Modal Theory Tutorial -- Dorian and Ionian

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons, Tutorials & Tips' started by deadwarrior666, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. deadwarrior666

    deadwarrior666 New Member

    Hi guys, am new to this forums. I used to be on this forums long back but now i joined again almost after 2-3 years or more.

    So I will be talking about modal theory. Modal theory helps us look at music in different way and is really important while composing solos. I assume you have basic knowledge of chords and know few scales.

    Lets look at C major scale.

    C D E F G A B C

    Now if we play C major scale over major chord progression, for example if we play C major over C-F-G chords then the sound we get is basic major scale.. also known as Ionian mode or for simplicity, just consider it as C Major scale.

    Now what happens if we start C major scale not from C but from other note? now lets start our C major scale from D

    D E F G A B C D.

    Now what we get is just c major scale starting from different note, but u can consider it as a scale in its own right.

    Now try playing this same C major scale, starting from D.. on chord progression of D Min and G Maj \ G7

    the sound u will get wont be "happy" major scale sound.. but very different sound. try playing these notes, starting from D. play in any order and improvise over Dmin and G maj or G7 chord progression.

    u will realise that it doesnt sounds like C maj scale. What we did in this was we made D as root note. so this scale is called D dorian.

    if you compare D Dorian with D minor we find that

    D minor: D E F G A Bb C D

    D Dorian: D E F G A B C D

    So here if we compare the 2, we find that D dorian is basically D minor with 6th note sharpened. so we can consider D dorian as minor scale with sharpened 6th note.

    Remember, D dorian is derived from C maj scale.

    In this way u can derive these Dorian scales from respective major scales. For example G Major scale will have A Dorian. I mean If you play G major scale on A minor chord u will be playing A Dorian scale.

    These modal scales can be used to get specific mood and spice up ur solos. Example of Dorain scale in song is, listen to "Bed of Razors" by children of bodom, the melody and main solo is composed in Dorian scale and hence has bright and sweet sound just search it on youtube and listen to it.

    I will talk about other scales in my next tutorial. here is little tab of A dorian.


    this is 3 note per string pattern. play this and improvise it on A min chord and try to incorporate sound of Dorian scale in ur mind. make sure u play it over A min chord or Amin \ D7\D maj chord progression.

    Good luck.
  2. Double A

    Double A New Member

    hi there .
    i just viewed your post about Modes in which you explained ionian and dorian modes wrt chords..

    i have some questions about modes if you can take time out and answer them..

    1. I saw an instructional video on youtube in which a guy explains all modes in 15 minutes. In it he explained that 7 modes in totality.
    He took E major scale pattern and drowned the pattern in E note and said its Ionian mode
    Then he went two steps down using same exact pattern and played, all the while drowning it in E. Said its a dorian or minor sounding Mode.

    Similarly he took the 3rd note of the pattern...put that note on the E, and said all the other notes line up to form an effect which is phrygian..all the while drowning it in E note. Also it sounded awesumly eastern and very *Phrygian*.

    My question is that if i want to use this phrygian or mixolydian mode, which is very much heroic sounding , for my solo's in E key. Containing both Major and minor chords ..How do I do that?

    Should I change the chords to some other set of chords..or I can play the major scale pattern in above fashion and it will sound heroic or eastern..?

    I know that for a major chord you can use all the major modes like Ionian, lydian and mixolydian
    and for a minor chord you can use the minor modes like dorian, phrygian, aeolian etc..
    But how to put that knowledge for a particular solo of a song is the big problem!

    2. If i am practicing a particular mode, just a single one ..which set of chords CAN i use for each one of the seven modes..Plz categorically say it for all the 7 modes.

    It will help me in sinking my knwoledge of scales in and improvising technique. As i am in a habit of recording a progression and practice over it for long period of time..:think:

    Thankyou and awaiting your reply

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