feline1 wrote:I'd have to cast my vote too as one of these people who just doesn't see what all the fuss is about modes.
If you're stuck on an instrument with 12 equal-tempered semitones per octave, then you can play whatever scales/modes you want...which basically reduces to saying you can play any notes you want.
I mean, so what?
I'm sure you know already, but the whole mode thing is not about which notes you play, but which notes you play *over the same existing backdrop*.
I relate to modes on the guitar. Just playing the various mode scales by themselves will make little, if any, difference. Exactly "so what". It's the same notes, so our brain will quickly go back to hear what it's used to, no matter where we start. We may hear a minor scale because we've learned - and can keep in mind - how its relative major would sound. But the other modes are something we don't hear too often, and so for most guitarists who are starting with modes it's impossible to keep imagining a "C" when you're playing the C modes. What you'll end up hearing is maybe the minor or major scale of C, and a bunch of same-old-notes sequences in between.
But things become exceedingly easy if you actually *play* against a C, and you don't have to imagine anything. The easiest way is to record and loop a rhythmical pattern over a single low string (say a C on the V string), basically a drone; and then starting to play over it the modes of C while listening to it
It's a incredible eye opener (or ears?). It was for me at least.
It's then that you realize how the dissonance between say C and D or C and E (taking the root and the first note of the II and III mode) and so on gives each mode it's own specific flavor. Without that C to play against, it's just the same notes. :)
In time, you learn to recognize and seek these flavors just like you do with major and minor. No theory is really needed (probably the wrong forum..), just a looper (or a very patient friend with another guitar :D ) and time to train your ears and remember.
What makes this more than "so what" is that - once you physically master one single scale - you have 7 other flavors at your disposal without any additional effort! It's a bargain!