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Modes: don't you just love 'em?

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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby guy999 » Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:38 am

leslawrenson wrote:
...for example, if you want to stay in the Dorian mode, you can alter your scalar playing whenever the band change chords. So the band stay in the one key, but you exploit the chord change to retain the Dorian signature (ie you effectively start playing in a different key).
Can you give me a quick example of a chord progression and a set of corresponding notes play from staying in the dorian mode?

This stuff is beginning to come clearer, but I need a concrete example for my sanity :headbang:
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Rousseau » Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:41 am

guy999 wrote:
leslawrenson wrote:
...for example, if you want to stay in the Dorian mode, you can alter your scalar playing whenever the band change chords. So the band stay in the one key, but you exploit the chord change to retain the Dorian signature (ie you effectively start playing in a different key).

Can you give me a quick example of a chord progression and a set of corresponding notes play from staying in the dorian mode?

This stuff is beginning to come clearer, but I need a concrete example for my sanity :headbang:



In order to really understand how modes work, you need to understand the concept of Tonality. But beyond that:


Let's take D Dorian as an example. The governing principle of the mode (what gives it its particular flavour and distinguishes from other modes) is the major sixth above the final or root, the minor 3rd and the natural (or flattend 7th if you're thinking in tonal terms).


So it follows that common chords in Dorian (in this example Dorian on D) are:

D Min

F Maj

G maj (this is where the major 6th comes into play and differs from a key - ie chord 4 in a minor key is always minor, but in Dorian it's always major)

C Maj (this is chord 7 and it's major; in a minor key it would be diminished)

A Min (Chord 5; in a minor this would be Major (we'd have a C#) but in Dorian, chord 5 is always minor)

E Min (this is where the major 6th comes into play; chord 2 in a minor key is always diminshed)

B Diminished (chord 6 is dimished in dorian, whereas in a minor key it would be major)


So, all the primary chords are there as in any 'key', but note how the governing principle of the mode alters the way the harmony works.

Indeed, to put it another way, many ppl confuse D minor with D Dorian. But they are fundamentally different - consider the following:

As we know F Major is the relative major of D Minor

How can we tell whether we're in F maj or D min? In the KEY of D minor we'd see C#s (leading note) and Bbs and indeed a gravitation towards D.

Now how can we tell if we're in D minor or D Dorian? Simple. No C#s (since modes do not need sharpened leading notes in order to modulate - because they don't modulate! And they don't modulate because modulation is a tonal concept and construct), and this means that chord 5 in Dorian is always minor (whereas it is always must be major in a KEY). And we wouldn't see Bbs either, because of the major 6th flavour of the mode.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Ronnie Wibbley » Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:32 am

And I thought I was confused when I woke up this morning...

I've been struggling with this for weeks now and am still puzzled as to when to use these patterns. As a soloing device, is it just a question of picking whichever "major" sounding mode (IV, V) sounds best in a major chord progression and whichever "minor" (II, III, VI, VII) in a minor one?

Mind you, I also find playing the tambourine harmonically challenging...
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby guy999 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:13 pm

Today I was very bored at work so I wrote out all of the modes for every note, and I think its starting to sink in. I made a quick progression on cubase to practice learning different positions to (like someone said, if you know major shape at every position you know every mode, but I don't!), it basically goes through each mode in D, so to play along you need to play D ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aoelian, locrian in turn, each one for 6 bars (of 7/8). I'm finding it quite helpful, so I did a quick mixdown and i'm posting the mp3 which should loop nicely if anyone else wants to have a go. If you want the midi file or whatever pm me.

http://www.sharebigfile.com/file/194560/modes-mp3.html
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Daniel Davis » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:25 pm

No, they are not derived from the major scale - which came much later than the 'church' modes. And playing in a mode means something rather different than playing that shape on a guitar neck.
e.g. play an Ionian starting on C followed by a dorian starting on D followed by Phrygian starting on E, Lydian on F, Myxolydian on G, Aolian on A, Locrian on B, and finally Ionian starting on C.
You have played nothing other than an exercise in C major and have never left the Ionian mode.
The correct mode depends on how you use the notes and characteristic intervals of the mode - and if its not in unison it depends on the harmony. And just to throw a spanner in the works, most mediaeval music does not stick to just the notes of the mode, but commonly uses accidentals just like later tonal music. Learning how to widdle at different places on a guitar neck may be a good exercise and even improve playing technique and improvisation - but it isn't modal 99.9% of the time.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Daniel Davis » Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:55 pm

David Etheridge wrote:(I 've heard of a 'Hungarian' mode, but don't know anything about it)

:crazy:

The Hungarian mode is basically the overtone scale so in C that is: C, D, E, F#, G, A, Bb
(In the actual harmonic series the F# and Bb are both somewhat flat of their equal temperament equivalents)
The harmonic scale works especially well where it is the melody used over a drone - so every interval is pure.
Bagpipes use this scale but with a perfect 4th instead of the harmonic 4th (so basically mixolydian, but tuned to exact harmonics not tempered) - apparently the lure of the submediant is strong.
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Re: Tuppense worth

Postby Daniel Davis » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:25 pm

I'll concede that thinking of modes with respect to the Ionian (major) mode has some practical uses, but it is neither how they were derived not does it have much to do with sound.

Another approach might be to order the modes in terms of sharp - flat thus:

Lydian
Ionian
Myxolydian
Dorian
Aolian
Phrygian
Locrian

As you see, the Dorian mode, which incidentally was the most common mode, sits midway along this progression, and can be seen as neutral, with the modes on either side becoming progressivly sharpened or flattened.

I think you'll find this arrangement useful for composition as you shift moods in the music. We've all heard pieces where a melody in the major was repeated in the minor (far sadder than had it always been in the minor), now try the same in two or more modes so that you can progressively move the feel of the melody.

hope you like this different perspective.
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Re: Tuppense worth

Postby David Etheridge » Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:10 pm

Many thanks for the info Daniel!

Dave. :)
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby matt keen » Sat Feb 23, 2008 8:51 pm

I have found it useful and inteeresting studying modes

Thats so that i can make sure that I am harmonising correctly/within the mode

Its also mainly cos I a play mainly english traditional music, and quite a bit of that is modal - mainly dorian and mixolydian (I won't be stupid and say the rest is Aelion and Ionian), but they are
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Pabs » Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:01 pm

Daniel Davis wrote:
David Etheridge wrote:(I 've heard of a 'Hungarian' mode, but don't know anything about it)

:crazy:

The Hungarian mode is basically the overtone scale so in C that is: C, D, E, F#, G, A, Bb

Looks like the bottom half of a Lydian mode and the top half of a mixolydian mode. Those crazy Hungarians!
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Pauly99 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:16 am

Looks like the bottom half of a Lydian mode and the top half of a mixolydian mode. Those crazy Hungarians!

In Jazz piano, we'd just call that Lydian dominant
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Pabs » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:04 pm

Pauly99 wrote:
Looks like the bottom half of a Lydian mode and the top half of a mixolydian mode. Those crazy Hungarians!

In Jazz piano, we'd just call that Lydian dominant

Ah yes I should have recognised it sooner! So what we are saying is that the the Ovetone/Acoustic scale and the Lydian Dominant mode are one in the same. Who'd though a link between Bartok and post-'Bop Jazz.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Beckford » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:08 pm

the Hungarian mode, is Hungarian Gypsy, or so I'm told. This site might be helpful for people wanting to check which scales fit with which chords, or which scales a particular riff could be utilising....http://chordsandscales.co.uk/finder/ (not my site, btw)
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby mrthingy » Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:57 pm

I've been trying to "get" modes for a while and I think I have now.

Don't know if the terminology is all correct but my understanding is that it (baicly) playing in a key, but 'basing' the music around a note other than the first degree of that key?

For example D Dorian uses C D E F G A B from C major scale, but to get the 'dorian' sound you have to make D the over-riding, inflencial note rather than C.

Is that right?
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Rousseau » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:47 am

Yes. It's important to remember that each mode has a governing principle which gives it its character.
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