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what defines a mode in a solo

Music Theory
gx1327  
22 Sep 2010 10:50 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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still haven't fully wrapped my head around this.

i'm familair with scales, and their modes.

i know that if you play certain notes in a scale, the starting note dictates which scale it is. i.e. whether or not it is G Ionian or C Lydian (G Ionian being G A B C D E F# and C Lydian being C D E F# G A B).

the thing i still don't get... is when applying that to a solo in a song. so ignoring the key and the "mode" if you break down every note in a solo, let's say that every note fits in with a major scale. let's just say every note is natural but F is sharp, so these would be the same notes in the G Major scale.

NOW how do we determine which mode this solo/scale is in? is it based off the starting note in the solo? the first note struck? does this determine the mode? (as it does when simply playing a scale up and down?)

OR is it relative to they key of the backing song? relative to the rhythm chords and bass line being played?

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm
macandkanga  
22 Sep 2010 11:51 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
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If I'm right about what you're asking, it depends upon the chord progression and the mode you decide to use. So if the song, chord progression, is in G maj and the scale you use to solo is G A B C D E F# then the scale is G maj/ionian no matter what note you start with.
gx1327  
22 Sep 2010 12:42 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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okay, cool. i think i get it now.

so hypothetically if a song had a I-IV-V progression of C, F, G then the song is in the key of C. and if the solo contained the notes

D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb, C

then the notes of the scale are in the Bb scale. HOWEVER, in the context of the song, we're going to call it C Dorian. regardless of what the first note of the scale is. whether it starts on C or G or Bb, it's still C Dorian.

and although this scale is also D Lydian (right?), since we are in the key of C, we refer to it as C Dorian.

and if we remove the context of the chord progression, we would assume that the first note played is the root note, which would determine the mode. staring with the D, D Dorian, with the Bb it's Bb Ionian, etc.
Admiral  
22 Sep 2010 17:41 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
Germany
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It depends on the chord you have underneath the notes, in this specific moment.

Say you play the C major scale, the backing track plays a Cmajor chord, then you are in C Ionian. If the chord switches to D minor and you still play the Cmajor scale, then you automatically swap to D Dorian.
C Dorian is not the same as D Lydian. C Dorian is the same as D Phrygian, EbLydian, FMixolydian, G Aeolian, ALocrian and Bb Ionian.

Was that what you were asking for?
EMB5490  
22 Sep 2010 18:50 | Quote
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The note Bb isnt in a c scale. Neither is Eb. If the C is the I chord and the parent key, there are no sharps or flats.


Im not sure of the querstion though...
RA  
22 Sep 2010 21:49 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
gx1327 says:
i know that if you play certain notes in a scale, the starting note dictates which scale it is. i.e. whether or not it is G Ionian or C Lydian (G Ionian being G A B C D E F# and C Lydian being C D E F# G A B).


no the starting note has nothing to do with it. again it's a ll about the intervals.

maybe the better way is to construct the scale with thrids(not the only way) thus giving you the in site of the cycle of thirds(one of many cycles) if you didn't know modal music(modal-jazz, Celtic, Indian) is very into the cycles(not that other music isn't just not in the same way), use modes a bit different(stress modes/scales not chords)

C Iaion
1,3,5,7,9(2),11(4),13(6)
c,e,g,b,d,f,a

if you don't know this is also how we make chords and how suspended Theory works(breaks the cycle then returns to it). most of modal music is all about breaking cycles and returning to them.

now what your should also do is study monophonic music(only one note at a time) Bach is always good try cello prelude in G(transcribed to D for guitarist). you really don't even need to learn to play it physical just look at the notes and how there layed out and on what beats. you'll find the cycle of thirds comes in handy.

i was going to type an overview of how to construct a melody(in baroqueish world) but i haven't the time sorry. get fux's book the "study of counterpoint" i don't recommend these things for no reason and this medium is a pain in the ass

Bech's prelude also brings up my next point it has no chords yet has a Key, modulates, and changes keys. Chords are not the say all be all of what key your in. Just think about it. don't chords give your mind more information at once than scales???? remember chords and scales are the same thing just in different dimensions


Admiral says:
Say you play the C major scale, the backing track plays a Cmajor chord, then you are in C Ionian. If the chord switches to D minor and you still play the Cmajor scale, then you automatically swap to D Dorian.
C Dorian is not the same as D Lydian. C Dorian is the same as D Phrygian, EbLydian, FMixolydian, G Aeolian, ALocrian and Bb Ionian.


again not really, this is a very limited view of how things work. that's take the Beatles Norwegian wood. excluding part B for understanding purpose dealing only with part A(no "she asked me" or "she told me" part). IT NEVER changes modes i swear to you it is always in D Mixoldyain(really key of E i play it in D) yet the chords are D major,C major,G major ,D major (maybe there is another before the "C" I love this song and have sub it so much i really don't know the right chords but that is the basic structure, look it up)

now bring back to an early point the melody starts On and end on 'A' yet it is D mixolydian. investigate i'm going to bed sorry maybe more latter.
MoshZilla1016  
22 Sep 2010 21:59 | Quote
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RA says:
IT NEVER changes modes i swear to you it is always in D Mixoldyain(really key of E i play it in D) yet the chords are D major,C major,G major ,D major (maybe there is another before the "C" I love this song and have sub it so much i really don't know the right chords but that is the basic structure, look it up)

now bring back to an early point the melody starts On and end on 'A' yet it is D mixolydian.

If D mixolydian is played over all the chords mentioned above wouldn't they be..
D..Mixolydian
G..Ionian
C..Lydian
A..Dorian
gx1327  
23 Sep 2010 08:55 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
United States
Karma: 9
Admiral says:
It depends on the chord you have underneath the notes, in this specific moment.

Say you play the C major scale, the backing track plays a Cmajor chord, then you are in C Ionian. If the chord switches to D minor and you still play the Cmajor scale, then you automatically swap to D Dorian.
C Dorian is not the same as D Lydian. C Dorian is the same as D Phrygian, EbLydian, FMixolydian, G Aeolian, ALocrian and Bb Ionian.


i'm taking your word for it but it seems convoluted. let's take a song that i learned that has 1 guitar and 1 bass. the rhythm for the guitar has four chords (C, G, Dm, Am), and the solo appears to be in the C Major scale.

NOW those four chords appear to be in the key of C. and the solo appears to be in C Ionian. except:

what if there is no rhythm or chord being played behind the lead?

if you continued to play the chords behind the solo (with another guitar), then there is no ONE defining mode or scale for the solo?

the reason i'm asking these questions is because the more i explore songs and licks, the more i see "Lick in G Myxolodian" or "for the solo he just plays around in the E Dorian". how are you really "playing in the E dorian" if the rhythm chords are changing behind the solo?

i also want to point out, i appreciate your tips on creating solos and making music,b ut this is purely a nomenclature question.

EMB5490 says:
The note Bb isnt in a c scale. Neither is Eb. If the C is the I chord and the parent key, there are no sharps or flats.


Bb and Eb aren't in the C MAJOR scale. but they are in the C... uhh... let's see... C D Eb F G A Bb... Dorian?

So no, Bb and Eb aren't in C Ionian. But they are in C Dorian.
EMB5490  
23 Sep 2010 15:19 | Quote
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two very different things though. C dorian and c ionian. Dorian is a minor scale, with a flat third (the Eb) and the the flat 7th... (Bb) And the C dorian would be the 2nd degree of the key of Bb so they are very different...
macandkanga  
23 Sep 2010 17:35 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
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Ok. This is how I am interpreting the question: C Ionian and D Dorian, for example, use all the same notes but the C Ionian starts on the C and the D Dorian starts on the D. The interval sequence is different in each example but the notes are all the same.

C Ionian
CDEFGAB
1,2,3,4,5,6,7
D Dorian
DEFGABC
1,2,b3,4,5,6,b7

If the question is "When do I call it a C Ionian and when do I call it a D Dorian" Then the answer is the root or key of the scale/interval defines the mode.

So, 1,3,5 of C Ionian is C,E,G
1,3,5 of D Dorian is D,F,A

Keep in mind that I'm learning again as I write this. Does this make sense? Even if it doesn't answer the question?
Admiral  
24 Sep 2010 10:19 | Quote
Joined: 10 May 2009
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Well, I think RA has definitely more knowledge about the topic, but I have a question to you considering the song norwegian wood. If you play D Mixolydian, and you play D Major then you will clearly have the D as "point of reference" in your brain. So the intervals will be clear and you have the natural 7 interval. However, if it changes to the chord C - You have C as point of reference, and on this note you will build up your intervals and therefore you are going to play in C Lydian because from the note on C you have, according to you:

RA says:
again it's a ll about the intervals.


The C Lydian mode as moshzilla said, or am I wrong? And if yes why?

Of course you can play only notes and you will still be playing with modes, chords, keys etc. Its just more open in terms of interpretation.

gx1327 says:
what if there is no rhythm or chord being played behind the lead?


Well then you have to look at the notes. What notes are being played? And then you have to fill out the gaps. You have to hear or "feel" the root, but in the end it depends on what note you see as your starting note. If you play the notes of the C Ionian scale all mixed up, then you could be arguing that you are playing C Ionian, or D Dorian, or...However, if you play a mode, without a point of reference (at least to me! my personal view) It often sounds very weak, as there is no clear base from where you build up your intervals. You have to put really strong emphasis on certain notes to still make it sound like the mode.

I havent had the time to look up the song norwegian wood, im gonna do it asap and analyse it. Hopefully I will learn something new.
gx1327  
24 Sep 2010 11:40 | Quote
Joined: 20 Sep 2009
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macandkanga says:
If the question is "When do I call it a C Ionian and when do I call it a D Dorian"


yes! that's what i'm trying to figure out.

my main reason for asking this... i'm not writing solos or licks or anything. if i lean a solo in the context of a song, great. it sounds good already because somebody else wrote it, and it was obviously good enough to make it on a CD of a band that i listen to. BUT, when learning "licks" they are usually labelled by their mode.

two examples would be the "licks" section of this website where there are several licks with names like "cool lick in C Locrian", or in a book i purchased called "101 must-know blues licks". every lick is titled "scale in G Myxolodian" or something like that.

so i want to know what makes that lick G myxolodian if it is nothing more than a single guitar lick containing notes, notes which also exist in different modes of other scales. these licks have no backing chords, and no outside frame of context other than the licks themselves.

macandkanga  
24 Sep 2010 12:09 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
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@gx1327,

Awesome! Sometimes I don't know if I even know what I'm talking about! Especially when it comes to theory. But I think I learn more when people ask questions and I do research to figure it out and explain it!
MoshZilla1016  
24 Sep 2010 15:16 | Quote
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Lots of times but THIS IS NO RULE, you can look at the chord formula to decide which mode CAN be played not SHOULD BE PLAYED. For example if the main chord is G you could play any of the Major modes and it will sound OK but if the main chord is G7 playing G Mixolydian would compliment the G7 better than the Ionian due to the b7 note. You can favor the G(root) note or the F(b7) note in the solo to bring out the feel of the main chord instead of just the main or root note. Does this make any sense??
@gx1327 in your book does it show the key signature for these licks? Being a blues book it could be that the licks are written over 7th chords..just a thought!

RA  
24 Sep 2010 23:14 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
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ok so....


for moshzilla first post... no, i'll elaborate more so read on.

as for

MoshZilla1016 says:
ots of times but THIS IS NO RULE, you can look at the chord formula to decide which mode CAN be played not SHOULD BE PLAYED. For example if the main chord is G you could play any of the Major modes and it will sound OK but if the main chord is G7 playing G Mixolydian would compliment the G7 better than the Ionian due to the b7 note. You can favor the G(root) note or the F(b7) note in the solo to bring out the feel of the main chord instead of just the main or root note. Does this make any sense??


Bam spot on.. one issue it's "music theory" not music rules, music guidleines, music dippy doos, muisc whatever. theory is used for a reason look up the definition. this isn't directed at you mosh, but at the community and the world at whole . it's a real issue with me so i tend not to talk about it(i get angry) cus it seems really obvious to me, why try to rename everything it got a name "theory". so next time any feel the need to say rules just replace with "here one theory" if not..... virtual slaps for everybody.

on off my silly rant on to add to mosh's post....
again this is how it is done like I said, Chord = scales just in different dimensions. also to add look at the progression G major - C major or V to I is going to be mixolyadian and Ionian as the basic interpretation or G major to C minor or V to i is going to be Phygain dominate and Harmonic minor as the basic interpretations. If you notice i say basic as it can be a hell of a lot more.
one way of finding chords to scales is to reverse engineer it. so instead of what scale and i use?? make it what scale can't i use??. So for instances 1,3,5,b6. you have a fifth so all diminished scales are gone. A major third all minor scales are gone. now you have a flat sixth and of the top of my head i going Harmonic major scale. but this works only when just looking at one chord in it's own world separate of progression. which is something you do have to do any time you sub for instance, but you can't forget the lager contexts this chord has on the progression. it could easily be a passing chord then it's more then likely acting as a chromatic.


gx1327 says:
i also want to point out, i appreciate your tips on creating solos and making music,b ut this is purely a nomenclature question.


now there is an issue. as you no doubt know by now the naming of musical scales is almost beyond all reason and any methodological system or format. this is real "MUSIC theory" (knowing scales ain't theory, just like if i gave you a hammer, nails and wood you still can't build a house, you can randomly nail wood though) you ain't ever going to get a nomenclature answer so you have to start looking at this differently.

gx1327 says:
the reason i'm asking these questions is because the more i explore songs and licks, the more i see "Lick in G Myxolodian" or "for the solo he just plays around in the E Dorian". how are you really "playing in the E dorian" if the rhythm chords are changing behind the solo?


gx1327 says:
two examples would be the "licks" section of this website where there are several licks with names like "cool lick in C Locrian", or in a book i purchased called "101 must-know blues licks". every lick is titled "scale in G Myxolodian" or something like that.


see this is why i have a real issue with the modern notion of licks. it is not that i don't think there useful to try to understand a artist's interpretation on how to deal with certain theory issues, but that is just what they are for only what there for. and to understand them you need to know your theory. For example, say you got a lick by some jazz guitarist going over a ii, V, I. to get it you already have to have a basic theoretical knowledge of doing just that. or to use that blues lick thing your refereeing(i don't how the book so I'm assuming it's just page after page of licks) you need to already know how to get around a 12 bar or you not going to pick up anything. At best your going to end up as what i call "jig-saw puzzle guitarist" you really don't have a damn clue what your doing you just a bag of licks. you can spot theses players easy because none of there lines interconnect musicaly and the rabble just roars when they pull of something perceived to be good/complicated. I call them jig-saw because i see it as trying to paint a picture with a bag of pre-cut images and yeah some times you may make a nice collage but you limited by what you got in your bag and there is no bag big enough. so i feel it is better to have a more complete knowledge and then your painting which i think is were we all want to be.

but to clear up i don't totally hate licks, like i said they give you ideas on how to approach certain topics but i am telling you right now not even the artists(at lest the good ones) you got the licks from plays it that exact same way every time. also as many have sated before most licks for find online are not licks, but a random assortment of melodies, riffs, melodic ideas, and so on.

as for what you should study melodies, melodies, melodies. that is how it always was and if your smart still is. all this lick crap and solo bull is idiotic "finger painting preschoolers of music" aka most of rocken and roll, Almost all good solos are an interpretation of the basic melody even if it went far out form the original melody. so learn melodies mess with them. they have a set scale and can modulate and change keys study how, I'd love to show you but i can't so you have to do it on your own.


as for admiral and mosh to some extant.

as i have said before it's not that your wrong it's just a limited view of what going it. It is just one theory on how to deal with it so to speak, but you need to know more or as i have said you become limited.

as for Norwegian wood it's basically wrong. The song(at lest part A) is a modal tune meaning it is driven and based off the melody. verse something like be-bop which is driven by chords. So you say C major i say D11(no 3rd or 5th easy implicated with context of song), but there is a catch it can be o so many things. A lot of the time I view it as a G major sus. really stress the sub-dominant resolution. I also like when ending to view it as a C major, but sub to A7 then to a B minor(G gets sub to B) to really pull a strong resolution to end the song. In case any attempts to try this i use odd(not really just i find guitar players think inversions are odd when there really not to the rest of the musical world) voices to lead the notes where i want them to go. I also do long vamps on part A to this song so to make it more like Indian music.

so it's a modal song it is in D mixoldyian(really key E) the chords are there for support take away the chords the song is still there in full context. when learning this song i want you to focus on the melody this is what it is all about don't just find the tab for the chords.

in case you don't know beak down of musical arts in sonic parts.

SOUND: Amplitude(loud of soft), frequency(low or high), duration(long or short), and timbre(piano or saxophone)

MUSIC: Melody(horizontal dimension), Harmonic(vertical dimension), Rhythm

How to stress notes.

1.make the note louder than others. 2.have the note be resolve into(leading tone into tonic). 3.Have it ring out longer. 4.have a leading instrument play the core notes.

melody 1,2,3,&4

harmonic 1,2, & 3

rhythm uses on beats, off beats, all types of beats depending on type of rhythm used.


Norwegian wood rhythm is triple meter(more accurately compound duple meter 6/8) so the stress note is on the one beat. What are the stress notes for the melody/song.

other simple one mode/scale songs to do some figure with.

misirlou- do the same thing you did with Norwegian wood(obviously rhythms different) what notes are stressed.

Syd Barrett's "It is obvious"- two chords E and A or One chord E and E sus. play it as one chord, play as two chords. play as E sus being a second chord it is!!!!! play in any theoretical way you want just remember there are still wrong ideas just being right is up to our ears and minds. and always experiment!!!!!




MoshZilla1016  
25 Sep 2010 11:59 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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Dang man, sorry to get you P*ssed but I I believe you got my statement wrong when I said..
MoshZilla1016 says:
Lots of times but THIS IS NO RULE, you can look at the chord formula to decide which mode CAN be played not SHOULD BE PLAYED.


All I meant is that using the chord formula you can find the mode SOMETIMES but it does not always work that way. That is why I said this is no rule, meaning using this method to find the mode. Also it is a way to find the mode that CAN be played not SHOULD BE PLAYED. There is no rule that say's I have to play a certain mode over a certain chord. I did not imply that theory is no rule. MY OWN STATEMENT IS THE NO RULE. If my statement was RULE then I could only play Locrian (1,b2,b3,4,b5,b6,b7) over a Diminished b9 b6 as the formula states.

As far as the Norwegian wood chords and Mixolydian Mode statement
"If D mixolydian is played over all the chords mentioned above wouldn't they be..
D..Mixolydian
G..Ionian
C..Lydian
A..Dorian...........This was a question I just forgot to add one of these ..(?)
RA  
25 Sep 2010 12:35 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
i guess i have to apologize. i wrote this really quick and didn't proof read{like i ever do anyway ;) ] so that whole rant wasn't really directed at you at all just my overall frustration of the modern lexicon(and i was trying to say if i found you annoying i wouldn't of said anything any way i figure you(and others) might actually listen and have a intellectual discussion on it, then other people who just say things and don't listen or read(that is why i get angry)). I actually did agreed with you. As for Norwegian wood i attempted to explain near the end if you didn't read the whole monstrosity.
I'm not doing any thing today so i can help try to better explain my ideas if anyone would like.
MoshZilla1016  
25 Sep 2010 13:13 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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No apology needed dude. I should apologize to you for making it seem like I was correcting you. Dude, I have read a lot of your post and with the detail you go into you've got my respect. And yes I did catch the Norwegian explaination at the end. Thank a lot and if you ever hear me say ANYTHING that is not correct call me out man. I would rather be corrected than incorrect.

Come to think of it I was wrong on Norwegian Wood. You said he used an A chord, not A minor, so that WOULD NOT make it A Dorian.
RA  
25 Sep 2010 15:45 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
MoshZilla1016 says:

Come to think of it I was wrong on Norwegian Wood. You said he used an A chord, not A minor, so that WOULD NOT make it A Dorian.


if your reading the section i think your are. i was actually giving examples of how I/one could sub the chords/ how to view chords. I change the C major to a A7/A7 sus a lot to bring strong resolution when ending the song/section. C major(C,E,G) can easily be sub for a A or in this case A minor(A,C,E) (side note... they only differ by one note and the G is a very important note for the A. the b7th.. think shell voicing). I then make A minor a Dominate 7th chord for the V to I resolution(A7 to D major)(side note... not really as i then go to a B minor if you remember).

Take this out of letter naming and.... One can easily sub a vi for a I due to them being very similar(provide the melody works with it of course) now you should know 6th are inverse of 3rd and sure enough C major(C,E,G) and E minor (E,G,B) are very close as well just one differences is which chord get the 7th(the 6th is also important don't forget about it but the 7th and 3rds are the most important again shell voicing).


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