Jazz Guitar
Likes Likes:  0
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 61
  1. #1

    Way to remember the modes?

    Hey guys, I fully understand the modes and how they are derived from the major scale but i'm having trouble quickly remembering them on the guitar fretboard. I understand the theory aspect of it and I can figure out each mode from the ionian major scale but i'm having trouble remembering a fingering for each mode independently. Does anyone have any tips of how I can do this? For my Humber guitar audition I'll need to be able to play each mode (and the modes of melodic minor also I believe) and obviously I can't sit there figuring them out, they need to be memorized and well practiced.

  2. # ADS
    Join Date
    Always
    Posts
    Many
    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Argentina
    Posts
    168
    What you refer to is the patterns of the major scale starting on a different degree of it, which is the first step into modes but can generate a lot of confusion. In this moment I don't think of patterns when I play modes, I can play on 1 string or any way I want. Modes are just notes. D E F G A B C is a mode.
    So, basically 1 pattern can be used for the 7 modes of each parent scale (major for example).
    You can practice to play the patterns in the cycle of 4ths, that is a great way to learn them in every key. First C major, then F major, then Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, F#, B, E, A, D, G and you've ended. If they ask you to play the mixolydian mode in Ab you have to know that the mixolydian is the 5th mode, and in this case it would be of Db so you have to play the major scale of Db.
    That is in VERY simple terms. Actually the truth is that you must play Ab mixolydian thinking in terms of chord tones and passing tones. The patterns are useful for some fast passages, etc.
    However they are the typical start for knowing how to play modes. Now check what is exactly what they ask you to do in the audition. They ask you to play patterns or improvise in x mode?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    You could try referencing all of them to either the major or pure minor (or pentatonic minor) scale so.....


    Ionian = Major scale
    Dorian = minor , raised 6th or pentatonic w/ 2 and 6th
    Phrygian = minor w/b2
    Lydian = major w/ raised 4th
    Mixolydian = major w/ b7
    Aeolen = pure minor oe Pentatonic w/ 2 and b6
    Locrian = major starinb and ending on the 7th

    This might help.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    427
    I think what you really need is some good old fashioned muscle memory. The only way to get that is, well, to sit there and figure them out. No substitute for that.

    Good luck!

    -Alex

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    23
    I like JohnW's suggestion and tend to think of that a lot. After knowing your major and minor scale well, it only takes a little tweaking to get the other modes. And once you have those seven, learning the melodic minor modes can also be tweakings of those modes you just derived (eg: Lydian dominant, Locrian #2, etc). I find it easier to learn modes this way because you are also appreciating the types of intervals involved in each mode and how it affects it's brightness. Makes me memorize them easier. And when you have derived them, play them. A LOT.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    KC area
    Posts
    4,074
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW400 View Post
    You could try referencing all of them to either the major or pure minor (or pentatonic minor) scale so.....


    Ionian = Major scale
    Dorian = minor , raised 6th or pentatonic w/ 2 and 6th
    Phrygian = minor w/b2
    Lydian = major w/ raised 4th
    Mixolydian = major w/ b7
    Aeolen = pure minor oe Pentatonic w/ 2 and b6
    Locrian = major starinb and ending on the 7th

    This might help.
    This is exactly how I think of modes. Usually we all have the major and natural minor scales pretty well burned into our minds and fingers in at least 2 positions. So rather than trying to learn a bunch of new patterns, relate everything back to these and just see the different notes to add.

    Good luck with it.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    427
    I think it's easier to talk about mode formulas from the other side, ie, having already mastered the modes. The way I see modes is the same way you guys all see them- through the use of the formulas- but I remember my first guitar teacher trying to show me the modes this way, and with no point of reference I just got confused about what he was talking about. It wasn't until after I'd already started making my way through them that I made the connection.

    From a teaching perspective, I'm kind of curious: did you all learn the modes this way? Or did you come at it from a different angle? It would be neat to find out, because it would maybe illuminate some of the archetypical ways of learning the modes that apply to different kinds of players

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    23
    When I first learned modes in my self-taught rock days, I unfortunately learned all of the typical "patterns" you see on websites and I applied them in the worst ways possible. Yes, I eventually became pretty good at knowing those shapes and being able to move up and down the neck. But I had zero understanding of how you can't just play any note in the C major scale and expect it to sound good on a D minor progression. Fortunately, when I started taking jazz lessons (out of frustration for my inability to advance), I was taught how important it was to understand how to target chord tones and see the intervals in the modes.

    My teacher basically did the whole "derive it yourself" type of thing. But he made me chart each position out and practice playing them over simple vamps. That was where the muscle memory came in. Playing a major scale in all seven positions over a progression, playing a dorian scale in all positions, etc. Whenever I expressed concern about being locked into patterns, he told me it's always important to see the notes but every guitarist will naturally have those patterns to work off of. So I didn't just noodle up and down those scale patterns, but I worked on arppegiating within them, looking at intervals, and seeing what else was going on. Understanding what you're doing versus just memorizing the shapes is what will get you going in the long run.

    In short: should have had a teacher from the beginning.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    I learned modes by starting in the key of C and then starting closest to the nut, working my way up the neck and memorizing the finger patterns. Then I moved them through the cycle of 4ths.

    I did this with 9 different fingerings. 4 fingerings on the 6th, then 5th and one on the 4th.

    However the Lydian and Mixolydian where the easiest for me to remember thinking about sharping the 4 or lowering the 7th. The minors weren't that easy, the phrygian being the toughest if I recall.

    After I was comfortable knowing the fingerings I then played them off a stationary root changing mode rather than starting note.

    My solution to the OP is based on the assumption that he already knows the major scale and minor pentatonic.

    This "formula" is also great for coming up with synthetic type scales to fit certain sounds. Want something for a 13th # 11 with a #9 sound?

    Lydian Dominant with a #2

    You can also apply this to pentatonic and haxatonic style scales

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW400 View Post
    You could try referencing all of them to either the major or pure minor (or pentatonic minor) scale so.....


    Ionian = Major scale
    Dorian = minor , raised 6th or pentatonic w/ 2 and 6th
    Phrygian = minor w/b2
    Lydian = major w/ raised 4th
    Mixolydian = major w/ b7
    Aeolen = pure minor oe Pentatonic w/ 2 and b6
    Locrian = major starinb and ending on the 7th

    This might help.
    This post was the most useful to me so far. Maybe I wasn't clear but I already understand the modes, i'm just having trouble remembering quick fingerings for them on the guitar fretboard. In my audition i'll need to play each mode of major, minor, and melodic minor scales in 2 octaves ascending and descending

    John thinking of them that way might help me remember fingerings quicker, especially for Locrian it is nice to think of it that way instead of major with b2 b3 b5 b6 b7

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Argentina
    Posts
    168
    In that case search for the 3 notes per string patterns and use them.

  13. #12
    You don't need to know the modes in order to play them. Simply put, if the chord changes are diatonic, stick to the major scale of the key, and you will be playing each mode correctly.

    In an audition situation, why not just start the ionian at different scale degrees to produce your modes? You can move up the neck to a different position with the same ionan scale every 2-3 modes so you're not being cheap and just using the same fingering for them all. That way you only have to memorize 4-5 positions of the same scale, which is useful in many other ways.
    Last edited by JazzGuitarist; 07-27-2009 at 12:09 PM.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Argentina
    Posts
    168
    Quote Originally Posted by JazzGuitarist View Post
    You don't need to know the modes in order to play them. Simply put, if the chord changes are diatonic, stick to the major scale of the key, and you will be playing each mode correctly.
    It's not that easy. You have to be very lucky to not hit notes that will sound VERY bad.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    Quote Originally Posted by JazzGuitarist View Post
    In an audition situation, why not just start the ionian at different scale degrees to produce your modes? You can move up the neck to a different position with the same ionan scale every 2-3 modes so you're not being cheap and just using the same fingering for them all. That way you only have to memorize 4-5 positions of the same scale, which is useful in many other ways.

    If I were at judging at this audition and a player came in and did not know his modes like he knows his name.... He wouldn't pass. That being said there are those schools that will take anybody if the price is right and admissions are down.

    There is no magic wand, no potion or elixer. If the OP is serious about music school and acarrer as a musician then he/she needs to spend the time to get their s#$t together on the instrument and know the basic requirements that the university has set as the minimum.

    If they cannot do that or are unwilling to do that then they should think about a different field of study. Even one in music but not performance. Something like recording, publishing or event managemnt.

    I'm not saying this to be harsh or give anybody a hard time. Quite the opposite. I'm telling it like it is so that no one wastes money, time and energy on a subject when they may be better suited to do something else.

    I went to school with some serious , kick ass players like Saxafonist Bill Evans. Out of all my "classmates" he bacame the most famous but after him, a good pecentage of us are not making our incomes from music. We are mostly ''part-time pros" picking up occasional gigs or students. Some don't even play that much anymore.

    If you think that Bill Evans didn't know these basics going in, think again.
    Last edited by JohnW400; 07-27-2009 at 12:57 PM.

  16. #15
    Playing the ionian scale from the general key isn't the same as playing the modes of each chord. The target notes change in each mode (3rd and 7th) and gives an entirely different color. That's why playing A minor over a C major chord can sound entirely different from C major over C major, despite the two scales having the same notes.

    For the audition, I definately don't want to just play starting on each note from the Ionian scale, because that will just be figuring it out as I go along which is what I'm trying to avoid. I'm ready to do any work I have to in order to be prepared for this audition, that's why I'm posting about this.

    I already know my arpeggios in 4 positions so maybe adding in the extra notes to form a mode would be a quick way to remember them.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    23
    Quote Originally Posted by seagullc View Post
    For the audition, I definately don't want to just play starting on each note from the Ionian scale, because that will just be figuring it out as I go along which is what I'm trying to avoid. I'm ready to do any work I have to in order to be prepared for this audition, that's why I'm posting about this.

    I already know my arpeggios in 4 positions so maybe adding in the extra notes to form a mode would be a quick way to remember them.
    How quickly are you talking about memorizing the fingerings? Days? Weeks? Hours? Here's something I used to do (and will revisit) to memorize and practice modes:

    Since you can play a mode in any of seven positions (as in your index finger can begin on one of seven different notes on the low E string), go through all 7 positions on all 7 modes. If you want to learn the Dorian mode fingerings, use BIAB or a looping pedal to record a vamp in whatever key you are practicing (an Fm7 for example), then play the Dorian mode from each position. It's always easiest to start with the root position (say, first fret), and then move up/down from there. Start on the second note of the Dorian scale and play around. Then third note, etc. Then switch modes when you are done with all 7 positions. Or switch modes and stay in the same position...

    Not only are you practicing the fingerings (which is what you want for your audition), but you're getting used to the sound of the mode. You can start by just playing up and down the scale in that position. Then try playing arpeggios in that position to see what sounds good and to nail down that position. Whatever works. It's fun.

    This is a total of 49 combinations (7 modes x 7 positions). If you practiced each one for 5 minutes, it would only take you a little more than 4 hours total. You're also practicing each shape seven times, so you'll really get those fingerings down through muscle memory. I just think that memorizing notes from a chart without practicing them in their context will actually be slower than taking the time to apply it. As Mick Goodrick would imply (for those who have "The Advancing Guitarist"), there are 7 days in each week, 7 modes, 7 positions... you can surely come up with a practice schedule

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    What finger and starting do you start your major scale on? The one you know the best.

    Take that scale and start closest to the nut and play it in C. so if you're using 2/6 (2nd finger/ 6th string) Then the first mode will be G mixolydian. Now memrize whats' different between that scale and the G major Scale.

    Move up to A and so the same. Move it up to B ans apply what I mentioned above. Now to C. (you got a break here) now D then e and F. Same drill. Do that until you have the fingerings down in C.

    Also to break up the monotony, do some excercises like up 3 back 2 ( G A B, B C D, C D E, D E F, etc

    Only after you have them down in C, then move them to F. etc. By then you should have the fingerings mastered so it's just a case of moving them around

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by seagullc View Post
    This post was the most useful to me so far. Maybe I wasn't clear but I already understand the modes, i'm just having trouble remembering quick fingerings for them on the guitar fretboard. In my audition i'll need to play each mode of major, minor, and melodic minor scales in 2 octaves ascending and descending

    John thinking of them that way might help me remember fingerings quicker, especially for Locrian it is nice to think of it that way instead of major with b2 b3 b5 b6 b7
    Yes definitely that's the way to think; since we already know major (ionian= 1 2 3 4 5 6 7) The idea is to memorize the alterations to this pattern. And same four fingering: if you use these fingers for ionian:
    2
    1 2 4
    1 3 4

    Then for instance, since mixolydian is 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 , you only have to change finger 3 to finger 2:
    2
    1 2 4
    1 2 4

    So my advice is to memorize one each time, then move to the other. Use this order:
    Ionian (fingers 2 4 1 2 4 1 3 4)
    Aeolian (fingers 1 3 4 1 3 4 1 3)
    Mixolydian (fingers 2 1 2 4 1 2 4)
    Dorian (fingers 1 3 4 1 3 < 1 2 4)
    Lydian (fingers 2 1 3 4 1 3 4)
    locrian (fingers 1 2 4 1 2 4 1 3)
    phrigian (fingers 1 2 4 1 3 4 1 3)

    Also, my advice is to think of locrian as a 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7, or as a minor (aeolian/natural) with flat 2, and 5. Phrygian is a minor with a flat 2.

    Remember, the idea is to memorize, not to rationalize each time you need!

  20. #19
    Thanks for all the tips guys. My audition won't be until next May so I still have lots of time to practice.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    wi
    Posts
    190
    Take the time to really examine what’s different and whats the same. Music is all about changes, and more specifically, moving in 4ths/5ths. Other than F#(C tritone sub), F and G are the most distant/different from C. Hence the obvious sound of oscillating back and forth on a I,IV,V progression Anyway, you can use this piece of information to help organize your fingerings. If you start from the very beginning you don’t have to look much past the I,IV,V. 1= C Ionian on 5th and 6th string …done! 4= F Lydian, ionian with #4,Only mode without a perfect 4th … done! 5= G mixolydian, ionian with b7 … done! Ok that was easy, but notice that you already knew the fingering for G mixo. because you knew the 5th string pattern of C Ionian and the 1,2,3,4 intervals of mixo and ionian are the same (G)wAwBh(C)wDwEhF. So by starting on G,1,2,3,4, landing on C. repeating this interval pattern and continuing through the 5th string C ionian pattern, you have G mixo. Learning from this; notice that the same relationship occurs between Dorian/Aeolian and Phrygian/Locrian. So get your Dorian and Phrygian fingerings down on the 5th and 6th string, then starting on 6th string (A) play the1,2,b3,4 interval pattern from dorian, land on D, continue through the 5th string D dorian pattern and you have A Aeolian. Then start on 6th string B, play the 1,b2,b3,4 interval pattern from E Phrygian, land on E and continue through the 5th string E phrygian pattern. And that’s all the modes.

  22. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    5,354
    I wrote a long post on this that you might find helpful. I think it's a very easy way to take what you already know and organize it into the modes...

    CAGED part 2b ... let's talk modes

  23. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Argentina
    Posts
    168
    One of the most important things is their sound. Each one has a very clear personality.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Luan View Post
    One of the most important things is their sound. Each one has a very clear personality.
    This.


    Every mode of a maj scale has a character.

    Sure ya can play in Cmaj for all the modes in Cmaj.
    Like Em7 Am7 Dm7 G7 Cma7; all these chords will take the Cmaj scale.
    But it will blur the lines. Nothing is really defined. But, more importantly, the way you add chromatic notes to each mode, so that each has its own spicy notes, is an art in itself. And to get further into that art, ya have to be able to delineate each sound, even without chords or bass notes to underpin it.

    It takes work. Don't resist. Don't blur the lines. Don't ignore the subtleties.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    I wrote a long post on this that you might find helpful. I think it's a very easy way to take what you already know and organize it into the modes...

    CAGED part 2b ... let's talk modes
    Thanks, I'll check this out.




    I don't need help understanding modes or their sound, I just need help in memorizing the fingerings.

  26. #25
    I guess this is the point...for me....When i play A Phrygian, i don't see F major.
    I don't relate it to F maj.
    Take the b2 of A Phrygian. What is it a b2 of?
    It's a a b2 of A maj. All of the alterations are references to the A maj scale.

    So, alter your maj scale fingerings to conform to the formula of a particular mode.
    So when ya play G Lyd. Play your G maj fingerings and sharpen the 4th degree. Don't think Dmaj, starting on G.

  27. #26
    Also...I wonder where i can get a free i phone?

  28. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    5,354
    Quote Originally Posted by mike walker View Post
    I guess this is the point...for me....When i play A Phrygian, i don't see F major.
    I don't relate it to F maj.
    Take the b2 of A Phrygian. What is it a b2 of?
    It's a a b2 of A maj. All of the alterations are references to the A maj scale.
    Yeah that's the way I do it though I think of the A minor scale being altered, and I think of the A phyrgian scale as being notes on top of the canvas of an A minor chord. Same idea for all the modes - and that is what the post I linked to above shows.

    An Am canvas that you paint with a bunch of Phrygian notes. So I'm visualizing say... this chord while playing these notes:




    And more importantly to me... it sounds phyrgian. The thing is it's easy to play the notes of A phyrgian and have it sound like F major, you need to emphasize the notes of the Am chord; and those 1/2 step phyrgian sounding parts of the scale; and the note that makes phyrgian different than Aoelian (the b2) needs to be in play... that way you tonicize (is that a word?) the A minor; the A minor needs to sound as the one chord. If you don't do that it doesn't sound phyrgian, at least not to me.
    Last edited by fep; 08-01-2009 at 10:46 AM.

  29. #28
    I'll add my 2 cents for what it is worth

    I've learned the modes through both of these techniques ( ie breaking down the ionian scale and just memorizing fingerings ) One point I haven't noticed mentioned yet is if you are modifying the ionian scale, learning the modes through the diatonic harmonic progression can be more difficult and less enlightening regarding the changes in tone from each mode. If you were to order the modes from brightest ( most sharp ) to darkest( most flat ) they would be

    Lydian
    Ionian
    Mixolydian
    Dorian
    Aeolian
    Phyrgian
    Locrian

    If you learn the modes from one position on the fretboard you might consider learning them in this order as each builds on the next and you hear the tonal difference.

    Regarding the fingerings, if you have learned the major scale up the fretboard on the sixth string starting with each scale degree and are comfortable with those fingerings why not just use those fingerings for the different modes? If
    you haven't learned those fingerings you should really start there. So you can use the fingering of the major scale on the third degree of the scale to play phyrgian at the root of the scale. This has already been mentioned I believe but if you understand this and know the major scale then you have the fingerings. The other suggestions of running through the cycles in all keys helps reinforce all of this.

    Hope this is clear!

  30. #29
    I haven't learned the major scale from each degree, only from the root. However, I know bebop scales (based off mixolydian) from root, third, fifth and seventh. Major scale fingerings seem like a logical place to start, is there any lesson that points out the fingering starting from each degree? I could always figure it out but I'm not sure what fingering would be best. Would you guys reccomend three note per string fingerings?

  31. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    Quote Originally Posted by seagullc View Post
    I haven't learned the major scale from each degree, only from the root. However, I know bebop scales (based off mixolydian) from root, third, fifth and seventh. Major scale fingerings seem like a logical place to start, is there any lesson that points out the fingering starting from each degree? I could always figure it out but I'm not sure what fingering would be best. Would you guys reccomend three note per string fingerings?
    Didn't you say you had until next May? Start with these then apply the lesson above about what to change. You'll be way ahead.

  32. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tafton, Pa
    Posts
    273
    You could try learning and playing all major scales in one position. This will give you twelve fingerings. You can then practice playing each major scale in twelve different positions. Next pick any position to play any modal scale you want. You just need to relate the mode to the appropriate major scale and pick a position to play it in. Actually, JohnW400 has already given you , I believe 6 of the fingerings.
    To make it less overwhelming learn 1 or 2 fingerings a week. You'll have them down in 6 to twelve weeks.
    Later on you can do the same thing with arrpegios. Twleve fingerings, twelve different positions for each chord type.
    Last edited by Patriots2006; 08-02-2009 at 05:52 AM.

  33. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    Quote Originally Posted by Patriots2006 View Post
    Later on you can do the same thing with arrpegios. Twleve fingerings, twelve different positions for each chord type.

    Since you mentioned arps. Start with these and then change the quality till you cover all the 7ths

    Now you'll really be ahead

  34. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tafton, Pa
    Posts
    273
    JohnW400, That's a nice way to lay out the arrpegios for someone just learning. Makes it easy to comprehend. Kudos to you.

  35. #34
    I relate to the chords. In the key of C, for example, the three note chords built upon each note of the scale are Cmaj, Dm, Em, Fmaj, Gmaj, Am, Bdim, C. If you build four note chords over the scale, they are Cmj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7, G7, Am7, Bmyb5, Cmaj7.

    OK, each chord represents a different mode:

    C = Ionian
    Dm = Dorian
    Em = Phrygian
    Fmaj = Lydian
    G = Mixolydian
    Am = Aeolian
    Bdim = Locrian

    So if you want to play, for instance, a G lydian scale, know that the G is the 4th degree of the key of D. Play a D scale over an imaginary G chord.

    Seems complicated, but once you get it, everything computes instantly. I know it does for me.

    And let me add, that everything above is predicated on practicing. there ain't no shortcuts, you absolutely have to put in the work.
    Last edited by lkmuller; 08-06-2009 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Addition

  36. #35
    Thanks for all the documents and tips guys. I've got started on learning the Ionian scale starting from the root (knew this already) , third, fifth, and seventh. Then I'm going to apply what is neccesary to modify it into the other modes (b7 for mixolydian, etc.)

    One thing I'm wondering is if it's neccesary to learn the scale from each degree, or just the arpeggio notes. My guitar teacher told me to learn from root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th but some people on here are saying to learn the scale from every degree (1,2,3,4,5,6,7).

    What do you think?
    Last edited by seagullc; 08-08-2009 at 12:40 AM.

  37. #36
    I think that eventually you'll know them from every degree anyway, and again, eventually, even stop thinking of them as individual modes.

  38. #37
    Hi Seagul and all
    Try www.guitarmodes.com.au it will cost $25au. You will have the whole lot nailed in 30minutes. Guaranteed. (inludes the LATEST simplest method for double stop harmonies and a section on Pitch Axis Theory) The Guitarmodes method will alleviate the delemma of understanding modes once and for all. Big call I know, just read the Critiques on the site. They are genuine. Formal theoretical terminology and indicators are used to allow a smooth transition to a formal teacher. I am working hard to get this copyright method out to the world. Use it as your teaching resourse. Please contact me for any info.
    Left and right hand fun riff on You Tube
    Last edited by Jay Stone; 08-20-2009 at 08:02 AM. Reason: test

  39. #38
    Here's a neat trick to help memorize the cycle of 4ths:
    Going around by 4ths, starting at C, scales with flat notes,
    next is F-- 1st fret, 6th string
    next is Bb-- 1st fret, 5th string,
    next is Eb-- 1st fret, 4th string
    next is Ab-- 1st fret, 3rd string
    when you get to Db, Gb, those are 2nd fret (2nd string, 1st string)
    Each key adds a flat (C has no flats, F has 1 flat, Bb has 2 flats, etc)

    Now to go continue into scales that have sharps,
    next is F#-- 2nd fret, 6th string
    next is B-- 2nd fret, 5th string,
    E-- 2nd fret, 4th string
    A-- 2nd fret, 3rd string
    D, G-- up to 3rd fret, 2nd string, 1st string
    Each step loses a sharp, starting with F# (6 sharps), etc.

    This idea is a bit abstract, but I found it's a handy tool for learning to memorize keys.

  40. #39
    Thanks for all the tips guys, I have all the modes memorized now from root, third, fifth and seventh. It was easier than I thought once I applied myself and used all the information you all gave me!

    Jackson, thanks for the info there - good way of looking at the cycle of fifths on guitar.

  41. #40

    Must Read stop worrying about modes

    At risk of sounding smug,may I humbly offer the following advice
    1) If your intention is merewly to play lots of single notes FASTER than anyone else,then perhaps modes may be useful.However,just using them to learn rules so that you are 'not harmonically out of tune with chords being played does not create music.You'll fool the non musicians and those who sit in a music shop playing stairway to heaven but it wont make you into a useful musician
    2) If we're talking about jazz, almost all the good mucicians knew nothing about modes,and each one had his own'voice'on the guitar.They all had good ears.They didn't practice scales/modes/exercises.They played what they would play on the gig...that is TUNES Melodies,arrangements...and they were mostly self taught.
    3) Even if the following seems 'alien' to you musicwise,I suggest that you listen to 'THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK', that is the great standards that Sinatra and such sang.Listen to the CHORD PROGRESSIONS and become adept at playing good accompaniement.Not only will this make you into a VERY MUSICAL person,but it will also make you POPULAR with other musicians.To sit waiting in a group until it's time to take a solo does not help the other players.They appreciate being given a reliable rhythm and chords to play off.You are then both prompting musically AND filling out and embellishing the sound.THAT IS THE PLACE TO BEGIN,You'll gradually build up a repertoire and a good ear.
    Get BAND IN A BOX and use midi files to play against.
    If you want WORK then sometimes playing too much or too complicated will lose the booker and/or audience.I'm only too well aware that in my reasonably successful musical career(QE2/records,BBc radio ,best hotels etc,our success was partly due to not being too complex as a trio(2 gtrs and vocal) AND having a unique total sound or identity.(happy accident)
    Dont be too 'clever' Your repertoire will match with your intended audience.
    I'm happy to elaborate if required.
    There are LOTS of techniques I wish I had under my fingers(Lenny Breau,Martin Taylor,Tuck Andress etc ,) but that is for my own personal gratification;it's what I choose to play in which venue which is more important than having amazing technique.So decide if you wish to play to earn a living before embarking on insular excursions.The above are THE BEST and I bet non of them know nothing about modes and/or never think about them.TED GREENE spent his life becoming an expert harmonically and used his ear.
    Look up ALL of the above and Django Rheinhardt,Les Paul etc.It'll fill you with ideas but dont copy..just be yourself.
    Geoff Menzer

  42. #41
    Thanks for the advice Geoff. My goal definately isn't to play notes fast, or to just run through modes over a progression. Simply put, I believe the more theory that I learn and absorb the higher potential my playing has to improve. Lots of good players only played by ear, but that doesn't make knowledge of theory a bad thing. I have no desire to only play solos or anything of the sort - this is just the current thing I'm working on im my playing, both for personal gain and to prepare for my audition which states that I need to know the modes.

    Your tip about playing for the audience is very true though, I'll have to remember to not get too show offy in my playing depending on who is listening.

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by geoff menzer View Post
    At risk of sounding smug,may I humbly offer the following advice
    1) If your intention is merewly to play lots of single notes FASTER than anyone else,then perhaps modes may be useful.However,just using them to learn rules so that you are 'not harmonically out of tune with chords being played does not create music.You'll fool the non musicians and those who sit in a music shop playing stairway to heaven but it wont make you into a useful musician
    2) If we're talking about jazz, almost all the good mucicians knew nothing about modes,and each one had his own'voice'on the guitar.They all had good ears.They didn't practice scales/modes/exercises.They played what they would play on the gig...that is TUNES Melodies,arrangements...and they were mostly self taught.
    3) Even if the following seems 'alien' to you musicwise,I suggest that you listen to 'THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK', that is the great standards that Sinatra and such sang.Listen to the CHORD PROGRESSIONS and become adept at playing good accompaniement.Not only will this make you into a VERY MUSICAL person,but it will also make you POPULAR with other musicians.To sit waiting in a group until it's time to take a solo does not help the other players.They appreciate being given a reliable rhythm and chords to play off.You are then both prompting musically AND filling out and embellishing the sound.THAT IS THE PLACE TO BEGIN,You'll gradually build up a repertoire and a good ear.
    Get BAND IN A BOX and use midi files to play against.
    If you want WORK then sometimes playing too much or too complicated will lose the booker and/or audience.I'm only too well aware that in my reasonably successful musical career(QE2/records,BBc radio ,best hotels etc,our success was partly due to not being too complex as a trio(2 gtrs and vocal) AND having a unique total sound or identity.(happy accident)
    Dont be too 'clever' Your repertoire will match with your intended audience.
    I'm happy to elaborate if required.
    There are LOTS of techniques I wish I had under my fingers(Lenny Breau,Martin Taylor,Tuck Andress etc ,) but that is for my own personal gratification;it's what I choose to play in which venue which is more important than having amazing technique.So decide if you wish to play to earn a living before embarking on insular excursions.The above are THE BEST and I bet non of them know nothing about modes and/or never think about them.TED GREENE spent his life becoming an expert harmonically and used his ear.
    Look up ALL of the above and Django Rheinhardt,Les Paul etc.It'll fill you with ideas but dont copy..just be yourself.
    Geoff Menzer


    Nice post and good advice. (although I don't mean to discourage Seagulic's quest). I wish I had spent more time on tunes than theory. Personally I found learning all the modes a waste of time and focus.
    IMO, they are such a brute force and ineffective way of conceptualizing music. However, they seem to satisfy those who like a reductionist viewpoint of music offering hope that "the secret of jazz is hidden in the modes".

    Unfortunately, it seems that modes have become a fundamental yardstick for testing someone's knowledge of the fretboard in the world of academia, probably because the concept fits nicely on the page that says "prerequisites" on college and university course schedules,. I suppose learning them can't hurt even if it is to realize that there are more effective and practical ways of conceptualizing music.

  44. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    The thing that Im getting out of this post is that most think that the modes are an end unto itself.

    Honestly, I think you're looking at all this stuff, scales, arp's, modes, wrong.

    They are nothing more than mechanisms to help train your ears and fingers. They are like learning a foreign language. You have vocabulary, grammer, slang, READING, poetry, whatever.

    I can't remember anybody trying to have a conversation with me using say, only words that end in s, or only metaphors or homonyms. That's not the way language works nor is it the way music works.

    In language, the more articulate one wants to become, the more words they learn in order to more correctly convey what their talking about.

    Same in music. All these things are ways for us to become more articulate on our instruments. The more "words" you know, the better you can express yourself and your ideas.

    Think of modes , scales, arpeggios as simple vocabulary excercises that you eventualy stop as you become more fluent in the language.

    And to become more fluent in the language, that means playing tunes.

  45. #44
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Payson Arizona
    Posts
    2,561

    advice for seagullc

    Jazzaluk and JohnW400 are both giving you excellent advice. If I was able start all over again, my first steps would be to listen to the music I want to emulate, get a guitar I like the sound of, get it set up by a pro and buy a copy of band in the box. Building your chops is simply a matter of dedicating some daily time to exercises that build accuracy and agility in your fingers. ALWAYS practise with a metranome or something like BIAB. Next I would buy Mark Levine's book on Jazz theory and read some part of it daily. This will give you all the theory you will ever need. Also, I would buy a copy of the Real Book series and use it for both reading and inputting songs into BIAB. I know you can buy tunes already made up for BIAB but IMHO, you will benefit much more from learning how to use BIAB as a tool for learning. It is very useful for practising songs, transcribing and studying as well as making up exercises to play along with. Find yourself a good teacher to guide you through some of the difficult things you will find along the way and take every opportunity to play with others. The process of learning jazz guitar is a lifetime effort and will give you an unbelievable amount of pleasure and satisfaction. good luck!!

    wiz

  46. #45
    While I agree with what you guys are saying, I don't think learning the modes themselves are a bad thing. Some people apply the modes badly and don't use their ear, sure, or they just run scales in their soloing - but that depends on their own application of the modes. Using the modes and using your ear/learning tunes are not mutually exclusive. The modes are just another tool for me to consider when I'm trying to convey my voice through the instrument. To say they are a bad idea altogether is like saying learning to read music is useless because lifting songs by ear is the better practice for a jazz musician.

  47. #46
    You better believe all the great jazzers know there scales, arpeggios, modes,
    etc etc.
    Don't have barriers, for whatever reason.
    Modes are just another way of understanding a sound. And if you understand it, then you can communicate it to others.

    If ya don't like the name "Mode' change it to 'Mood".

    If modes didn't do it for ya, then that's ok. That's personal.
    But that doesn't make it someone else's truth.

    Modes are innocent until someone gets hold of them, who doesn't know how to use them, and proves them guilty.

  48. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    2,651
    Quote Originally Posted by seagullc View Post
    While I agree with what you guys are saying, I don't think learning the modes themselves are a bad thing. Some people apply the modes badly and don't use their ear, sure, or they just run scales in their soloing - but that depends on their own application of the modes. Using the modes and using your ear/learning tunes are not mutually exclusive. The modes are just another tool for me to consider when I'm trying to convey my voice through the instrument. To say they are a bad idea altogether is like saying learning to read music is useless because lifting songs by ear is the better practice for a jazz musician.

    Don't misunderstand. No one said they're bad. It's just that they are not the beginning and end of music. You have to learn ALL this stuff. But not get hung up on it.

    Too many people start thinking about what mode to play rather than what sounds to play. Do you hear dominant, major, minor , diminsihed, etc? and then what variant of each.

  49. #48
    Jazzarian Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW400 View Post
    You could try referencing all of them to either the major or pure minor (or pentatonic minor) scale so.....


    Ionian = Major scale
    Dorian = minor , raised 6th or pentatonic w/ 2 and 6th
    Phrygian = minor w/b2
    Lydian = major w/ raised 4th
    Mixolydian = major w/ b7
    Aeolen = pure minor oe Pentatonic w/ 2 and b6
    Locrian = major starinb and ending on the 7th

    This might help.
    Having a few years of music theory under my belt, I still can't think that way "on the fly". Sure on paper it's easy.

    I tend to view my diatonic modes as displacements from the major, in perhaps 3 different overall patterns covering 2 octaves (and a bit more if possible).

    D Dorian to D Phrygian? I tend to think ii of C Major and iii of Bb Major. Which note(s) changed? B ->Bb, E ->Eb. To me that's easier to do on the fly.

    Is that a weird way of looking at it?

  50. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzarian View Post
    Having a few years of music theory under my belt, I still can't think that way "on the fly". Sure on paper it's easy.

    I tend to view my diatonic modes as displacements from the major, in perhaps 3 different overall patterns covering 2 octaves (and a bit more if possible).

    D Dorian to D Phrygian? I tend to think ii of C Major and iii of Bb Major. Which note(s) changed? B ->Bb, E ->Eb. To me that's easier to do on the fly.

    Is that a weird way of looking at it?
    It's not weird Jazza, it's very common.

    If you play c maj can ya make it sound like Cmaj on its own?

    If ya play D Dorian can ya make it sound like Dmin with a 6th?

  51. #50
    Jazzarian Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mike walker View Post
    It's not weird Jazza, it's very common.

    If you play c maj can ya make it sound like Cmaj on its own?

    If ya play D Dorian can ya make it sound like Dmin with a 6th?

    For on the fly, pragmatism is best. I know patternA, how does pattern B differ?

Join our Facebook Page

Get in Touch


Jazz Guitar eBooks
How To Get a Jazz Guitar Tone?
Privacy Policy

 

 

 

Follow us on:

Jazz Guitar Online on FacebookJazz Guitar Online on TwitterJazz Guitar Online on YoutubeJazz Guitar Online RSS Feed