Chord Progression to fit a Mode help

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hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
I'm getting through my understanding of modes well and feel quite pleased with myself which is a first as I've never got this far with them :) However, I've set myself a challenge to see if I can detect a mode to solo over a given chord progression. So how does one go about that assuming the first chord isn't the root or key of the song etc?

Any guidance is appreciated
Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • JohnCordyJohnCordy Frets: 265
    try this maybe?
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    Thanks @JohnCordy . That has confused me though I'm afraid. I thought the 2nd degree (dorian) of C Major would be a D minor etc?
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • BradBrad Frets: 282
    @JohnCordy’s video is on the money. However there is one part I (respectfully) disagree. It’s the part of getting each mode from a single note and hearing where home is. Perhaps (well, probably) I’ve misunderstood the point here, but I think it’s important to hear each mode as home in its own right, rather than home being the parent key... For me, home for C Lydian is C, even though I know the parent scale is G. This is the problem, modes (and a lot of theory) can be tackled in many differing ways. As you alluded to at the start of the vid, I’ve just proved the problems with forums eh? :smile: Anyway...

    @hotpickups do you have a specific chord progression in mind? In theory you have three options over a m7 chord for example (Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian), but that’s not always the case in practise (unless your phrasing is really good). Are the chords diatonic, are any from outside the key? Context is important. 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    Brad said:
    @JohnCordy’s video is on the money. However there is one part I (respectfully) disagree. It’s the part of getting each mode from a single note and hearing where home is. Perhaps (well, probably) I’ve misunderstood the point here, but I think it’s important to hear each mode as home in its own right, rather than home being the parent key... For me, home for C Lydian is C, even though I know the parent scale is G. This is the problem, modes (and a lot of theory) can be tackled in many differing ways. As you alluded to at the start of the vid, I’ve just proved the problems with forums eh? :smile: Anyway...

    @hotpickups do you have a specific chord progression in mind? In theory you have three options over a m7 chord for example (Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian), but that’s not always the case in practise (unless your phrasing is really good). Are the chords diatonic, are any from outside the key? Context is important. 
    No chord progression in mind @Brad . Anything as an example at this stage. Just want to test myself if I can pick out a mode to play over with 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • BradBrad Frets: 282
    No chord progression in mind @Brad . Anything as an example at this stage. Just want to test myself if I can pick out a mode to play over with 
    Hmmm ok. A lot depends on you knowing chord/scale relationships and diatonic harmony. As a starting point, what would you go for over these progressions/vamps?

    1. A - D - E

    2. A7 - D7 - E7

    3. Dm7 - Em7

    4. Dmaj7#11

    5. C - G - Am - F

    6. Ebm9

    7. Em7 - A7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cm7 - F7 - Bbmaj7
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    Brad said:
    No chord progression in mind @Brad . Anything as an example at this stage. Just want to test myself if I can pick out a mode to play over with 
    Hmmm ok. A lot depends on you knowing chord/scale relationships and diatonic harmony. As a starting point, what would you go for over these progressions/vamps?

    1. A - D - E

    2. A7 - D7 - E7

    3. Dm7 - Em7

    4. Dmaj7#11

    5. C - G - Am - F

    6. Ebm9

    7. Em7 - A7 - Dm7 - G7 - Cm7 - F7 - Bbmaj7
    Is the key the first chord @Brad  ?
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • BradBrad Frets: 282
    @hotpickups maybe, maybe not... feel free to guess if you need to. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    Brad said:
    @hotpickups maybe, maybe not... feel free to guess if you need to. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. 
    Then probably will have no idea :( However, I will try Thanks @Brad ;

    I'll be back
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    edited May 3
    Brad said:
    @hotpickups maybe, maybe not... feel free to guess if you need to. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. 
    Then probably will have no idea However, I will try Thanks @Brad ;;;

    I'll be back
    @Brad I'm lost already. Might be easier if you show me the answers and why etc?

    But I think the answers so far are:-

    A D E is in A Major and Ionian

    A7 D7 and E7 is in A major and Mixolydian

    Dm7  Em7 is in C Major ?????
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • BradBrad Frets: 282
    Brad said:
    @hotpickups maybe, maybe not... feel free to guess if you need to. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. 
    Then probably will have no idea :( However, I will try Thanks @Brad ;

    I'll be back
    And that’s completely cool, take your time. Some of the progressions I chose were intentionally a little tricky... 

    How are you with the harmonised major scale and the resulting chords? Do you know which mode ‘fits’ with each chord? Do you know what a ii - V is? If not, I’d suggest checking out diatonic harmony, understanding chord construction and relationships, then learning modes in relation to them. Otherwise they kind of exist as a separate entity. 

    Bear in mind this isn’t the whole story. At the risk of contradicting myself, it’s might not always be best to think in terms of modes, even if you ‘know’ which modes are used in a given progression. Example 1 is in the key of A major. Theoretically speaking you can think A Ionian, D Lydian, E Mixolydian. These three modes are all in the key of A, so you could get away with just thinking A Ionian for everything as A is home (I’d argue this comes with another set of problems). 

    For example 2 A is home again, but as they’re all dominant chords, A Ionian won’t fit. You’d need to think modally as each chord has a different parent key. If you know mixolydian is over a dominant chord, then it’s A mixolydian, D mixolydian, E mixolydian.

    It’s a tough concept to get your head around. Stick with it. 


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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    Brad said:
    Brad said:
    @hotpickups maybe, maybe not... feel free to guess if you need to. Don’t be afraid to be wrong. 
    Then probably will have no idea :( However, I will try Thanks @Brad ;

    I'll be back
    And that’s completely cool, take your time. Some of the progressions I chose were intentionally a little tricky... 

    How are you with the harmonised major scale and the resulting chords? Do you know which mode ‘fits’ with each chord? Do you know what a ii - V is? If not, I’d suggest checking out diatonic harmony, understanding chord construction and relationships, then learning modes in relation to them. Otherwise they kind of exist as a separate entity. 

    Bear in mind this isn’t the whole story. At the risk of contradicting myself, it’s might not always be best to think in terms of modes, even if you ‘know’ which modes are used in a given progression. Example 1 is in the key of A major. Theoretically speaking you can think A Ionian, D Lydian, E Mixolydian. These three modes are all in the key of A, so you could get away with just thinking A Ionian for everything as A is home (I’d argue this comes with another set of problems). 

    For example 2 A is home again, but as they’re all dominant chords, A Ionian won’t fit. You’d need to think modally as each chord has a different parent key. If you know mixolydian is over a dominant chord, then it’s A mixolydian, D mixolydian, E mixolydian.

    It’s a tough concept to get your head around. Stick with it. 


    Yeah I know the formula i.e. Major, Minor, Minor, Major, Major, Minor, Diminished etc and order of the modes associated with that etc @Brad ;
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    edited May 3
    The main revelation I've made so far is I have learnt access to cover all the fretboard when playing in a certain mode. I thoroughly recommend the online course I am doing. I am just struggling with the apparent basics like finding out which mode is safe to use over a chord progression and sometimes determining the actual key its in if the first chord isn't the root chord. This course so far seems to take for granted that one already knows that It's usually here I usually chuck it all in again and just play blindly
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • BradBrad Frets: 282
    The main revelation I've made so far is I have learnt access to cover all the fretboard when playing in a certain mode. I thoroughly recommend the online course I am doing. I am just struggling with the apparent basics like finding out which mode is safe to use over a chord progression and sometimes determining the actual key its in if the first chord isn't the root chord. This course so far seems to take for granted that one already knows that It's usually here I usually chuck it all in again and just play blindly
    Ok, try this. Say a tune is just a Dm7 - G9 vamp all the way through. These two chords are related, but from what key? Is that key home? Will knowing the parent key help you play the right modes or do the individual chords inform this decision?

    p.s I saw your previous answer before the edit :wink:
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    edited May 3
    Brad said:
    The main revelation I've made so far is I have learnt access to cover all the fretboard when playing in a certain mode. I thoroughly recommend the online course I am doing. I am just struggling with the apparent basics like finding out which mode is safe to use over a chord progression and sometimes determining the actual key its in if the first chord isn't the root chord. This course so far seems to take for granted that one already knows that It's usually here I usually chuck it all in again and just play blindly
    Ok, try this. Say a tune is just a Dm7 - G9 vamp all the way through. These two chords are related, but from what key? Is that key home? Will knowing the parent key help you play the right modes or do the individual chords inform this decision?

    p.s I saw your previous answer before the edit wink
    Ha ha I edited it because I suddenly realised it was a silly mistake. Not to cheat lol
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    edited May 3

    Brad said:
    The main revelation I've made so far is I have learnt access to cover all the fretboard when playing in a certain mode. I thoroughly recommend the online course I am doing. I am just struggling with the apparent basics like finding out which mode is safe to use over a chord progression and sometimes determining the actual key its in if the first chord isn't the root chord. This course so far seems to take for granted that one already knows that It's usually here I usually chuck it all in again and just play blindly
    Ok, try this. Say a tune is just a Dm7 - G9 vamp all the way through. These two chords are related, but from what key? Is that key home? Will knowing the parent key help you play the right modes or do the individual chords inform this decision?

    p.s I saw your previous answer before the edit wink
    G Major @Brad ? I am guessing of course but it feels like in G? I don't think this is for me at all. I have a good ear and can pick out a songs key when learning it using pentatonic but that's as far as my so called talent goes :(

    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • BradBrad Frets: 282
    Ok, C is the parent key. Dm7 and G9 are chords ii and V in the key of C. Now this is where it gets tricky because it never resolves to C, but the pool of notes are from the key of C major, as D Dorian and G Mixolydian are (arguably) the same as C major. But C doesn’t feel like home does it?

    It’s best that you actually use your ears and great that you do. It’s not about talent (or lack of) at all. It’s just informing your ear with a little knowledge and understanding. I’d recommend you learn the notes of each major scale (and in turn the diatonic triads and 7ths) and do a course in harmonic analysis. Seriously, if I was able to wrap my head around this stuff, anyone can :smile: 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    edited May 3
    Brad said:
    Ok, C is the parent key. Dm7 and G9 are chords ii and V in the key of C. Now this is where it gets tricky because it never resolves to C, but the pool of notes are from the key of C major, as D Dorian and G Mixolydian are (arguably) the same as C major. But C doesn’t feel like home does it?

    It’s best that you actually use your ears and great that you do. It’s not about talent (or lack of) at all. It’s just informing your ear with a little knowledge and understanding. I’d recommend you learn the notes of each major scale (and in turn the diatonic triads and 7ths) and do a course in harmonic analysis. Seriously, if I was able to wrap my head around this stuff, anyone can smile 
    Ok thanks @Brad. I have to say this takes all the fun out of music for me. I have to say it just feels one endless repetition of scales etc. Which I’ve got under my belt now but have no idea how to put them into practice without it feeling absolutely boring and pointless. Probably doesn’t help that I’m not into the teachers playing but he is a good teacher just not practical for my needs / wants. Just wanna play with some knowledge. There’s got to be a course somewhere where I can pick up some tasty licks with some accompanying theory to demonstrate.

    Maybe I’ll head over to Truefire ? I think Josh Smith has done one for them. I quite like his playing even though I’m not entirely wanting to do blues but he kind of crosses over for me 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • BradBrad Frets: 282
    edited May 3
    Brad said:
    Ok, C is the parent key. Dm7 and G9 are chords ii and V in the key of C. Now this is where it gets tricky because it never resolves to C, but the pool of notes are from the key of C major, as D Dorian and G Mixolydian are (arguably) the same as C major. But C doesn’t feel like home does it?

    It’s best that you actually use your ears and great that you do. It’s not about talent (or lack of) at all. It’s just informing your ear with a little knowledge and understanding. I’d recommend you learn the notes of each major scale (and in turn the diatonic triads and 7ths) and do a course in harmonic analysis. Seriously, if I was able to wrap my head around this stuff, anyone can smile 
    Ok thanks @Brad. I have to say this takes all the fun out of music for me. I have to say it just feels one endless repetition of scales etc. Which I’ve got under my belt now but have no idea how to put them into practice without it feeling absolutely boring and pointless. Probably doesn’t help that I’m not into the teachers playing but he is a good teacher just not practical for my needs / wants. Just wanna play with some knowledge. There’s got to be a course somewhere where I can pick up some tasty licks with some accompanying theory to demonstrate.

    Maybe I’ll head over to Truefire ?
    That’s completely understandable man, you’ve got to keep the fun. You have a desire to know some stuff and that’s going to be nagging away at you otherwise. However, I’d suggest that you need a bit of a grounding in general music theory, otherwise this knowledge you learn will just exist in isolation which could lead to further frustration down the line. But then that might be enough for you which is cool smile 
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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    edited May 3
    Anyone have any urls where I can get some inspirational general basic music theory that can get me started to cover some the above. Not so much free sites as I'd like to have a point of call where I can ask a question when I need to so happy to pay for that etc.

    Truefire springs to mind as I'm really looking for video tuition so I can go back over and over and over and over again until it gets into my thick skull

    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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  • GuyBodenGuyBoden Frets: 542
  • GuyBodenGuyBoden Frets: 542
    Here's a Tom Quayle backing track you can practice your modes on:



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  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1411
    GuyBoden said:
    Here's a Tom Quayle backing track you can practice your modes on:


    Thanks @GuyBoden . Not a great fan of Tom Quayle's playing tbh and gonna have to look up some of those chords but I'll check it out. Thanks
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
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