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oy..again with the modes??

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by basseddie, Sep 19, 2001.


  1. :confused:
    help!!!
    I have been working on modes these last few weeks, but,
    I am not sure were one would use modes. Am i correct in thinking that....
    If you had a chord progression, say E,F#m,A, and B, say for 2 measures each, that you could play notes from the E ionian mode during the E chord, F#dorian mode during the F#m chord, A lidian mode during the A chord and B mixolydian mode during the B chord.
    does this sound right or am I way out in left field??
    eddie: dazed &confused: :confused:
     
  2. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well one thing that will help is what you have left out - that is, what type of chord it is. Modes are useful for different types of chords - you can find a mode that has the notes in the chord. So like Lydian mode works with a Major 7th (#4) or Sus chords will work with Mixolydian mode, for example. You've sort of got the right idea when you talk about using Dorian mode over a minor chord, but you need to remember that this is the second mode, so for an F# chord we would be looking at the mode based on the second degree of that scale not the first.

    So when you say Lydian mode with the A chord - well yes if that is an Amajor7#4 - then definitely.
     
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Actually, Bruce, lydian works better with major 7 chord than major does. Don't worry about #11 (or #4). The reason is, that with the major scale, the natural 4 is an "avoid" tone anyway - the half step between the 4th and the 3rd is too dissonant for most.
     
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well I must admit that I didn't trust my own memory - I quite often say the wrong thing although with a bass in my hands I can visualise these things without thinking about it - so I "cribbed" from the Jazz Theory Book page 39 on the Lydian mode.

    Of course there are always choices and reading this more carefully I can see that Mark Levine says that the #4 is not always notated but that you can play it on almost any Major 7th - although it would probably sound out of character on a pop tune.

    I was just trying to stress really how modes can be useful and about how differently-named chords can lead you towards a certain mode - but of course you really need a good grasp of functional harmony as well and what the chords are doing in the song - but then you could write whole books just about this question.
     
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I do agree with your point, Bruce. Often chords will tell you what mode to use, if you've taken the time to learn what they mean. I guess it goes back to that saying that "scales are liquid chords, and chords are frozen scales".
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I know what you're saying, and I like to use the #4 sound myself a good deal on Ma chords...but I'm not sure that I'd say that it's a better sound - it's just a different one.

    Kenny Werner, asked about the subject of "avoid notes" says, "There are no wrong notes - only wrong resolutions". The 4th of a major or dominant scale, often referred to as an "Avoid Note", is actually one of the more beautiful notes you can play (because of the tension it creates) IF you can resolve it right. The 4th in these situations wats to resolve down to the 3rd, whereas the #4 wants to resolve upward to the 5th. Both are interesting sounds, and both sound "unfinished" when unresolved (although the regular 4th sounds way uglier when unresolved).


    Oh, and basseddie: you may want to try the following link for modes, there's a lot of good discussion in this thread.

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=25385

    Happy reading!
     
  8. Berme

    Berme

    May 11, 2001
    Spain
    there is an example of an unresolved natural 4th in the famous song "Roxanne" by The Police. You know, when Sting ends the verse singing the lyrics "...you don´t have to (G7sus4) sell your body to the night". IMO a very nice song :) .