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Modes: don't you just love 'em?

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

Postby GilesAnt » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:06 pm

That's probably it Eddy. After all if someone talks about modal music, they are normally implying it isn't the major or minor modes. And the major (Ionian) and minor (sort of Aeolian) modes are fundamentally different from the others in the way they support standard harmony.

The terminology you learned is probably due to these differences. I suppose I was trying to help the earlier poster - but to be honest there is more than enough learned (and some unlearned) discussion about modes in this rather long thread. The poster you were replying to might have been better off reading some of it first.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:56 pm

I've talked to jazzer mates about modes a couple of times and sort of glaze over after a little while as I become more like Father Dougal. They say stuff like "Well I'd play a D Mixolydian over that Gb13 'cos of the sharp 6th" (that was completely gobbledygook BTW which is how what they say to me sounds). Now I know what a #6 is, and I know what a D Mixolydian is and I know what a Gb13 is and, if I CBA, I could work out which chord a D Mixolydian would fit with and whether it does actually have a #6 but I simply don't retain it nor understand how to put the knowledge to practical use as an improvising guitarist.

I don't believe a jazzer thinks, mid solo "I know I'll play a D Mixolydian over that Gb13 'cos of the sharp 6th", I think he just knows his scales and modes and has practiced enough so they naturally come out of the fingers when the ears hear (or, more likely, the brain anticipates) the Gb13. Then, 'cos of their extensive knowledge, they can send me into a daze but saying "In that solo I played a D Mixolydian over that Gb13 'cos of the sharp 6th"...

Don't get me wrong, I love this stuff and wish I got it, maybe then I'd be able to play proper jazz but nobody has managed to get the fundamentals across to me and it remains a mathematical curiosity that I can't apply to my playing.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby GilesAnt » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:47 pm

I think you have got it right Sam.

I don't really think most musicians think on the fly.....time to solo on F Locrian or whatever. The notes usually come more from experience and a good ear.

I also have an issue in that I don't really believe they are necessarily using modes even when they claim to be. This has been discussed before, possibly in this thread.

For example people sometimes claim they are using mixolydian to solo over a dominant 7th chord, and you will see this in jazz learner books sometimes.

In C major the V7 is GBDF, and the mixolydian on G is GABCDEF. But these are also the notes of the C major scale, not to mention D Dorian, F Lydian etc. So they are simply using notes of the C major scale to solo over a chord that is in C major. No big surprise - it just adds an air of mystery if you claim to be improvising in B Locrian or whatever.

So don't feel bad that you don't understand the mystery - I'm not really convinced there is one. But as I said - other opinions are available on this issue!
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:13 pm

Thanks Giles, that's much what I thought but, I still can't play Jazz :blush:
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby zenguitar » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:28 pm

Failed your homework. Write 625 lines, I must practice harder.

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:54 pm

:bouncy: :bouncy: :bouncy:

Absolutely got it in one Andy. My bezzy Jazz playing mate (and, incidentally your namesake) reckons he spent several years practicing 8 hours a day learning to play jazz and it cost him his marriage (I think there's at least a bit of exaggeration in there but he is pretty damn good, and still a very nice guy..... FWIW His brother is the model railway guy I pointed Arpy at in another thread).

Shouldn't that be "write 1080P lines"?
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Terrible.dee » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:48 am

I've been in music for years and the only use I have yet to find for modes is as loose groupings of notes that may or may not sound good when used together.

The fact that they are all the Ionian but begun on different scale degrees seems to me the most useless bit of information.

The best advice I ever got regarding such things was "There are lots of scales! Try inventing your own! It's fun!"

Yep....just make your own.

It's worth learning so as to be able to pick out intervals and know how they sound together.

So, I'm not saying DON'T learn them.

What I a saying is music was initially documented not as an accessible system of notation, but as a CODE that would keep out all but those who were chosen to be let in.

A LOT of traditional notation and what not is completely archaic and useless
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby merlyn » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:51 pm

There seems to be a new category of skeptic : the mode denier. :)

This conspiracy theory holds that every reference to modes on the internet, every book about modes, every music college course involving modes is in fact concealing the secret that modes don't really exist.

It's possible to short-circuit the contentious word 'mode' and replace it with 'chord scale'. This differentiates the use of modes in folk or classical music and the use of modes in jazz -- using 'chord scales' in jazz means the chord and the scale are the same thing.

A 13th chord contains all the notes of a scale so 13th chord = scale. If we have a four note chord like G7 four notes are already given -- to make a complete scale we only have to add three notes -- the 9th, the 11th and the 13th. If the chord is a 9th then there are only two notes not already in the chord. If the chord is D9#11 there is only one note -- the 13th left to add to make a scale.

There is some doubt above as to whether anyone plays B locrian. B locrian = Bm7b5 which is a pretty common chord, so yes, they do. Vertically Bm7b5, horizontally B locrian.

No-one can tell you what modes are -- you have to find out for yourself

If you improvise around in C major I would think you hear phrases resolving to the note C. You're playing C major. Now if you can hear the resolution as B you're playing B locrian.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby GilesAnt » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:43 pm

There seems to be a new category of skeptic : the mode denier. :)

I believe....I believe

The fact that they are all the Ionian but begun on different scale degrees seems to me the most useless bit of information.

I think you are rather missing the point here. If you can sense a difference between a tune in a major key (Ionian mode) and one in a minor key (Aeolian mode - more or less), then it is only a matter of degree to sensing the difference between tunes in the other modes as well. And yet the notes of a tune in C Ionian and A Aeolian are identical, i.e. the white notes on the piano.

A LOT of traditional notation and what not is completely archaic and useless

What sort of things are you referring to - a lot depends on what your style of music is really. There is plenty of mileage in these old modes I reckon.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:54 pm

merlyn wrote:A 13th chord contains all the notes of a scale so 13th chord = scale.

Not sure I agree with this specific paragraph, a 13th chord contains R, 3, 5, b7, 13 they don't routinely contain the 9 and 11.

Otherwise I concur, good post.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:55 pm

GilesAnt wrote:I don't really think most musicians think on the fly.....

No differently than people think on the fly while speaking, for example, or think about which muscles to flex when moving their arms.

I suspect there's a fundamental similarity: you do not literally focus on the grammar, the sentence construction or even the words (or the muscles, the angles and the forces, and certainly you don't cognitively solve the numerous differential equations needed to catch that the tennis ball that your friend threw).. your cognitive system (your awareness, if you want) has a goal ad the brain has developed fast analytical subsystems that provide the correct pre-fabricated blocks in the right sequence and time (or not.. if you haven't practiced enough speaking, ball-catching or improvising).

The how, of course (how these systems are built, and how we go from a blank state to building them, and what lines exist between pre-existing foundations and grown systems dedicated to a specific task), is fascinating.

To me, the most fascinating question that exists.

Theory if you want is a starting point to start practicing.

But I digress. Apologies. :)
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby GilesAnt » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:03 pm

Well the full quote was

I don't really think most musicians think on the fly.....time to solo on F Locrian or whatever.

In other words they are thinking instinctively rather than planning to use a specific mode on top of a particular chord or progression.
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby GilesAnt » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:07 pm

Not sure I agree with this specific paragraph, a 13th chord contains R, 3, 5, b7, 13 they don't routinely contain the 9 and 11.

Is that a guitarists view? As a keyboard player my 'go to' 13th chord would be R b7 3 (10th) 13
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:25 pm

It is a guitarists view, and we would not play all of those notes either, maybe R, 3,13, b7 or 5, b7, 3, 13, apart from the b7 and 13 all the others are pretty much optional. The limitations placed on us by six strings and four fingers mean we don't have the same freedom to voice chords as a keyboard player. We even sometimes (heaven forfend) have to rely on a bass player to provide a root :D
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Re: Modes: don't you just love 'em?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:14 pm

GilesAnt wrote:Well the full quote was

I don't really think most musicians think on the fly.....time to solo on F Locrian or whatever.

In other words they are thinking instinctively rather than planning to use a specific mode on top of a particular chord or progression.

Yeah I wasn't disagreeing with you - the opposite, in fact.
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