### My modal understanding/confusion?

#8692  by jerrysbanjo
Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:08 am
Modal thinking has always confused me. Trying to think of 7 different scales for each parent key just overwhelms me.
So I tend to think of a mode as the Ionian major scale with altered notes..
And I have no problem with the relative minor scale with with the root moved to the 6th degree, no altered notes. The reg old minor scale, but I always forget the mode name?

My understanding is that mixolodian is a maj scale built on the 5th of the parent scale. So if you play C maj over G your get G mix, right?
But to me its simpler to think of Mixolodian as the same major scale but with a flat 7.
Like G mix. is just a G maj with an F instead of an F#.
And A mix. is just A maj w/a G instead of a G#
Am I right? Does this carry over to every key?
Like would E mix. be an Emaj scale with a D note instead of D#?

If my logic is correct, then what would be the altered notes of some other common modes, say Dorian. Lets start there.
Maybe I can figure this out myself it I start with a simple maj scale like C maj.
The dorain mode woud be a D maj scale played over C, cause D is the 2 of C right?

So D maj is D,E,F#,G,A,B,C#
so C dorian would be
C#,D,E,F#,G,A,B
or the maj scale w/ a #1 and a #4
Would it also have a C natural in it?
I'm guessing not.
man thats weird, sharping the one. Maybe my logic is breaking down here.
Should I look at it as some kind of altered minor scale?
Guess I need a dorian primer. I’ve heard dorian described as a cross between maj and minor. What maj scale best relates to this C dorian above? What minor?

I’d appreciate any insight I can get.
#8693  by wisedyes
Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:17 am
The Dorian mode is a minor mode, built from the 2nd note of a Major scale. So, in C Major, if C Ionian is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, then D Dorian is D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D. The note are the same, but what makes the difference is the intervals ( spaces ) between the notes. From C to E is a Major 3rd ( 2 whole steps ), while from D to F is a minor 3rd ( 1 and a half steps ). This is why it's minor.

To truly understand modal theory, you need to understand chord/ key harmonization. Do you know how the Major scale and the chords that belong to it are constructed? If not, say the word and I ( or I'm sure some others onhere ) will be only to happy to help you out. Once you get that, it all falls into place pretty simply.
#8694  by hesgone95
Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:23 am
C Dorian would be built off a Dmin natural scale,
D E F G A B C D....So no you wouldn't make the '1' sharp, that would make it C#min (as you've written it).

And the sixth mode is Aeolian. This is the 'natural' minor, meaning it has a flat 7, different from the harmonic, which has an major 7. I believe there is also a melodic minor which has a natural 6, not a flat 6. I could be wrong about that particular point though.

hope this makes sense, it's just a quick run through off the top of my head.
#8695  by hesgone95
Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:25 am
hesgone95 wrote:C Dorian would be built off a Dmin natural scale,
.
I meant D dorian. sorry

### Re: My modal understanding/confusion?

#8699  by waldo041
Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:25 am
Last edited by waldo041 on Thu May 14, 2015 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#8700  by wisedyes
Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:32 am
C Dorian, as the second mode, actually belongs to the key of Bb Major.

Bb Ionian - Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb
C Dorian - C-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb-C

To continue with the rest of the mosdes in Bb, just continue making your root note the next in line, like this :

D Phyrgian - D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb-C-D
Eb Lydian - Eb-F-G-A-Bb-C-D-Eb
F Mixolydian - F-G-A-Bb-C-D-Eb-F
G Aeolian - G-A-Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G (also called natural minor )
A Superlocrian - A-Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G-A

This is why, to play over say a F7 chord in the key of Bb, the F Mixolydian mode is the best choice. Seriously, it all goes back to scale harmonization.
#8701  by jerrysbanjo
Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:03 am
ok yall, I did a little resarch over lunch and I think I got it straigth now. I was confusng 2 different ways of looking at modes.
A mode as a "rellative" scale vs a mode as an alteration of the major scale with the same root as the mode.
Take C and Am.
Am is the relative aolian mode of C maj. Starting on the 6th, of C maj.
A,B,C,D,E,F,G,A
but looked at as an altered Amaj scale its
1,2,b3,4,5,b6,b7,8

So the relative mixolydian of C is G
G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G
or as an altered Gmaj its
1,2,3,4,5,6,b7,8

Now to Dorian
The relative Dorian of C is D Dorian
D,E,F,G,A,B,C,D
or as an altered Dmaj its
1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7,8

So for my way of thinking, a dorian scale contains a b3 and a b7

In summary, here are all the modes as intervalic structures

Lydian-one sharp, the 4th
1,2,3, #4,5, 6,7,8
Ionian, the maj scale
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Mixolydian- one flat, the 7th
1,2,3,4,5,6,b7,8
Dorian -2 flats- b3 and b7
1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7,8
Aolian-good ol relative minor-3 flats-b3,b6,b7
1,2,b3,4,5,b6,b7,8
Phygrian-is aloian but subs a b2 for 4 flats
1,b2,b3,4,5,b6,b7,8
And the devilish Locrian adds the b5 as well for 5 flats only the 1 and 4 remain unscathed.
1,b2,b3,4,b5,b6,b7,8

Now I just need to hit the fretboard and work some of the sounds out.
I know I aready play a lot of them, just trying to get a handle on some new patterns and think of some existing ones correctly.

Thanks all for the help.

And yes, getting a handle on how to harmonize the modes is the next step.
I understand this much about harmonizing the maj scale:
I, ii, iii, IV, V, vi, vii
and why its that way and how you get to that.

But all my practical theory experience revolves around folk music and the typical associated harmonizations
major scale over
I,IV, V

I realize that mix. mode works w/ a chord prg w/ a b7.
Like key of G with an F chord, G mix works with the F.
To truly understand modal theory, you need to understand chord/ key harmonization. Do you know how the Major scale and the chords that belong to it are constructed? If not, say the word and I ( or I'm sure some others onhere ) will be only to happy to help you out. Once you get that, it all falls into place pretty simply.