclaimer

  8. #7

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    hey derek, thanks for the reply.

    to be honest, i am not really sure about what i know and what i don't know... since i'm learning this alone, i don't even know if i'm going in the correct order.

    this is what i know: the major scale and 7 patterns i can move across the fretboard to play in any key; the pentatonic scale and 5 patterns i can move across the fretboard to play in any key; the natural minor scale, but just 1 pattern.

    what i don't know or am not sure about: melodic minor scale, harmonic minor scale, modes. there is more stuff i'm not sure about but that is easier than scales and modes.

    i have seen that explanation before in videos from Joe Satriani and Vinnie Moore but i still get a little confused with the application. i still appreciate the explanation though.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe2099
    ok... so, my question is: do the 7 modes of the major scale have movable patterns one can practice with backing tracks?

    the reason i ask is not laziness (maybe a lil' ), it's because i'm still a beginner with theory and constructing stuff sometimes feel like rocket science. plus, i'd like to train my ear and i wouldn't want to come up with a screwed up pattern or something.

    ps: modes also kind of give me a headache... but in a good sort of way they're hard but interesting.
    Screwed up Pattern?????
    Sounds like Jazz ta me!! jus flat da 5th and it will be Blues!!

  10. #9

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    Gabe - Derek and Matt know their theory and answered beautifully, but I think you are still in need of more conceptual basics. There are lots of theory books and on-line stuff. Start at the beginning and go slow!!

    For now, think C-C Ionian, D-D dorian, etc... keeping in mind the KEY signature, no sharps or flats in any C modes. Also look around this site or ask about the harmonized major and minor scales, shows all the chords associated with KEYS.

    Just how I look at it, believe me, no expert!!

    Sailor

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    Gabe - Derek and Matt know their theory and answered beautifully, but I think you are still in need of more conceptual basics. There are lots of theory books and on-line stuff. Start at the beginning and go slow!!

    For now, think C-C Ionian, D-D dorian, etc... keeping in mind the KEY signature, no sharps or flats in any C modes. Also look around this site or ask about the harmonized major and minor scales, shows all the chords associated with KEYS.

    Just how I look at it, believe me, no expert!!

    Sailor
    i wholeheartedly agree, i think i have too many "holes" in between what i know. i do need more conceptual basics...

    and i didn't mean to imply their answers were bad, it's just that i get that part of the modes (how to construct -or build- them) what i don't get is which chord or chords i could use in a jam track to play each to get more familiarized with the sounds.

    with the C modes it would be like you said? a C chord for C Ionian, a D chord for D dorian and so on and so forth...?

    my apologies if i seem too thick headed (or dumb... ) i just get confused.

  12. #11

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    Gabe - believe me, I have more holes in my playing than anyone and I have a music degree!!

    A lot of the guys on this site are very advanced and I think sometimes it's hard for them to Really bring it down to basics.

    For me, it's easiest to think of the modes as all occuring in the one key that they stem from. I used C as a starting point. There are 7 modes that can be played from the C ionian "notes".

    As far as what chords to play, we have to look at the key signature and harmonize the seven scale tones. I, C is major , ii D is minor, ( no F# in key sign), iii E is minor, (no G# in key sign), IV, F is Major.........

    I hope this helps a little bit. I've decided to focus on playing melodies, and ARPS through the changes primarily, rather than think about each mode too much.I hope I'm right.

    Sailor

  13. #12

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    i might have spent all my "question points" in this one thread already...

    i think the problem was that i didn't phrase my question right (but i'm working on my phrasing ), matt and derek got basic enough, the problem is me.

    but i think i got the idea now, if i were to just practice the modes from C, i would use a C chord to get the sound of C Ionian (since it's the major scale), Dm or Dm7 to get the sound of D Dorian, Em or Em7 to get the sound of E phrygian, Fmaj or Fmaj7 to get the sound of F Lydian, etc...

    i realize i can get too complicated sometimes, but i think i'm more clear now. again, thanks for all the replies guys, i appreciate you all taking the time to help.

    edit: i got more help from Dr. Wik E. Pedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propert..._musical_modes, now y'all can rest hehe.
    Last edited by Gabe2099; 12-16-2008 at 11:41 PM.

  14. #13

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    Hi, all!
    Gabe2099, you have to have very clear that the modes are seven different tonalities that share the same root.

    Here's a chart I worked out with Matt's approval.
    Let's start with the tonality of Cmajor, though you can start with whichever the note you like:

    C 2M 3M 4 5 6M 7M
    D 2M 3m 4 5 6M 7m
    E 2m 3m 4 5 6m 7m
    F 2M 3M 4+ 5 6M 7M
    G 2M 3M 4 5 6M 7m
    A 2M 3m 4 5 6m 7m
    B 2m 3m 4 5- 6m 7m

    Okay, these are the chords you can take from any major scale. Now we change the roots to just one single note and keep the intervals written before.

    C 2M 3M 4 5 6M 7M IONIAN
    C 2M 3m 4 5 6M 7m DORIAN
    C 2m 3m 4 5 6m 7m PHRYGIAN
    C 2M 3M 4+ 5 6M 7M LYDIAN
    C 2M 3M 4 5 6M 7m MIXOLYDIAN
    C 2M 3m 4 5 6m 7m AEOLIAN
    C 2m 3m 4 5- 6m 7m LOCRIAN

    Hope you can understand it better now.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe2099

    but i think i got the idea now, if i were to just practice the modes from C, i would use a C chord to get the sound of C Ionian (since it's the major scale), Dm or Dm7 to get the sound of D Dorian, Em or Em7 to get the sound of E phrygian, Fmaj or Fmaj7 to get the sound of F Lydian, etc...
    Not exactly. Playing the arps for those chords won't give you all the intervals of those modes. If you play Dm7, you'll be playing the 1,b3,5,b7. But, Dorian mode has the 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7.

    In my opinion, Matt's original response to you is the best way to look at the modes of the major scale, i.e. as just scales that have a particular intervallic formula.

    Don't worry about the derivation of the modes, and don't restrict yourself to thinking about keys.

    Dorian Mode, for instance, is nothing but a scale with the intervals 1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7.

    If you play those intervals in any key, you will be playing Dorian. You can play Dorian over any chord you wish. It will sound the most harmonically stable over minor 7th chords, though because Dorian mode shares the b3 and the b7 with them. But you could play Dorian over a Dominant 7 as well. This is common in blues. The b3 played against the M3 of the Dom 7 chord will give you tension and will sound bluesy. Basically, it is the same as playing a 7#9 arp over a Dom 7.

    Anyway, I was baffled by the modes until I just started looking at them as yet another scale, with a specific intervallic formula, then it seemed pretty easy to apply.

    About the patterns: yes, the modes will have a distinctive pattern that is indeed moveable, just like all other scales or arps played on the guitar. But, my advice would be not to memorize the patterns, but instead take the time to identify the intervals of the mode and relate it to chord voicings that are most commonly used with the mode. That way you will begin to recognize pattern of intervals surrounding the chord tones, which is more useful than just knowing a pattern (in my opinion).

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goofsus4
    Anyway, I was baffled by the modes until I just started looking at them as yet another scale, with a specific intervallic formula, then it seemed pretty easy to apply.

    About the patterns: yes, the modes will have a distinctive pattern that is indeed moveable, just like all other scales or arps played on the guitar. But, my advice would be not to memorize the patterns, but instead take the time to identify the intervals of the mode and relate it to chord voicings that are most commonly used with the mode. That way you will begin to recognize pattern of intervals surrounding the chord tones, which is more useful than just knowing a pattern (in my opinion).
    Yes, this is the easiest approach starting out imo, which is the reason I like teaching them as scales related back to the major or natural minor scales. I am also of the opinion that modes are overrated as useful improvisational material.

    The standard starting out modal approach to a ii V I progression in C is to play D Dorian over ii (D-7)chord, G Mixolydian over V (G7), and C Ionian over I (Cmajor7). However, by doing this, you are only playing notes of the C major scale over the whole thing, which sounds pretty bland imo. I don't happen to think it is a productive way to start out hearing the modes.

    The way we derive the modes is the same basic way we derive the chords. Lay out the notes in a C major scale on the staff. Take each note and stack it in 3rds, which is the way most chords are built. This will yield Cmaj7, D-7, E-7, Fmaj7, G7, A-7 and B-7b5 (aka half diminished).

    By starting and ending the C major scale from each of these tones, you get the various modes. So D to D = Dorian, E to E = Phrygian, etc. It was confusing to thing about this way at first for me. See each as it's own scale and learning the intervals found in each is the best way starting out imo.
    Last edited by derek; 12-17-2008 at 04:59 PM.

  17. #16

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    it's a lot clearer now since i read your posts and the article in wikipedia. i'm not that confused now, now i just lack the knowledge but that's fine, i can learn. i'll take the advice and just look at each as its own scale and learn the intervals, it really is easier that way...

    thanks guys and sorry if i got annoying, sometimes all i need is just a kick in the rear end to stop confusing myself.

  18. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe2099
    ...but, should i practice them playing them over G chords or should the chord be the key they're in? (i.e: G dorian is the 2nd degree of F major, G phrygian is the 3rd degree of E major, etc)
    I think this is the key question. I've been trying to understand this topic for ages, and can never get a straight answer to the question above.

    This is what I get clear so far:
    - Modes are basically starting points on a given major scale
    - The name you give to that "path" down the scale depends on which starting point you choose ( start on the 2nd, this is "II dorian", ex D Dorian)

    I understand there are three ways to use this:

    A given chord progression : Will be "in the key of ...". So if this is a progression "in the key of C", if you are to play over a Dm7 chord, you could choose to start the C scale on the second point, D, and you will be playing a "D dorian".

    A given chord : So you have a one chord tune or section...it only plays the D chord forever. Then you decide to go creative and start throwing all kind of combinations, D dorian followed by D mixolydian, followed by D something. This is what Joe Satriani calls the Pitch Axis theory. (ok, he is not officially a jazz guy)

    A mix of the two above : You are on the C chord progression, and then when Dm7 comes, you play D Phrygian, making everyone fall out off their seats.

    This is what I have gotten clear so fast. Rest assured I can't do neither of them. Just try to play what comes to my mind...someday I'll finally get it...

  19. #18

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    haha this just hit me in the head after i read HotClubBrampton's post...

    another way to relate the modes is, instead of remembering all the flats and the sharps, just to relate it to the major scale to remember the notes in each mode.

    i.e:

    B Ionian = B major scale
    B Dorian = A major scale starting on the ii over a B minor chord
    B Phrygian = G major scale starting on the iii (M or m?) over a B minor chord
    B Lydian = F major starting on the IV over a B major chord
    etc...
    C Phrygian = A major scale starting on the ii over a C minor chord

    of course, this is for practice purposes, to listen to the sound of each mode and not really saying their only application would be that. their use is a different topic and a bit advanced for me right now.

    i really hope i'm right on this one, i felt a tingly feeling in the back of the neck when it hit me.

    edit: i wanted to clarify, i understand it is important to understand how to construct each mode and the intervals in it and all. i just thought this system is easier when it comes to remembering the notes on a particular mode faster.
    Last edited by Gabe2099; 12-18-2008 at 02:16 AM.

  20. #19

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    I found the following mode instruction helpful,

    http://www.johnhguitar.com/john-heus...ns-Modes01.php

    start at course 6.
    Last edited by aginv; 12-26-2008 at 08:31 PM.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe2099
    haha this just hit me in the head after i read HotClubBrampton's post...

    another way to relate the modes is, instead of remembering all the flats and the sharps, just to relate it to the major scale to remember the notes in each mode.

    i.e:

    B Ionian = B major scale
    B Dorian = A major scale starting on the ii over a B minor chord
    B Phrygian = G major scale starting on the iii (M or m?) over a B minor chord
    B Lydian = F major starting on the IV over a B major chord
    etc...
    C Phrygian = A major scale starting on the ii over a C minor chord


    of course, this is for practice purposes, to listen to the sound of each mode and not really saying their only application would be that. their use is a different topic and a bit advanced for me right now.

    i really hope i'm right on this one, i felt a tingly feeling in the back of the neck when it hit me.

    edit: i wanted to clarify, i understand it is important to understand how to construct each mode and the intervals in it and all. i just thought this system is easier when it comes to remembering the notes on a particular mode faster.
    Watchout!!! You have a couple of mistakes here: I marked them in red. B lydian comes from F# major, not F major and C phrygian comes from Ab major, not A major.
    Here's where knowing your key signatures comes in handy. It doesn't take long to memorize them...there's 12 key signatures, learn 2/day and in a week you'll know them.
    Hope 2009 is your year!

  22. #21

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    Sorry, newbie here. What is meant by ARPS?

  23. #22

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    no need to apologize we all were told at one time what an ARP is. It's short for arpeggio which means that you play only the notes that make up the chord. If the chord is for example C major then its arp is C, E, G, if the chord is A7, its arp is: A, C#, E, G

  24. #23

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    I wouldn't worry about modes until I was very fluent in all KEY SIGNATURES. Major and minor first!

    Sailor

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robjzgtr
    Watchout!!! You have a couple of mistakes here: I marked them in red. B lydian comes from F# major, not F major and C phrygian comes from Ab major, not A major.
    Here's where knowing your key signatures comes in handy. It doesn't take long to memorize them...there's 12 key signatures, learn 2/day and in a week you'll know them.
    Hope 2009 is your year!
    that was an honest mistake, my brain function starts going downhill after 12:00 am...

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    I wouldn't worry about modes until I was very fluent in all KEY SIGNATURES. Major and minor first!

    Sailor
    Totally agreed. The modes simply are 7 tonalities but they all have the same root.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudi
    Totally agreed. The modes simply are 7 tonalities but they all have the same root.
    You have it backwards, this can be confusing. The modes are 7 scales that share the same key signautre BUT they each have seperate roots. D dorian, G mixo, F lydian, B locrian all have different roots BUT they all share the same tonailty OR key signature which is C major.
    D dorian is a minor mode (scale) as is D phrygian and D aeolian. All three share the same root which is D. However D phrygian comes from Bb major and D aeolian comes from F major...all three have different tonal centers or key signatures.
    Happy 2009

  28. #27

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    Hi, Rob!
    There's a post of mine above with a chart of the modes in intervals I elaborated and Matt gave me his approval. Once I know the intervals then it's easy to know the notes in each mode.

    By now I'm sticking with it.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robjzgtr
    You have it backwards, this can be confusing. The modes are 7 scales that share the same key signautre BUT they each have seperate roots. D dorian, G mixo, F lydian, B locrian all have different roots BUT they all share the same tonailty OR key signature which is C major.
    D dorian is a minor mode (scale) as is D phrygian and D aeolian. All three share the same root which is D. However D phrygian comes from Bb major and D aeolian comes from F major...all three have different tonal centers or key signatures.
    Happy 2009
    the first part of your post is totally right, but you're saying the same thing as him on your 2nd paragraph.

    D Ionian, D Dorian, D Phrygian, D Lydian, D Mixolydian, D Aeolian and D Locrian are (as he said) 7 different tonalities that share the same root or (as you said) they share the same root but have different tonal centers or key signatures.

    if they share the same key signature or tonal center, their roots will be a different degree of the same major scale. if they share the same root, they'll have different tonal centers or key signatures.

    you both are right and i'm not getting confused over this now

  30. #29

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    Stick with Robjzgtrs explanation, it is the only correct way to look at it.

    Sailor

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    Stick with Robjzgtrs explanation, it is the only correct way to look at it.

    Sailor

    it's the same thing, just worded (or phrased, if you will) differently...

  32. #31

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    Gabe2099, is right. Both are the same thing.
    You can learn it with notation or you can learn its intervals. I believe that in the end of it we'll master both ways. It's a matter of time.

    When I play the piano I don't look at it by its intervals since in this instrument every key you play you immediately know what note you're playing.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe2099
    you both are right and i'm not getting confused over this now
    I'm glad that you now understand the modes.

  34. #33

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    I looked at Claudi's formula's and I see his line of thought and it makes sense. We're looking at the same thing from different angles so we describe it differently. As long as it works, it's OK.
    Have a great 2009 everyone!

  35. #34

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    gabe 2099 modes are major scales played in different positions--for example starting the c scale on the 6th string 8th fret is the c major scale moving the same scale down 2 to the 6th frets it is b flat major but b flat major scale and the c dorean are the same scale,in other words all modes are major scales played on different frets once you learn all the modes and all major scale position you will see it i .know its difficult there is no written info on this part of music theory. play a d scale on the 5th fret starting on the 5th string a different major scale position move it down 2 frets to the 3rd fret and you are playing a d dorean scale remember all the modes are nothing more than major scales played on different frets to start learn all your e major scales in every positin up the neck jimmy

  36. #35

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    I like to play all the modes, (and ARPS), in one position to start. Rather than slide around to different frets, try the 8th fret, low E string pinky position for C major and then just start on the 5th string, 5th fret, index for Dorian, 5th string, 7th fret, ring finger Lydian, etc....

    Just one way of many.

    Sailor

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    I like to play all the modes, (and ARPS),

    Sailor
    ARPS: Advanced Reticulated Polytonal System

  38. #37

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    ARPS - arpeggios

    Sailor

  39. #38

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    ARPS are also some really cool synthesizers that herbie once favored.

    not to be confused with the AARP.


    so now that we're on page two of trying to understand modes, will everybody just do the world a favor and LEARN THE MAJOR SCALE INSIDE OUT before playing around with the friggin' modes! it's like somebody put a little bug in every players ear that said "you'll never be a real player until you learn the modes!"

    there's cool sounds in there, but i think for starters, understanding what major scale they come from is much more important than memorizing a bunch of new hand shapes...

    i'll admit, i'm not a scale thinker, but when i want say, an F lydian sound, it's much easier for me to think C major and simply pay attention to what the important notes in the F lydian are!

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    ARPS are also some really cool synthesizers that herbie once favored.

    not to be confused with the AARP.


    so now that we're on page two of trying to understand modes, will everybody just do the world a favor and LEARN THE MAJOR SCALE INSIDE OUT before playing around with the friggin' modes! it's like somebody put a little bug in every players ear that said "you'll never be a real player until you learn the modes!"

    there's cool sounds in there, but i think for starters, understanding what major scale they come from is much more important than memorizing a bunch of new hand shapes...

    i'll admit, i'm not a scale thinker, but when i want say, an F lydian sound, it's much easier for me to think C major and simply pay attention to what the important notes in the F lydian are!
    While I wouldn't argue with this in the least, especially the last paragraph, I do think it underscores exactly why looking at the modes as scales as opposed to derivations of the major scale is the best way for a novice to approach them.

    I didn't know all the positions of the major scale when I started using the modes to improvise, yet I was able to use them effectively to make more interesting lines because I used them in the context of a scale that was related to a chord voicing or arpeggio...oops, I mean ARP.

    Essentially, I learned the patterns for the major scale at the same time I was learning the modes.

    I'm a big "bring it all along together" guy. I think it increases your chance of making real music faster, especially improvised/original music. BUT, it certainly can lead to bad habits and faulty understanding of things, I'll concede. But eventually if you are persistent, it all falls into place anyway.

    Over time, however, my reliance on scales gets less and less. I am increasingly fusing it all together into essentially the chromatic scale from which I target specific notes/intervals I know will sound "good" (at least to me) over a particular chord.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robjzgtr
    I looked at Claudi's formula's and I see his line of thought and it makes sense. We're looking at the same thing from different angles so we describe it differently. As long as it works, it's OK.
    Have a great 2009 everyone!
    Of course it makes sense!!!
    No, now serious. I'm happy you got my point of view.
    I told you yesterday that on guitar I see it by its intervals, but it's because the guitar is so symetrical that for me it's easier this way. When I play the scales on my piano then I think of notes because I don't find it symetrical. Having the keys in 2 different colours makes me look at the scales by the route I have to follow this means remember which black notes I have to play in every key signature. It's a visual thing.
    Rob, you say that we're looking at the same thing from different angles but I repeat that in the end we'll have to see it in both angles. In theory we're talking about the scales and chords by their note names and by intervals.

    Happy New Year to everyone and take care!

  42. #41

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    Mr. Beaumont, my constant point exactly!! As a music ed. guy, we played all instruments,(basic), sang in chorus, sight sang, ear trained, on and on....

    The main point being, knowing your key signatures is THE key to a lot of questions and confusion with many threads. I don't have to think about the notes in F, or any mode derived, they all have Bb's in them! In D all F's and C's are sharped!

    I am learning some shapes now, sometimes jazz moves fast, but I think it's better to know the notes!!! I'm so tired of patterns that only apply to the guitar. I don't like TABS either. Do you have a acronym for TABS?????????

    Sailor

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    it's like somebody put a little bug in every players ear that said "you'll never be a real player until you learn the modes!"

    i'll admit, i'm not a scale thinker, but when i want say, an F lydian sound, it's much easier for me to think C major and simply pay attention to what the important notes in the F lydian are!
    Yeah! This is a point I wanted to comment since some time ago and now it's the right moment. For many months I've read the most advanced jazz guitar players or at least the ones who master the modes in this forum say that modes are not so important and people shouldn't pay too much attention to them but then I think that everyone who says this knows perfectly how the modes work.

    Mr. B, you say you're not a scale thinker but when you want an F lydian sound you know it's C major, and therefore you know all the modes for every note. I think it's much more a matter of understanding the modes, taste them and see them in all angles and interiorize them. After that we can forget the theory because having interiorized them they will come out from our fingers automatically. Don't you think?

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor
    I think it's better to know the notes!!! I'm so tired of patterns that only apply to the guitar. I don't like TABS either. Do you have a acronym for TABS?????????

    Sailor
    I think we have to learn both notes and intervals. I'm also tired of patterns and that's why for the past 3 months or so I stopped learning them. Now I prefer to look for all the chord notes by myself. By now I do it by searching the intervals because anywhere you're in the fretboard the intervals are at the same distance from the root of the chord you're playing.

    Now I see the patterns and TABS as a tool for starting playing the guitar.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goofsus4
    Essentially, I learned the patterns for the major scale at the same time I was learning the modes.

    I'm a big "bring it all along together" guy. I think it increases your chance of making real music faster, especially improvised/original music. BUT, it certainly can lead to bad habits and faulty understanding of things, I'll concede. But eventually if you are persistent, it all falls into place anyway.

    Over time, however, my reliance on scales gets less and less. I am increasingly fusing it all together into essentially the chromatic scale from which I target specific notes/intervals I know will sound "good" (at least to me) over a particular chord.
    that's me, basically.

    the posts in the first page helped me big time, now i don't find the modes a challenge, just something else to work on.

    and about the patterns, i don't like them either. they can "box" you in a spot if you're not careful, but they're a necessary evil. i read somewhere (maybe it was right here in this forum) that the goal is to practice the patterns and chords given in any shape and learn it until they become second nature and you don't have to think about it.

    since i started with guitar first and i'm teaching myself, i find it much easier to learn at least 1 pattern for each scale or mode or arpeggio or chord and analyze it, sing the notes i'm playing and understand it. by the time i'm done with that 1 pattern, i can very well come up with other patterns myself until i don't even need patterns and just know the intervals (and specific notes) that make up each different scale, then it's easier to play anywhere on the neck.

    i have to admit i had very bad habits, but i've been slowly getting out of those. and, i'll say it again, this forum (and the lessons on the site) has helped me tremendously.

  46. #45

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    People, you're making this harder than it has to be.

    The diatonic modal scales are simply different 'inversions' of the major scale, starting from different notes.

    Also, if you can play a two octave major scale, you're already playing the modes.

    And this begs the question;
    If you are in the middle of a two octave major scale, what mode are you in?

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudi
    Yeah! This is a point I wanted to comment since some time ago and now it's the right moment. For many months I've read the most advanced jazz guitar players or at least the ones who master the modes in this forum say that modes are not so important and people shouldn't pay too much attention to them but then I think that everyone who says this knows perfectly how the modes work.

    Mr. B, you say you're not a scale thinker but when you want an F lydian sound you know it's C major, and therefore you know all the modes for every note. I think it's much more a matter of understanding the modes, taste them and see them in all angles and interiorize them. After that we can forget the theory because having interiorized them they will come out from our fingers automatically. Don't you think?
    no, i still think. but you can't do too much thinking, or the changes will pass you by...also, too much thinking tends to lends itself to "mechanical" sounding change running, where folks are thinking about options and not about continuing a melodic line.

    i know my major scales. i can recite 'em in my sleep, and i can play you a major scale starting from any note on the fretboard. i also know my fretboard, and i can tell you without hesitation what note is at any fret. these were big things for me to learn that took years to get down, but they've helped my playing more than just about anything else!

    because i know my major scale, i know my modes too. they are worth knowing, but they're not a secret elixer, some kind of magic that makes you a better player. in fact, until you start superimposing some of them over chords, they're pretty vanilla. but my brain cannot contain or handle 72 more fingerings, and multiple positions of each--so i understand their function and where they come from, and the important notes in each. but when i'm playing and the fretboard is sort of "lighting up" with possibilities, i view them as coming from their parent major scale--for the most part.

    some of the modes are pretty useful. the dorian, for example, would be a much better choice over a m7 chord than a natural minor scale. when i see a m7 chord my brain thinks m7 arpeggio first, but because i know the dorian mode, i also know the 6 (and maybe not the b6) is a cool note to play around with. we could look at this as "dorian" thinking, but i'm not seeing it that way.

    in the end, they're all just roadmaps. your job as an improvisor is to create an interesting line, and whatever helps you get to that is the right way of thinking for you. i don't as much advocate not learning modes as i do knowing and understanding the major scale first. the WHY will always be more beneficial than the HOW. people want shortcuts. there are none.

  48. #47

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    hey mr. beaumont,

    i think everyone here would agree with you, the modes are not some sort of magic potion that will turn you into a modern day Beethoven in the blink of an eye. i don't think they are but (after reading the OP for the umpteenth time) i why one would think i was a beginner trying to run before learning to walk.

    i know my basics, plus some advanced stuff that i have read randomly . i would call myself an intermediate player, i know my basics and am trying to tie everything together so i can get to the point where i too can just hear a chord and improvise without analyzing too much or advanced player territory (in my opinion).

    simply put, i know the HOW and i'm now trying to understand the WHY, so that when i play i'm not thinking about the WHAT or the WHERE.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    no, i still think. but you can't do too much thinking, or the changes will pass you by...also, too much thinking tends to lends itself to "mechanical" sounding change running.

    i know my major scales. i also know my fretboard, these were big things for me to learn that took years to get down, but they've helped my playing more than just about anything else!
    because i know my major scale, i know my modes too. they are worth knowing, but they're not a secret elixer, some kind of magic that makes you a better player.

    your job as an improvisor is to create an interesting line, and whatever helps you get to that is the right way of thinking for you. i don't as much advocate not learning modes as i do knowing and understanding the major scale first. the WHY will always be more beneficial than the HOW. people want shortcuts. there are none.
    Totally agreed on the first paragraph of yours that I've quoted. But you say that learning the scales (and their modes) and the fretboard helped your playing a lot. You say that because you know your major scale you know your modes, and I understand they're not a secret elixer for being a good guitarrist but I think they make you a better player than before you knew them because therefore you have more options to choose that can help you creat interesting lines as an improvisor. I know people tend to want shortcuts but understanding the HOW and the WHY come altogether, after that you can forget the theory and put everything into practice.

  50. #49

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    Sorry!, I forgot to finish my post.
    After having read all you say then I don't understand why people insist to say that the modes are not that important. You all know the modes, but I understand that after many years you master them so much that you don't need to think too much about them.
    it's like if I say to someone that learning to read music is not that important. Well, that depends. Depends on the guitarrist and for being able to play more music.
    It's like if I say to someone that ternarian rhythms are not important because all the rock, blues, metal, pop music don't use these rhythms...or very very scarcely.

    I think that modes are part of the music theory, even in conservatoires, and it's good to know them. They're a tool to understand what you're playing from another musician.
    I've read a lot of posts from Matt where he says what scale and mode you have to play when someone wants to know what he can play in a given chord progression.

    Just my thought.

  51. #50

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    gabe the only reason i assumed you were a beginner as far as theory goes is because you said so in your OP! i hope my previous posts didn't come off as talking down to ya--but i strongly believe that the modes should be off limits until the major scale is mastered. that's the way i teach my students.

    claudi, i think we're talking about two different things in a way. i am in no way against accumulating knowledge that can be stored and fired upon at will while in the heat of improvisation. but i AM against rote memorization of numerous patterns when the modes themselves can be simplified, either by viewing them from the parent scale or by focusing specifically on the alterations that make them unique like mw78 i believe, suggested.

    really what it comes down to is when i read the initial post, i heard a question being asked by someone who said he was a beginner as far as theory went, and i do not consider the modes to be beginner theory. they trip a lot of folks up, so i say, forget about them until you have a real handle on the basics.

    i guess that's what lead to my mode rant...