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Scales, chords and modes

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Alexander, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I have been working through a lot of music theory and I wanted to pose a question. Essentially, I seem to get the idea there are two ways of thinking about how to use modes to develop a bassline over the chord progression. Here is what I understand (let me know where I might be off track...)

    Option #1 : I can play the mode shape most associated with the particular chord type I encounter in the progression. For major chords, that could mean Ionian or Mixolydian (depending on whether or not I want that "happy" major seventh tone). For minor chords, it would be Dorian. A seventh chord would also use Mixolydian.

    My instructor showed me this and had me work through the exercise for a G7 chord to walk down the arpeggio (G-B-D-F) and use the Mixolydian pattern (G, F, E, D, C, B, A, G) to navigate my way back to the root. I could then use this arpeggio\scale any time I encounter a G7, regardless of what key I was playing in. If in the key of G, the G7 happened to be the root or playing in D it happened to be the five, it wouldn't matter, the pattern is the same. Using this option, I would likely rarely, if ever use Lydian, Locrian, Phrygian, Aeolian, etc)

    This would apply to other chord types as well.

    Option Two: Play the mode associated with the scale degree of the chord being played. If I was playing a 1-4-6-5 progression in G, I would use the Ionian, Lydian, Aeolian then Mixolydian modes of the G major scale as we navigate through the progression.

    Make sense? (I hope I explained this well enough) It seems that option 1 is easiest, but I have heard that option two is more melodic. Am I on track, here? Is one of these approaches better than the other? Or should I go back to eating carrots? :help:
  2. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    OOPS - I meant to post this in General Instruction... Can a mod help me out? Sorry... :bag:
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Sure, I'll move it - after I offer this. Stay away from option 2!! It will only confuse you.