# modes for harmonic major!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Brad Barker, Jul 17, 2002.

Apr 13, 2001
berkeley, ca
okay, here goes nothing:

in the key of C (for simplicity's sake)-

I. harmonic major (ionian b6): C-D-E-F-G-Ab-B

II. dorian b5: D-E-F-G-Ab-B-C

III. phrygian b4: E-F-G-Ab-B-C-D

IV. lydian b3: F-G-Ab-B-C-D-E

V. mixolydian b2: G-Ab-B-C-D-E-F

VI. lydian #2, #5 (aeolian b1?)*: Ab-B-C-D-E-F-G

VII. locrian bb7: B-C-D-E-F-G-Ab

when i wrote these out on a sheet of paper (after learning of such a scale as harmonic major), i noticed a pattern:

these modes (for the most part) correspond with their "vanilla" counter-parts. but there is a degree that is flat, and the degree starts at 6 and descends as the mode(?) ascends, as you can see.

BUT, *when you get to the sixth mode, this pattern leaves us with a b1, which i've never heard of (keep in mind i've only been playing for 2.5 years). even though it kind of makes sense, i just don't know whether it is acceptable or not...so i just kinda put down the best description for that sequence of intervals (R-#2-3-#4-#5-6-7).

also, the seventh is already flatted in the locrian mode, and since this flat is flatted again, it's a double-flat seventh (or diminished 7th).

this is much easier to remember than those harmonic minor modes!

Apr 13, 2001
berkeley, ca
and here would be the chords that can be derived from these modes.

(an "X" will be used for the root. why? 'cuz it's my favorate letter)

II. Xmin(b5)
*would Xmin(maj6) and Xmin(maj6, b5) be real chords?* if they are, then those, as well.

III. Xmin(b9, b11), Xmin7(b9, b11)

IV. Xmin(maj7, #11)

V. X7(b9)

VI. Xaug(#9, #11) *would an augmented tetrad (R-3-#5-maj7) be marked as "Xaug7" or "Xaug(maj7)"?*

VII. Xdim, Xdim7, Xdim7(b9)

as you can see, i still have some learning to do, too. please answer my questions if you can!

3. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
That's because it's a different parent scale! You're still going to want to learn the modes of Harmonic Minor (which are more common).

Apr 13, 2001
berkeley, ca
yeah, it's kind of a whole different ball game.
(well, the only difference in the parent scales is the third).

well...i've tried my dangdest to memorize the modes of the harmonic minor...but it took me much a shorter time to forget it than it took for me to learn 'em!
i can remember a couple, though.

pacman-you oughtta know this-is there such a chord as a minor(major 6th)? i know there is a minor(major 7th), so why not?

and also:

would an augmented tetrad (R-3-#5-maj7) be marked as "Xaug7" or "Xaug(maj7)"?

5. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
I'd probably write Xmaj7(#5)

Apr 13, 2001
berkeley, ca
makes sense.

does anyone know about how to write the "dorian" chords (minor, but with natural 6ths)?

7. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
They would be exactly like the major scale, since dorian is a mode of the major. IMHO, you're wasting a lot of time looking for 'modes of modes'. If you can say you really know the modes of major, plus maybe the 1st mode of melodic minor, you'll be in fantastic shape. But you've got to know them inside and out, upside and down, starting anywhere in the scale... In thirds, forths, fifths, sixths and sevenths. In fragments, groups and clusters. Be able to understand how they relate to different chords, and different tonalities.

Until you started this thread, I didn't even know there was a harmonic major - see how useful it is?

8. ### Bruce LindfieldUnprofessional TalkBass ContributorGold Supporting Member

I think I agree - I mean with a little time I could sit down and work all this stuff out and write it down; but that is absolutley useless unless you know where all those notes are on your instrument and have them "under your hands".

You don't have any time when you are actually playing and may have to be thinking ahead so you can't be thinking "this mode of that scale" - your time has gone past. You need to know what notes are available to you in the situation.

I suppose it may help for composition and for analysis of written scores; but generally I think you start by hearing tunes in your head or from licks/riffs worked out on your instrument etc etc - you don't work them out from analysis of modes. If I was looking for things to learn this would probably be last on my priorities.

This is the sort of thing that made me give up a music degree after a year!

Apr 13, 2001
berkeley, ca
i understand where you guys are coming from (lots of experience!), and i understand (and agree with) your arguements.

i just like obscure stuff is all. and i also like patterns. if i didn't find that pattern, i probably wouldn't have posted this (then again, the fact that there is a pattern is fairly simple so my fascination with it is like that of a child and a shiny object).

(also, i'm devoting more time to "pac-man's patent-pending scale practice as a result of this thread, so i guess it's not all bad!)

well, i do have a question regarding a "weird" chord:

how would you notate

D-A-B-F
(R-5-6-b3)

with the D as the tonic (not bass) and the F as a minor third, not sharp 2nd (which is probably what you guys may have to do anyway)?

thanks.

10. ### Peter McFerrin

Jul 4, 2000
Valencia, CA 91354
Not to be a party pooper, but why wouldn't you just write that as a Bm7b5/D?

11. ### PacmanLayin' Down TimeStaff MemberGold Supporting Member

Apr 1, 2000
Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
that sounds good to me

12. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
With D as the root I'd call it Dm6. But it depends on the context. If it was acting as a IIb7 in A minor, then it'd be Bm7b5/D.

13. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
That makes me feel a whole load better! I thought the Major scale was nicely harmonic as is!

I throught the entire point of the harmonic minor is to turn the 5th from Xmin7 into X7 for stronger resolve to the tonic?

What's the effect of flattening the 6th of the Major scale, does this increase a resolve somewhere or other or is it just a random weird scale?

14. ### moley

Sep 5, 2002
Hampshire, UK
Urm I'd never heard of harmonic major either, are you sure it exists, bassbrobrad? Sounds to me like you've just taken harmonic minor and given it a major third. I can't see that it's useful from a theory point of view. Harmonic minor is, of course, like Howard says, but flattening the 6th in the major scale? Why?

15. ### Bruce LindfieldUnprofessional TalkBass ContributorGold Supporting Member

Yup - Harmonic major is mentioned in "The Jazz Theory Book" and Herbie Hancock uses it in "Dolphin Dance". Mark Levine says it produces "mysterious and brooding chords".

He also says that Harmonic Major is used in tunes where Major 7th Chords have the 5th as the melody note - as a substitution. Basically it's just a way of explaining the sort of chords that Jazz piano players have used, because they like the sound in that context.

16. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
I like the sound of that, mysterious and brooding, must check these chords out sometime

Ah, so basically it's a scale derived from what people play, rather than a scale created to aid movement in a progression. I'll bet there's a lot of scales formed in that way.

Bruce, do you have a copy of the Jazz Thoery book at work with you?!

17. ### Bruce LindfieldUnprofessional TalkBass ContributorGold Supporting Member

I work from home!!

18. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
You lucky lucky b*****d!

What do you do, as a matter of interest?

19. ### Bruce LindfieldUnprofessional TalkBass ContributorGold Supporting Member

Database Marketing, Data Mining - Data Analysis for Marketing Campaigns etc etc - yawn!

20. ### Howard K

Feb 14, 2002
UK
Really, that's fairly coincedental?!

I do web traffic analysis for yell.com, probably not as techie as your data mining, but a pretty simelar all in all. i find it's good for occupying the mind at work and the pay is pretty good considering, but yes agreed, generally dull as sh*t!