Question about the modes

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Postby old man down » Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:43 am

Mick, back to the post I had made that showed how the chords are derived by note stacking, on page 4 or 5, I think.

Did you finally understand that? That is solid gold for understanding the unextended family of chords associated with a major scale. Blew me away when I first saw it!

Do it for the key of E as an exercise. Then play those chords starting from the open E, to the second fret F#m, 4th fret G#m, 5th fret A, 7th fret B, 9th fret C#m, and 10 fret D#dim.

Go to that highcountry site and play the FotM jam track and jam to it with the E major scale (or the B mix, same thing really). You'll sound great!
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Postby Mick » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:08 am

Shakedown: I understand what you are saying, but what I am saying is that if you look in the books, the song is written in B major. I checked 2 different books, and it is written that way both times. I didn't "infer" that it was the key of B, it was right there in black and white. Your reference to the IV and the V I believe are correct, and why the song sounds good with the guitar played in E, but the song is written in B. If you want me to cite the books, I am happy to, but it will have to wait until tonight as I am at work right now and the books are at home.

What I don't agree with is your statement "so using B Ionian, although a major scale, is technically incorrect." A couple of things there: Firstly, if it is "technically incorrect, then the song was written incorrectly. Secondly, I don't see why this would be technically incorrect. If I wrote a song in the key of A major and have the rhythm based off of the A chord, would you say that was "technically incorrect"? If so, why? I could have based the rhythm off of D or E (and even with the rhythm based off of A, I am sure I would have some D and E chords in there somewhere), but I don't see why not doing so would be "technically incorrect". I can see how writing based off A chords would lack a "Jerry feel" to the song, but I don't think there would be anything technically incorrect about it.

OMD: I have played key of E to the FOTM midi, and it does sound good, well, as good as my slow and sloppy play will allow, but when I get going decent for a line or two I can tell it is nice. After looking up the key for FOTM, I haven't tried playing it in B (Ionian pattern starting on Fret 7 of String 6), but will try that tonight if guitar playing time is to be had.

As far as the other post, I think I get what you mean by "stacking thirds", which is just a terminology with which I was unfamiliar. I read over the other stuff on the chord families, I think I always understood the IV and the V. I think I now see the ii, iii, and vi. I think I need to think about the seventh diminished a little more though. Thanks for taking the time to post all that, I will refer back to what you and others have written as I work on it more.
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Postby Mick » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:28 am

Shakedown:

Upon re-reading your post, I have a few more thoughts:

shakedown_04092 wrote:Mick -

Whenever you see 2 major chords back to back like this (in this case an A major & a B major chord) you can instantly tell which key it is in because you'll know right away that they are the IV & V chords in a given key. In this case, it's the key of E.

Say you had these 2 major chords back to back in a song:

F & G

Which key would you be in?


Well, you want me to say C, but I think you are making an assumption here.

Do little tests like this to get used to recognizing certain ways to determine the keys of songs, and once you do that, you can apply the proper scale/mode to play over it. This "recognition" thing also applies to when you see 2 minor chords back to back in a song, for instance if you were playing a song that went Bm > Am, you'd instantly know that they were the iii & ii, making the key of this made up song G. Does that make sense? :smile:


Yes, it makes sense, but I think you are assuming that the key is a major key. If I saw something Am and Bm, I can see how G would be a possibility, but couldn't it also be Em? They are the same notes, but with a different starting point, so I am not sure it makes much of a difference, but haven't I made another assumption here? That the song is meant to be played in the lydian and mixolydian modes? When looking at GD music, I think that is a pretty good assumption, but I am not sure that is always the case.
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Postby mlynn2600 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:37 am

hey mick...the thing is alot of songbooks that you buy in the store are incorrect. the people doing the transcribing arent really familiar with the bands music theyre just trying to get a product out. the only ones i generally trust are the ones with andy aledort involved.

if you play fotm and solo using the b major scale you'll sound ok but if you play the A# note over the Amajor chord it will sound funky. playing the Emajor scale or Bmixolydian will sound much better.

its just like jane says by janes addiction...Gmajor to Amajor back and forth...to solo use the Dmajor scale or Amixo
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Postby Mick » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:10 am

mlynn: you are correct that my family and I find all kinds of errors in music books all the time. I believe these books are both from Ice Nine though, so I think they have some familiarity with GD music. I will check when I get home, and post specifically what the books are.

I agree that playing the B major scale over the A chord will likely sound a little off, the locrian mode would be Bb major, so none of the modes matches the combination of B major scale played over an A chord. (Edit: Maybe that is what Shakedown meant by "technically incorrect?) Again, I am just saying what is written.
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Postby Mick » Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:37 pm

Books I have here at home with Fire on the Mountain:

#1: "Grateful Dead Anthology" Copyright 1990 Ice Nine Publishing, Page 68. On the back, is a notation naming Warner Brothers Publications as exclusive selling agent.

#2: "The Very Best of the Grateful Dead" Copyright 2004 Warner Brothers Publications, Page 144. Although the copyright is Warner Brothers, on page 144 is the citation: Copyright 1978 Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.

The arrangements are somewhat different, mostly because the guitar in #2 is written for first position, and the solos are not included. #1 has the verses essentially written for 9th position, with the solo covering a rather wide range of the fretboard (not surprisingly). Both are written with A, C, D, F, and G sharp, which in case I was completely whacked, I confirmed with my wife (life-long piano player) was B major (showed it to her and asked for the key, didn't want to lead the witness).

Just callin' 'em like I see 'em. If anyone has a problem with what is written there, I would suggest taking it up with Mickey Hart.
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Postby ronster » Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:30 pm

I incorrectly previously posted that I sharpen the 7th to play a mixo scale. It is indeed flatted as someone pointed out. Sorry about that.

To further the current discussion about song scales. I pulled out a book from the only guitar/music theory course I ever took. It states:

"Two other common chords are built on notes not found in the major scale. These are major chords built on the flatted third and seventh degrees. In the key of E these would be a G and D chord."

It also goes on to state in metal songs the flatted sixth is commonly used.

So it is common to use major chords other than the 1 4 5 in rock and roll.


It also dicusses scales and goes on to say most guitar players use a composite scale made up of the major and minor penatonic scales along with the blues note (b5). It looks like this:
1 2 b3 3 4 b5 5 6 b7.

It then goes on to explain how to play this composite scale out of the major chord positions.

Any way I forget about this course and this book, but this is how I play my leads as the composite scale includes the notes of the major, mixo, and minor scales with an emphasis on the chord shapes. It appears to me from learning Jerry's leads that he took a similar appoach when playing solos to a song with a repeating chord structure as opposed to space or noodling or the like. But then again that is only my opinion.
Last edited by ronster on Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby shakedown_04092 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:54 pm

Yeah, Mick, you're right. I think I was high when I wrote that. I'm sure I had a good point to make, but what it is now, I haven't a clue. :? If it crosses my path again though I'll letcha know.
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Postby BuddhaG » Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:57 pm

that composite scale is something I know I do most of the time, didn't know somebody actually took the time to put the concept in a book, cool, maybe i should read more theory books.

i think this composite scale is part of what jerry was talking about when he said he would start a phrase in pentatonic and move to lydian for example to finish it off. i'm thinking the composite scale is adding notes from some of the other modes to fill in the empty spaces and show how many options you actually have during each melodic phrase. seems like this is where chromatic theory comes into play as well as you have 3 half steps in a row in that composite scale.

i have a few guitarist friends that say they "made up" their own scale that they can use over most songs becaues they know where the tonalities lie relative to each other. of course these are composites of major/minor or whatever but i guess every guitarist has their own preferance of added notes.

ok, end ramble cuz i'm not much of a theory buff.

edit: didn't read the last part of your post ronster, so i said some of the same stuff except less clear haha... i think jerry discusses this in a guitar player magazine interview from the early 70's. should be easy to find if you google and its very helpful and interesting.
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Postby old man down » Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:41 am

The GP interview mentions Garcia talking about a riff that the first half is lydian and the second half is double diminished.

No idea what that would be.
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Postby mlynn2600 » Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:43 am

Mick wrote:Just callin' 'em like I see 'em. If anyone has a problem with what is written there, I would suggest taking it up with Mickey Hart.


lol no i'm sure if mickey hart says its in Bmajor its in Bmajor...BUT if i'm jamming on fotm i'm playing Emajor or Bmixo as thats what sounds good. the thing with fotm is basically it has 2 tonal centers changing every measure. it would be interesting to see the note selection for the melody...thats where you would see what key its in technically...i'm guessing Bmajor with no A#s over the Amajor chord. i checked out the intro and outro lines over in the guitar tab section and over the Bmajor they play an A# but over the Amajor its Anatural.

i guess what it all comes down to is play what sounds good and let the theory fall where it may. if you're playing fotm using a Bmajor scale after awhile you'll hear how bad the A# sounds over the Amajor chord and you'll stop playing it.
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Postby Mick » Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:51 am

mlynn:

I got around to playing over the fotm midi with the B ionian last night and experienced pretty much what you wrote. The A# played over the A chord didn't sound good, not horrible, but not good either. Given the little bit of the neck that I was playing on (just the 5 frets in the diagram), there were only 2 A#s in there, and when I circled them on the page, it was easy enough to avoid them in the A chord measures, so I am sure someone more experienced than myself could easily adapt to that to achieve an ionian sound in the B chord measures.

But, I then spent more time playing in the B mixo as it seems like there are no "wrong" notes in that pattern, it only sounds awful when I hit something that is not on the pattern! Definitely easier to play it that way, and it doesn't seem like the loss of the A#s in half the measures is much of a difference sound-wise.

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Postby bucketorain » Wed Dec 19, 2007 8:40 am

if you use this patter, w-w-h-w-w-w-h, on the 6ht string, what would the patter be on tthe 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st, starting on the same fret / root note?
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Postby Mick » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:07 pm

bucketorain wrote:if you use this patter, w-w-h-w-w-w-h, on the 6ht string, what would the patter be on tthe 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st, starting on the same fret / root note?


I'm not sure I understand this question. Starting on the 6th string, I assume in the open position, this would give you E major. I don't think I understand what you mean by 'starting on the same fret/root note", seems like that is contradictory. If I started on the same note of string 5, there is an E on fret 7 which is an octave up from the open on string 6, starting there with the above pattern would give you E major an octave higher than what I would have just played on string 6. Starting that pattern open (starting on the same fret) would give A major.

I can't escape the feeling that I have completely missed the boat here. Sorry.
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Postby bucketorain » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:47 pm

Mick wrote:
bucketorain wrote:if you use this patter, w-w-h-w-w-w-h, on the 6ht string, what would the patter be on tthe 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st, starting on the same fret / root note?


I'm not sure I understand this question. Starting on the 6th string, I assume in the open position, this would give you E major. I don't think I understand what you mean by 'starting on the same fret/root note", seems like that is contradictory. If I started on the same note of string 5, there is an E on fret 7 which is an octave up from the open on string 6, starting there with the above pattern would give you E major an octave higher than what I would have just played on string 6. Starting that pattern open (starting on the same fret) would give A major.

I can't escape the feeling that I have completely missed the boat here. Sorry.


what i'm asking is if i use this pattern, w-w-h-w-w-w-h on the 6th string, what would be the appropriate pattern for the next string down / up? :

6th w-w-h-w-w-w-h
5th ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
4th ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
3rd ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
2nd ?-?-?-?-?-?-?
1st ?-?-?-?-?-?-?

maybe i'm lost here...wouldn't there be an appropriate 7 note pattern on the strings below?
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