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Aren't all the modes just one scale???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by cire113, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. cire113


    Apr 25, 2008
    To me all the modes are just ONE scale...

    I was watching a video lesson with Damien Ersikine and he talked about how if he's soloing in D Dorian sometimes he will approach it as c major.. or E phyrgian..

    Im not sure exactly why people do this.??.

    TO me they are all the same set of notes etc... Doesn't this just make it more confusing?

    I guess if you are stuck on root motion of scales its good to see it differently but when i solo i play and land on any note really...

    I don't really hear any difference between D dorian , or e phyrgian, c major,, to me they re all the same set of notes...
  2. repoman


    Aug 11, 2011
    Kinderhook NY
  3. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Well they aren't the same thing. Yes E phrygian and C Ionian share the same notes but it doesn't sound the same.

    Modes are more useful in jazz or more experimental music than say ... for ACDC type of music.
  4. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    Well that's only one side of it. If you never look past that aspect, then yes the point will be lost on you. It's more "educational" to look at the modes against the same root - say the majors and dominant type modes, and separately the minors and half diminished type modes. So, over say an Open E chord (or even an E5 power chord), what are your options, and what are the implications? What's the difference between an E Ionian, Lydian, and Mixolydian? This is where you'll gain an actual understanding of the modes.
  5. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Yeah, this is kind of a yes and no sort of thing. Here's a bit of an explanation that's easy to wrap your head around. Same notes, different "feels" might be the right way to put it.
  6. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    The really, really simple answer is: you're right.

    The less simple but still too simple answer is: it's all the same scale... sort of... but changing the starting point and, thus, the point of reference changes the tonality completely.

    If you can hear the difference between a major and minor scale, you're hearing the difference in tonality between two modes.
  7. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    The next step would then be looking at them from the context of chord progressions which may present opportunities to mix them up a little, injecting some variety into your melodies/leads.
  8. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    Glen Cove, NY
    They are. And now I'm out.
  9. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101

    YES they are !!!

    Bye I left the building :smug:
  10. Ronbassman


    Jun 1, 2011
    Basically, modes are a way to make it easier to find the same scale anywhere in the fretboard.
  11. Modes --- are moods of a scale. There are 7 modes of a scale, thus there are 7 moods of the scale. That is why we get involved with modes - for the moods. Some take offence to the word mood - sound if that is easier for you to be comfortable with.

    There are two ways to make modes; relative modes are where the key changes but the notes stay the same. That way is easy to teach and is probably the way you were introduced to modes. Parallel modes are where the key stays the same and the notes change. This way is a little harder to understand, but, I find it much easier to use in a song situation.

    Scott Devine has a good video that touches on both methods. Welcome to Scott Devine's Shed! | ScottsBassLessons.com You may have to click on the video space several times for the video to load. Worth a look.

    The reason they all sound alike has to do with the chords used under the modal notes. If you are playing the mode with nothing under your modal notes - it is going to sound like the parent scale (probablly C major) If you are playing your modal notes over a chord progression you probably will only hear the tonal center of the chord progression. The modal mood does not have an opportunity to sustain itself because the chords change so quickly. You need a droning affect of a modal vamp for the modal mood to be heard.

    There is modal music and then there is tonal music. To use modes you need to study modal harmony - and learn how to take advantage of the correct chords. Modal Harmony

    Moods -
    • Ionian - Major mode, the major scale - happy, attractive, up-beat. If that is the mood you want - use the major scale.
    • Lydian - Major mode, in parallel modes the notes are the same as the major scale with a raised 4 (#4). Has a major day dreamy mood. Much like the major scale, I seldom use it. You may love it.
    • Mixolydian - Major mode, in parallel modes the notes are the same as the major scale with a flatted 7 (b7). Has a major blues or Latin sound (depending on the chord used under it) If that is the sound you are looking for Mix is your mode.

    • Aeolian - minor mode, in parallel modes the notes are the same as the major scale with a flatted 3, 6 & 7, i.e. the natural minor scale. As the major scale is home base to the major modes, the natural minor scale is home base to the minor modes. Aeolian aka the natural minor scale has a sad mood. I hear startled more than sad. You probably will have another name for the sound, at any rate it has a minor sound.
    • Dorian - minor mode, in parallel modes the notes are the same as the natural minor scale (Aeolian) with a natural 6. It's mood is an attractive minor sound. Used in minor jazz. It's my go to minor mode.
    • Phrygian - minor mode, in parallel modes the notes are the same as the natural minor scale (Aeolian) with a flatted 2. Has an exotic, Middle Eastern sound or mood. Fun to play, however, I seldom use it in what I play.
    • Locrian - diminished mode, in parallel modes the notes are the same as the natural minor scale with a flatted 2 and 5. Has a dark and tense mood.

    Modes like scales and arpeggios have a place in what you play. Finding how to use modes is the exciting part.

    I'm sure this string will reach 80 to 90 posts before we beat it to death. Everyone will add their own interpretation of the way they understand modes. Gather the information and then find a way you can/could use modes.

    Good luck.
  12. I'm just waiting for this thread to blow up...

    If someone really wants to start a troll thread on Talkbass, they should just make a thread called, "Modes?" and ask a general question like "what are they?" And bam! 12 pages of arguing...
  13. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada

    you are quite correct in theory and organization of modes .....it's what happens when you play C major against an E minor chordal home base that the mode occurs ....the trick is learning how the notes in c major rub up against an E minor chord to give it the distinct Phrygian sound.

    he's got 700 odd posts ...i don't think he's trolling!
  14. BobaFret


    Jan 22, 2008

    Maybe he's a Sicilian and that's what he wants you to think.
  15. I know the OP isn't trolling... I was just making a comment about what happens to almost every thread with the word "modes" in the title.
  16. sammyp


    Aug 20, 2010
    NB, Canada

    i'm baffled ....my wit is a bit dull LOL!
  17. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    That's a great post, MalcolmAmos.
  18. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    There construction is one scale, but all that explains is construction, their use can be many and give many different uses and feels depending on there application and interaction with harmony and melody.

    CARPELS are in our fingers and is a 7 letter word. The letters come from the alphabet so they can be considered to be from the same source, but how these seven letters are used and how they interact has a different meaning


    are all words using the same seven letters.
    But each one is a different word in its own right with its own meaning and depending how the word is used will have a different context in the sentence.

    So modes just the same scale, but a different order......well that explains only there construction, like the words above modes can be used in there own right to give a different feel, colour and context to music if you learn how to use them.:cool:
  19. DBCrocky


    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    Music theory is nothing but the attempt to use some method other than trial and error to create music. Use whatever way of thinking about things that makes sense for you. For some, the road is to learn everything so as to have a vast array of tools available to them. For others, it is to learn those things that make sense for them to explore from there, developing an original style in the process. There are no rules.
  20. OK this needs to get added to the TalkBass smilies!

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