Some questions

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Garrett Mireles, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. 1. What's the difference between a scale and a mode? A scale is a set of notes that go together and a mode is..what? I mean I know all the modes...but how do I apply them to scales?

    Say the scale is C major:


    And I use, say, phrygian like this:

    Phrygian -


    How do I apply that?

    2. Ok wheatsbassbook says:

    C Major Arpeggio:


    Cmaj7 Arpeggio:


    So, the 7th degree is B, so when they come up with the chord names, they use the highest degree number or what? Because the Cmaj arpeggio went up one octave, so the name stayed the same, but Cmaj7 only went up to 7, so is that how it's classified?

    Thanks for the help.
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Uh, the Cmaj7 arpeggio is called that because it contains the notes of the Cmaj7 chord. The Cmaj7 chord is called that because it is a C Major triad with an added major 7th (B). The Cmaj7 arpeggio didn't have to only go up to B, you could have carried it on into the next octave. What's more, you could have started it on G, and then it could have ended on E! There are a million ways to play a Cmaj7 chord, and so there are a million ways you can outline it with an arpeggio!
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    All good moley, but that phrygian fingerboard diagram would be E phrygian, as indicated by the 7, I'm assuming that 7 is saying that is the 7th fret of A that it is starting on.
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ah, is that what it means! Ok, I'll go edit, thanks WR.
  5. Once again, when I indulge in theory, I leave with more questions than answers, but thanks. :meh:
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - as moley pointed out - ditch the tabs they are holding you back, you are never going to get theory into your head until you break out of this mentality of places on the bass neck and start thinking about music.

    In fact the best way is to get away from your bass and see this on a keyboard.

    The other thing to help you understand this is to see how you can apply it - just learning stuff without having any use for it is dry and dull and unlikely to stick.

    So - how do you use modes?

    Well if you understand which modes to use, then it can be easier to work out what notes to use over certain chords. So - for an easy example, if you know there is a minor chord in a sequence and that it is functioning as the II chord - you can play the appropriate Dorian mode.

    So - why is this useful - well the Dorian mode is just the major scale starting on the second note of the scale - so you can play over a minor chord without having to learn a minor scale. You just have to remember the major scale and using the right modes, you can play over many different types of chords!! :)
  7. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    So you can learn to play over a minor chord without learning a minor scale.. you just have to learn dorian.. which, err, is a minor scale?!

    Bruce are you losing your marbles?! ;)

    Garrett, each mode is it's own scale, but all are dervived from its parent scale - the Major scale.
    It helps, I believe, to learn the modes at the same time as the seven chords that are derived from the Major scale. That way you can remembner the tonality of the chords and the modes.


    Take C Major CDEFGABC

    Now write AND play those 7 notes starting on each degree in turn.
    DEFGABCD, EFGABCDE, and so on...

    Now take the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th degree of each of thse 7 scales and you have the seven chords that come from the Major scale.

    So CEGB, DFAC, and so on...

    You know the differences between major or minor thirds and sevenths (dont you?), so you can figure out the tonality of those chords and modes.

    You should also learn to understand why the modes into this order:

    Lydian 4th
    Ionian 1st
    Mixolydian 5th
    Dorian 2nd
    Aeolian 6th
    Phrygian 3rd
    Locrian 7th

    Play them, study them, listen to them and you'll get it :)

    Overal though all this is completely useless crap if you dont get out there and play as much as you can and put it all into practice :)
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    No, no - this is the big point - so Dorian mode is derived from the Major scale - it has the same pattern of intervals as a Major scale - not the minor scale pattern of intervals!

    So - if I get D Dorian - I can just play the notes of a C Major scale - easy!
  9. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002

    Unless you think of harmonic minor as the REAL minor scale, but that would just be silly?

    melodic minor is more major than minor too?

    You've lost me Bruce - how is Dorian not a minor scale when nat minor is just a mode of major also?
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I am trying to make it easier for a beginner to this - like Garrett!

    So - if you think you only have to learn the pattern of intervals for a major scale, then it makes your 'job' easier.

    Instead of thinking : I have to learn all these different scales - just think that if you learn the major scale, then you can use the modes (which are all just the same scale but starting at different points) over lots of different types of chords!

    So - if Garett is trying to solo or play a bassline over D Dorian, he could think - well it is just a C Major scale starting at a different point and I already know C Major very well - Easy! :)
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Oh I see, well I put pay to that didn't I. Doh!

    Sorry Garrett, Bruce :rolleyes:

    Truth be told, if you get just ONE lesson with a good teacher - it'll cost you the same as two books - and they'll so set you straight on the path of righteousness!

  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You've lost me, Howard :D

    Dorian is not a minor scale, because it is not one of the 3 minor scales - natural, harmonic or melodic :D

    But it does have a minor 3rd, so you can view it as a kind of minor scale.

    Though if you look at the various forms of minor scales, the only thing that varies is the 6th and 7th. If you look it at that way, you could say that there are four forms of the minor scale - min6/min7 (Aeolian/natural minor), min6/maj7 (harmonic), maj6/min7 (Dorian), maj6/maj7 (melodic).
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    melodic minor has a Maj 6th and 7th - only the 3rd is minor - so really, it's less minor than major... That's how i see it anyway :D

    dorian has a minor 3rd and minor 7th - as a scale it is minor in it's tonality - you certinaly wouldnt play dorian over a Maj7th chord would you?
    so yeah, strictly it's one of the 3 minor scales, but it is minor in it's tonality

    yup, that's what i meant..
  14. Thanks guys, I'm printing this out.

    And Bruce - I just posted those tabs for ease of viewing, which apparently didn't happen :D