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

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


  1. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Which is why I make sure to say "that is how modes are constructed, but not what they are." There is a distinction.

    This.

    The place where "X-major starting on Y" falls apart is when you actually start playing. When do you ever play a scale starting on the root and just play through the tones in sequence? Certainly not when you're making music.
     
  2. It's definitely easy to confuse, even when it makes sense, it's hard to describe..glad I got that clarification out though. I actually made myself a chart for practicing to help me "see" the difference.

    Example..when I'm playing pattern 2, starting on the second note, I'm counting 2-3-4-5-6-7-1, for notes of the major scale. I practice the same pattern but thinking of it as a Dorian mode it's 1-2-3-4-5-6-7.
     
  3. Groove Master

    Groove Master

    Apr 22, 2011
    Montreal
    Author of Groove 101, Slap 101 and Technique 101
    Why not??

    Most pop melodies are based on scales and patterns from them. Playing a bass fill or a bass part that outlined the harmony is what most music need.
     
  4. I don't see where that "falls apart". C Ionian is a C major scale starting on C so what's wrong with saying that?

    I'm asking these questions to deepen my understanding, not to be argumentative. The issue that confuses myself and others is when something is explained as "no but yes" without an explanation of the difference.
     
  5. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    Without context, the notes of the modes are equivalent.
    When you are playing music, your notes have a context.

    It is the implication that the modes of a scale, are somehow interchangeable in context that is "wrong".

    A more instructive way to explore the question is to ask in what context is that group of notes C major vs D Dorian, F Lydian, etc.
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Ok, let's say I play a line that consists of the following pitches, in 8th notes:

    E F G E D B D F E

    What mode am I in?
     
  7. BobaFret

    BobaFret

    Jan 22, 2008
    I think of all the notes as the same, just different pitches.
     
  8. hopturn

    hopturn

    Sep 19, 2010
    Charleston, SC
    hello. i learned all of this stuff in college years ago. it basically helped me get used to thinking more academically about soloing. incorporated it into my playing and moved on without looking back. then i tripped over this really cool little lesson on a webpage by Bunny Brunel...so I've pasted the link here. very concise and informative. when i learned these, my bass instructor was this crazy fusion dude who told me "memorize all this stuff...it'll make more sense one day." he was right. it helped me learn what my neck could sound like, and pointed me towards other things like substitution and chromaticism. anyway, i hope you guys like it. i would recommend to younger players to try playing the modes three to a string...much better results down the road, IMO.

    Cyber School of Bass, free online bass guitar lessons: the major modes
     
  9. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa Guest

    Dec 25, 2011
    Phrygian if this is over a Em7 chord ( or similar )
     
  10. I would say that those notes appear in all of the modes of C Major, although in different positions.
     
  11. Phrygian
    1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7.
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Now here's the thing. And this is what Mambo was referring to context. Let's say this was over a ii-V7-I. Is it a passage in within the C major scale, or a bit of dorian, a bit of mixolydian and a bit of ionian?

    This is why thinking modally over diatonic harmony doesn't work well. And why "E to E of the C major scale is phrygian" doesn't accurately reflect what modes are, and how they work.
     
  13. I didn't read in the question that they were to be in that specific order. Don't those notes appear in all of the modes of C Major in one order or another, along with A and C?

    To confirm, saying "E to E of a C Major" is NOT accurate but saying "An E Major scale with a flat 2, 3, 6, and 7" would be the correct way to explain it?
     
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Yes and yes.
     
  15. Alrighty....and the learning process continues..thanks fellas
     
  16. LayDownABoogie

    LayDownABoogie

    Jan 3, 2012
    This might be where, in the context of diatonic harmony, a different terminology might help - perhaps we should say E-E of The C Major scale is a "Chord Scale" of Em7 ?

    A dude called "snarf" started a thread about this recently.
     
  17. I use modes as a way of describing the way we're sequencing music.

    We're a rock/metal band so a large amount of our stuff tends to either be Locrian or Aeolian with a b2.

    Check out our songs here: The Magistrate | Saint Augustine, FL | Rock / Progressive Rock | Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos | ReverbNation

    Polaris is based around a D Locrian scale. The lead intro riff is pretty much a strict Locrian scale, while the rhythm/bass in the intro are a D5 and Eb5 (not strictly diatonic, but it's rock and roll). It stays in a D Locrian scale the whole time.

    INK, however, is in the key of C# minor. Modes get kind of tricky on this one, but we use a C# minor chord, a B5/Major chord, and an A5/Major chord. The modes these chords fit into in this context are C# Aeolian, B Mixolydian, and A Lydian.

    My guitarists don't have a great knowledge of modes, but I am teaching them modes and scales so I can say "Hey, this song is largely based around a C Locrian scale" or "No, that's a harmonic minor with a flat 5" (don't know what that's called... eek)

    Also, when I learn a new scale like the Egyptian scale I just learned, you can run it through all of the modes and find the chords applicable in that scale by finding the chord tones (the 3,5, and 7 plus color notes) of the scale.

    That's all I've ever had to use modes for. I know somebody earlier was talking about not relating it to diatonic harmony, but I'm pretty much self taught, and I don't use a lot of incredibly advanced theory, so that much has always worked for me.
     
  18. They're just notes, dude. No mode with out harmony.

    Just like an E Major scale with a flat 2, 3, 6, and 7 played over a C drone is never going to be Phrygian.
     
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    That kind of was my point, dude.
     
  20. 999Brent

    999Brent Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yup they all work in the Chromatic scale.
    I like this scale best, you can't go wrong... LOL
     

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