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

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


  1. If you spend enough time with it, all of the different ways of thinking about modes (or anything else, for that matter) will make themselves apparent. The ultimate goal is to not think about it at all.
     
  2. cire113

    cire113

    Apr 25, 2008
    First time i checked this thread since making it thanks for all the responses...

    All I was claiming is what i thought and discovered. Obviously I'm going to rethink some of my approaches.... I think the idea to do g dorian, g phygrian, g locrian, etc is a good idea....

    It just fees like no matter what the under pinning basic harmony is there is always a set of 7 notes that will sound in key and 5 that have dissonance...

    Im going to experiment with what people have suggested thanks

    The reason i made the above statement was from practicing just a C dom to F dom progression.. i was trying different corresponding modes over it and they all sounded the same to me.. so i guess it depends on the harmony

    Im a beginner though i know NOTHING only been playing a few yrs
     
  3. Although I still struggle this this, what really helped me was one of the charts in the bass grimoire that explains how these are formed. Knowing that we're not creating new notes, just new starting points was helpful to me. For example, D Dorian isn't a new set of notes, it's just the C Major scale starting on D instead of C. G Mixolydian is C Major with the root shifted to the G. When we compare the modes back to the original scale, we see the differences (what notes are flat/sharp, etc). Seeing it in a visual chart like that was helpful to me.
     
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    And this is precisely why people have trouble with modes. This is completely wrong - this is an easy way to construct a mode, but it isn't what modes are.
     
  5. LukeMan970

    LukeMan970

    Jun 22, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    After reading this entire thread to see this as the last post really cracked me up. So many posts explaining not to do this then to see it was pretty funny, no offense rydin
     
  6. As I admitted, I struggle so help me out......G mixolydian is not C Major starting on G?

    C major is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C
    G mixolydian is G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G

    The mixolydian mode has a flattened 7th. G major is G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G, so they mixolydian mode has an F.

    What am I missing...am I not getting something?
     
  7. cire113

    cire113

    Apr 25, 2008
    play c major.. then c mixolydian to hear the dfiference...

    Its all about establishign that tonal centre to get the clear sound of the mode...

    that satriani blurb was excellent....
     
  8. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that would be because one is using the notes of C Major and one is using the notes of F Major...
     
  9. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    If you play C D E F G A Bb C and HEAR it as 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 of an F scale it is still F major. The point is to HEAR it as 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 of the C Mixolydian mode.

    Jogn
     
  10. Shakin-Slim

    Shakin-Slim

    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I found MalcomAmos' link in regards to vamps very intriguing, I'm gonna work on some of that. Would the idea then to be to write out a set of chords that correspond with the mode you wish to use and then play your one mode underneath? I'm interested in this idea as I like the idea of a simple groove in the bass, with not so simple harmony implied elsewhere.
     
  11. Shakin-Slim

    Shakin-Slim

    Jul 23, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I found MalcomAmos' link in regards to vamps very intriguing, I'm gonna work on some of that. Would the idea then to be to write out a set of chords that correspond with the mode you wish to use and then play your one mode underneath? I'm interested in this idea as I like the idea of a simple groove in the bass, with not so simple harmony implied elsewhere.
    Modal Harmony
     
  12. I see what you're saying...basically the notes are the same and what I said is correct, but I didn't explain it properly. It makes sense to me as playing the F major scale starting on C but technically it's a C major scale with a flat 7th.

    I get confused because when I work on the patterns on the fretboard starting with notes 1-7, I'm really working on the major scales starting with a different notes of that scale (but playing a mode as well).

    For example, if I practice pattern 2 of G major, I'm saying 2A-3B-4C-5D-6E-7F#-1G of the G Major scale. If I'm talking the scale A Dorian, I'm saying 1A-2B-3-C-4D-5E-6-F#-7G....same notes, different scales, different voicing.

    Sorry if I didn't explain that better earlier, that make sense now?
     
  13. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Montreal
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Perhaps that is not what modes are to you as a purist but for a musician,soloist, composer, arranger, these are used constantly because they are the core of the western harmonic system.

    It is just like in research in medicine these days. Some pills that were meant to cure a specific health problem are now more efficient to cure something completely away from its original purpose.

    Modes and their associates scales,arpeggios, extensions and tonal functions are every where in the music. Knowing them is just a big asset for any serious musician and mainly us, bass players because we do provide the foundation of the harmony first of all and that is an aspect that is too often under rated by untrained musicians.
     
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Read what I said again, Groove - I didn't say modes aren't used. I've been making my living as a musician for 25 years now - I'm fully aware of the use of modes in modern music. However, saying "D dorian is C major from D to D" is a completely inaccurate and more importantly misleading statement that does nothing but confuse a student unfamiliar with them. Simply stated, D dorian is its own scale, its own tonality and is only related to C major.
     
  15. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Montreal
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    It is related to C major because of it functions as a sub-dominant in the key of C when found in a chord progression. Also the Cmaj7 arpeggio is the upper structure of that D minor dorian chord making it a Dmin13. So there is nothing wrong to see the relationship with its mother scale because of its harmonic function imho.
     
  16. And what is that relation, if it isn't that the two scales share the same notes?

    You're confusing me. ;)
     
  17. This chart (cribbed from Wikipedia) helps me *tons* at understanding why a Dorian sequence (T-s-T-T-T-s-T) starting on D (the D-Dorian example many people use when "explaining" the modes) is academically different from being just a C Major scale ( T-T-s-T-T-T-s) starting on D: ;-)


    Ionian T-T-s-T-T-T-s
    Dorian T-s-T-T-T-s-T
    Phrygian s-T-T-T-s-T-T
    Lydian T-T-T-s-T-T-s
    Mixolydian T-T-s-T-T-s-T
    Aeolian T-s-T-T-s-T-T
    Locrian s-T-T-s-T-T-T

    I also take heart by remembering that at the end of the day (at least for most Western music) there are only 12 distinct tones available...so it stands to reason that with the hundreds of theoretical constructs we use that wrap around these 12 distinct tones some of the theories will overlap and things will sound the same. A C Major scale (T-T-s-T-T-T-s) is going to sound pretty much like a C Ionian "scale" (T-T-s-T-T-T-s)... in this case same 7 distinct tones, two different names.

    However, a Major scale starting on C is *not* going to sound the same as a Dorian sequence starting on C...per the chart above.
     
  18. But a C major scale started on D is T-s-T-T-T-s-T-T, which is the same sequence of intervals as a D Dorian scale, T-s-T-T-T-s-T-T.

    If you want us newbs to understand why its different, you need to explain why its different, not just assert "it is different" while showing it to be identical. :)

    And of course a C maj sounds different than a D dorian. C maj is CDEFGAB. D Dorian is DEFGABC. They sound different because they start and end on different notes. But they are still the same sequence of notes, the same sequence of intervals; one sequence starting on C, and the other on D.
     
  19. To be clear, nobody wants newbs or anyone else to "know" anything... nor does anyone "need to explain" anything to anyone. This is a friendly exchange of ideas, nothing more. I am explaining what helped the pieces fall together for me personally in case it helps someone else...these are not the easiest concepts, particularly over the interwebs. :)

    The definition of a major scale is T-T-s-T-T-T-s no matter where you start it.

    The definition of a Dorian sequence is T-s-T-T-T-s-T no matter where you start it.

    Yes, they can overlap in certain circumstances... so parts of C Major can sound the same as parts of D Dorian... but they don't have to overlap and often don't, since they are constructed from different rulebases.

    The rulebase for a major scale is T-T-s-T-T-T-s.
    The rulebase for Dorian is different... it's T-s-T-T-T-s-T.

    That's why I carefully used the phase "academically different"... the rules/theory used to build them are different and they will in fact sound different if you compare apples to apples... ie, a major scale starting on C and a Dorian sequence starting on C.

    And with that, I'm going back to my popcorn and comfy lawnchair.
     
  20. I think the thing that confuses people the most are the posts saying "This is what a mode is, but it's not what modes are"....WHAT??

    When I think of D Dorian, the first thing I think is C Major starting on D...while those are the NOTES in D Dorian and a way to construct it, it is better to think of it as the D Major scale with a flat 3 and flat 7.

    In the same way, E Phrygian....the notes are the C Major scale starting on E but technically the scale is an E Major scale with a flat 2, flat 3, flat 6, and flat 7.

    In this thread, it seems some are ok with either explanation, as is my instructor who's been a gigging bass/guitar player and teacher for 21 years. Others stress the importance of seeing the scale as a separate scale ONLY with separate characteristics. To me, it helps me to understand all aspects of it so I try to wrap my head around all of it which is where I get confused....does that make sense?
     

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