Author Topic: My initial approach to playing modes  (Read 4868 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline stitch101

  • All Time Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 5026
  • Good Vibes 179
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2019, 04:50:27 am »
More important than it being a five note scale is that tonally the pentatonic scale consists of full note steps. There are no half steps.

Actually this is not true. The intervals of the pentatonic scale are 1 2 3 5 6. From interval 3 to 5
Is 1 and a half intervals.  Interval 3 to 4 is a half step and 4 to 5 is a full step making 3 to 5
1 and a half steps. In the minor pentatonic from the 1 to the b3 is also 1 and a half step.

Quote
Are you playing the major or minor scale? They are modes
This statment is true. But pentatonic scales are not modes.

Quote
It's perfectly fine to think in terms of the pentatonic scale
This is also sorta true because the Pentatonic scale comes from the major scale.
But the Keith was referring to the E minor pentatonic scale. Which is based from
the E minor scale which is the Aeolian mode of G Major scale which is the Ionian
Mode so I guess in theory you could say its Ok.



« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 05:10:18 am by stitch101 »

Offline diademgrove

  • Arena Rocker
  • *****
  • Posts: 952
  • Good Vibes 46
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2019, 09:23:08 am »
Modes always confused me but I wanted to learn how to use them. I understood some of the theory but not enough. I'd seen Joe Satriani explain modes and thought bloody hell I'll never be able to play like that and what he was saying sailed over my head. I had to find a way into modal playing that didn't scare the life out of me.

I knew the minor pentatonic pattern in the first position and the notes on the 6th string. I knew that D major scale contained the chords Em F#m and Bm so I played simple melodies from the Em F#m and Bm pentatonic scales over a D chord and listened to the results. What I did was turn the bit of theory I thought I understood into music. I may have got the names of the modes wrong but I could hear what my playing sounded like when I played it back. I could tell there was a difference in mood between what position the pentatonic pattern was in. The notes didn't sound out of place so I continued to misname them. However, hearing simple modal melodies was a huge breakthrough for me.

I didn't sound anything like Joe Satriani but my fear of modes started to disappear. It was no longer a complicated theory, it was now sounds coming out of my guitar. When I first started swimming I didn't do breaststroke, crawl and butterfly, I doggy paddled. The other swimming strokes came after. getting in the water and trying to stay afloat was the hardest step. Once in the swimming pool everything else followed on from my initial splashing around.

Playing simple melodies based on the pentatonic scales got me in the water and splashing around. 

Some of my later playing sounded more eastern and I did start experimenting with the full 7 note scale but the first steps were the most important. They gave me something to build on.

The track at the top of this thread is fairly basic, nothing too complicated, a simple melodic pattern played in three places on the fretboard and some D major strumming. It was me doggy paddling on guitar. If it helps other people get in the modal waters fine, if not, that's fine as well.

Finally isn't limiting yourself to 4 or 5 notes from a scale still modal playing? I understood that a melody with 5 notes from the major scale played over I IV V I progression is still in the Ionian mode. Even if the 5 notes are the notes from the major pentatonic scale.

Offline DavidP

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 4717
  • Good Vibes 261
  • You're always learning about guitars-Keef Richards
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2019, 10:02:59 am »
At risk of further muddying the water, since my theory knowledge is prettymuch what is taught in the BC plus new PMT up to level 3, here's what my understanding is.

There are 3 things relevant. I link them like this ... for every key you have a number of modes (7) and every mode has a scale.

The first mode in the key is Ionian and the scale intervals are W W H W W W H. Also referred to as major scale. Othrr modes in the same key would start with the same note but the scale intervals would be different.

Assuming that is correctly understood so far, now is where things get a bit fuzzy...head explosion inducing  ;D

If I pick a mode at random say dorian and use the key of C then C Ionian is my familiar friend C major scale with no sharps or flats. C dorian would be different intervals, start on C and I expect would have some sharps or flats. And the notes in the C Dorian scale would match the notes in one of the other major scales.

Actually, to try push this on a bit further...

The notes in A Aolian would match the notes of C major since I understand Aolian mode is the Natural Minor scale and A being the relative minor of C.

So if you know the major scale in all keys then to improvise modally over a single chord, say G, would theoretically mean knowing which major scale's notes matched which mode of G and then playing phrases from that major scale perhaps targetting the G note. And in a simple way, you could play licks using Em pentatonic over a G chord and would be playing G Aolian, though maybe losing some of the flavour due to losing two of the seven notes of the full G Aolian scale.

Last bit assumes that minor pentatonic is formed by dropping two notes from natural minor scale.

And now my head is about ready to burst  :o

How did I do. If horribly wrong and confused, please say so and I'll delete this ... as well as submitting myself for some MIB deneuralisation  ;D

And then back to basic fingerpicking  ;D

Offline diademgrove

  • Arena Rocker
  • *****
  • Posts: 952
  • Good Vibes 46
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2019, 10:40:14 am »
DavidP that's a fair summary.

C dorian is the Bb major scale (see https://www.justinguitar.com/guitar-lessons/modes-in-parallel-sc-506 for Justin's explanation of how modes in parallel work for each of the notes of the C scale).

You could jam with the Bb major pentatonic over a C chord, or else learn to play the full 7 notes of the Bb major scale. To complicate matters even further you could also play notes from G minor pentatonic over the C.

You could target the C note as the tonic unless you're as weird as me and think, why not target another note in the chord or even better an extension :) The beauty of modern technology is you can sit in your room and record what you do and see what it sounds like. You sometimes learn more by getting things wrong than getting things right. A prime example being me getting the names of the modes wrong.

Justin in the above lesson provides a formula for matching the relevant major scale to the 7 notes. You just need to apply that to say the G scale and you'll be cooking.

I hope you give it a try sometime.

Keith

Online close2u

  • Administrator
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11904
  • Good Vibes 470
  • Teesside, North East England.
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2019, 02:01:52 pm »
... for every key you have a number of modes (7) and every mode has a scale.
Yes - with a caveat. Every mode is a scale.

Quote
The first mode in the key is Ionian and the scale intervals are W W H W W W H. Also referred to as major scale.
Yes

Quote
Other modes in the same key would start with the same note but the scale intervals would be different.
No.
In the same key you need to be focussing on exactly the same notes, not the same starting note only.
So the 2nd mode of any given Major scale is the exact same notes of that major scale but starting on the 2nd note of it.

The Key of C

C Ionian / Major
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 1
C - D - E - F - G - A - B - C
  W - W - H - W - W - W - H

D Dorian
1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7 - 1
D - E -  F - G - A - B -  C - D
  W -  H - W - W - W -  H - W

E Phrygian
1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7 - 1
E -  F -  G - A - B -  C -  D - E
  H -  W -  W - W -  H -  W - W

F Lydian
1 - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 1
F - G - A -  B - C - D - E - F
  W - W -  W - H - W - W - H

G Mixolydian
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - b7 - 1
G - A - B - C - D - E -  F - G
  W - W - H - W - W - W -  H

A Aeolian
1 - 2 - b3 - 4 - 5 - b6 - b7 - 1
A - B -  C - D - E -  F -  G - A
  W - H -  W - W - W -  H -  W

B Locrian
1 - b2 - b3 - 4 - b5 - b6 - b7 - 1
B -  C -  D - E -  F -  G -  A - B
  H -  W -  W -  W -  H -  W - W


All seven modes in the 'key of C major' have been constructed using just the 7 notes (no sharps or flats) of the C Major scale and each one starts on a different note. If this was a keyboard, all seven modes are played only on the white keys.

Quote
If I pick a mode at random say dorian and use the key of C then C Ionian is my familiar friend C major scale with no sharps or flats. C dorian would be different intervals, start on C and I expect would have some sharps or flats. And the notes in the C Dorian scale would match the notes in one of the other major scales.

Yes.
Dorian is the 2nd mode. The note before C alphabetically is B. But you need to step back a whole tone, not a half (because the 2nd note of a Major scale is a whole tone higher). So you would have to use the 'B' as a flattened pitch = Bb. Therefore C Dorian is the 2nd mode of Bb Ionian / Major.


Quote
The notes in A Aolian would match the notes of C major since I understand Aolian mode is the Natural Minor scale and A being the relative minor of C.
Yes.
A Aeolian = 6th mode of C Major.

Quote
... to improvise modally over a single chord, say G, would theoretically mean knowing which major scale's notes matched which mode of G and then playing phrases from that major scale perhaps targetting the G note.

You would want to play the note G, but if your aim is to 'hear' the different flavours you would want to target the unique notes / intervals.

For instance:
Dorian is a 'minor' type of scale as it has a flattened 3rd but unlike the 'natural' minor scale (Aeolian) or the other minor mode, the Phrygian, it has a natural 6th so that would be a note to target to extract the unique Dorian juice.

Phrygian is also 'minor' in nature but it uniquely has a flattened 2nd so you would target that note for its mysteries to be unraveled.

Lydian is a type of 'major' scale but it has a sharp 4th which is where its goodness resides so target that note.

Mixolydian is another major type - almost identical to the Ionian but with a flattened 7th. The flat 7 is a big deal in blues / blues-rock and the Mixolydian is often used in these genre types.

Aeolian is the 'natural' minor so in many ways will sound familiar. Target the flat 6th.

I have linked this several times and it is worth linking again -




Quote
... you could play licks using Em pentatonic over a G chord and would be playing G Aolian, though maybe losing some of the flavour due to losing two of the seven notes of the full G Aolian scale.

No.
G Aeolian is the 6th mode of Bb Major.

E minor pentatonic is a subset of E Aeolian.
E Aeolian is the 6th mode of G Major.
So if you play E minor pentatonic over a G Major chord you are approximating a minor type of mode that derives from the G Major scale, not a minor type of mode with root note G.
There are three such modes.
The 2nd mode of G Major is A Dorian
The 3rd mode of G Major is B Phrygian.
The 6th mode of G Major is E Aeolian.

Compare the five notes of the E minor pentatonic with the seven notes of the three minor type modes derived from the G Major scale.
Which notes are missing?
Are they key ingredients of their characters?

E minor pentatonic
E - G - A - B - D - E

A Dorian (flavour note b6 = G)
A - B - C - D - E - F# - G - A

B Phrygian (flavour note b2 = C)
B - C - D - E - F# - G - A - B

E Aeolian (flavour note b6 = C)
E - F# - G - A - B - C - D - E

The Dorian mode has its essence matched with the E minor pentatonic = the note G = the flat 6th.
Neither Phrygian nor Aeolian have theirs matched up. So for any given key, minor pentatonic is a better fit for approximating the Dorian mode rather then Phrygian or Aeolian. Indeed, in Justin's blues lead lessons he does reach a place where he introduces the Dorian flavour to blues playing by adding on notes to the minor pentatonic. (see additional post below)
Quote
Last bit assumes that minor pentatonic is formed by dropping two notes from natural minor scale.
That bit is correct - not an assumption. Just a de facto piece of theory.

Quote
And now my head is about ready to burst  :o
Hold on yo your hat ha ha.
 ;D ;D ;D


Quote
How did I do. If horribly wrong and confused, please say so and I'll delete this ... as well as submitting myself for some MIB deneuralisation  ;D
Don't delete it - we learn from these discussions.
Although a MIB neuraliser may be useful ha ha.

Quote
And then back to basic fingerpicking  ;D

Finger picking ... and breathe!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 08:32:16 pm by close2u »

Offline DavidP

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 4717
  • Good Vibes 261
  • You're always learning about guitars-Keef Richards
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2019, 03:40:54 pm »
Thanks Keith and Richard for more info.

Took a look at a few of Justin's lessons. For all those reading, still confused and keen to become less confused, of course those lessons are a good place to go.

I'm still a bit confused but less so, maybe overwhelmed better.

Let me try another simple statement that may or may not lead to better understanding...

If improvising over a C chord, then you could play licks using  notes in the Bb major scale since C would be the tonal centre and Bb would be parent major scale of C dorian.

I will try some of this in due course.

Meanwhile just discovered that with a little practice I'll be able to make a much better job of Blowing in the Wind using my go to picking pattern than I have achieved strumming.  I'd have never have thought it. Will put my hat on and record it in due ckurse  ;)

Offline LBro

  • Stadium Superstar
  • ******
  • Posts: 3221
  • Good Vibes 105
  • Well I am working on it.
    • YouTube offerings
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2019, 04:32:03 pm »

LB - (lots omitted)

Finger picking ... and breath!

Close - Just want to thank you for taking the time to pen this. I thought it worthy enough to salt it away in a safe spot. When I am ready to wrap my head around this, it will be great to refer back to!

Now for "exploding heads" - I suggest a pain reliever and rest...  ;)

Rocking modes - A new one from,
LB
You can rock a bit here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNOrtongjfX4RI33JWKwn7Q/featured

"I just experiment in guitar and music, at times something good comes of it..."
LB

Offline stitch101

  • All Time Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 5026
  • Good Vibes 179
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2019, 04:47:38 pm »
I'm posting this for everyone's benefit except Richard because he and I are the only ones who
understand modes.
This will save you guys a lot of time later on when you are ready to tackle modes.

https://youtu.be/O1C9sGuhbpk




Online close2u

  • Administrator
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11904
  • Good Vibes 470
  • Teesside, North East England.
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2019, 08:33:09 pm »
Close - Just want to thank you for taking the time to pen this. I thought it worthy enough to salt it away in a safe spot.
No worries - be aware I have modified slightly for typos, clarity and alignment too.

Online close2u

  • Administrator
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11904
  • Good Vibes 470
  • Teesside, North East England.
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2019, 08:43:31 pm »
I mentioned above that Justin extends the minor pentatonic to add Dorian flavour to blues lead playing.
He calls the lessons The Dorian Approach.









These two lessons tie a lot together.

Justin teaches the minor pentatonic in the key of A first.
He teaches the Major scale in the key of G first.

It is no coincidence.
The A minor pentatonic scale contains five of the seven notes of the G Major scale.

A minor pentatonic:
A - C - D - E - G - A

G Major:
G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G

Take the seven notes of G Major, shift them all back one position so they start on A and you have:
A - B - C - D - E - F# - G - A

It is the addition of the two notes I have emboldened that takes you from playing a five-note minor pentatonic to playing a seven note modal scale.
And that scale is A Dorian - the 2nd mode of G Major.

Offline diademgrove

  • Arena Rocker
  • *****
  • Posts: 952
  • Good Vibes 46
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2019, 10:44:35 pm »
Whilst watching the mighty Tigers stumble to a 1-0 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers the scales fell from my eyes about modes.

Its nearly past my bedtime so I'll leave my re3velations until tomorrow until tomorrow.

My impression from the lesson stitch101 posted is not to learn 5 positions of a scale without first using the first position to make music. I used the first position of the pentatonic minor scale on three different frets to make music and listen to the results. To me that is in keeping with Justin's advice in his exploring the major scale lessons. The music sounds ok, nothing brilliant but so what? I broke out of playing just the one pentatonic scale in different positions.

Keith

Offline stitch101

  • All Time Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 5026
  • Good Vibes 179
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2019, 10:48:54 pm »
Notice Justin says at the 1 minute mark of the first blue lesson close posted
when playing the A dorian mode you are thinking in the key of A , Aminor blues.

This is what I was trying to get across to Keith when he hept saying he was playing
the E minor pent over D. You don't  think E minor you think in the key of D
If you think in E minor you will play e minor which isn't playing in modes.

Richard tell the web techs theses lessons don't  come up in the search on the site.

Online close2u

  • Administrator
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11904
  • Good Vibes 470
  • Teesside, North East England.
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2019, 11:56:41 pm »

Richard tell the web techs theses lessons don't  come up in the search on the site.
Yeah - I knew they existed and had to manually find them.
I'm thinking many good and valuable lessons have lost their linking somehow.
Thanks for noticing too.
I'll follow it up tomorrow.
If I had dozens of hours I could probably find all the lost lessons and alert Justin.

Online close2u

  • Administrator
  • All Time Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11904
  • Good Vibes 470
  • Teesside, North East England.
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2019, 12:25:13 am »
Addendum.

See these neck diagrams for a visual on pattern 1 A minor pentatonic, pattern 2 G Major and pattern 1 A Dorian.





I made a pdf of these diagrams - just click here to download


Pattern 1, the E-shape, of the A minor pentatonic 'combines' with pattern 2, D-shape, of the G Major scale to yield pattern 1, E-shape, of the A Dorian scale.

Offline stitch101

  • All Time Legend
  • *******
  • Posts: 5026
  • Good Vibes 179
Re: My initial approach to playing modes
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2019, 01:43:45 am »
One I was looking for earlier in this thread was the one on the minor pent,
hybrid, and dorian scale.  If I can think of other lessons I'll let you know.
Try and save you some time.

 

Get The Forum As A Mobile App