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the myth of modes

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by HandsFree, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    That's why I've posted Gil Goldstein's page about "ending the phrase on the tonic of that mode."

    The notes are the same but...
    Let's take the C major scale and play a simple phrase that consists of the following notes - C D E G A C.
    The phrase ends on C as the tonic for the Ionian mode.
    Next time, let's play the same phrase but starting on D and ending on D - D E G A C D - while the background is the C major chord.

    Similar notes but those two simple phrases sound differently in the background of C major.
  2. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    To my ears, there is an aural difference between those chord inversions.

    That's why I use the word, sonority, which includes all kinds of chords (non-tertian harmonic expressions.)

    I've already expressed my opinion why I would use the A Dorian mode.

    I truly believe the message, "all notes are the same for all major modes" slightly distort the meaning of the modes.
  3. WOW 368 posts and still going. That has to be some kind of record for a mode string. I stayed out of this one till now.

    You'all have fun and play nice.
    jmattbassplaya and Lownote38 like this.
  4. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    Threads about modes are kind of like modes:
    infinite ways to describe the same thing.
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  5. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    I think those comments are popping up due to one very simple reason:
    Way too many musicians refer to different modes as,
    "The notes are the same; therefore, there is no difference, just ONE SCALE."

    If we decide to follow their "opinion about the MODES as "just the same notes, one scale, who cares?", then we need to rename the most basic bass-line pattern as "5th - Root":thumbsup: instead of "Root - 5th".
    THE NOTES ARE THE SAME.:thumbsup::roflmao::hyper::D:laugh:
  6. Agree, when I was kid I badly wanted to be able to play walking basses and improvise. Someone told me to learn the modes which I did, really well. Afterward I was like "uuuhhh that ain't much jazz sounding".
    For a bassist all you need to know are root/third/fifth, all the passing tones concepts and chord subs. After that, learn some jazz licks and boom.
    I guess modes are not useless but if you only play the mode notes in a jazz context, it ain't jazz.
    Amano and DeaconBlues09 like this.
  7. Ball_Buster

    Ball_Buster Banned

    Feb 15, 2016
    Modes are a waste of time and merely a Jazz-College teaching tool. Most so-called musicians do NOT listen enough to learn a particular style -- especially Jazz. Or most likely, they started way too late. But, they think that there is a short-cut to becoming a pro-musician, so they trail off to music school to defer the inevitable: it will never happen.

    There they are piled upon with the Chord/Scale & Play-this-Mode-Over-this-Chord teaching methods, and HUGE debt.

    If you could not ALREADY succesfully play with most adult pro-musicians, when you were 15/16, do something else.

  8. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I acknowledge your right to your opinion, but I couldn't disagree more with this line of thinking.

    Music is a beautiful and life-long journey, and I wouldn't discourage anyone from pursuing it in whatever form they enjoy.
  9. Whousedtoplay


    May 18, 2013
    Dear, Ball_Buster,

    Is your name Jeff Berlin? :rolleyes: ;)
    joebar and DeaconBlues09 like this.
  10. Lanky Tunes

    Lanky Tunes

    Jun 9, 2014
    I can that the diatonic rut. Of course there are way around it, but I prefer something along the lines of your recommendation. I'd say learn the licks first though. You need to have a guide to what solid lines look/sound like. Sadly so much of the bass is buried in the mix of those old records.

    Things like enclosures and chromatics are also great for funk and early Motown type sounds.
  11. John Goldsby

    John Goldsby Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Bassist @ WDR Big Band Cologne, Columnist — BassMagazine.com, Conservatorium Maastricht, NL
    I thought about you TB-ers when I got this chart. I've been rehearsing and recording with Richie Beirach all week, and we're playing his "hit" tune "Pendulum" as an encore on the concerts we're doing this weekend. This page is part of the solo section. I know that several folks might object to naming a Bbmin11 (or Bbmin7(11) ) a Bbsus (Dorian), but that's the way Richie (and arranger Rich DeRosa) conceived the solo section. Basically, when he hits any of these 8-bar sections, it's very obvious what the sound is . . . there are some notes that are defining notes in the chord/scale, other notes that are complementary, and other notes that are outside the chord/scale. All notes are usable in juxtaposition to the defining notes of the chord/scale.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
  12. John Goldsby

    John Goldsby Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Bassist @ WDR Big Band Cologne, Columnist — BassMagazine.com, Conservatorium Maastricht, NL
    Totally right your are about the aural difference between Bbmin7(11) and Bbsus7. . . I'm just pointing out that when I see Bbmin7(11) for 8 bars, I would think Dorian. What I encountered on this chart was unusual in that it had "sus" chords as a blanket category for almost everything, and then the name of the mode that we are blowing on.

    The chord symbols used are rather nebulous, but by naming the mode as the starting point, then everything is clear.
    Whousedtoplay and DeaconBlues09 like this.
  13. John Goldsby

    John Goldsby Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Bassist @ WDR Big Band Cologne, Columnist — BassMagazine.com, Conservatorium Maastricht, NL
    The chart is written in the key of F# minor because that's where the melody begins (like on the video you posted). Although the tune is in F# minor-ish on the melody, the blowing section, at least for the arrangement we're playing, moves through pedal tones on all 12 notes. Each 8 bars, the pedal tone changes, and the mode changes. Once that section begins, the key signature has no bearing on anything.
    Tom Lane and Whousedtoplay like this.
  14. Febs

    Febs Supporting Member

    May 7, 2007
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks for sharing that chart. I've never seen a chart notated that way, but I agree with you that it does clearly communicate the sound that the composer wants. Very cool.
  15. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Jeff would say the opposite of what Ball_Buster did.
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  16. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    This is a very interesting thread... It's funny because I see some things that I am just now discovering.. some on my own... like light bulb moments..

    I have actually been able to pick out quite a bit in here.. I bought the Bass Grimoire about 10 years ago and I tried to learn modes but at the time it made no sense to me.. Then I began to look at modes as extensions of the major scale... and for me they now make more sense and I find myself being able to use them .. especially when soloing.. I am finding all this just so fascinating to me because for a long time I just learned songs and now diving into the nuts and bolts is like a new discovery every day...
    Whousedtoplay likes this.
  17. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I think that one way the modes will help is that they will extend the scale for you ... Using modes is a good way to envision the entire scale across the fretboard at a glance.. at least for me..

    Exactly! The fact that there is redundancy (as in Major scale=Ionian Mode, Natural Minor=Aeolian etc..) for me anyway only serves to reinforce things.. I came at this whole study thing a little late in life... so I have a lot of slaughtered brain cells from my wild and reckless youth... but for me it is all good and I find myself unconsciously using what I am learning on a regular basis. I don't think that learning anythng about music is a waste of time ... Maybe it is because I wastyed so much time when I was younger ... I find that I am learning things that some folks learned in their first 5 years ... like in a natural mmMmmminor scale the chordal structure is mDMmmMM (as opposed to MmmMMmD) ... sounds like a big Duuuhhh to some of you guys.. but I never knew that till relatively recently.. because all I really knew was the major scale and all I did was practice songs... It is all good.. and at this point I am just glad that I can still do it reasonably well... and see ongoing improvement.
  18. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Guitar players and their attitude the answer to all questions is some scale, because they just convert scales to "dots on a grid" and feel they are done. Modes are really about harmony, the chords that come from the harmonized modes. You need to understand the harmony of a mode to know what notes to use to imply the sound of the mode.

    When working with modes think of the harmony first, then the chord tones to know what notes to emphasize in the scale.
    eekamike, Lownote38 and John Goldsby like this.
  19. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Amen, Brother. This (vertical aspect) is often overlooked in these Modal (horizontal aspect) discussions.
    Lownote38 and Whousedtoplay like this.
  20. John Goldsby

    John Goldsby Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Bassist @ WDR Big Band Cologne, Columnist — BassMagazine.com, Conservatorium Maastricht, NL
    Agreed ... I think guitar players (and bassists) also often convert chords to "dots on the grid."
    Bob_Ross likes this.

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