Grateful Dead Music Forum

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Musical Theory Abound!!!
 #4696  by HOWEYMAN
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:48 am
I was wondering if someone could clear up something for me. Is it common to play a mode in a key of the same name?
Example: would you commonly play E mioxylodian over a tune in E major? Or, would the E mioxylodian generally be played over a tune in A major since E mioxylodian is derived from the A major scale.
Any input would be wonderful. It will help me get a better understanding of relationships of keys and modes. Thanks.

 #4697  by strumminsix
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:22 am
I always thought that the E mixo was derived from the E major with just a flat or blues 7th.

 #4698  by sarraqum
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:44 am
This is one thing I don't get about this questions, maybe I am wrong and should do some reading up on modes and scales or maybe I just don't get it, but here goes....

The way I see it, E mixolydian is a scale thats played in this order....:
.....over the chords....:
E F#m G#m A B C#m B7
......that make up the E key.

Thats it.

If you want to talk about D Dorian or G Phrygian then follow the same mothod.

D Dorian is a scale that played in this order....yadda yadda...over the chords that make up the D key.

G Phrygian is a scale that played........and so on.

Maybe I am and not getting it fully but this is the way I see it.

 #4703  by HOWEYMAN
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:19 pm
I understand the confusion. Let me take a differnt approach to the question by starting with a reply.

Yes, the mixo scale is the major scale with a flatted 7th.

Therfore E mixo scale would contain a D instead of D#.

Now, you are playing the notes of the A major scale but starting on E, which gives you the mixo mode.

In reference to use lets use "Fire on Mountain". Fire is in the key of E, with the entire song played between the 5(B) chord 4(A).

In the forum for Fire, it was asked what the scale the guitar solo is derived from.

The reply came back B mixo.

This means when you flaten the 7th(A#-A)in the key of B major for B mixo, you are now playing the E major scale, starting on the B note.

My question is this, would you commonly play B mixo in a song that is in the key of B major?

Play E mixo in a song that is in the key of E major?

Or,is it more common to play E mixo over a song in the key of A major, for flatening the 7th in the key of E for E mixo now gives you the notes of the A major scale?

Am I totally off base here?

Let me know, thanks

 #4706  by sarraqum
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:47 pm
Fire on The Mountain key..........anyone free to correct me here but think the deal here is the fact that if one was to try and come up with the chords for B scale they'd end up with the same chords as E, except for B7 of course. Once again, correct me if I am wrong here...

Now, mixo scale is made up of G mode, meaning the notes you play are:


Playing this notes would mean that a step between B and C is a half-step, and so is the step between E anf F. That gives you the following formula:

W W H W W W H, W being a whole step and H being a half step.

Now, lets throw E mixo into the mix. E mixo is made up of the aforementioned formula, the notes you get are:

E F# G# A B C# D

The bold notes are half steps. As you can see, E mixo DOES contain D, not D#.

And thats what makes mixolydian scale.

Below are all 7 modes and notes they use, bold notes are half steps:

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

 #4707  by waldo041
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:52 pm
Last edited by waldo041 on Thu May 14, 2015 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

 #4708  by sarraqum
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:53 pm
Oh yeah, if the song is played in E major then I personally use E scales, not neccessarily E mixo but also E dorian or E pentatonic or other E scales. If the key is A then its the A scales. Whatever the key is thats the scale I use.

You gotta be careful here as like you mention Fire on The Mountain is played in E key as it uses chords found in in key.

And below is a lost of keys and chords they use, notice the absence of B key:

A Key: A Bm C#m D E F#m E7
C Key: C Dm Em F G Am G7
D Key: D Em F#m G A Bm A7
E Key: E F#m G#m A B C#m B7
F Key: F Gm Am Bb C Dm C7
G Key: G Am Bm C D Em D7

 #4710  by HOWEYMAN
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:06 pm
Is it true that B mixo is what is used for the solo in Fire?

Is it true that B mixo is the E major scale starting on B?

Can you use E mixo over the E chord in the key of A?

 #4711  by sarraqum
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:14 pm
There is a B mixo scale, it uses F# G# A B C# D# E....

Most likely this is where you found that D#.

B mixo is weird, it can be used with E key as well as E mixo, the only difference between the two is that E mixo uses D while B mixo uses D#

 #4712  by sarraqum
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:17 pm
waldo, is there a formula you use to get those tonic and dominant and other chords?
I go by the old "1 3 5" and "1 b3 b5" and such for chord construction out of the modes, is that the same one you use?

 #4714  by waldo041
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 1:56 pm
Last edited by waldo041 on Thu May 14, 2015 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 #4725  by waldo041
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:33 pm
Last edited by waldo041 on Thu May 14, 2015 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 #4730  by jahozer
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:07 pm
Waldo, the degree names are thus:
Degree Name
I Tonic
II Supertonic
III Mediant
IV Subdominant
V Dominant
VI Submediant or
VII Leading tone

Are you naming them differently to explain their relationships?
I think they are broken up this way:

I Tonic - Major
ii Supertonic - minor
III Mediant -minor
IV Subdominant -major
V Dominant - major
VI Submediant or -diminished
VII Leading tone - augmented

To add to the modes discussion, check my posts in the "scales for gd songs" thread.
But I identify modes as parts of the major scale. For instance, Fire On The Mtn is E major. I know this because I can take B and A to be the Dominant and Subdominant of E major. I would identify the scale I play as Emajor, but the mode would be B mixolydian. Modes are ways to break up the major scale to invoke a different feel, but do not really go "outside" of the scale. This does not account for passing tones and chromatic runs, however.
GRATE DISCUSSION :cool: :cool: !!!!!!

 #4731  by waldo041
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:30 pm
Last edited by waldo041 on Thu May 14, 2015 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 #4733  by waldo041
 Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:02 pm
Last edited by waldo041 on Thu May 14, 2015 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.