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Modes

Music Theory
keithmark13  
31 Mar 2009 19:43 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2009
United States
Lessons: 1
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Before you say look at the lesson, i have. I have gone through learning modes back in November-December from a private teacher. And Every single time i'd go in there, i'd ask a question along the same lines. Nothing really stuck with me, so from there i tried figuring out what exactly they did. Because im no longer doing lessons instead teaching myself.
Now a few weeks ago i got the motivation to seriously start learning the notes on each fret, i had a general idea of each one prior, and i noticed something that i thought was the 'big realization' on modes. I think i am wrong because of obvious logic.
Play in the Key of G.
When I play say A Dorian. Its still the major scale, note for note, along with B Phrygian, etc.. And i thought that was it. I think i know whats really going on now, because the whole idea of modes is starting on a different note, but being in the same key, changing the original notes in the major scale/ionian mode giving it a whole different sound. But i want to lean towards something else being "IT"
So my question is to solve all my problems and to fix what i had previously learned.
If i'm in the key of G. I play G Dorian, G Phrygian, G Lydian, G Mixolydian, G Aeolian, and G Locrian? Right?
I mean if you take the ionian mode and flatten the required notes, It becomes that mode. I'm rather confused. Help would be greatly appreciated, GREATLY.
Guitarslinger124  
1 Apr 2009 00:40 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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Moderator
Hey there, welcome to the forum. You were pretty much correct with your first guess. If you play in G major you will be playing the notes: G A B C D E and F#. Each mode in a major key refers to a degree in the Major or Ionian scale. So, in G major you have G Ionian, A Dorian B Phrygian, C Lydian D Mixolydian E Aeolian and F# Locrian. In any major key, the name and order of your modes will be the same, Ionian (1), Dorian (2), Phrygian (3), Lydian (4), Mixolydian (5), Aeolian (6) and Locrian (7) [the numbers in paranthesis are refering the degrees in the major key.] For example in G Major, G is the 1st degree, A is the 2nd degree and so on. The modes in a major key all utilize the same notes and all those notes are played in the same order, however, the difference is the root note. For example: G Ionian: G A B C D E F# and E Aeolian: E F# G A B C D. Each mode has a unique tonal quality because of the order...and youre probably thinking, well they all have the same notes, so they will sound the same...wrong. Just like in chords when you play a succesion of different intervals you WILL have different tonalities...hope that helped a bit.
JazzMaverick  
1 Apr 2009 15:31 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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Moderator
You were close, but if you're in the key of G, it STAYS in the key of G. Modes are just starting on a different note of the exact same scale, not staying on the same note.

Exactly what GS said. and to make it even easier to understand:


C Major - (1)C, (2)D, (3)E, (4)F, (5)G, (6)A, (7)B
D Dorian - (2)D, (3)E, (4)F, (5)G, (6)A, (7)B, (1)C
E Phrygian - (3)E, (4)F, (5)G, (6)A, (7)B, (1)C, (2)D
F Lydian - (4)F, (5)G, (6)A, (7)B, (1)C, (2)D, (3)E
G Mixolydian- (5)G, (6)A, (7)B, (1)C, (2)D, (3)E, (4)F
A Aeolian - (6)A, (7)B, (1)C, (2)D, (3)E, (4)F, (5)G
B Locrian - (7)B, (1)C, (2)D, (3)E, (4)F, (5)G, (6)A

How do you feel about modes now? Any easier?
keithmark13  
1 Apr 2009 16:36 | Quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2009
United States
Lessons: 1
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Thank you soooooooooooo much.
It made sense to me after i typed that last night. The tonality changes because of the fact that it starts on a different note right? Like i think the word would be dissonant? correct?
blackholesun  
1 Apr 2009 17:50 | Quote
Joined: 04 Jan 2007
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Moderator
Dissonant wouldn't be the word. Dissonance refers to an interval which, when played simultaneously, sounds unattractive, such as a minor 2nd (C and Db) or diminished 5th (C and Gb). The diminished 5th is also called a tritone, because it is an interval of 6 semitones, or 3 tones, hence, tritone. Anyhow, that's dissonance. Something completely different.

Different modes sound different because of the order of the intervals they contain. For example, the Phrygian mode contains the minor 2nd (this isn't an example of dissonance, as dissonance is a property of an interval or chord, not of two successive notes), the minor 3rd, the major 5th and the minor 7th. These intervals appear together in the Phrygian mode only, which is what gives its unique sound.
JazzMaverick  
2 Apr 2009 08:34 | Quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
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Yeah, exactly what BHS said. Though just take the modes slowly, there's no rush to understand it all in a week. It'll take a while so just relax and enjoy the sounds each one makes.


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