Modal Theory 2

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons, Tutorials & Tips' started by deathdr_87, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    Background theory ur expected to know: intervals, scales (major and minor), play any major/minor scale on ur guitar wuthout having to think abt. it.

    also pls. learn to differntiate between majors and minor feels of songs u hear - u dont need to know wat key its in ut u should be ale to tell whther tis major or minor just by hearing it.

    Now since you're able to differentiate between the different feels that a tune can have its time for a proper introduction to modal theory:

    Now you know that when you start a major scale from its sixth note, you get the relative minor scale of that major scale. The interesting thing is that you can do this to any note, not only the sixth.

    Now a major scale is constructed as below:
    Root-2nd-Major 3rd-4th-5th-Major 6th-Major 7th-Root

    The intervals are as below:

    W - means Whole interval (A.k.a. 2 semitones/2 frets)
    H - means Half interval (a.k.a. 1 semitone/1 fret)

    You can apply this to any scale to get its major - its important that you know these formulae in all the styles shown above as it makes a lot easier to understand whats going on beneath the notes. You must also know how to play any major scale without having to think over it on the fretboard.

    Now getting back to the modes, playing the major scale from any note results in the mode (with respect to the starting note). Hence there are 6 other scales (actually modes) with the same notes as the C major scale.

    They can basically be any of the following combinations: (ill start numbering from 2 - the reason will become apparent later)
    2. D-E-F-G-A-B-C-D: D Dorian
    3. E-F-G-A-B-C-D-E: E Phrygian
    4. F-G-A-B-C-D-E-F: F Lydian
    5. G-A-B-C-D-E-F-G: G Mixolydian
    6. A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A: A Aelion - you already know this to be the minor scale
    7. B-C-D-E-F-G-A-B: B Locrian

    The names of each of the modes are on the right, (the normal major is known as the Ionian by the way)

    While I'm sure many will dispute my next statement - I fnd it useful to throw the concepts of majors and minors out of the window - the way shown below to differentiate feels will be much more useful and in fact accomodates everything that the major/minor differentiation does plus more (much much more)

    Another important point to note is that if you look at the names of the modes - its relative to the starting note - not which ionian scale its part of!

    This means that a D Dorian - as shown above belongs to the key of D and not C. The best way to understand this is to play a C ionian with a bass note of C playing in the background and then play a D Dorian with a bass note of D in the background. Then play the D ionian against the background of a D bass note. You have to keep doing this until you can feel the D Dorian hover about the D note just as the D ionian does. Also once this is done you will also identify that that the D Dorian against a C bassnote sounds 'off'. You must keep at this excercise till you get this. (It took me a few hours to be able to really get the difference - but its been worth it)

    Now once you have done this, you have trained your ears to accept modal theory and unleash its true power on the musical world!!! :rockon:

    Now its time to learn more about modes:

    I have another time consuming excercise for you.
    You must figure out all the modes in each key and write them out.
    Above, where I have written out the different modes that are similar to the C ionian, you will be able to see that each mode follows a certain interval pattern (in whole tone and half tone intervals) -Identify this pattern first for the D Dorian, then for the E Phrygian, the F Lydian, the G mixolydian, the A Aoelian and the B Locrian. Now since you have them written out, apply that pattern to each key for each mode.

    Now starting with the key of C - list out the modal patterns as follows:
    C ionian, C dorian, C phrygian, C lydian, C mixolydian, C aeolian, C locrian.

    Do this for each key.
    Please do not read ahead without completing this excercise and then later complain that you do no have the power of modes in your hand - learning the hard way is probably the best way - you won't regret doing this no matter what style you are into.

    Wow! good work - you've really gone through some trouble!

    It's time to analyse each mode theoretically:

    Now lets start again with the Ionian- the formula for the ionian is:

    the formula for the dorian is:

    Thus we can see that the third note of the dorian is flattened when compared to the ionian, as is the 7th. Thus the formula to get a dorian from an ionian is to flatten the 3rd and 7th notes.

    Now we need to do this and obtain these formulae for each mode with respect to the ionian.

    Do this yourself and then scroll down.

    you shouldve come up with the following formulae - if they dont amtch up - go back and redo the ones you got wrong.

    Hence there is a flattened 2nd, a flattened 3rd, a flattened 6th and a flattened 7th.

    Here you wont find any flats but you will find a sharpened 4th note.

    Here you find a flattened 7th.

    Here you find a flattened 3rd, a flattened 6th and a flattened 7th.

    Here we have a flattned 2nd, a flattened 3rd a flattened 5th, a flattened 6th and a flattend 7th.

    Its time to arrange the modes in the order of flats and sharps.

    Lydian - #4th (1#)
    Ionian - 0#s or bs (0)
    Mixolydian - b7th (1b)
    Dorian - b3rd, b7th (2b)
    Aeolian - b3rd, b6th, b7th (3b)
    Phrygian - b2nd, b3rd, b6th, b7th (4b)
    Locrian - b2nd, b3rd, b5th, b6th, b7th (5b)

    There you have it! - now the more sharps in comparision to the ionian - the brighter and happier it sounds, thus the lydian is not sued for much other than nursery rhymes.

    The mroe flats, the darker it sounds - thus the locrian is the darkest sounding mode available.

    now compose your won tunes based upon how light or dark you want it to sound... also keep playing each mode to know the unique sound it has.

    well best of luck.
  2. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    the following is muktis post i found somewhere else and thought it would be useful to ahve here as it is on the same topic - all credit for this post to him - note- he looks at modes slightly differntly from me - it might be different from wat is seen in my lesson above.
  3. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    this is wat i posted to add onto muktis post - its o the sme theory again - this is mine though:

    i jsut posted a very detailed lesson on modes yesterday (started day efore - completed yesterday) in the tips and tricks forum- and was just about to add that part on how to find 7ths of each chord in a key.

    U play the relative mode of the major and see what interval exists for the 7th - as n major or minro 7th.

    u can laso decide whether a chord is major or minor y playing the relative mode and seeing whether the 3rd is a major or minor third.

    ill take ur example of the mixolydian mode relative to the C ionian (hence g mixolydian)
    its copy pasted btw - im sure wont mind

    G Dominant [Mixolydian]: Major triad [GBD]. Dominant 7th chord [GBDF]. [GABCDEFG]
    Mixolydian formula: R-W-W-H-W-W-H-W
    hence: root-2nd-major 3rd-perfect 4th-perfect 5th- major 6th-minor 7th-root
    root: G
    third: B - which is a major 3rd
    5th: D - which means that this chord is not augmented ut a standard major chord

    if u want to add a 7th:
    7th: F - this is a minor 7th interval when taken from G; thus the chord will be known as a G7 (a.k.a. dominant 7th as u call it or GMaj7min - this last notation tends to be the most explanative and least controvewrsial because it clearly explains the two most critical tonal charactersics of the chord, i.e. the 3rd and the 7th. -also the lack of aug or dim means its a perfect 5th interval for the 5th note - this is jsut to add on to what u said... pls. correctme if im wrong newhere - mukti u really know ur stuff and am would gladly accept criticism of my lesson modal theory posted in the guitar tips and tricks forum.

    oh ya - metal musicians end up using the locrian and phrygian modes more often than the others... i think spanish musicians also use it a lot...
    aysh likes this.
  4. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    ok any criticism? comments? anyone tried it out and have some feedback - would be appreciated...
  5. aysh

    aysh -|h3 ori9in4| (ui!aris-|-

    reps to u ! :rock:
  6. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    thnaks.. ur the only one to reply - all the more - thanks!
  7. dennis

    dennis The Bhangra King

    i just went through it..this is what ive been looking for..cleared most of my doubts.
    im gonna work through the exercises in the following days
    thnx dude.
  8. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    ive done a lot of work and am ready with modal theory lesson 3... (as in i worked out the theory behind it - i ahvent written it up yet) this lesson would be my full original work and could be described as follows:

    itll allow you to understand the chords behind a song and hence improvise over those chords using not just a single scale but in fact multiple modes of the same key sometimes going as far as both the major and the minor key at the same time...

    follwoing from that point - increases the range of notes u can use from simply 7 to almost all 12...

    teach you how to work out which modes to use on ur own based on the chord structure..

    this last point is not gauranteed but i will also try to explain to u the 'reason' behind why each mode sounds the way it does - the problem is this lesson is actually qutie abstract and difficul;t to understand....

    i have never seen any such lesson psoted anywhewre on the net before - let me know if you'll are interested and if i should type it up here - itll be a lot of hardwork and ill only do it if enoguh people are interested....
  9. 6String_assasin

    6String_assasin The Painkiller

    i'm still to do my homework on this subject..and your article is going to be usefull. thanx!
  10. ssslayer

    ssslayer Banned

    it could be even better if any song/riff u can suggest which highlights the mode etc ...
  11. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    @ssslayer - id suggest u follow the excercises - that will highlight the key features of all the modes.... but most rock/blues is on the mixolydian/ionian/aeolian - most dark metal is on the phrygian/locrian, some times - u cant tell the differenc e between say the ionian and the mixolydian too well - coz well, theyre almsot the same, it doesnt matter too much in that sense.... ut on the whole u will be ale to tell after practice...

    i suggest u learn on ur own as opossed to learning through songs/riffs... that gives u a deeper understanding - it might take longer - but its the surer way to learn.

    ok there seems to be some interest... ill post the lesson by today if done....
  12. ssslayer

    ssslayer Banned

    thanx ...
    u know actually have been practicing the modal stuff quite often ... coz i was **** pained with the way pentatonic or aeolian always sound pretty much the same ....
    so i tried using dorian instead of aeolian (wherever possible) ...
    similarly using mixo (even phrygian) instead of Ionian ...

    must tell ya it sounds really weird sometimes ... almost like putting a chromatic run (listen to Paranoid live - covered by Ozz and Randy Rhodes) though thats not what u should aim for while playing the modes ...

    in fact thats the reason why i said some songs that highlight how the modes are played ... that will stick to the mind ...
  13. deathdr_87

    deathdr_87 Awesome Guitarist

    ok my comp crashed and itl lbe a while before i type the whole thing again - so sslayer - heres a little tip that wouldve been included in the elsson but it really might help u...

    u know the pentatonic scale... now based upon the mode u want to play in - add the notes that u think define that mode or give that 'specific sound' to the pentatonic scale and play them as either main tonal notes - as in give those ntoes the promiennet sound by emphasising them or use them a passing notes/leading ntoes - to lead on to a main note... start experiemtning.. a nice addition is (take the E minor pentatonic starting from the 12th fret - play this line - on the G string: 15-14-12. and then follow up along the pentatonic - sometimes substitute in the 13th fret note on the A string - A# note that is maybe as a leading note to the A. these tricks can add a lot to the pentatonic - try and use the modes to add thew notes - the solos ull come up with will sound very versatile but will still be eay to play

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