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Modes and Chord progressions

Discussion in 'Ask Michael Dimin' started by Levi, Jul 12, 2004.


  1. Levi

    Levi

    Apr 4, 2004
    I been playing about 3 years now and I haven't been studing theory till bout a year ago. First off a mode. Some people say you take the 2nd of a scale and play to the other 2nd which I think is wrong. Then the other say you flat 3rd and 6th for it to be Dorian, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th for it to be Phrygian... ect. Is this way right? Or have I been spending hours praticing nothing but, really exercises? For my tricky question chord progression, how do you tell what key it is in? I read tutorial at playmusicfree.com which was useful, but I still have some problems. One more thing.. After I find out the key and mode and ect how can I play it? Will someone should me an example of a mode being used and help me? I'm only 16 (well month till) :help:


    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    They are both right. The modes come from the major scale. A different mode starts on each note of the Major Scale. For example: in the key of C (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C)
    C to C (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C): Ionion Mode (or Major Scale)
    D to D (D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D): Dorian Mode
    E to E (E,F,G,A,B,C, D,E): Phrygian Mode
    F to F (F,G,A,B,C, D,E, F): Lydian Mode
    G to G (G,A,B,C, D,E, F,G): Mixolydian Mode
    A to A (A,B,C, D,E, F,G,A): Aeolian Mode (Natural Minor)
    A to A (B,C, D,E, F,G,A,B): Locrian Mode

    Although this is where the modes come from, some like to refer to them as they relate to the major or minor scales, for example the Lydian mode is a major scale with a raised 4th, the Mixolydian mode is the major scale with a flatted 7th, the Dorian is the Minor Scale with a raised 6th, etc.


    You can build a chord off of each note of a major scale. A chord is built by starting on a root and going up an interval of a 3rd and then another interval of a 3rd. Whether you use major or minor 3rd intervals depends on the key. You MUST use the notes of the key (THIS IS FOR DIATONIC (in the key) HARMONY). naturally, the following occurs:
    the chord built of the 1st degree of the scale is a major chord
    the chord built of the 2nd degree of the scale is a minor chord
    the chord built of the 3rd degree of the scale is a minor chord
    the chord built of the 4th degree of the scale is a major chord
    the chord built of the 5th degree of the scale is a major chord
    the chord built of the 6th degree of the scale is a minor chord
    the chord built of the 7th degree of the scale is a diminshed chord

    This is called diatonic harmony. To figure out what key a chord progression is in, look for the relationship of the chords. If you see three major chords, look for the 1,4,5 relationship. For example if I see the following chords: C,F,G - I can tell that it is a 1,4,5 in the key of C. If I see G,Em,C,D - I can tell it is a 1,6,4,5 in the key of G.

    Check out the Internalizing modes ... thread in my forum. Tim99 gave some great info on playing the modes


    Mike
     
  3. Levi

    Levi

    Apr 4, 2004
    But then this will give you an different note then the notes in a C Scale like rasied 4th means it will give you an C# and it will also change the wwhwwwh :eyebrow: pattern. I always though that I = A II = B III= C ect is this wrong yea or nah?
    And lets say that this is a progression chord:I IV V (which it is) I play maj7's of A D E? Meaning the 1st 3rd 5th and 7th of each scale in any order to create a song/solo?Can you show me an example?
    Does it always have the root in it if not example?? :confused:



    thanks!

    Sorry for many questions mike. :smug:
     
  4. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    There have been some that use "fixed 'do'" (as in Do, Re, Mi Fa ...) - -where Do is always C. In popular music, however "do" refers to the root or first degree of the scale. If you say lydian has a #4th, you are not talking about the same key anymore. For example, if you have G A B C D E F# G (a G major scale) you are in the key of G. If, however, you have G A B C# D E F# G (G Lydian - raised 4th degree), you are in the key of D. The mode starting on the 4th degree of the major scale (in this case G is the 4th of D) is the Lydian Mode. You still have your wwhwwwh, but you have to see that starting on D.



    OK, You can build a triad (3 note chord) or a 7th chord (4 note chord) from each note of the scale. In Diatonic Harmony (In the Key) you will find that chord built on the:
    1st degree of the scale is a major 7th chord
    2nd degree of the scale is a minor 7th chord
    3rd degree of the scale is a minor 7th chord
    4th degree of the scale is a major 7th chord
    5th degree of the scale is a dominant 7th chord
    6th degree of the scale is a minor 7th chord
    7th degree of the scale is a half-diminshed chord or minor7, flat 5.

    When building a bass line, I look at it as follows:
    1. "landmarks" for each chord change, there should be a "landmark" - an important note that identifies the chord. This is often the Root of the chord but does not have to be

    2. Scale Tones. These are the notes of the scale and they are used to create movment targeting each new landmark

    3. Chromatic Tones: These are notes that are not in the key that create a very strong lead into the next landmark.

    As I said, The root is a particularly strong landmark, but you can use any chord tone, especially if there is nice movement to the line. For example, if you have the chord progression:

    Cmajor G major A minor D Major (a IV, I, II, V in G) - your landmarks can be:
    C root of the chord
    G root of the chord
    A root of the chord
    D root of the chord

    or

    C root of the chord
    D fifth of the G chord
    E fifth of the A chord
    F# third of the D chord

    or

    C root of the chord
    B third of the G chord
    A root of the A chord
    D root of the D chord

    These are just a few examples.

    Hope this helps
    Mike
     
  5. Levi

    Levi

    Apr 4, 2004
    Thanks for your time and knowledge Mike!
     
  6. ironmaidenisgod

    ironmaidenisgod

    May 20, 2004
    Boy is there anything Mike Dimin doesn't know? :)

    Mike,if you don't mind I'd like to ask a related question.Isn't there a mood related with each mode(The first three for happiness and so on....)?I'm in a project which involves scary horror music.Which mode should I play on?Should I play on the key of C?

    Thanks.
     
  7. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    Key of C - try E phrygian. The half step between E and F is pretty cool
     
  8. spc

    spc

    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    Isn't e phrygian a c maj scale?
     
  9. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    A personal cautionary note. I am a theory geek. I fell into rut of always thinking modes, scales, subs etc all the time. While I found ways to get very cool sounding stuff. I felt like I played alot of notes that I didn't 'mean'. I really try hard to use my ear as well as my mind now.

    I don't mean to at all hinder this discussion. I just had to spend alot of time breaking habits.
     
  10. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    yep! starting and ending on the note E
     
  11. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Could not agree more! I don't play modes so much anymore. I know the tonal center(s), I know the changes and I know the melody. Although I know the proper chord scales, I rarely think about it, except if is something a bit bizarre. But you have to first know it before you can "forget it"

    Mike
     
  12. spc

    spc

    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    No disrespect intended, but I think that is a tough way to explain modes. That would mean we all play our scales starting on the root. e f g a b c d e played by itself is still a c scale. It's the chords going on with the scale that make it a mode, right?
     
  13. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I agree 100%. Didn't Charlie Parker have a quote to that effect?
     
  14. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"

    No disrespect taken. But in fact the chords have nothing to do with modes. The modes are very much like scales. As I stated earlier:

    The modes come from the major scale. A different mode starts on each note of the Major Scale. For example: in the key of C (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C)
    C to C (C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C): Ionion Mode (or Major Scale)
    D to D (D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D): Dorian Mode
    E to E (E,F,G,A,B,C, D,E): Phrygian Mode
    F to F (F,G,A,B,C, D,E, F): Lydian Mode
    G to G (G,A,B,C, D,E, F,G): Mixolydian Mode
    A to A (A,B,C, D,E, F,G,A): Aeolian Mode (Natural Minor)
    A to A (B,C, D,E, F,G,A,B): Locrian Mode

    The chords in the key of C are always the same as are the modes. Would you play a certain mode over a certain chord - in theory yes, but practically, you would be more likley to play over arpeggios, tonal centers and melodic phrases.

    Mike
     
  15. spc

    spc

    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    I disagree, again, starting note is the way it is traditionally taught. But if you are jamming by yourself, and you play defgabcd, it's still only a c maj scale. It's not a mode until you add another instrument for those notes in the scale to be heard up against. You don't always start whatever scale on the root, do you? If you did, we would all sound exactly the same. The note you start on doesn't matter, it's what notes you are playing up against what chord.
     
  16. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    Way back when talkbass started, Paul, the owner of this site invited me to be as "Ask The Pro". He did so for a number of reasons, including the fact that I am a professional, working bassist, educator, had a regular lesson column is Bass Frontiers Magazine, author of a very cool book, clinician for major bass and amp companies and more. He asked me because, spc, I know my sh**. I usually allow, to all who post here, their opinion. Although I have the power to delete any post I want, I usually do not unless it is offensive. So I have given you some slack. But to be honest, you are dead wrong on this issue! You say:
    yet if you were jamming my yourself and played C D E F G A B C would you recognize it as a major scale without any chords around it? Of course you would, you do so because the major scale is based on a formula of whole steps and half steps that create the recognizable sound. It is EXACTLY the same with the modes. Each mode is a formula of whole steps and half steps that create a recognizable pattern. Perhaps because you are not as familiar with the sound of each of the modes that you do not recognize them as easily as I do. Or perhaps you relate everything back to the major key as opposed to seeing each mode as an entity in and of itself. There are numerous compositions that are modal - based on a particular mode, such as "So What" by Miles Davis (Dorian).

    I see from your posts here as well as in the thread on reading (again within my forum), that you have a different way of looking at things. That is cool. It really seems, however, that your theories tend to hinder a player's develoment rather than help it.

    Mike Dimin
     
  17. spc

    spc

    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
     
  18. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Chicago
    I totally agree with Mike. The identity of a mode or scale is all due to the pattern of whole steps and half steps. The makes modes or scales have the sounds or moods that they do.
     
  19. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    The ask the pros forum is a place that people come for advice from industry pros. There is a Theory Forum where more debate is possible. People coming to this forum for advice is much like asking a teacher or expert. I do not state that I am always correct, but I, as well as the other pros here, have attained a certain level of expertise due to our years (and years) working full time in the music industry. If this forum were open to a lot of debat, the people who come, often looking for a simple answer, would be way more confused when they left then when they came. That is not the purpose of THIS forum

    Mike