Do you use Major Scale MODES? Do you really understand them?

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  • vizviz Frets: 5514
    So ClearyRich, I’m just not sure I agree your premise about everything being based off Major. In my mind, Ionian and Aeolian take equal place like king and queen on the thrones of the musical kingdom, and all other modes derive from them. For convenience’s sake, Ionian is chosen as the one to base the others off in construction, but not in musical sound. When we look at a piece in A minor with no sharps or flats, we don’t keep dragging the concept of C major into it once we’ve worked out it’s in A minor - C major is irrelevant. 

    I agree with you on that totally,  When I finally get a copy of the book to you you will see that I interpret the Ionian as the head of the major modes and Aeolian for the minor modes (Locrian is a bit of an outsider).
    Awesome. Can’t wait till I can actually read this tome!
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 1664
    YES
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  • How do you go about learning to quickly identify which chords are associated with each degree of a mode?  
    Feedback Thread: https://goo.gl/bquaSD
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  • davewwdaveww Frets: 146
    I haven't read all of the posts but to my mind you first need to learn all your major scales and major scale harmony.  The modes are just the same scale notes but the tonic or root note is based around the second, third, fourth note etc etc.  Chords are the same.
    You can pick your nose and pick your friends but you can't pick your friends nose
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  • vizviz Frets: 5514
    edited March 23
    How do you go about learning to quickly identify which chords are associated with each degree of a mode?  


    The approach from first principles, like what @daveww says, is, for Major, minor and diminished;

    Ionian (Major): MmmMMmd

    Dorian: mmMMmdM
    Dorian is the 2nd mode of Ionian and therefore is offset by one chord:

    Phrygian: mMMmdMm

    Lydian: MMmdMmm

    Mixolydian: MmdMmmM

    Aeolian: mdMmmMM

    Locrian: dMmmMMm




    There is a quicker way to do it on the fly, which is to know the major and minor harmonies, and then deviate from them for the modes. Rules:

    Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian are major scales. 

    Aeolian, Dorian and Phrygian are minor scales.

    Ionian is the parent major scale and Aeolian is the parent minor scale. 

    Remember that Aeolian has lowered 3rd 6th and 7th chords compared to Ionian. These are not pointed out for Aeolian as it’s a parent scale - however deviations from this default are, for the other minor scales. Where a chord deviates from its parent (major or minor) scale, we put R for raised and L for lowered. 

    Use roman numerals, capitals for major, small letters for minor.

    The signifier chords that really characterise the modal sound are in bold. 


    Ionian: I ii iii IV V vi vii(d)
    The vii(d) is never actually played in real life by the way - it just becomes an inversion of the V7. 

    Lydian: I II iii (R)iv(d) V vi vii
    Major, except the II is major. And unlike Ionian, the vii is a genuine chord and has a perfect 5th. The raised 4 is almost never played as a chord, though as a melodic note it’s fundamental to Lydian. 

    Mixolydian: I ii iii(d) IV v vi (L)VII
    Major but the VII is lowered and major, and the v is minor (though is often majorised). The iii(d) doesn’t really exist, it’s just part of the I(b7) chord. 


    Aeolian: i ii(d) III iv v VI VII
    Has a mournful minor iv. The ii(d) is important in a minor 251. The v is often majorised by the way. 

    Dorian: i ii III IV v (R)vi(d) VII
    Minor, but the IV is major, and the ii has a perfect 5th. The (R)vi(d) is never played as a chord - though as a note it’s critically important. The v is often majorised. 

    Phrygian: i (L)II III iv v(d) VI vii
    Minor, but with a lowered major II chord and a minor vii. The diminished v is quite important and shouldn’t be majorised. 


    Locrian: can’t be bothered to write down. 


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  • BarneyBarney Frets: 401
    I understand them but don't really use them I don't think..or not intentionally anyways..

    I think the chord progression will dictate what mode you play in ..unless it's a vamp or some chords specific to that mode ..to create some sort of mood in your playing ....I think to me you can start on any note and finish on any note depending on what you want to achieve...I understand that by starting on certain notes the intervals will change and sound different ..and it works great for film musicvect ..again to create a mood ...I do think with modes it's got a lot to do with the underlying harmony than just the notes as in a scale ...
    So for me to sum it up ..I do understand them but don't really use them a lot ..at least not intentionally ...
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  • viz said:
    How do you go about learning to quickly identify which chords are associated with each degree of a mode?  


    The approach from first principles, like what @daveww says, is, for Major, minor and diminished;

    Ionian (Major): MmmMMmd

    Dorian: mmMMmdM
    Dorian is the 2nd mode of Ionian and therefore is offset by one chord:

    Phrygian: mMMmdMm

    Lydian: MMmdMmm

    Mixolydian: MmdMmmM

    Aeolian: mdMmmMM

    Locrian: dMmmMMm




    There is a quicker way to do it on the fly, which is to know the major and minor harmonies, and then deviate from them for the modes. Rules:

    Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian are major scales. 

    Aeolian, Dorian and Phrygian are minor scales.

    Ionian is the parent major scale and Aeolian is the parent minor scale. 

    Remember that Aeolian has lowered 3rd 6th and 7th chords compared to Ionian. These are not pointed out for Aeolian as it’s a parent scale - however deviations from this default are, for the other minor scales. Where a chord deviates from its parent (major or minor) scale, we put R for raised and L for lowered. 

    Use roman numerals, capitals for major, small letters for minor.

    The signifier chords that really characterise the modal sound are in bold. 


    Ionian: I ii iii IV V vi vii(d)
    The vii(d) is never actually played in real life by the way - it just becomes an inversion of the V7. 

    Lydian: I II iii (R)iv(d) V vi vii
    Major, except the II is major. And unlike Ionian, the vii is a genuine chord and has a perfect 5th. The raised 4 is almost never played as a chord, though as a melodic note it’s fundamental to Lydian. 

    Mixolydian: I ii iii(d) IV v vi (L)VII
    Major but the VII is lowered and major, and the v is minor (though is often majorised). The iii(d) doesn’t really exist, it’s just part of the I(b7) chord. 


    Aeolian: i ii(d) III iv v VI VII
    Has a mournful minor iv. The ii(d) is important in a minor 251. The v is often majorised by the way. 

    Dorian: i ii III IV v (R)vi(d) VII
    Minor, but the IV is major, and the ii has a perfect 5th. The (R)vi(d) is never played as a chord - though as a note it’s critically important. The v is often majorised. 

    Phrygian: i (L)II III iv v(d) VI vii
    Minor, but with a lowered major II chord and a minor vii. The diminished v is quite important and shouldn’t be majorised. 


    Locrian: can’t be bothered to write down. 


    Excellent....very helpful, thanks! 
    Feedback Thread: https://goo.gl/bquaSD
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