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Choosing the right mode.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by iplaybassguitar, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Hey.
    So, i understand the modes, sorta. i know all of their names, and what notes are in each one, i understand that if your playing in Cmajor, you can solo in any of the modes of C, (d dorian, e phygrian, f lydian, g mixolydian, a aolian, b locrian) right? Are certain modes better for certain keys, or will any mode work as well as the next in that given key?

    thanks for the help.
  2. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are quite a few recent threads on modes here. I would suggest reading them and then you can ask more specific questions on modes and their uses.
  3. This is a pretty wide open question. If you have any specifics, let us know.

    But, for example, if there's a CM chord, I'd use C ionian, C lydian or C mixolydian, over the top of it depending on the sound you want (I'd prefer the lydian sound over a basic major chord, but it all depends on the music). And for a Cm chord I'd use C aeolian, C dorian or C phyrigian over the top of it (I'd prefer the sound of the dorian over a basic minor chord, but again, it depends on the music).

    But, I'm guessing that's not what your looking for. If you could ask a more specific question, that'd be great.
  4. thats pretty much exactly what im looking for, i guess, i didnt know if there were guidelines like usually certain modes are better for major, and some for minor, which seems to be what u have given me. i guess ill just play around with them over some changes and see what ones sound best where, probably the best way to learn that i guess.
  5. j.a.e.r.i.p


    Apr 8, 2007
    i use modes differently, i don't know if there is a right way to use modes but here is how i do it:
    each mode has a different kind of feeling to it, like major and minor scales but obviously gradients between. so, if i was soloing over a cmajor chord and i wanted a dark feeling i might use a b locrian, which as you well know is exactly the same scale, however changing the tonic changes the whole feel. so from my experience i would say experiment with the modes until you are familar with how they sound and then use each one accordingly, at least thats what i do.

    good luck:)
  6. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    One way of looking at modes is by family and the colors they bring to those families.

    Major - Ionian and Lydian
    Minor - Dorian, Phyrigian, and Aeolian
    Dominant - Mixolydian
    Locrian - can be used over Mi7b5 (a ii in minor) or for fully altered dominants (a V7 in minor.)

    But the key is playing the modes over a chord of the family to get the sound in your ear so you know which mode to use when.

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