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Natural Minor Question

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Bryan R. Tyler, Oct 22, 2004.


  1. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I've never seen the names of the modes of the natural minor scale listed. Obviously it still follows the pattern of the major scale modes, but starting on Aeolean. Do people not use these names for minor scale modes because they not only imply a major scale but also go in the wrong order (Ionian being third, etc)? Are there actual names for natural minor modes?
     
  2. ONYX

    ONYX

    Apr 14, 2000
    Michigan
    Probably because they would carry the same names as the modes of the "major" scale. e.g. The 2nd mode of the natural minor would be the Locrian mode of the major scale----3rd mode would be the Ionian and so forth and so on.
     
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    No one bases modes off of natural minor, because they are the same modes used in major.
    However, learn the modes of harmonic and melodic minor. Big fun.
     
  4. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Key C - Major

    C Ionian (Diatonic Major) - C, D, E, F, G, A, B,
    D Dorian - D, E, F, G, A, B, C
    E Phrygian - E, F, G, A, B, C, D
    F Lydian - F, G, A, B, C, D, E
    G Mixolydian - G, A, B, C, D, E, F
    A Aeolian (Natural Minor) - A, B, C, D, E, F, G
    B Locrain - B, C, D, E, F, G, A

    Key - A Minor

    A Aeolian (Natural Minor) - A, B, C, D, E, F, G
    B Locrain - B, C, D, E, F, G, A
    C Ionian (Diatonic Major) - C, D, E, F, G, A, B,
    D Dorian - D, E, F, G, A, B, C
    E Phrygian - E, F, G, A, B, C, D
    F Lydian - F, G, A, B, C, D, E
    G Mixolydian - G, A, B, C, D, E, F
     
  5. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I know that is the order of the modes as they follow in the major scale- but are you saying that the names of the major modes still apply in natural minor?
     
  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Yes, but you're thinking about it wrong (no offense).

    Playing Aeolian isn't the same as playing A natural minor. Aeolian is a mode, A minor is a key.

    If you're in the key of A minor, you may play A Aeolian over the i, or you could also play A Dorian or A Phrygian over the i as well.

    And then, depending on whether the iv is a iv or a IV or a IV7, you have other choices. You could play the same modes of D as you did of A over the i, or you could play D Lydian, D Mixolydian, or D Ionian. Even better, you can mix and match to add color.

    Modes are about tonal centers rather than keys.
     
  7. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Here's another view of Modes

    C Ionain - C, D, E, F, G, A, B

    C Dorian - C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B

    C Phrygain - C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, B

    C Lydian - C, D, E, F#, G, A, B

    C Mixolydian - C, D, E, F, G, Ab, B

    C Aeolian - C, D, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, B

    C Locrian - C, Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb




    Hope you're not getting to confused
     
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I'm probably getting this confused, so please forgive me, but by talking about playing A Dorian or Phrygian over the i, aren't you talking about which scales can be played over a i chord? My question was what were, if any, the specific names of the modes of natural minor scale. I realize different scales and modes from other chords can be played over certain chords, but I thought the names of the modes of a specific type of scale were fixed. Don't get me wrong-I realize that the names don't matter when it comes to actually playing music; it's about the sounds and harmonies you make, but I was asking out of a simple curiosity.
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I'm not confused about how the note selection works-your example is actually the way I've been practicing modes while moving in the cycle of fifths. I'm just curious about if the names are still technically the same for a natural minor scale. For example, in A minor, the third degree forms a C Ionian pattern-but would you technically still call it a C Ionian if you're playing in a minor key? I'm just wondering because when the different Greek names are used it makes me anyways normally think of the key being major. Again, this isn't for musical application, just wondering.
     
  10. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Once again, Ionian is Ionian, no matter if it's based on the tonic (C Major) or on the minor third (A minor).

    There is no such thing as "the modes of natural minor".

    You really need to divorce yourself from thinking that Ionian = major and Aeolian = natural minor. The notes of the modes are the same as the notes in the scales, but their function is different. They are historical coincidences.

    For example, there are tons of guys who will play Mixolydian mode in a major key. The key may be G major, which has a major 7, but they will happily play G Mixolydian, with the minor 7. Part of this is most rock and country players' dependence on pentatonic scales, but not all. Jimmy Page and Jerry Garcia did this kind of thing a lot.
     
  11. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    Okay then. It just seemed odd to me that there were no given mode names to natural minor when there are for major, melodic minor, etc. I realize natural minor and major contain the same note patterns, but I thought that there might have been a difference in naming just for a lack of confusion's sake.

    And it's not that I was thinking that Ionian=major and Aeolian=minor-I was stating that whenever any of the Greek names used (Aeolian, Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, etc., whether the mode itself is minor or not), it makes me immediately think the song itself is in major key, when in reality the melody of the song could be in a minor key.
     
  12. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    I'm not trying to be rude or dogmatic.
     
  13. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    I wasn't trying to imply that you were :) Just trying to make sure my meaning was coming across. I've been working on this stuff by myself for a while now, and I don't have a way to discuss it with anyone other than on the internet, where you never know if people really understand what you mean :p
     
  14. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    yeah, I've never come across seperate modes for the natural minor, here are the modes for the other minors tho:

    Harmonic minor

    harmonic minor
    Locrian sharp6
    Ionian sharp5
    Dorian sharp4
    Phrygian dominant
    Lydian sharp2
    Mixolydian sharp1

    (all just slightly altered major modes)

    Melodic minor

    MElodic minor
    dorian b2
    lydian aug
    lydian b7
    mixolydian b6
    aelioan b5
    locrian b4

    I think its important to be able to understand the function of a given chord in a sequence (and hence its related scale/mode) but equally you need to be able to have each scale under your fingers as a seperate individual scale and know that if you see a minor chord for eg, depending upon the sound you want to create you can choose from a range of minor scales to use over said chord.

    Dodge
    Dodge
     
  15. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    That's a nice way of naming those modes. I've been working with The Jazz Theory book and the mode names are written out a little different and doesn't reference the major mode names more than three times (and the locrian reference (Locrian #2) they mention on the sixth mode, not seventh). Your way makes a reference to the major modes, which I'm sure makes their patterning easier to remember. I'll have to try it that way. :)
     
  16. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK
    i'm guessing there's quite a few ways tho that was the names i was told in the composition/arranging/improv module I did - mayb its us/uk diffference?

    dodge
     
  17. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    You'll also hear terms like Superlocrian. You can call them Clarence, Ray, and Floorsheim if you want, as long as you know how to use them musically.
     
  18. dodgy_ian

    dodgy_ian

    Apr 9, 2001
    Newcastle, UK

    fullly right. floorsheim, that some kinda german floor polish :D

    dodge
     
  19. Correlli

    Correlli

    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    It sounds like you're on the right track. See you around dude :)
     
  20. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    The names dont change because the scale/mode doesnt change, the pattern of intervals is exactly the same.

    Lyle is right, it's not helpful to view modes as relating to their parent scale, it's better to think of them as independant scales in their own right.

    For the purpose of learning to get around the fretboard it can help to think of modes as 'shapes', but this isnt the most musical way of approaching it. If you play A Aeolian over a CMaj7 chord you are still playing C Major. You'd be better off working on two octave scales instead.

    My 2ps :)