Question about the modes

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Question about the modes

Postby qiuniu » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:33 pm

Okay I've only been trying to learn lead for a year and a half and I've been getting loops of Dead songs and playing the modes over them (as mentioned in my other topic) and I printed out the modes from the jguitar site for the modes Jerry used the most. I printed out all of the Mixolydian modes as well as Ionion, which gets me pretty far.

Last night I found a great loop for Other One and looked up the suggested mode in the list of keys and scales and found it was E Dorian and started jamming away and got this sneaky feeling I had been here before. Then it dawned on my its my good buddy from Dark Star and Don't Let Go: A Mixolydian!!! So being a pattern chaser (as well as a staunch pattern memorizer) I started comparing the modes to see what patterns emerged and I found that all these groups of modes are all the same.

A Mixolydian, D Ionian, E Dorian, G Lydian
B Mixolydian, E Ionian, F#Dorian, A Lydian
C Mixolydian, F Ionian, G Dorian,
D Mixolydian, G Ionian, A Dorian, C Lydian
E Mixolydian, A Ionian, B Dorian, D Lydian
F Mixolydian, A#Ionian, C Dorian, D#Lydian
G Mixolydian, C Ionian, D Dorian, F Lydian

What my question is, am I right here or am I off my rocker with this? Could all the modes be this easy? If what I figured out is true this is really going to cut down what I have to memorize considerably.

Thanks in advance...
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Postby squire758 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:10 pm

nope thats how it works. I always imagine it in my mind that each scale is like a big stencil and i just move it around to a given root. Idk, im a visual kinda guy
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Postby qiuniu » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:34 pm

Thanks bro. Finished the pattern with all the modes:

A Mixolydian D Ionian E Dorian G Lydian B Aeolian F#Phrygian C#Locrian
B Mixolydian E Ionian F#Dorian A Lydian C#Aeolian G#Phrygian D#Locrian
C Mixolydian F Ionian G Dorian -Nothing D Aeolian A Phrygian E Locrian
D Mixolydian G Ionian A Dorian C Lydian E Aeolian B Phrygian F#Locrian
E Mixolydian A Ionian B Dorian D Lydian F#Aeolian C#Phrygian G#Locrian
F Mixolydian A#Ionian C Dorian D#Lydian G Aeolian D Phrygian A Locrian
G Mixolydian C Ionian D Dorian F Lydian A Aeolian E Phrygian B Locrian

And yes I realize it probably should look like:

C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, B Locrian

But I just love Mixolydian so much I think I'm gonna memorize it my way.
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Postby shakedown_04092 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:40 pm

It's all 1 pattern, broken up into 7 smaller patterns. No matter where you are on the fretboard or which Key you are playing in, it's all the same. It just matters which note you start on when playing the pattern. All the notes are the same distance apart: w, w, h, w, w, w, h (w = whole, h = half).

What's really fun is when you start memorizing a scale from a different starting spot. For instance, isntead of playing A Mixo on the 5th fret on the E string, play it on the 12th fret on the A string or the 7th fret on the D string, and so on. That way you better (and almost subconsiously) familiarize yourself with the pattern AND the tone of the notes in the scale and train your ear to recognize them by sound and not by sight. Good luck, it's a ton of fun.
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Postby tigerstrat » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:31 am

hey what's up with the "nothing" in the middle of all that, where it looks like Bb Lydian should be?
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Postby qiuniu » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:19 am

tigerstrat wrote:hey what's up with the "nothing" in the middle of all that, where it looks like Bb Lydian should be?


Yeah thanks. New to this. Didn't look hard enough. I'm just matching patterns now trying to understand why they are configured that way.

A Mixolydian D Ionian E Dorian G Lydian B Aeolian F#Phrygian C#Locrian
B Mixolydian E Ionian F#Dorian A Lydian C#Aeolian G#Phrygian D#Locrian
C Mixolydian F Ionian G Dorian A#Lydian D Aeolian A Phrygian E Locrian
D Mixolydian G Ionian A Dorian C Lydian E Aeolian B Phrygian F#Locrian
E Mixolydian A Ionian B Dorian D Lydian F#Aeolian C#Phrygian G#Locrian
F Mixolydian A#Ionian C Dorian D#Lydian G Aeolian D Phrygian A Locrian
G Mixolydian C Ionian D Dorian F Lydian A Aeolian E Phrygian B Locrian
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Postby amyjared » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:38 pm

Not sure if these will help or not, but I found this site with some free posters for musicians and thought I'd pass it on:

http://www.howmusicreallyworks.com/Downloads.html
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Postby phpbb » Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:10 pm

These types of conversations are one of the main reasons I've added the Scales Feature on tabcreator. That feature helps me visualize the topics in this discussion, maybe it will help some people out:

http://tabcreator.rukind.org

A good example is visualizing the 7 smaller patterns that shakedown is talking about.

Click on the "Display Scales" button. Choose to display an E ionian scale. You will at first see the larger pattern. By clicking on the notes within the scale that appear under the fretboard, you will see each of the 7 smaller patterns. As you see the patterns traverse across the fretboard, you will notice the "w, w, h, w, w, w, h" pattern emerge.
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modes

Postby dahmbomb » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:14 pm

Stop learning all of these patterns!

Just learn the major scale backward and forward...over one octave...over two octaves...over three octaves.

Be able to play the major scale using just one string...two strings...three strings etc...

You will use the same notes regardless of which mode you are playing. The only difference is which note you call homebase.
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Re: Question about the modes

Postby cunamara » Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:25 pm

qiuniu wrote:<snip>I started comparing the modes to see what patterns emerged and I found that all these groups of modes are all the same.

A Mixolydian, D Ionian, E Dorian, G Lydian
B Mixolydian, E Ionian, F#Dorian, A Lydian
<...>

What my question is, am I right here or am I off my rocker with this? Could all the modes be this easy?


Do you understand how modes relate to the major scale? If you understand that then the relationships you have found make perfect sense.

If you don't grok the relationship, this might help:

http://www.zentao.com/guitar/modes/

http://www.riddleworks.com/modes.html

http://www.outsideshore.com/primer/prim ... r-4-2.html

Hope this helps! Once you get modes, it's a big "aha!" and your playing will become more confident.

Also, notice that the blues scale and the aeolian mode are very similar and you can substitute them for each other pretty easily. Actually, there is a lot of substitution you can do with modes to give interesting tonalities to your solos. That's the flexibility modal playing gives to you.
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Re: modes

Postby old man down » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:08 am

dahmbomb wrote:Stop learning all of these patterns!

Just learn the major scale backward and forward...over one octave...over two octaves...over three octaves.

Be able to play the major scale using just one string...two strings...three strings etc...

You will use the same notes regardless of which mode you are playing. The only difference is which note you call homebase.


Agree. Just learn twelve frets of the pattern (call it CAGED if you want) and then you move that template around to fit the chords of the song to the major scale and then you're locked and loaded for sweet music.

Personally, I never bother with modes. You'll keep coming up with more questions, and someone will answer your question, but have a slight mistake in their answer, or even mistype a letter, and next thing you know confusion abounds again.

Modes do not matter when a song has more than one chord. Two chords define only one possible major scale fitting if the two chords can fit into a key. A good example is the IV and V chords. Once you see where they are on the fretboard, you know immediately how the major scale relates to those chords, where it fits under them, all over the fretboard.

If you go into a jam that resides on one chord for a long time, then you can go modal. This is because constraints that would have been defined by a second chord are removed. For example, the D chord as a stand alone chord: It could be the major scale of D, or G, or A because each of those major scales have the D chord as one of their chords.

So, although the original poster was asking if all those modes were the same assortment of notes accented differently, and the answer was yes, it doesn't really help the guitar player very much.

What does matter is why does a song that has many chords, which then is constrained to a particular major scale (forget modes), why do the notes that you pick out of the solos sometimes not match that scale?

The answer to this question is that the artist is playing outside of the key. Maybe for just a second, maybe for a few measures. It won't be for two long or everyone listening will start to cringe. The further you shift outside the key, as measured, say, by the circle of fifths, the more "far out" your solos get. Play practically at the furthest point removed, the bottom of the circle of fifths, and you will have so few notes in common with a song's original key that you will sound completely out of tune. (If everyone in the band shifts at the same time, however, then you have, I think, modulation, and that doesn't count in the context of this discussion.)

The dead did this from time to time so that when they reeled it back in again, becoming once again completely diatonic, then Jerry's solo lines would sound all the sweeter.
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Re: modes

Postby BlobWeird » Mon Nov 05, 2007 12:03 pm

dahmbomb wrote:Stop learning all of these patterns!

Just learn the major scale backward and forward...over one octave...over two octaves...over three octaves.

Be able to play the major scale using just one string...two strings...three strings etc...

You will use the same notes regardless of which mode you are playing. The only difference is which note you call homebase.


Old man down seems to agree. I dont. Learn the patterns. Itll be better for you in the end if you do. The way he is saying to do it you will only know one pattern. And theres not much good in that.
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Postby CaptainTrips » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:34 pm

Really all you have to know is one pattern, all be it a very large pattern. If you can memorize the entire major scale pattern, or even better just get accustomed to the w-w-h-w-w-w-h pattern then it takes away the idea of having to memorize seven different portions of the same thing. Essentially playing modes just refers to moving the tonal center, the homebase, to whatever note corresponds to the root of the chord you are speaking of.

Mixolydian, while it has a distinct sound and feel, is just the major scale as seen through the eyes of the fifth degree of the major scale. I think of the modes as seven members of group. Any time you have seven people gathered together they will have a different account of things that have happened. Phyrgian will see things different than lydian and aeolian will see things different than both lydian and phyrgian. But essentially they are all describing the same event.
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Postby jahozer » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:22 pm

Yes it is just the major scale broken up into modes, but by knowing your modes helps with your phrasing. Many dead tunes are based off of the Mixolydian mode in that they dont start on the I, but the V.
Take Franklins Tower. It is in the Key of D, but starts on A. So it starts on the V. If you and I are playing, and you asked me what key, I would say its D.
Now if you started your D major scale on D, it would not sound quite right. It would all work, of course, but your phrasing would be much better if you thought of it in A mixolydian.
The important thing to remember is to not get all caught up in thinking about all the flats and sharps in each mode, but to know them as patterns of your scale. Then you can move between them. The more of them you have memorized, the less you think of them. So to paraphrase Miles Davis, Learn it to forget it.
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Postby qiuniu » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:42 pm

Thanks for the recent replies!

I think originally posted this in Jan. and I've been playing 2-3 hours a day and memorizing the modes (despite what you guys have said) and I have had nothing but incredible success with this, and I do have more on how this works but...

My question now is that you guys are stressing learning the major scale, isn't that Ionian?

I do (now) know D, E, F, G, A, & C, Ionian quite well at this point

I'm confused...
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