13 posts / 0 new
Last post
FrostyMarine's picture
Oct 2004
10 years ago

Hey, I recently have been studying modes and have a couple questions.

A. Can I use ALL the modes? For example, can I start in the Ionian Mode and go through every other mode? Or is that not 'allowed' because only certain modes are minor and certain are major?

B. If I wanted to use the Mode before Ionian, would I use the Locrian mode?

C. How do I stay in one mode throughout the entire fretboard? For example, how can i stay in Ionian throughout the entire fretboard? Do i just use the Ionian Shape and move it around or does it change as I change positions.

D. Do these Modes make up the Major and Minor scale or are the Maj/Min scale different?

DuB's picture
oklahoma
Sep 2004
8 years ago

A. Not sure I understand your question.. do you mean can you play bits of every mode in the context of a song? If that is your question, the answer is yes.. you can do whatever you damn well please! The only issue is tonality, and how it "fits" in the song.

B. Well, I've never really thought of Locrian is being 'before' Ionian, but it is basically the Ionian mode moved back 1 fret, so I guess in a way, yes, it is "the mode before Ionian."

C. As you move up and down the fretboard, the fingering patterns change. Each scale or mode has 5 fingering patterns (or shapes) that completely cover the fretboard... only 5 because the patterns repeat themselves after the 12th fret. Do help you better understand, here's a link that discusses the major scale and the CAGED method.

D. The Minor "scale" is just the Aeolian mode of the major scale (also known as Natural Minor). It is not a separate scale.

I'll gladly elaborate if you're having trouble understanding. And you should probably rephrase 'A,' I dont understand what you mean. :P

Edit: I found a better page than the one above at CyberFret, here is the link!
http://www.wholenote.com/cgi-bin/page_view.pl?l=912&p=1

I was waiting on a moment
But that moment never came
All the billion other moments
Were just slipping all away.
I was wanting you to love me
But your love, it never came
All the other love around me
Was just wasting all away.
~The Flaming Lips | Meditation: Why Bother? | What is Lucid Dreaming?

sirterrapin's picture
Boone, NC
May 2004
9 years ago

A: You can, but It'd sound very odd, though not because some are minor and soem are major, but because without a coherent pattern or melodic hierarchy there's no way to differentiate a tune in say, Cmaj from Amin, or Emin(b2) etc. Commonly, a tune will gravitate towards the one(ionian) and five(mixolydian) chords, with a few fours(lydians) in as passing. With those chords and their inversions, you can move coherently through the whole key. Remember that music is more than scale degrees and notes on a page. Ultimately, it's about what you hear. I forget that a lot and its the cause of most of my confusion, musically anyway.

B: Yes, in CMaj, a B is a B(and its chord is thus locrian), wherever you put it in your range.

C: Yes, but I'd discourage learning music by shapes. You'll regret it in the future as your ability to play music begins to surpass your ability to understand it. The point of modes is simply to show the relations between starting points in various keys and describe the relationships between them.

D: Standard major is Ionian(I), natural minor is aeolian(VI). Majors: I(Ionian), IV(Lydian)(a4), V(Mixolydian)(m7) Minors: ii(dorian)(M6), iii(phrygian)(m2), vi(Aeolian). Diminished: vii(Locrian).
Amodal scales include everythign that doesnt include the pattern whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half or some iteration thereof(Harmonic minor, melodic minor, whole tone, etc.)

Hope that helps.

Sound Clips
Rig Thread
These are biscuits.
These are cookies.

FrostyMarine's picture
Oct 2004
10 years ago

So,

A. I CAN use all tthe modes in order but in might not sound very good.

B. I can "use the mode before Ionian"

C. I'm not sure about this one. So I can do this and be in the Ionian Mode still.

E---5 -7----------------------7--9----9---11
A----------4-5-7--7--8-10------------------------9--10--12

Cause its just like the same shape just moving over?

DuB's picture
oklahoma
Sep 2004
8 years ago

A. The "order" that the modes come in should be the last thing on your mind when playing. Also, what exactly do you mean by "play all the modes in order" anyway?

B. Yes, to say that you are using "the mode before Ionian" is a valid statement. But its kind of like saying "the street before Elm street." Why say that, or even think of it like that?

C. Um, first of all, did you reverse your E and A strings on your tab there? Should it look like this:

A----------4-5-7--7--8-10------------------------9--10--12
E---5 -7----------------------7--9----9---11--------------

Or did you just accidentally mislabel the strings?
But either way, No, that is not in any major mode. Furthermore, you said something about just moving the same shape up and down the neck (which, by the way, is not correct), but those 3 partial shapes you appear to have made up there are not the same.. you have one that looks like this:

--X--X----X--
------X----X--

And one that looks like this:

---X--X---X--
---X----X----

Now, I could go on and try to explain the correct way of constructing the modes across the entire fretboard, and etc etc, but what you really need instead is to buy this book. It'll give you a solid foundation of all this confusing theory stuff, which is something that we cannot do by simply answering your questions. It's the best book for exactly what you are trying to learn, but beware: it isn't the easiest reading if you're a first time learner. It's one of those things that will have you stumped at first, but then (possibly after multiple reads) it'll suddenly "click." Highly recommended.

PS. I've been reading over my post before I post it. I don't mean to come off as rude if it seemed that way. I'm just trying to help you out. Keep posting questions if you have em.

I was waiting on a moment
But that moment never came
All the billion other moments
Were just slipping all away.
I was wanting you to love me
But your love, it never came
All the other love around me
Was just wasting all away.
~The Flaming Lips | Meditation: Why Bother? | What is Lucid Dreaming?

BeenersRevenge's picture
New Haven, Connecticut
Aug 2003
7 years ago

You can use every scale EXCEPT hte Lydian.

The Mode Police recently announced they were detaining that scale for questioning and therefore could not be used in any context.

Guitars - Pedals - Amp

Do I really need to brag about everything I have?

www.myspace.com/ctPhantoms

boyscout's picture
Iowa
Jul 2003
9 years ago

Originally posted by FrostyMarine
Hey, I recently have been studying modes and have a couple questions.

A. Can I use ALL the modes? For example, can I start in the Ionian Mode and go through every other mode? Or is that not 'allowed' because only certain modes are minor and certain are major?

Yeah you can use all the modes, but it's not going to soung good if you just progress through them. The trick is to to know what mode works with what type of chords. IE: if you have a dominant 7 chord play a mixolydian scale, stuff like that.

B. If I wanted to use the Mode before Ionian, would I use the Locrian mode?

Yes, but once again it depends on your chord progression. The locrian mode only work--ie. sounds good--over certain chords.

C. How do I stay in one mode throughout the entire fretboard? For example, how can i stay in Ionian throughout the entire fretboard? Do i just use the Ionian Shape and move it around or does it change as I change positions.

Okay here comes the fun part. I'm going to talk about this question from the perspective of a minor ii V i chord progression in E minor.
ii-----------V--------i
F#m7b5 | B7b9 | Em7

Okay a pretty basic chord progression; in it's self the key is E minor. Pretty basic. Now there's certain modes that are minor and certain that are major. The minor modes are Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian(natural minor) and locrian. And the major modes are Ionian, Lydian, and mixolydian.

Now we can improv over this progression in a couple ways. The first, and easiest being to play it in e minor, or treat the tonic(staring ending note) as an E. This works, and there's nothing wrong with doing this; it sounds good.

But in order to play in a certain mode through this whole progression we must treat the progression as if it's in a different key. What if we treated the i chord in the ii V i progression as the two chord of the next key? This works because a.) the ii chord of any key is minor, and b.) the notes from this scale will match up quite nicely with the chord progression. Doing this is called the Dorian mode. So what you do, to explain this the easiest way, is play a major scale a full step down from the one chord of the progression. So if you in E minor play a D major scale over top of it. The result will be a very bluesy sound.

This goes for any progression or chord, you can treat it in any key you want. Some work some done, it's all about experimenting. You can treat each chord completely seperate if you want as well. So may be you play in D major of the Emin chord(making it dorian), and E major over the V chord(making it mixolydian, your stepping outside the minor key quite a bit here so use with caution) and play a G major or E minor over the ii chord. Hell you could even treat this like a chord in the melodic or harmonic minor scale, and treat it as the diminished vii chord of G minor. It's just a mater of find out what works, and sounds good to the ear.

So to stay in a mode through the whole fret board it's just a matter of finding the "key" you want to play in and connecting all the scalar patterns in that key.

Also, remember, there's no such thing as a bad not just a bad resolution.

D. Do these Modes make up the Major and Minor scale or are the Maj/Min scale different?

Yes, and No. See above, some modes are derrived from the major scale some from the minor. In anygiven key the notes in all the modes are the same, but the order they are arranged--more specifically the half steps--give each mode a unique character.

Hope that helped. Also for more web lessons and stuff check out www.wholenote.com.

-Chris Davis

Wants to buy
-nice tube head (maybe mesa something)
Selling (maybe)
Mesa Boogie 50/50 power amp

hairy_jr's picture
Victoria Australia
Sep 2003
7 years ago

Sorry to drag this thread up again but i thought it was a better idea than to start another mode thread. How do you name the modes? For example G A B C D E F# is a G major scale or the G Ionian scale. If i started on A would that be the A dorian scale or the G because it is based on the G maj scale?

Maton Mastersound MS503 *new!*
Ibanez Electric/Accoustic
Squier Strat Affinity
Fender Frontman 15G Amp
Ibanez DE7 Delay Echo
Proco Rat II
Boss CE-2 Chorus
Yamaha RBX170
Drive 10watt Amp

DuB's picture
oklahoma
Sep 2004
8 years ago

Originally posted by hairy_jr
For example G A B C D E F# is a G major scale or the G Ionian scale. If i started on A would that be the A dorian scale or the G because it is based on the G maj scale?

It is indeed A Dorian, and not G major :)

For some reason I can't think of how to put the explanation into words.. everything I come up with just doesn't sound right.. freaking mental block :S So anway, to try and illustrate, I ripped this next thing from a post of mine a while ago on this forum. It shows the notes of the C major scale, and the notes of it's relative modes... you can see from that how they are named.

C Ionian (major): C · D · E · F · G · A · B
D Dorian: D · E · F · G · A · B · C
E Phrygian: E · F · G · A · B · C · D
F Lydian: F · G · A · B · C · D · E
G Mixolydian: G · A · B · C · D · E · F
A Aeolian (minor): A · B · C · D · E · F · G
B Locrian: B · C · D · E · F · G · A

You probably see the pattern there, but if not, hopefully someone more articulate than myself can help you out :S

I feel weird.

I was waiting on a moment
But that moment never came
All the billion other moments
Were just slipping all away.
I was wanting you to love me
But your love, it never came
All the other love around me
Was just wasting all away.
~The Flaming Lips | Meditation: Why Bother? | What is Lucid Dreaming?

hairy_jr's picture
Victoria Australia
Sep 2003
7 years ago

Thank you, i can know understand that. But one more question how do you know when to use which mode?

Maton Mastersound MS503 *new!*
Ibanez Electric/Accoustic
Squier Strat Affinity
Fender Frontman 15G Amp
Ibanez DE7 Delay Echo
Proco Rat II
Boss CE-2 Chorus
Yamaha RBX170
Drive 10watt Amp

maxx_2's picture
Toronto
Apr 2004
10 years ago

There might be a list of which modes fit over which chords somewhere on the internet, but if you can somewhat figure it out if you look at modes in this manner: (I'll give two examples)

G minor 7 chord : 1 b3 5 b7
G dorian:1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 (in relation to G ionian)

G dominant 7 chord :1 3 5 b7
G mixolydian: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 (in relation to G ionian)

So over a G minor 7, G dorian is a scale that would fit very well, so would G mixolydian over a G dominant 7 chord. When it comes down to it, I'd say it's up to you. (Maybe boyscout could explain this better than I could.)

When in doubt, pump the f*cking Led Zep out.

Current Gear:
Amps:
Traynor YCV-20 WR-----> Footswitch
OR
Fender Frontman 15----> Boss DS-1 Distortion

Guitars:
1997 Korean Squier Stratocaster
2003 Gibson SG Special Faded