Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #83061  by Billbbill
 Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:39 am
darksun wrote: You gave us a whole rainbow of different modal scales for the verse leads... but my question is this: I don't understand why the leads for the different chords would be switching modes so much. I am especially thrown by the phrygian... this song doesn't really have any spanish sounding parts to it. Am I reading your post wrong or something?
Hey DS - I'm not tremendously knowledgable on this front myself but I'll try and explain my sense of this a bit more.

For the most part, if you took out the added chord tones, the notes are the same - so you could just think D Aeolian throughout. The added chord tones give more resonance to the lead as related to the chord progression. IMHO thinking in terms of modes is one way of recognizing tonal shifts WITHIN a scale as you move from chord to chord within a given chord progression. It helps me be conscious of lead line phrasing so I can begin, meander a while, and end phrasing in ways that harken to the chords I'm playing over.

Not sure if there's any key modulation here but if there is then I may be mislabeling it as a mode change. As I said, I'm a bit of a hack at this so I may be wrong - it's more an attempt by me to communicate my thinking than some kind of a theory lesson! Maybe someone else with more knowledge can explain better what *I'M* up to!! :lol:

Lastly, the phrygian mode is also just as explained above. I think the 'sound' of a given mode must be viewed within the key/scalular context - so depending on said context the sound of the mode will vary i.e. sound more or less like one's perception of how a mode should sound as that perception in and of itself is based on a preconceived context. It's also possible I'm mis-naming it! :smile: Or just plain wrong! 8)

btw I kinda do think this song has some spanish sounding connotations!