where to go from diatonic modes

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by erizone, Feb 8, 2013.


  1. erizone

    erizone

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    ok so from being able to do diatonic modes i want to learn harmonic minor modes now

    i want to get gigging and gonna hit jams soon, just have a class the night that there's a jam around here =/. gonna rent an upright from my school to start transitioning. does anyone have any helpful exercises for learning the harmonic minor modes?
     
  2. meandering

    meandering

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    how did you learn the modes of major? Why not just apply the same procedure to the harmonic minor scale?
     
  3. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    Learn the sounds that we use the most. This is NOT an issue of rote memorization. It's an issue of learning the important scales and what chords they relate to, then learning vocabulary that fits over these colors.

    Note- a couple of the modes of the melodic minor are absolutely ESSENTIAL to modern improvisation, especially lydian dominant- Ab7#11 in Freddy the Freeloader. Do you have any books on improvisation, or have you taken any coursework? Can you play the modes you know 2 octaves or more? Can you arpeggiate the corresponding sounds all the way up to 13? Can you play them in all 12 keys, naming the pitches as you go? Without reaching for an instrument, can you name the three modes with major 3rds, and explain the differences in application between the one based off of the root and the one based off of the 4th? Have you worked with the symmetrical scales? Have you done any transcription?
     
  4. erizone

    erizone

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    Thanks, this is concise!
    Which are the ways to get to Lydian dominant besides through mode X of melodic minor? in Chess we use a term 'transposition" to say that a particular opening scheme turns into a position met through a different opening scheme, aka moves 1-6 are different on two chess boards, but by the end of move 7 the two boards have exactly the same position.

    I've have maybe 3-4 credits worth of applied lesson towards a jazz performance minor on EBG, I played in a few combos while I was there. I have John Pattitucci 60 melodic etudes Eduard nanny Methode Complete Por La Contrabasse (got maybe halfway through that one on my ebg keeping the fingerings the same up to 8th fret then i made my own system) but I really us the Real Book a lot, working right now on being able to play melodies and chords on standards on piano, right now i can only do melody OR chords in time. that's helping my ear(hearing my play the melody against the chords) since I don't have anyone else who plays jazz to jam with. not even any prog rock guys =(

    I can play modes 2 octaves and arrpegios roughly ~97% accuracy, but the arrpegios only about 90%, and the ones that go 7-9-11-13 I have just recently started shedding a week ago. the discrepency is in fingerings, i am not sure the "best" or "most comfortable" fingering, when do i want to reach the G string or when do I want to stay with roots on A E string and a lot of htat has to do with finding a proper tone, anyways, all 12 keys is always a biggie for me, the 1 i can't do is on-the-spot transcription while site reading. unless it's a simple form or light tempo, then it's no problem. as for naming pitches yes, as for singing them, no but i'm in a voice class this semester and it's becoming part of the practice routine.

    Ionian, Lydian, Mixolydian. Ionian is a resolution, Lydian i am not sure but i read somewhere that someone had a theory that it is MORE consenant than Ionian, so I would guess Lydian or the Iv chord is for just for harmonic movement that doesn't necessarily have to lead to a dominant? and Mixolydian is a tension chord, wants to resolve. currently i'm obsessed with always playing altered tones over a dominant functioning chord. I currently have the diminished and whole tone scales fingerings up on my cork board with fingerings for electric guitar. I like the lydian dominant sound that comes from whole tone, and diminished is cool because it can lead to altered territory, I shedded whole tone and diminished on my bass but after i could play them and now i feel comfortable using them in composition and improvisation.


    sorry for the long response, i'm just trying to get as much out of this attention as I possibly can;. You seem like a smart guy


    as for the other guy, yes I started doing that a little yesterday, it's slow! haha, i'm doing the doublestops too and the 7th mode is just nuts, i'm not sure what kind of chord i want to build out of it lol

    EDIT: i am such a lazy transcriber. i learned the pieces to the miles daves So What but never put it all together both choruses to a metronome or backing track... i've done a bit of Darling Deer from Jamerson, i've "transcribed" led zeppelin bass parts by looking them up, i've transcribed some Phil Lesh by ear, this kind of stuff isn't really too deep for me. i've never transcribed a walking bass line, but i've written my own and i've site read a few Ray Brown ones or paul chambers. I don't know many heads/melodies either, i prefer the 13 minute jam type of song so i never bother to learn the melodies because i'm pretty happy being funky over a few weird chords and a bridge part that gets thrown in wherever and a backbeat.
     
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  6. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

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    Learning theory is great and all, but mostly everything you need are in recordings in the tunes out there. If you're gonna start showing up at jam sessions, I would concern yourself more with learning repetoire and hearing what the greats have done than getting harmonic minor under your fingers, unless you intentionally want to sound like you're playing an etude the entire time.

    In hindsight, had I spent the effort to learn the melodies back when I started, I would be so further along than I am now. Instead I went looking for shortcuts (there isn't one) like focusing on theory only and playing chord changes.

    My $.02
     
  7. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    OP- Lydian dom is the 4th mode of melodic minor.

    Take everything you say you're not 100% on and shed that. Especially transcription! Transcribing is the best tool we have for jazz, as it benefits your ear, sound, and feel simultaneously. It's the closest thing we have to a short cut.

    Diddy has a good point on focus. Learning to play jazz by theory is like learning to speak Spanish by memorizing vocabulary. You may have some of the tools but you don't know how to put it together.

    Honor the tradition. It deserves it.
     
  8. erizone

    erizone

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    I dig that, like learning to speak the language, after you learn the theory "basics" how much more do u need to check in that spanish dictionary? probably not often. I'm digging that it's all about the playing. Playing/learning tunes/solo ideas will help me learn theory. I was trying to go backwards. I will still shed those harmonic minor modes because it helps to have that under the fingers for a minor blues or a minor tonality. the chord subs are different than major tonality chord subs.

    Chicagodoubler: the 7th mode of melodic minor has all the 'altered' notes in it, too. it helps to know 5-6 ways to get to point B than just 2-3

    edit: whole tone scale makes a nice lyd-dom sound as well ;)
     
  9. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    You don't need all 7 modes of harmonic minor for where you are. Yes, the 7th Mel Min mode is very important as it's the only scale with every alteration- note the Dim Half/Whole has natural 13. You know to use that scale (often called Diminished Wholetone) any time you see #9/b9 with b13. Or basically anything you want to create a tension on a V chord.

    The chord extensions are often "tells" for what scale to use. You seemed puzzled about Lydian. The tell is maj7 #11. Sometimes we have options, too....

    Do you play piano at all? On the piano, everything's right in front of you in *black and white.*

    Again, rather than just plowing through all 21 modes, figure out which ones coincide with the most common chord qualities. There's a chart in every Aebersold play along book that shows you what scale matches each chord.

    BTW, don't neglect shedding the melodic and harmonic minor scales on their own. PM me if you'd like a skype lesson. I have a very simple system for explaining all this.
     
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

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    60 years ago there was hardly anyone who learned theory first. Go to the records, it's more you can get than from book learning theory. You don't need the fancy scales to start emulating the greats. Learning the theory first is putting the cart before the horse. This is where the language analogy fails when applied to music. Theory is just a way people have codified a method of describing the phenomena of what happens in the act of playing music, but theory is not the same as learning grammar to speak a language.

    Learning to play jazz jazz is learning to speak a language without having to bother with grammar and conjugation. There is no past tense, future tense, subject, verbs, predicates, nouns, pronouns, etc etc.
     
  11. erizone

    erizone

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    but there are such things as forms, key centers, tonality, which i would argue bring it right back to a 'language' metaphore!, plus it's nice to get someone to show you how to hold the instrument when you first get it. I like to replace language with the word protocol, because even languages follows a protocol ;) and so does jazz, unless you're playing free jazz

    Chicagodoubler, i would love that skype lesson and will PM you.

    while I have you all here, what's a good repertoir building schema?

    I have All of Me, major/minor blues with a couple heads, A Train, Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, Footprints, So What, Little Sunflower, In A Mellow Tone, Triste, Oleo, Four, I want to tackle some of the more difficult tunes but I don't think i'm ready to go 1 on 1 with a Parker head yet. I've got a couple more than that, but only a couple.
     
  12. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    Diddy- yes and no. There are certain sounds that you really need to open your ears up to before attempting transcription or certain bits will be immensely frustrating. That being said, there's no reason a rank amateur with basic grasp of notation shouldn't be transcribing bass lines in "2" in the first month of lessons.
     
  13. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

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    I completely disagree... much of this has been hashed out already in the Chet Baker thread. Transcription is transcription - you write down what you hear purely by face value. Frustration is unavoidable, and the more you wrestle with it, the faster you will be at getting the difficult parts and the less difficult it becomes. Analysis using patterns that we now call music theory is not neccessary and is a step you do after it's been written down.

    Erizone, if you're playing Oleo you're ready for a Bird head. Take one of the easier ones, Yardbird Suite or Billie's Bounce. You want to learn repetoire? Learn the lyrics, and then learn the melody til you have it without thinking about it. BTW: I fail to see how key centers, and form are related to grammar, save that all it's doing is ending one statement and starting the next. Care to explain? Just because something sounds minor doesn't mean it's sad either - that's just a bunch of BS. The ii in a ii-V-I does not sound sad - sorry.
     
  14. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    Diddy,

    Just because people argued about this in another thread doesn't mean your opinion is gospel truth. There are no jazz authorities monitoring every silly thread here and decreeing from above the absolutes of this pedagogy.

    I like to compare this to tasting ice cream. If you'd never had chocolate in your life, and you had your first tiny taste, how would you describe it? It would take you 50 words to convey that which you could simply call "chocolate" if you'd been exposed to that flavor before. I prefer to expose kids to all 31 flavors progressively. Once you name something, it's a lot easier to name it down the road.

    There is no reason transcription should be any harder than it already is. Once the ear is trained to recognize sounds (flavors- see my chocolate analogy,) the process gets much easier. I'm not saying OP needs to analyze Schoenburg before writing out some walking lines, but discrediting the learning of theory is a wretched losing endeavor. Ideally theory and application should be learned side by side, which is exactly why you need an experienced teacher with a proven track record of success, and also why it is *completely impossible* to learn the jazz tradition online.

    Anyways, the OP is walking away from this with a new perspective, and hopefully a hunger for learning this music in a new way. This is a good thing.
     
  15. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

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    Agreed about the hunger thing, but certainly knowing the basic modes should be more than enough to start the act of transcription. I fail to see how knowing harmonic minor inside out will help with hearing difficult intervals when you only have a handful of notes to go off of in a particular phrase. It would certainly make sense if players only thought in modes and scales when soloing but they don't. That's generally not what they intend when they play music.

    The ice cream analogy doesn't work for me either since there are other things in life that you can't put a label to when you taste it. I certainly can't put the differences between the varieties of single malt scotch or rye into words. They're just different - each is unique and changes with amount of water you add (or none at all). And like wine, the scotches change from year to year and no two years are exactly the same.

    That said, I'm not against theory, but I'm for it being it its proper place. The way people teach, there's too much focus on theory when there's so much more very important things to look at.

    There's plenty of well known teachers who eschew teaching and playing by theory as well (Hal Galper comes to mind). In the same way you are pushing him to learn theory, he should also consider that that's not what the greats once did. Just as you said, the tradition should be honored.

    Like i said before, if you want to get into playing jams quickly, learn tunes, learn melody, not scales - at least not more than he already knows. It's like you're telling him that he needs to know how to change the oil when what he wants to do is drive a car.
     
  16. chicagodoubler

    chicagodoubler

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    This is actually a misconception-

    There was the famous breakfast hang where Monk would explain stuff to players. He would sit them down and explain the sounds they didn't understand.

    Miles famously shared harmonic and theoretical knowledge with his sidemen.

    Dizzy did the same thing.

    Don't get me started on Bill Evans.

    Agree or not, this is a huge part of the history of this music. They didn't just make it up. Many of our greatest players had a sound background in classical music and theory. You don't just stumble into good voiceleading and harmonic concept. Learning it by ear an on your own is taking the stairs to the 10th floor when there's an elevator next to it.

    If you don't like teaching using theory, don't. Most of the rest of us do, and no serious college program in the world eschews its benefits.

    Again, transcription should always come first, but we should use all the tools available to us, at the discretion of our teachers and eventually our own preferences.
     
  17. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Well, sure, but when calling up somebody to sub or when chatting with someone at a jam session who wants to come up and play, is "i prefer the 13 minute jam type of song so i never bother to learn the melodies because i'm pretty happy being funky over a few weird chords and a bridge part that gets thrown in wherever and a backbeat." what you want to hear?
     
  18. Frequencyshawn

    Frequencyshawn

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    Hi there. If you think of harmonic
    Minor in terms of major with flat mediants as in b6 and b3 you simply take your already memorized tonic major modes and alter them accordingly. Shown below

    Major b3 b6
    Dorian b2 b5
    Phrygian sub 1 (b1) b4
    Lydian b3 b7
    Mixolydian b2 b6
    Aeolian (sub) b1 b5
    Locrian b4 b7

    Using this method allows for you too view all scales parallel (same root) or (shared root). The benifits of this are as follows:

    One shape memorized and labeled as it was meant to be (main) or (given) the Major scale. The major explains all natural intervals as in perfect and major intervals. Getting some background in theory and why scales work the way they do along with how to alter intervals will shorten the amount of time dramatically you need to devote to scale application and moemorization.

    Shawn B frequency.
     
  19. Frequencyshawn

    Frequencyshawn

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  20. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

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    That's how I approach modes... when they are viewed orthogonally, not from what major scale degree they're built from.

    Problem is, melodies don't really fall into a shape - if you're thinking of it as a visual pattern on the fingerboard. I used to play guitar and 80% of my playing was shape and fretboard based. Man that was bad. All my **** sounded the same regardless of what key I was in - like an etude. Shapes are a crutch.... don't do it. Just don't. It's a useful tool in a jam but don't make it your primary way of learning to play bass. And it doesn't fly if you always have to play money notes down by the nut. Running out of fingerboard always screws up shape-based playing.
     
  21. Frequencyshawn

    Frequencyshawn

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    I think transcription is great, but if you want to be able to just take any jazz blues on using the fake charts I would suggest you learn the common transitions that help the 12 bar I IV V sound jazzy. Ex:

    | I | IV | I | I |
    | IV | #Ivo | I | I |
    | VI ii | V | I VI | ii V :||

    If you don't understand the above chart I recommend focusing on understanding chord progressions in Jazz blues. Research.
     

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