HomeForumsComplete Guitar Course 2017Modes (week 26 to week 30)

This topic contains 72 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Sarah Spisak 7 months ago.

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  • #17433

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I’ve been re-re-re-watching the basic course Theory sections (but not yet Sarah’s new Easy Modes lessons which look good too), and I think from the start, if modes were continually referred to as “the seven unique melodies within a scale” and continually going back to the word melody, it might be easier to click. Well, maybe. I also wonder what other languages use for the original latin term modes because it could make things clearer. The word mode in English is super general and overused (I mean, even my kitchen toaster has modes according to it’s manual) which maybe is part of the problem of “what is all this mode stuff anyways”. Maybe those greek guys should have called it, the seven ways to boogie. Or considering I suppose that modern music has associated different feelings to the modes (happy sad etc) they could be the seven moods rather than seven modes – ok dont go there really, but still. They could be the seven flavors like a limited edition of Baskin Robbins.

    So I wonder for others who did the basic courses before, what turned on the lightbulb for understanding Modes? Or was it simply going thru exercises to play them a lot, in random or in pattern order.

    Edit: I also want to add, that I might hear Doug’s Theory lesson very differently now. When I watched it in the past I am not sure my ear really latched onto the melody of the intervals and especially the scales. Even after doing interval practice and the cool Melodic Principles exercises. I’m pretty sure I didnt hear it in the same way. My ear for music has basically gotten better from many things including those exercises and especially the loads of scale practice. It’s possible my ear needed more hours of exercises or something when I watched these lessons before.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17435

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    when i first learned of modes i heard them referred to as the seven church modes.
    for me understanding them; at least in my limited view; was about using the mode names (ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian and locrian) as a way for me to label scale box shapes and assign a chord to each root as major or minor.
    i kind of view them like the five pentatonic shapes.
    for E minor pentatonic always using the 6th string as the root you have the 1st shape that starts on the E; the 2nd shape starts on G (which is the relative major); the 3rd shape starts on A; the 4th shape starts on B; and the 5th shape starts on D – but every shape contains the exact same notes. for E minor pentatonic it’s E G A B D (which happens to be the all the open strings E A D G B e). side note: go to the 5th fret and to fret each string at the 5th fret (A D G C E a) is the A minor pentatonic (A C D E G). you can do that at any fret starting with the root on the 6th string.
    yeah, i know…my brain works a little weird.
    anyhoo…
    with the modes as scale shapes it allows me to view the fretboard in a working manner while jamming in any key just by knowing the chord change and if they sre major or minor.
    if playing a song in a 1-4-5 chord change in C (C Fmaj7 G7) i know using the 6th string root i have seven different scale shapes i can play that all contain the exact same seven notes. C ionian, F lydian and G mixolydian to start with since they are the scale shapes that go with the chords. but the minor relatives will work as well. the relative minor to C ionian is A aeolian (just like the minor relative of C major pentatonic is A minor pentatonic). the minor relative to F lydian is D dorian and the minor relative to G mixolydian is E phrygian. that leaves locrian as the odd man out but in this case would be B locrian as B is the last note of the original C major ionian scale/mode but doesn’t have a major or minor relative as it is diminished. but that locrian shape is an easy shape as there are no big finger stretches to play it.
    if i wanted to play a 1-4-5 in A but wanted the tonality/modality to be mixolydian i’d go something like A7 D Em7 and scale shapes A mixolydian; D ionian and E dorian would all work because they all contain the exact same seven notes. then of course there would be the relative scale shapes – F# phrygian; B aeolian and G lydian respectively. and C# would be locrian.
    again, all thise scale shapes contain the same notes just like our five pentatonic shapes do.
    for a 1-4-5 in ionian you find your starting tone on the 6th string…say…maybe…D (at the 10th fret).
    then D is your 1 and that’s a D major chord.
    to find your 4 you drop down to the 5th string at the same fret and in this case it would be G (also some sort of major chord as the 4 is lydian). and then to find your 5 you move up two frets and in this case would be A (also major as the 5 is mixolydian). to find the respective relative minor scale shapes and chirds you move each of the 1-4-5 down 3 frets and you’ll have B aeolian, E dorian and F# phrygian. that only leaves the locrian which to find is look back at the ionian tone (which recall in this exercise is D) and drop down one fret to C# and there it is.
    the modes are just degrees of the same scale with a scale shape and chord – at least that’s how i view it.
    that either made sense – was totally confusing – or is about to start a mode argument. \m/ \m/

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17438

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Sure, it makes sense. Maybe the chord part, is the next level after knowing the modes themselves. I think you described it as, going from a brain-centric point of view first (pencil and paper) – I think this could also be called, the top-down approach, meaning, abstract theory first, then mechanics of fingers later. Which is also the way I had been working at it. I guess others, might lock into the sound and go just by ear. Maybe a third way people get it to click, is by the shapes, if they are a shape type person, that would be a bottom-up approach, meaning, fingers first, then build up some knowledge of how the shapes move around as abstract theory later. For complex topics it’s good to try absorbing them from multiple angles and then there is some kind of “aha!” when everything meets in the middle.

    I havent done the hard part, of trying to remember which shape/name is where, or in what order, etc – the memorization part.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17441

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    it’s definitely a visual thing for me.
    the shapes are what i see when i look at the fretboard.
    and later i started to apply chords to them based on if they were major or minor.
    the minor shapes have always made more sense to me as they related to the minor pentatonics.
    for the most part the shape i recall for each mode is the first seven notes.
    for mixolydian and lydian it gets a little fuzzy after that. i have to think about it. for ionian i remember it differently than i do the minor mode shapes. kind of hard to explain. i’ll do some sort of visual later when i’m home and on my computer rather than my phone.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17449

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    I am teaching a very basic way to understand the modes in weeks 26 through 30 of the revised version of the course.  In previous versions of the course I feel that I covered too much too quickly.  I’m including a chord progression, lick or lead, and backing track with each mode.  If you spend time jamming with the mode you will learn the mood, melody, feeling, or whatever associated with each mode.  As mentioned, Sarah’s new lessons are much more in-depth than what I teach.  As I probably mentioned in previous version of the course, students just don’t get it… until they do.  I think this version of the course will help you understand this quicker.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #17459

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    here’s a pdf of how i view the modes.
    i hope this isn’t confusing.
    i do kind of get off on some other things but i see them as relatable.
    hopefully it helps make the connection visually to the fretboard.

    MODAL SCALE SHAPES AS SEEN BY ROTM

    \m/ \m/
    rotm

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17460

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I can’t tell you the whole story… never quite understood the origins correctly – and my composition and analysis teacher at school could never explain it to me in a satisfying manner … I’ll need to get back to this soon, as I love everything related to modes…

    but you have/had Greek Modes (ancient Greece) and Gregorian Modes (Middle Ages). The Gregorian Modes are an interpretation of the Greek Modes but, if I recall it right, they read their sources incorrectly (while just being able to read old Greek sources in the Middle Ages is an amazing feat in itself) and so they are somewhat conflicting by modern standards.

    You know I love Jazz, and so I learned to love modes for their sound and not so much for what they meant/should mean. The names, love them also, they add to the magic!

    Now remember, you also have modes from the Melodic and Harmonic Minot, not just from the Major scale. That makes 21 modes just for starters 😉

     

    One cool conception about modes is their classification from bright to darker – and they go for this order.

    Lydian – Ionian – Mixolydian – Dorian – Aeolian – Phrigian – Locrian.

    This order has to do with the fact that from one mode to the next you always flatten a note. For instance, from Lydian to Major you lower the 4th. From Major to Mixolydian you lower the 7th… etc.

     

    The thing about modes is just this – plain and simple. Listen to them. Learn to tell them apart one from the other. Learn to sing them. You need to have them in your blood otherwise it’s just fingerings.

  • #17462

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    While I’m all for learning about the underlying principles of things, I think what most guitarists want is straightforward advice on *applying* the modes. The fundamental concept of constructing the modes from the intervals of the major scale should be trivially easy to understand for anyone who passed grade 5 math. Likewise, pretty much everyone should be able to intuitively understand, upon hearing the 7 different modes over an E pedal tone, that each one has a characteristic sound to it. Beyond that,  terminology and history, while valuable for their own sake, do not help someone move into playing the sounds they want to play.

    Consider the chromatic scale itself. If you asked 100 guitarists to explain the rationale for “western music”‘s use of an 11 tone scale, how many of them do you think could explain it? Is not knowing it an impediment to making music? I bet the percentage of those guitarists who can play something that sounds great would be much greater than the percentage who can explain the acoustic basis for using an 11 tone scale, or who could explain the physics behind *why* people generally perceive a major third as more melodious than a flatted fifth. It’s like the difference between learning the history of the automobile, versus learning how to drive. Most kids are primarily concerned with learning to drive, and those who also want to immerse themselves in history will find no shortage of resources.

  • #17465

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    I havent done the hard part, of trying to remember which shape/name is where, or in what order, etc – the memorization part.

    I have always had a hard time with memorization.  My method in “Easy Guitar Modes” is aimed to make this a lot easier by breaking the modes in to little blocks and connecting them to master the fretboard as quickly as possible.  A common approach to learning modes and scales is to start patterns on the low E string and learn them upward across all six strings.  If you want to play B aeolian at the 12th position and have to think “B aeolian uses the same pattern as D ionian; let’s go to the D at the 10th fret of the low E string and play up from there…” -that’s not going to be as quick and effective as grabbing the aeolian pattern that starts on the B note at the 12th fret!

    • #17469

      rightonthemark
      Participant

      it’s funny that my memory of scales/modes has always had some sort of connection to the pentatonic. that’s probably why remembering the minor mode shapes starting on the 6th string root has been easiest for me. the major mode shapes not so much. except the first seven notes. that’s when i started sliding up to the octave of the root and kept playing the same basic shape. essentially no matter where you start on the fretboard if you have a root you can apply any of the shapes. so when you say B aeolian at the 12th fret the first thing that popped in my head was the E dorian shape. but even starting on the B note on the second string at the 12th fret the aeolian shape as i see it would go whole step half step and then repeat on the first string directly below. oh and the B minor pentatonic third shape also pops into my brain. and as you mentioned D ionian at the 10th fret…i see it as the major relative of B aeolian.
      i’ve always kind of seen the seven modes and their names as seven note patterns that can be played anywhere on the fretboard as long as you can find the roots and octaves of the root.
      great stuff Sarah. i may have to get your mode course just to have yet another way to view the fretboard and patterns on the fretboard.
      \m/

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17467

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Joao brings up a good point about listening. Maybe in addition to jammable backing tracks it could be helpful to have various “Mode Appreciation Tracks” ™

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17470

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    i may have to get your mode course just to have yet another way to view the fretboard and patterns on the fretboard. \m/

    You might look at the solos that I’m playing in the preview videos.  If you see and/or hear me play something that you don’t recognize then there might be something new for you to learn from the lessons.  🙂

    • #17472

      rightonthemark
      Participant

      nothing i don’t recognize.
      but what i find intriguing is the method in which you print thenpatterns to memory. for instance that first pattern you show i see as mixolydian. then you play the G chord. and yeah…definitely mixolydian. even though if you played an A power chord or and Am chord it would sound aeolian. but i recognize the pattern as mixolydian because I remember the names by patterns starting with the root on the 6th string. nonetheless, i find this stuff fascinating and how different folks remember the same stuff and apply it in real world playing. which safetyblitz mentioned earlier. to which i also think people over-complicate it. maybe i over-simplify. since i see each mode name as a different pattern of the same scale the mode only matters to the central tone of the song. if one plays an A, D and E power chord with the A being the focal point and you play A aeolian or C ionian it’s going to sound aeolian but if you change the chord change focal point to the D power chord but continue to play from the same scales you have a dorian sounding song because the notes of those scales are identical. it’s the tonal center or focus that determines the modal sound. thus memorizing the seven patterns and names are just learnning the same scale with seven different starting points.

      by the way…Sarah…do you have any original music for sale? cd, mp3? i really dig what you play for the preview videos. i can only imqgine how killer an entire albums worth of original material would sound. \m/

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17473

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    nothing i don’t recognize. but what i find intriguing is the method in which you print thenpatterns to memory. for instance that first pattern you show i see as mixolydian. then you play the G chord. and yeah…definitely mixolydian. even though if you played an A power chord or and Am chord it would sound aeolian. but i recognize the pattern as mixolydian because I remember the names by patterns starting with the root on the 6th string. …Sarah…do you have any original music for sale? cd, mp3? i really dig what you play for the preview videos. i can only imqgine how killer an entire albums worth of original material would sound. \m/

    I do show how to get different modal sounds out of each pattern.  I find it easier to see the scale degrees when the root is on the bottom of the nine-note block but eventually all the patterns melt together and my hands know where to go to get the sounds I want.  Thanks for asking about my music; for now I’m putting all my work into the lessons!  🙂

     

     

  • #17475

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    Sarah’s approach to learning the modes is excellent.  I hope everybody at least looks at the promos to her lessons.  She has a very different approach to modal theory than I do.

    So far I’ve only released Week 26, the first of five lessons teaching the modes.  Hopefully all of the questions being asked here will be answered in the following four weeks.  Week 27 will be available tomorrow.  It includes some animations that will make this easier to understand.  The following week (Week 28) includes a very cool animation that shows how the chord progressions are built for each of the modes.

    So, hang in there, if it’s not clear yet.  That’s why I’m covering this in five lessons, not one.  It shouldn’t be clear yet for those that have never studied this information.  If it’s not clear after Week 30… we’ll talk.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #17480

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    everyone should be able to intuitively understand, upon hearing the 7 different modes over an E pedal tone, that each one has a characteristic sound to it.

    Not sure. I could get Major for sure. Probably Minor. Maybe the one that sounds easternish. The others.. I could hear a difference if played as an A/B test, maybe associate the mood somewhat similar to the ‘generally accepted adjective for the mood’ to that mode, but likely not get the latin name correct. It might be a handy skill for transcribing I suppose.

    One simple comparison- when playing solo improv over a backing track rhythm chords, it’s easy to say, “just hit the root notes of the chords to make it sound good”. But, only after practicing improv pentatonic solo’s over Doug’s same two or three backing tracks for 3 weeks, for anywhere from 5 mins to 90 minutes a day, did I finally start really flowing with it as automatic movement on these tracks, so I would automatically hit these basic notes at the exact right time.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17490

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    here’s marty friedman essentially showing how modes change with the chords under the lead/licks.

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17492

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    Not a great explanation.  When you reduce a fairly complex subject to a two and a half minute explanation more is left out than explained.  What Marty said is accurate, it’s just too brief an explanation.  I’ll put it this way, I’m teaching this subject over five weeks and I don’t think it can be accurately described or learned in less time.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

    • #17493

      Sarah Spisak
      Keymaster

      If watching this video has cleared up all confusion and made it possible for somebody to understand and apply the modes, then that’s wonderful!  How about a show of hands…  Everybody all clear on the modes now?  LOL

    • #17494

      rightonthemark
      Participant

      oh i agree. i think he just pointed out one tiny aspect. but along with the courses you and sarah teach as well as some of the discussion we have here i think it does illustrate to that brief degree how playing the exact same notes or patterns will change their modal tonality behind different chords.
      by the way..marty might be a great player but is a terrible teacher.
      i’ve watched several of his videos and they always leave you with more questions than answers. i just thought this went along with the discussion we were having here – not that it really gave a be all end all answer.
      joe satriani has a much better video about a similar subject i’ve posted before. but even that as a single video lesson doesn’t answer every question. although, joe is a better teacher than marty. but also a single celebrity video lesson is no substitute for the full program and solid lessons one can find here at metal method. it’s just fun to me to have these kinds of discussions. i guess i’m just a guitar nerd when it comes to that. and there’s no one else i can have these kinds of discussions with.

      \m/

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17495

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    LOL very funny Sarah.  Still, thanks for sharing this.  It’s helped move the conversation along.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #17496

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    everyone should be able to intuitively understand, upon hearing the 7 different modes over an E pedal tone, that each one has a characteristic sound to it.

    This is so simple.  I am using this in Week 29 which I’m working on right now.  Since I’m using A natural minor as my prime reference I’ll be using an A drone to demonstrate what you’re talking about.  I agree, most people will be able to hear the distinctive sound of the modes using a common droning note as a reference.  Thanks Safetyblitz.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #17498

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    This is so simple. I am using this in Week 29 which I’m working on right now. Since I’m using A natural minor as my prime reference I’ll be using an A drone to demonstrate what you’re talking about. I agree, most people will be able to hear the distinctive sound of the modes using a common droning note as a reference. Thanks Safetyblitz.

    I think I first saw that demonstration approach used in a Joe Satriani mini-lesson on youtube.  Yeah, “drone” is a better term. I had learned the modes concept years before, but as soon as I heard him play E Lydian over an open low E string, I was like: “oh, so *that’s* the tendency I hear in so much of Joe’s stuff!”.

  • #17499

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    I shot the video today, Week 29 of the course and used the “drone track.”  I mentioned that I picked the tip up from you on the Forum.  Even though you learned it from Satriani, you shared it here which I appreciate.  Thanks again.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #17509

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Theres several things I like about the marty friedman video:

    it is basically a demo of tone with cool licks. rather than theory first and maybe no tone at all. (because obviously, he can play)

    he shows how to generate a lick. he starts with playing an octave (right?) and then describes that as his box to play in, and makes movements within that box. (Hmm, similar to Doug’s connect-many-2-beat-licks-together method)

    then he plays the same lick over different backing. that is a really good demo.

    At the end he says something like, “this is B which is what, the 5th of E? the 5th I guess.” which, if he is actually being serious (hard to tell if he’s serious? can it really be true that he doesnt know for sure?) then it means, the guy who wrote (I believe?) and played some of my favorite solos from one of my favorite bands ever, does not concern himself with the classical theory stuff, and only uses his ear.

    So in essence it shows the modes perfectly from a non-theory point of view: “this same lick sounds different over different backing, so, make tiny licks from tiny boxes to find one that is good” Altho: he doesnt show I think the point of contention in this topic, which is, how to go from wanting a particular sound, to being able to generate a lick which fits that sound. i.e. how to apply the modes theory to playing. (His method basically boils down to, trial & error, play something, see how it sounds, play something else, see how it sounds, etc)

    It is a good demo of why I would not want to take a lesson from marty friedman :-/ No matter how much I love his megadeth work.

    For a really really good demo of tone, the drone/mode demo track could be much longer. I mean a 20 minute track of single-mode-interesting-noodling over a drone would be just great in fact. Put that in the car on Repeat and listen to it every day for a week, then change to a different mode and listen to that one, etc. Really drill the ear skills. A 20 minute demo track might seem like overkill but if modes are so confusing, and ear skills generally so lacking, and such a demo fixes the confusion forever, then, it’s worth it.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #17513

      rightonthemark
      Participant

      SB – glad you found something of value in the video. \m/

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17510

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    One cool conception about modes is their classification from bright to darker – and they go for this order.

    Lydian – Ionian – Mixolydian – Dorian – Aeolian – Phrigian – Locrian.

    this is cool. Is it really generally agreed?

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #17517

      Sarah Spisak
      Keymaster

      I have taught the modes in this order since my book “Melodic Principles for Rock Guitar” which I published in 2005.  I still teach the modes in this order.  🙂

    • #17519

      rightonthemark
      Participant

      i hadn’t really thiught about themmin this manner.
      at least not directly.
      as i’ve stated before i recognize each mode by their name and shape of the first seven notes (the first octave).
      i also tend to separate the minor from the major as in when i think manor i first think of ionian and thennwill adjust a cordingly for lydian or mixolydian. and for minor i think aeolian and adjust for dorian or phrygian…and lets not forget poor ol’ locrian.
      but as i was going thru this order i realized i was already using it unknowingly.
      example: if i’m in A minor (aeolian) starting on 5th string at the 12th fret…directly above starting on the 6th string is E phrygian and starting directly below on the 4th string is D dorian.
      the same would hold true for A major – ionian would start on the 5th string at 12th fret while E mixolydian would be just above it and D lydian right below it.i kinda see them like scrolling shapes similar to tetris…except not random but in a specific order.

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17511

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    One cool conception about modes is their classification from bright to darker – and they go for this order.

    Lydian – Ionian – Mixolydian – Dorian – Aeolian – Phrigian – Locrian.

    this is cool. Is it really generally agreed?

    I don’t know whether it’s generally agreed or not, but if you accept a premise that “more dissonant equals darker”, you can mostly justify this ordering based on how each mode modifies the major scale. The only thing that seems slightly hairy is whether Lydian should come before Ionian or not; the others are pretty straightforward. Lydian is Ionian with a raised 4th. Ionian and Lydian both have thirds, sixths, and sevenths that are all major, and no flatted second.

    Mixolydian is Ionian with a minor seventh.

    Dorian, Aeolian, Phrygian and Locrian all have minor thirds and minor sevenths, and within this group:

    Dorian is to the “left” of the other “minor” modes on our spectrum because it has a major sixth.

    Phrygian is to the “right” of Aeolian because it has a flatted second.

    Locrian is to the “right” of Phrygian because in addition to the flatted second, it also has a flatted fifth.

    If we relate this to Joao’s remark that a note gets flattened with each step to the right in that order of the modes, we see why Ionian is placed left of Lydian: Ionian can be conceived of as Lydian with the forth degree lowered by one semitone. I think there’s an argument to be made that the raised 4th makes Lydian more dissonant than Ionian, but all that might point to is that my attempt to quantify “darker” as “more dissonant” may be flawed. Subjectively, You could certainly argue that the sort of ethereal or whimsical quality that Lydian seems to evoke for some of us would qualify it as “less dark” than Ionian, even though Lydian contains the enharmonic equivalent of the infamous flatted fifth.

  • #17512

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    I think there’s an argument to be made that the raised 4th makes Lydian more dissonant than Ionian, but all that might point to is that my attempt to quantify “darker” as “more dissonant” may be flawed. Subjectively, You could certainly argue that the sort of ethereal or whimsical quality that Lydian seems to evoke for some of us would qualify it as “less dark” than Ionian, even though Lydian contains the enharmonic equivalent of the infamous flatted fifth.

    After some quick googling, the answer seems to be that, played over a major chord, the dissonance between the raised fourth of Lydian and the perfect fifth in the chord is less dark/dissonant than the dissonance between the perfect fourth of Ionian and the major third in the chord.

    • #17522

      superblonde
      Keymaster

      safetyblitz wrote:

      I think there’s an argument to be made that the raised 4th makes Lydian more dissonant than Ionian, but all that might point to is that my attempt to quantify “darker” as “more dissonant” may be flawed. Subjectively, You could certainly argue that the sort of ethereal or whimsical quality that Lydian seems to evoke for some of us would qualify it as “less dark” than Ionian, even though Lydian contains the enharmonic equivalent of the infamous flatted fifth.

      After some quick googling, the answer seems to be that, played over a major chord, the dissonance between the raised fourth of Lydian and the perfect fifth in the chord is less dark/dissonant than the dissonance between the perfect fourth of Ionian and the major third in the chord.

      So does this mean you disagree with these dead italians and spaniards??! 😀

      wikipedia-modes-and-scales

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

      Attachments:
      1. wikipedia-modes-and-scales.png

  • #17514

    Igglepud
    Participant

    Modes don’t make any sense to me at all, yet at the same time I feel like I know what they are (I just keep getting told I’m wrong when I ask about them.) I need to get the new modes course and work through it. Here are some things I’m pretty confident about:

    1. A mode is just a scale, but you change the starting point.

    2. Changing position is the same thing as changing mode.

    3. You can play all the modes in one position

    4. The purpose of using modes is to change the “feel” or “tone” of a song.

    5. The feel and tone need to be internalized, which can only be accomplished by playing them over different backings.

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #17521

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    1. A mode is just a scale, but you change the starting point.

    This is one point which I find incredibly incredibly confusing and should I mention incredibly along with confusing? Lets see wikipedia: “The following is a list of musical scales and modes:” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scale_%28music%29 ) .. wikipedia doesn’t say, “The following is a list of musical scales” and then list both scales and modes – it uses two separate terms: 1. scales 2. modes – as if they are different things, so, I assume they are different things and using the terms interchangeably is what gets confusing. Of course I know “scale” is any series of arbitrary notes that can be represented by intervals, i’ll invent a scale WWWWHHW and it could be said that picking a starting point in that scale (which repeats for octaves) is a mode and that mode is then also it’s own scale. But still, the mode is derived from the original scale. A scale is not derived from the mode. The modes especially on guitar, are said to be: “this is the mode of the x x scale” which means, a particular scale is chosen first, and the mode which goes along with that scale is chosen second. So anyways that whole sentence ” A mode is just a scale, but you change the starting point.” – it just seems to me, it should be prohibited to say such things 😛 A better way to say it might be, “A mode is a set of sequential notes from a scale, starting from a chosen note within the scale.” Assuming that is what a mode is.. I think that is what a mode is anyways..

    And by the way why in a mode, always go up in pitch on the scale? that is totally arbitrary right, because they could just as easily descend too?

    Wikipedia says about modes:

    In all three contexts, “mode” incorporates the idea of the diatonic scale, but differs from it by also involving an element of melody type. This concerns particular repertories of short musical figures or groups of tones within a certain scale so that, depending on the point of view, mode takes on the meaning of either a “particularized scale” or a “generalized tune”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_%28music%29#Modes_and_scales

    Now it could be said, meh, let’s avoid all the confusion and not use any theory or terms at all. but that leads further to a breakdown of communication in music. It’s already hard enough to grasp music without throwing all the descriptive terms in the trash. So the better way is to use the terms in the most precise way possible so that the meaning is very well understood. This is kind of why I asked about the translation of the term ‘modes’ in other languages. Because english is too imprecise with using the term ‘mode’ for many things and general vagueness. Wikipedia says “In music theory the Greek word harmonia can signify the enharmonic genus of tetrachord, the seven octave species, or a style of music associated with one of the ethnic types or the tonoi named by them” It’s not like it’s super important, but it kind of is. This discussion is at least 2,000 years old because aristotle was talking about it and you know, aristotle totally ripped off plato and who knows who plato was ripping off.

    For example, Aristotle in the Politics (viii:1340a:40–1340b:5):

    But melodies themselves do contain imitations of character. This is perfectly clear, for the harmoniai have quite distinct natures from one another, so that those who hear them are differently affected and do not respond in the same way to each. To some, such as the one called Mixolydian, they respond with more grief and anxiety, to others, such as the relaxed harmoniai, with more mellowness of mind, and to one another with a special degree of moderation and firmness, Dorian being apparently the only one of the harmoniai to have this effect, while Phrygian creates ecstatic excitement. These points have been well expressed by those who have thought deeply about this kind of education; for they cull the evidence for what they say from the facts themselves. (Barker 1984–89, 1:175–76) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_%28music%29#Modes_and_scales

    So,

    1. A mode is just a scale, but you change the starting point.

    2. Changing position is the same thing as changing mode.

    3. You can play all the modes in one position

    4. The purpose of using modes is to change the “feel” or “tone” of a song.

    5. The feel and tone need to be internalized, which can only be accomplished by playing them over different backings.

    1. arrggh yesss but noooo 😮

    2. I think it is better to think in terms of transposing not changing position? (moving position is transposing on a guitar neck)

    3. agree but maybe it is harder to do that way

    4. agree but maybe it is really to generate a melody which then creates a feel for the song?

    5. agree – or listening+identifying, too. Or transcribing probably is best, because transcribing seems to force: listen+play along+identify+pencil all at once.

    Igglepud did you do the Stage 6 quiz from the original Stage 6 goals? When I first did it a while back I got basically all the answers wrong. 🙁 recently I redid the quiz and got all the answers correct! 😀 Look in the stage 6 folder for the readme file for the link to the quiz.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17525

    Igglepud
    Participant

    No, I’ve been at 5.3 for a year now. I just never put in the time to move on. I watched 6.1 and 6.2.

     

    “<span style=”color: #444242; font-family: ‘Open Sans’, Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;”>4. agree but maybe it is really to generate a melody which then creates a feel for the song?” Yes, I make the assumption that there is a melody. There also needs to be a backing for the feel to come through. Playing in isolation does not have the same effect.</span>

    MY ROCK IS FIERCE!!!

  • #17526

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    So does this mean you disagree with these dead italians and spaniards??!

    It’s entirely possible that I disagree with them, but about what? Ionian versus Lydian?

    If we oversimply how the Gregorian modes were used, we can do a mapping of Gregorian modes to Modern modes based on the main interval sequence they’re constructed from. If we list those old->new pairs by the proposed “order of darkness” that Joao posted about, we get this:

    wwwhwwh old Lydian; new Lydian
    wwhwwwh old Hypolydian; new Ionian
    wwhwwhw old Mixolydian; new Mixolydian
    whwwwhw (important 5th degree) old Dorian; new Dorian
    whwwwhw (important 7th degree) old Hypomixolydian; new Dorian
    whwwhww old Hypodorian; new Aeolian
    hwwwhww old Phyrigan; new Phrygian
    hwwhwww old Hyophrygian; new Locrian

    Some of their interpretations of “character” are easy to accept, some not. For example, Phrygian as “inciting anger” is easy to accept. Hypophrygian (modern Locrian) as “harmonious” is more difficult to accept. You’ll also notice that modern Dorian correlates to TWO of the Gregorian modes (old Dorian and old Hypomixolydian), which, because of nuances of how the Gregorian modes were used, had their character described slightly differently from each other.

    Another example: the natural major scale (modern Ionian mode), correlates to the Gregorian Hypolydian mode, with descriptions “devout”, “pious”, “tearful and pious”. How many modern listeners would describe the natural major scale as “tearful and pious”?

  • #17527

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    The stage 6 quiz has individual sections for lesson 1,2,etc.. so you can try the quiz just for that part.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17528

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    How many modern listeners would describe the natural major scale as “tearful and pious”?

    all catholics 😀 they’re only happy when they are repenting tearfully 😛

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17529

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    I think I’ve posted before, but here’s one of my favorite vidoes about “why care about modes?” by example, starring Guthrie Govan:

  • #17531

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I wonder if a better visual aid would be the circular approach rather than linear like hwwwhww

    Like wikipedia shows as “Pitch constellations of the modern musical modes”:

    wikipedia-modes-constellations

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    Attachments:
    1. wikipedia-modes-constellations.png

  • #17533

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    I wonder if a better visual aid would be the circular approach rather than linear like hwwwhww

    Probably. The main thing about hwww etc., or Tsss, etc., is that they are quick and easy to type and manipulate.

    Typically, if I’m trying to do any “modal computation” in front of the computer, as a starting point I’ll copy and paste three major scales in a row as a kind of “poor man’s circle”, like this:

    wwhwwwh wwhwwwh wwhwwwh

    Starting from the first degree of the “middle” scale above, I can work forwards or backwards into the other modes in a sort of “moving window” approach, without “running out of notes”. And if needed I can slap additional major scales onto the front or the back.

  • #17537

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    All I have to say is…. you guys sure have been busy today.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #17543

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hi guys!
    I’m away from home, holidays (but my guitar is here wityh me, daily) so I can’t really follow the discussions… specially since the wifi goes down every couple of minutes! So I0m writing this on a notepad 🙂

    But here’s a few personal notes:

    Lydian versus Ionian – the term I used, and have seen it used around in the jazz circles (and Sarah mentioned she uses this modes’ order, too), so the term is “bright”, meaning that Lydian sounds “brighter” than Ionian. I don’t see that there’s any direct equivalence between “bright” and “consonant”. In any case, any mode can sound very dissonant, even Ionian, it is just a matter of what you’re playing it against. “Bright” by the nature of the word, must be (when applied to music) a subjective thing… or better, metaphoric. Light and Dark, Day and Night, the Sun and the Moon, Hot and Cold, you could establish a relation of any of these to the musical notes/scale. You have 12 hours from 12am to 12pm…. or is 12 semitones? 🙂

    @igglepud (and all) – not getting the modes thing:

    Think about this … 123456789 is the same as 987654321, or 546871923? The sequence matters; not because of the sequence itself but because of the new dinamics created. You can have huge numbers, smaller numbers, prime numbers, odd numbers, even numbers… every combination tells a different story. Same with music and notes.

    When you have something like say, Phrygian, you have a minor chord in root position, BUT you also have a flat 9 (or flat 2nd) .. so say you want to play a special motif, an enclosure…. like 7th, 9th, root. Try to play this little sequence in every mode, against the root chord, and you’ll quickly see the differences.

    Personally, this is just my opinion for what is worth, but forget about that thing that “modes are ‘just’ a major scale starting on a different position”. From what I’ve seen, this aparently “harmless” concept, is way more disruptive to your musical skills that almost any other that I can think about now.. this is so reductive, so overly simplified it’s really ugly (to my eyes). The major scale, important as it is – and it’s probably the most important scale in modern western music, is still and only one among a miryad of scales, each with it’s own character and personality.

    The more the diversity the more freedom of expression you have. The more complex emotions you can convey….

    Suddenly this reminded me of George Orwell’s book “1984”. Have you read it? Remember what they were trying to do to language in that book, and why? How they kept cutting words from the dictionary? That was terrible, ugly…. and while (I remember) it sounded so distant when I read it in the mid 70s, the fact is that it was so true of a lot of thinking in modern societies…. to me, the “it’s all a major a scale” is exactly the same as process depicted in Orwell’s 1984 (a must read, by the way!).

    Happy holidays, guys!

  • #17544

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

      Personally, this is just my opinion for what is worth, but forget about that thing that “modes are ‘just’ a major scale starting on a different position”. From what I’ve seen, this apparently “harmless” concept, is way more disruptive to your musical skills that almost any other that I can think about now.. this is so reductive, so overly simplified it’s really ugly (to my eyes).

    Agreed!  I don’t think about the major scale when I’m using modes.  🙂

  • #17549

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Hmm Locrian just sounds bizarre to me. not really darker or moodier. just, non-sensical.

    To Igglepud’s point, I think a demo of modes on the major scale but done in a single position could be the best thing at the start of any mode video. before any words are said. toooo many words when the thing is, the sound.

    Now i wonder what modes Voivod is playing in their classic stuff because it’s the most ‘outside the norm’ metal that I really dig.


    Crazy Scales: The Locrian Mode

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17554

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Actually, I find Locrian very sweet sounding 🙂 – it’s funny how we get all these different perceptions.

    Locrian and the Min7b5 chord are the ‘ii’ on a minor ii-V-i so it’s a very common sound. Also, I tend to listen to it as a dominant 9th chord, without the root…

    In C: B D F A is the arpeggio/chord of the 7th degree. But if you add a G on the bottom you have G B D F A = G9. In Jazz we call these “3 to 9” arpeggios.

  • #17556

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    One of the ultimate purposes of learning modes is to take a short invented melody like say 4 measures and expand it or play with it to make much longer passages isnt that right? So if I come up with a couple bars of melody that sounds cool, then I can expand or vary it to make a longer section? That is a different approach than the trial & error method “keep noodling while recording then review the takes later to paste the interesting parts together”. I suppose the first step in this is, for some melody, identifying the mode(s) first.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17557

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    One of the ultimate purposes of learning modes is to take a short invented melody like say 4 measures and expand it or play with it to make much longer passages isnt that right? So if I come up with a couple bars of melody that sounds cool, then I can expand or vary it to make a longer section? That is a different approach than the trial & error method “keep noodling while recording then review the takes later to paste the interesting parts together”. I suppose the first step in this is, for some melody, identifying the mode(s) first.

    You can put it that way, at least that’s one possible use for your knowledge on modes. I’d say the key word for that is coherence. If you have internalized the sound of the modes then you can play lines over particular chord changes that generate a coherent mood. You could play any note you want to, of course, but let’s take this example to dressing:

    Imagine you choose to dress a particular set of clothes that have all the colors of the universe 🙂 that have motifs with flowers, squares, abstract materials, little fairies, etc. Nobody will forbid you to do that but probably the result will be somewhat confusing, and people will tend to look away before going color blind 🙂 Now imagine you’re going to a certain venue, and you want to dress in a particular way for that. You may choose to dress to blend in, or you may choose to dress to stand out. And specially, if you’re a regular at that place, maybe you want to keep a certain style and make it yours. Something that makes you identifiable. You won’t dress night after night the same way, but probably you’ll keep some coherence.

    That’s the modes’ theory.

    This brings me to another thing about modes (and other sounds like the whole tone or diminished, or other symmetrical scales): you may choose a mode to blend with a particular set of changes, or you may choose a mode to somewhat stand out with those same chasnges; either way, knowing the modes will make you sound coherent, will make you sound like you know what you’re doing even to people who don’t know about modes… “people” may not know, but their brains and ears sure do, because these sounds are engrained in centuries of music history and practice.

    «««

    What you mentioned makes a cool exercise, really, try out this.

    Take a certain melody, in the key of C (or any other key) with a certain lenght that allows for variety of the scale degrees involved; like, choose a melody or set of melodies that go through most or all degress of scale. Write down the scale degree of each note – the root, the fifth, the 3rd, the 9th… etc.

    Now, write down that melody in the various C modes.

    C Ionian, C dorian, C prhygian, C lydian, etc… maybe start with Lydian and proceed to Locrian according to the order I mentioned above.

    Now, play a drone chord for each mode, and play that same melody, adjusted for each particular mode, over each corresponding C chord.

    Example, while keeping it simple:
    Play a C minor 7th chord, and then play the same melody adjusted to both Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian.
    Play a C minor thh chord with a lowered 5th, and then play C Locrian.
    Play a C major 7th chord, lowering the 5th, and then play the C Lydian melody.

    Playing always the same melody structure (the same scale degrees) while adjusting it to each particular mode setting, is a truly great exercise that will allow you to hear it in a realistic environment. A lot more than just playing a drone note and then playing the mode over it.

    Try it out!

  • #17560

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Try it out!

    Ok sounds good but before I do this, how do you go about doing it, lets say I go and write out my melody notes 1 3 2 rest 4 5 rest 2 5 ..etc.. do you do this transposing(?) on the fretboard mechanically or do you write it out on paper and use math to add/subtract or write it out on a transparency sheet laid over staff and shift the staff up or down or what? (I did see an older textbook recommending the transparency type thing) Or use GP6 and use option+ and option- to shift the melody up or down some number of half steps?
    (What makes more sense to me is writing out the melody with numbers 1..11 for half steps rather than 1..7 and having to write b7 etc)

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17562

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    hey ROTM could you share your document again? I read the 1st half and went to re-read it and it’s no longer in the cloud. it was a really good summary especially because I was wondering why the scale patterns are often presented in the way they are.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #17563

      rightonthemark
      Participant

      hey ROTM could you share your document again? I read the 1st half and went to re-read it and it’s no longer in the cloud. it was a really good summary especially because I was wondering why the scale patterns are often presented in the way they are.

      sure. when i get back to my computer and have time to load it back up to google drive.
      i was hoping to rewrite it at some point to make it clearer.
      i see things like modes in multiple ways and was hoping to give others an insight to that in hopes they would get a clearer picture for themselves.
      i still think most folks complicate the modes.

      rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17568

    rightonthemark
    Participant

    hey ROTM could you share your document again? I read the 1st half and went to re-read it and it’s no longer in the cloud. it was a really good summary especially because I was wondering why the scale patterns are often presented in the way they are.

    here you go SB

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxAGwmcclip9cWVONWhCVWlFUDg/view

    rock and roll ain't pretty; that's why they picked us to play it.

  • #17570

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    let me see..
    there’s two ways you can do this:
    a) considering it all in the C maj key sig – then you have – C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, etc..
    b) considering it all with C roots – then you have – C Ionian (C maj key sig) – C Dorian (Bb maj key sig) – C Phrygian (Ab maj key sig), etc..

    My idea is that you try this without any tools, just pen and paper, and then your guitar (you knew I was going to say that 🙂 !

    METHOD #1
    So.. if you’re going to try a same melody using the key sig of C major and all its modes, it’s easy – Just move the notes up and down.

    If the first notes were C, B, D, G, E, F, G

    C Ionian –   C B D G E F G (over a Cmaj7 chord)
    D Dorian –   D C E A F G A (over a Dmin7 chord)
    E Phrygian – E D F B G A B (over an Emin7 chord)
    F Lydian –   F E G C A B C (over an Fmaj7 chord)
    etc…..

    METHOD #2
    Now, all C roots. For that use the same notes and apply the key sig of the parent key:

    C Ionian – C maj key sig (all naturals) –         C B D G E F G (over a Cmaj7 chord)
    C Dorian – Bb maj key sig (Bb and Eb) –           C Bb D G Eb F G (over a Cmin7 chord)
    C Phrygian – Ab maj key sig (Bb, Eb, Ab, Db) –    C Bb Db G Eb F G (over a Cmin7 chord)
    C Lydian – G maj key sig (F#) –                   C B D G E F# G (over a Cmaj7 chord)
    etc………

    Note: I wrote this just by heart so disregard the melody I “chose”. Use a melody that you know well, and that has variety on its scale degrees – so then you may properly gauge the results.

  • #17571

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    …why I say “pen, paper, guitar”. Because I firmly believe in the learning process as a “continuum”. If you use tools you’ll jump from the outline of the problem,  directly to the result. The result will be important, for sure, but the trial and error part is crucial.

  • #17688

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    Looks like I’m gonna be doing my homework on modes this coming week. I suppose I will have to go thru it several times to really hear it properly.

    I also had kind of an aha last week about these related topics, it’s a bit nerdy, but I finally realized that most of the confusion about music theory is resolved if all the notes are viewed in Base-12 math. it’s completely simple. None of this “5 notes” or “8 notes” or “just the white keys and no black keys” stuff or “these notes are called flats but this other note doesn’t have a flat at all”, just view it all as, base 12 counting. It’s a bit of a topic in itself so I wont really go into details but I kept going back to those clock-looking diagrams above and wondering why all of music isn’t simply explained that way because it is very straightforward (well, as simple as counting, 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 T E then back to 0 again) compared to the normal way all of music is explained (counting “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 back to the octave and by the way we’re simply not mentioning a bunch of other notes completely for no particular reason”).. Of course after realizing this I googled for anything online that relates to this connection and found several pages which discuss this exact idea, and these say, Yes, all of music theory becomes extremely simple to understand if simply using Base-12 math to explain it or apply it. (For example one blog goes so far to say that the note “C4” should just be referred to as note number “60” [in base 12 math] which means that “C5” would then be “70” [base 12 math], etc). The downfall of all of this is that, the western music scale is a compromise or an approximation itself, flawed because of those intonation problems(?) which make it impossible to be consistent across instruments and keys, or something like that.

    Currently I am wondering about applying Modes vs Major Pentatonic vs Minor Pentatonic. Because, if I have a blues/rock song or jam track that I am soloing over, let’s say it’s in D minor, then, it is said it might be good to do a solo in D major patterns. I believe I read one thing about EVH’s solos, the songs are all in minor but he always solo’s over them in major. I think I remember seeing this said about certain blues players too. When the song is minor (often) then the solos are major, and when the song is major (less frequent) then the solo sounds good in minor, as some kind of general idea. Or maybe it was also: when the song chords are major chords, then solo in a minor box, and when the song’s chord changes to minor, then switch to the major box. It is simple (I believe?) to switch back and forth between these just by moving whatever chosen pattern up three or back three depending on which way it is going. I might have remembered this whole thing incorrectly though.

    Edit. Maybe this is why many blues/rock solos are so confusing when watching them even tho they seem like a rather simple collection of licks. Trying to put the licks in a pattern that doesn’t match, because it’s the wrong mode. “Ok he’s playing the blues solo and it’s pentatonic but why is he using that pattern when I am in this other pattern and his sounds good and mine sounds boring?” Like that.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17756

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    (this is kind of just a note for myself but maybe of interest anyways)

    Lydian soloing is covered in depth in Lead Guitar DNA vol 1 by Dee J.

    Well xmas time is coming so.. the church modes are ringing..

    as soon as I heard him play E Lydian over an open low E string, I was like: “oh, so *that’s* the tendency I hear in so much of Joe’s stuff!”.

    Really? The Silver surfer hmm. . very interesting to know.. Well yeah, his tracks do sound a bit happy. Actually it would be cool to have a list of guitar players with their characteristic styles if they have one, especially if it’s different than the average.. Or even a list of genres – I didnt consider surf rock as being different in this way than blues rock until just now (I guess I assumed it was mostly huge reverb etc that gave it the sound)..

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17761

    Doug Marks
    Keymaster

    I think that it would be cool to have a list of songs and the mode that they’re associated with.  In Week 30 I improvised over Dee J’s backing track “Beach Tweakers” from Monster Backing Trax.  As I was playing, I thought, “LA Woman by the Doors.”  So I played along with LA Woman and sure enough, A Mixolydian.  When you hear my solo you’ll notice a little LA Woman in there.

    Metal Method Guitar Instructor

  • #17791

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    let me see..

    METHOD #1
    So.. if you’re going to try a same melody using the key sig of C major and all its modes, it’s easy – Just move the notes up and down. …

    C Ionian – C B D G E F G (over a Cmaj7 chord)
    D Dorian – D C E A F G A (over a Dmin7 chord)

    METHOD #2
    Now, all C roots. For that use the same notes and apply the key sig of the parent key:

    C Ionian – C maj key sig (all naturals) – C B D G E F G (over a Cmaj7 chord)
    C Dorian – Bb maj key sig (Bb and Eb) – C Bb D G Eb F G (over a Cmin7 chord)

    Ok this is currently the confusion area for me – the difference between Key Signature and Mode. As far as I see, the week 26 – week 30 is doing Method 1, the theory is approached from using melodies in the key of A Minor / C. The key signature is not changing. The backing chords are not changing. Only the starting point of the tone is changed, the I chord. Except for the example which uses A Major but that’s only to demonstrate contrast with C Major.

    But this does open up the question. What’s the key of the song in these two examples?

    C Ionian –   C B D G E F G (over a Cmaj7 chord)
    D Dorian –   D C E A F G A (over a Dmin7 chord)

    Are these both in the key of C, or is it said that it changed?

    Hrmph enough theory I’m goin to the dive bar to see some live rock 😀

    Edit. I should note that, key signature is kind of important. When I do vocal practice for example, each mini-song has a key signature and it is very important to sound the tone of the key signature first before starting to sing, otherwise, all the harmonies are totally off, the ear is totally off, the singing is totally off. It’s a disaster. Some of these min-songs also include key signature changes during a melody line (lets say like in the chorus section), so the song has a significant variation in it. So I guess in this case, maybe the tonal center is the same as the key signature so there isn’t a mode going on.. well except in some cases there’s something else unusual.. In some of these practice songs, the vocal melody starts on a note other than the root note. So in essence there’s a tone from a pitch pipe first, then when starting to sing the line, the melody has to be dropped to the correct interval first. But after the first several notes, there’s no ambiguity in the tone of the song, it still has that feel, of being around the key of the key signature.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17792

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Hi Superblonde

    A key signature determines a pitch collection; it is a selection of seven notes from twelve possible ones.
    Then, you arrange those twelve notes, sequentially, around a circle – but circles have no beginning or end, right? So how you approach that circle will determine what you get.

    The circle is a very democratic shape. And it’s a clear indication that each of the seven notes around that circle may have a predominant role – in equal terms with the others. That is why I’m constantly banging on the concept of the all-mighty major scale. The major scale is one of seven possible approaches of that circle.

    Here’s a practical example: let’s pick our collection of seven notes from a base pack of twelve. Imagine that we’re drawing cards from a card deck, picking our initial hand to start a game. Then you have seven cards in your hand and you’ll probable arrange them in a special order; it will probably depend upon the game your playing. With one card deck you can play a myriad of games.

    So this card deck is a “flat” type card deck. Meaning all notes are either natural or flat.

    You pick seven, and you get…. D A Bb F C Eb and a G.
    Now organize these notes sequentially around a circle…. you’ll have to start somewhere, you can pick any note to start, so I’ll choose Eb … therefore my sequence will be:
    Eb F G A Bb C D (and back to Eb flat again, full circle).

    So what is that?
    You have many ways to address this; here’s a couple…

    A) position of the half-tones
    Looking at it you see that you have the half-tones located from A to Bb (IV to V) and from D to Eb (VII to VIII or I) .. that sounds familiar, it’s a lydian shape, so what I got is:

    Eb Lydian

    B) identifying the key signature
    Looking at it again you’ll see you got two flats: Bb and Eb (flats, like sharps, always appear in a special order – so if you look at a key signature and you see two flats you don’t waste time looking at what they are… they will always be Bb and Eb).
    The practical rule of thumb with flats is to look at the penultimate flat (the last but one flat) – so we have two flats, and the order is Bb and Eb. The last of our flats is Eb, so the penultimate (which also happens to be the first one) is the Bb. So this means that with those seven notes you may construct our familiar Bb major scale.
    But I picked Eb as my initial note, right? So that’s the fourth note of a Bb major scale, and that gives me:

    Eb Lydian.

    What you see here is that a particular key signature – the one that says two flats and five naturals – gives you the option of seven possible scales or modes. In general terms a mode is also a scale and a scale is also a mode 🙂

    The most common mode of this key signature is Bb Ionian – or the Bb major scale.
    The second most common mode of this key signature is G Aeolian – or the G natural minor scale.
    Together they’re know as relative major and relative minor, one of the other.
    But you still have other five possible modes.

    ***

    By the way, back to Eb Lydian. Here’s one practical tip. Imagine you need t improvise in Eb Lydian. In a Lydian mode the determining sound is the augmented 4th. So our 4th note is (starting with Eb) the note A.
    So if you have to outline Eb lydian give a special attention to both the
    A) Eb maj7 arpeggio, and..
    B) the A note.

    ***

    One final note about this all.

    You may create your own scales and modes if you want, no one forbids you! These modes above are the most common. But, if I want I may pick say six notes of those twelve, any six notes, arrange them in sequential order and I’ll get me six modes. That would probably sound strange but, if worked properly, it would be a matter of time before your brain and ears would pick the coherence of my initial choice of six notes.

    ***

    One other “final” note 🙂

    In another post of yours (was it on this thread?) you mentioned an “a-ha” moment you had when you started thinking about 12 notes.
    Check this man : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schoenberg
    and his brain child: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-tone_technique

    ***

    Oh… one final thing about changing key signatures in the middle of a tune. That’s super common, in classical music you get them all the time. The most common change is to a neighbour key signature. Say you have 2 sharps to start with, it would be very common to see 3 sharps appear. This key change indicates a modulation and the most common modulation is to the Dominant.
    So if you have F# and C# (two sharps, and sharps always appear in the same order) that is D major. The dominant of D major is A, the fith note. So it’s common that at any given time you will get three sharps that indicate the piece change to A major – F# C# and G#. Look at it, it’s really cool… the new flat is G#, right? So what’s that? that’s the leading tone of A major. So to give a special attention to a certain note you can find a leading tone 🙂

    One other common key signature change indicates a change from major to minor, or vice versa. In this case it would be common to get a a key signature chance from two sharps to one flat.

    F# C# > D major
    Bb > D minor (the sixth mode of F major)

    These are the most common, but again, there’s nothing forbid in music!

    Cheers!
    🙂

  • #17794

    Sean
    Participant

    Thanks Joao, I love reading your explanations of music theory. As a beginner most is over my head. But as a progress these things will become clearer. From reading above, I understand why you have your beginning students learn backwards and forwards the order seven notes by heart. Challenging them to pick any note and list their order.

    Tell me and I will forget ,show me and I'll remember, involve me and I'll understand

  • #17799

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    Thanks Joao, I love reading your explanations of music theory. As a beginner most is over my head. But as a progress these things will become clearer. From reading above, I understand why you have your beginning students learn backwards and forwards the order seven notes by heart. Challenging them to pick any note and list their order.

    Hey Sean, very cool that you remember about that, thank you!

    Every one of us was a beginner at some point. I started learning about theory at 26. I still learn it on a daily basis; the great thing is that once you start you get closer to mastery every day 🙂

    That exercise you mentioned is perfect for everyone. Simple as it seems you can build tons of complex knowledge over it.

    The best piece of advice I can give you is, practice saying the notes forwards and backwards, starting on every note. Then learn to say them every other note, in thirds; then in fourths, fifths… etc. The truth is that it is very simple, because there are only 7 names, and as soon as you start practicing it is like memorizing a small melody.

    Check this:

    Saying every note (backwards and forwards) you’re working scales;

    Saying every other note (in thirds) your working arpeggios , like …. D F A > D minor triad; D F A C > Dmin7 chord/arpeggio; D F A C E > Dmin9 … D F A C E G > Dmin11, etc.

    Saying notes in fourths you’re working key signatures , like :

    backwards : F C G D A E B > that’s the sharps order … forwards : B E A D G C F > that’s the flats order

    Saying the notes in fifths .. is actually like saying fourths backwards 🙂 But you’re also working the dominants, like “what’s the Dominant of A? That’ E”

    Saying notes in 6ths is like thirds backwards, that’s an iversion, great for chords like C6 or Cmin6.

    Saying the 7ths is really easy as it’s just like saying the notes of the major scale backwards 😉 C B A G F E D etc.

     

    Couple this practice with a solid knowledge of the notes of the fretboard and you’ll be miles ahead of most guitar players, even experienced ones! To learn the fretboard, just practice it a bit everyday… any exercise will do, it’s the regular practice that matters.

     

    Thanks again, Sean!

    Joao

  • #17808

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I am probably just confusing myself because, I’m practicing both guitar and vocals at the same time, and also trying to write vocal melodies along side guitar parts. In week 30, which is G Mixolydian, so the instruments are playing chords in the key of G, while the guitar solo is mixolydian, so, if there is also a vocal melody on top, I suppose it would be either: G Mixolydian too, or G Major Pentatonic. About the Key vs Modes, especially in week 27 with the comparison of C Major and A Major, I guess the thing to watch for, is the phrase, “shift these patterns up xx frets” (compared to the other way: “play the scale at position xx and emphasize the notes”). Because on a guitar, that is transposing. And transposing probably means, a change of key (I think those go hand in hand). Well, maybe. This is probably just one of those things that seems very confusing at first, but then everyone just plays and forgets about it ultimately. I mean, the entire system just doesn’t make for an all-around consistent notation across instruments and players. (Certainly, don’t ask the drummer what is going on..)

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #17810

    joaopazguitar
    Participant

    I am probably just confusing myself because, I’m practicing both guitar and vocals at the same time, and also trying to write vocal melodies along side guitar parts.

    That is great! Same theory serves all.

    In week 30, which is G Mixolydian, so the instruments are playing chords in the key of G, while the guitar solo is mixolydian, so, if there is also a vocal melody on top, I suppose it would be either: G Mixolydian too, or G Major Pentatonic.

    G Mixolydian is the key of C, not G. In the key of G you have D Mixolydian.
    So you’ll have to clear this confusion first – I’m not familiar with the material from week 30.

    But if it’s G Mixolydian, then that’s about 7, dominant chords, waiting to resolve to the root of the key – C in this case. Or it may be a Blues piece and that significantly changes the context, since you can use all dominant chords over a Blues progression.

    The G major pentatonic will do over a G7 chord, but it will miss the one note that makes mixolydian .. mixolydian. The F in this case, the flat 7 (flat 7 of, or the 4 of C)

    About the Key vs Modes, especially in week 27 with the comparison of C Major and A Major, I guess the thing to watch for, is the phrase, “shift these patterns up xx frets” (compared to the other way: “play the scale at position xx and emphasize the notes”). Because on a guitar, that is transposing. And transposing probably means, a change of key (I think those go hand in hand). Well, maybe.

    Think of Modes as a part of a Key. One mode is 1/7 of a key signature.

    Transposing usually involves a key change, yes. You change the key signature and also change the notes so the scale degrees (the function of the note) remains the same in the new key.

    However, remember about the Blues MOOC course we did. There are several ways of “transposing” – but the common meaning is that one you wrote.

    (…)the phrase, “shift these patterns up xx frets” (compared to the other way: “play the scale at position xx and emphasize the notes”)(…)

    You can transpose that way, shifting frets, that’s the easy way that requires very little understanding of what you’re doing.  It’s like following the instructions on a manual.
    But you can remain on position and still transpose. This requires understanding (and practice). It’s a lot harder but, as everything in life, pays a lot more in the long term.
    It depends on the level of the player. For beginners, sure. Shifting is the way to go. For intermediate onwards I’d say start learning it more in depth.

    Check this, if you want to transpose from A major to E major… you either go up to the 12th fret and are restricted to high pitch notes; or you go down to open strings and are restricted with low pitch notes. So to just stick with it is not a long term option.

    This is probably just one of those things that seems very confusing at first, but then everyone just plays and forgets about it ultimately. I mean, the entire system just doesn’t make for an all-around consistent notation across instruments and players. (Certainly, don’t ask the drummer what is going on..)

    Not in Jazz 🙂 There were great bandleaders and composers in Jazz working from behind a drumset! Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Roy Haynes … 🙂

    Notation my not work across all instruments, but music theory sure does!

  • #17832

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    There were great bandleaders and composers in Jazz working from behind a drumset! Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, Max Roach, Roy Haynes …

    Sure but these guys were the top 0.1% of all. Legends. In contrast I wonder how many every day regularly playing musicians understand modes. Or even star guitarists. Well, we can see that at least Marty Friedman doesnt explain it well if he understands it. Maybe Chris Poland might explain better, as a jazz guy initially, who knows – many consider Chris Poland to be the ultimate best guitarist in Megadeth thru the years. Doug even mentions in week 26 that learning the music theory of the 5 weeks will put a student ahead of many professional guitarists.

    I’m not really throwing lots of time into understanding music theory other than discussing it here and following the basic course, and some reading here and there. By far most of my time is spent practicing because actually playing stuff is what I think is important for me.

    One important thing that jumped out of ROTM’s theory document is ROTM’s fretting the diatonic scale pattern 1 compared to Doug’s scale in week 26. Because ROTM calls out that he uses the pinky for a WW intervals to give 3-notes-per-string, whereas, the same string Doug uses only W intervals on that string (2 notes) and the next string has HW steps. I’m fine with either but it seems good to know some play the scales differently. Probably leads to a distinctive sound too.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #21398

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    There’s a few things that helped me recently:

    1. “Chords in the key of ____”

    The chord progressions are given in the cbc modes lessons, for five modes that relate back to A minor scale. The problem for me is following the music of songs in different keys. For example I was taught by a local guitar instructor, “Well obviously the first chord in the chorus to Mary Jane’s Last Dance is Em, because that just sounds right, you know? It’s not E, like those other guys from the other instructor are playing, that just sounds wrong, see? See how that sounds?” Mary Jane’s Last Dance is in the key of Am. Others said, the local instructor was a great theory guy (so why he didnt mention the ‘valid’ chord progressions for the key of Am on a simple diagram or table, or suggest practicing thru those chord progressions like the CBC does, well… I have no idea). The chord progressions in the modes lessons finally has cleared this up for me, that there are chord progressions that fit musically (regardless of what my ear says) and if I want to understand the music I should just look up the ‘valid’ chord progression of the key (or mode), once I recognize the key of the song. So I don’t have to be so confused: “is it E or Em here? I don’t know? I can’t tell?” Just look at the chord table. Very simple!

    2. Key signature is independent of song key.

    I have been taught locally that if I don’t know the key of a song I should look at the key signature (for example if I look up the official paper sheet music for a song to check). But this is not a valid musical rule. Because a key signature is only written to make the later notes convenient and the later notes could be in a different mode. If the key signature of a blues rock song is written for the melody or solo which are in minor, and the song key is major. So it is a mistake to assume “Okay that signature is F so the song is in F.” Nope. It seems the chords are the way to tell the key, not the key signature (refer back to, “chords in the key of ____” again).

    This is also probably related to why I sometimes get confused with the method “just play the scale over the song and see what key fits” because, minor scale over major key, and vice versa, makes this rule not really valid. But that’s a whole separate topic.

    3. The problem with studying modes is that there are two ways to study the modes on the fretboard and as music theory that conflict with each other, and two people who are studying the different ways will confuse each other.

    The first way, is to study all the modes at a single position on the neck and study like “C Dorian, C Phrygian, C Mixolydian, ..”.
    The second way, is to study all the modes in a linear movement up or down the neck and study like “A Minor, C Major, D Dorian, …”.

    As the saying goes, “Don’t cross the streams, it would be bad.”

    Actually the textbook way to approach this confusion, is to quickly explain the 2 styles of learning at the beginning, then focus on only 1 style completely, and then at the end after the first style is mastered, quickly summarize the other style as an alternative to be studied later. Because if both bases aren’t covered then there’s a big confusing void. Just as I figured out my confusion on this point, by re-reading Joao’s discussion above (thanks), I saw the following great discussion in my email, https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/25410-dear-6-string-sensei-please-demystify-the-modes-of-the-major-scale where they call these two styles, “the Parallel Approach vs. Relative Approach” here-

    Let’s say you want to play D Dorian. Using the parallel approach, you’d simply take a D major scale (D–E–F#–G–A–B–C#–D) and modify it by applying the Dorian formula (b3, b7). This yields D–E–F–G–A–B–C–D, or D Dorian.

    To calculate D Dorian using the relative approach, first think “Dorian means starting on the second degree of its relative major scale. D is the second degree of what scale? Oh yeah, that’s a C major scale or C–D–E–F–G–A–B–C. Now I simply need to shift over to the D root and run the same notes, which gives me D–E–F–G–A–B–C–D.” https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/25410-dear-6-string-sensei-please-demystify-the-modes-of-the-major-scale?page=2

    Geez man, too bad they couldn’t have written that 6 months earlier, hah. Now the somewhat awkward thing is, that “relative approach” refers back to C major (because that’s the default scale). But, the CBC begins on A Minor. So the “relative approach” as done in the CBC is like, “Ok, D Dorian, well, that’s from A Minor, and just shift…” Which, referring back to A Minor, is kind of… well, a bit strange, theory wise, it’s like calculating a distance based on the relative distance to another relative distance. It works, it’s just kind of strange.

    Joao had also mentioned these 2 different ways, above-

    let me see..
    there’s two ways you can do this:
    a) considering it all in the C maj key sig – then you have – C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, etc..
    b) considering it all with C roots – then you have – C Ionian (C maj key sig) – C Dorian (Bb maj key sig) – C Phrygian (Ab maj key sig), etc..

    My idea is that you try this without any tools, just pen and paper, and then your guitar (you knew I was going to say that 🙂 !

    METHOD #1
    So.. if you’re going to try a same melody using the key sig of C major and all its modes, it’s easy – Just move the notes up and down.

    If the first notes were C, B, D, G, E, F, G

    C Ionian –   C B D G E F G (over a Cmaj7 chord)
    D Dorian –   D C E A F G A (over a Dmin7 chord)
    E Phrygian – E D F B G A B (over an Emin7 chord)
    F Lydian –   F E G C A B C (over an Fmaj7 chord)
    etc…..

    METHOD #2
    ….

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #21400

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    The first way, is to study all the modes at a single position on the neck and study like “C Dorian, C Phrygian, C Mixolydian, ..”. The second way, is to study all the modes in a linear movement up or down the neck and study like “A Minor, C Major, D Dorian, …”.

    The problem with both of those explanations is that they both tend to focus on thinking of the modes as positional patterns based on a starting note on the 6th string. While this can be useful for convincing people that modes “exist” and can be useful devices for learning the fretboard, musically speaking, I think the most important point about modes is the one Guthrie Govan makes in the “pirate modes” clinic video clip from youtube: No matter what “mode” you are playing in, your playing still falls within the same scale shapes as the “parent” scale (diatonic, harmonic minor, what have you), what makes modal playing modal is which note within that scale you are treating as the “home” for resolution of your musical phrases.

    Where the positional-mode-patterns thinking can be useful is in thinking about the location of “home” for a particular mode. But if we take, say, the typical G major scale position III 3-note-per-string fretboard pattern, you can play musical phrases inside that shape in *any* of the modes of G major (A dorian, B phrygian, etc…). What makes “A dorian” sound like “A dorian” is that you are using the notes in the interval pattern layed out by G major, but treating “A” as “home” for your phrasing.

    Speaking in particular about the modes of the diatonic scale (as most guitar conversations do), a positive thing about the “parallel modes” explanation is that it helps illustrate the idea (as one of Joao’s posts mentioned), that you can think of a diatonic mode in terms of how the notes in that mode diverge from the pattern of intervals in the parallel natural major or natural minor scale. For example, Phrygian is similar to the natural minor scale, but with a flatted 2nd degree. This means that when you are playing in the Phrygian mode, not only is it useful to know that you are treating the first degree of the Phrygian mode as “home”, but you know the note relative to that “home” that most emphasizes the character of Phrygian (versus one of the other minor modes) is its 2nd degree.

    • #21403

      superblonde
      Keymaster

      Well, those 2 styles of studying still exist even if looking at a piano, or if just looking at staff paper and using a pencil. Either start on the same note and do a scale degree formula (C this, C that, C the next thing) -vs- move to a different note and use the same scale degree formula (C this, D that, G the next thing).

      Probably for rock guitar it is more common for positions to be related to the modes. Because of the fretboard focus. But look at most of what Joao was talking about, and I’ve run into this with other jazz guitarists or other well studied musicians, they use the formula method which ends up being absolutely confusing if learning with the relative style. Probably because they studied with jazz lead sheets and staff paper or maybe had a guitar instructor not focused on rock. It’s almost better not to even ask the person from the other learning style, like, “geez why’d I even ask, you just confused the entire thing even more”. Although what they’re saying may be 100% correct it is simply confusing.

      Personally I don’t like the Guthrie Govan video so much in terms of learning the operation of the modes. For an audio demonstration it’s great. Although he is playing way tooooo fast and should slow down to 60 bpm so that someone could actually follow.. Regardless of speed I can’t extract much knowledge from the demonstration to practice later. Ok, try my same licks over different chords emphasizing different notes in the lick maybe, that’s it, but it doesn’t teach me how to move to something else. There’s something missing. Do any members of that clinic really walk away with something they can use? I don’t know.. it seems master guitarists make this mistake that everything they did to work up to their current point, was not necessary, and only seeing it at their current master level, is what’s necessary (which is not true.. that’s the difference between good instructors and great instructors). For example. Someone could show me a design for something and in less than a minute I could say (super trivial example), “nah that won’t work cuz of newton’s 2nd law.” It’s because I’m following like 100 different mental shortcuts drilled in by thousands of hours of work, in order to be able to say that. Do they gain anything from me saying that, nope, the next day they could show up with something similarly wrong meanwhile saying “no this is different”, and I’d say the same thing: that doesn’t work because of blah.. them not being able to extract a meaningful lesson from the shortcut. So I wonder, if it were possible to call up those guys who were watching Guthrie Govan at the clinic, and ask them, so, did your ability to write/folloe music improve in the month following that clinic? They’d likely say, uh, well, hm, not really. Students need specific exercises that progress in a structured way to a conclusion.

      In week 29, “Drone demonstration”, Doug switches to the “Parallel” approach. I just realized this contrast. This is the week that is like suddenly speaking a different language because it switches to the opposite approach. (Everything from ‘A’ -vs- previously, everything Relative.)

      I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
      And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

  • #21405

    safetyblitz
    Participant

    Do any members of that clinic really walk away with something they can use?

    I don’t think the point of that segment was to teach them the details of how to compose or improvise modal licks, the point was to establish a mindset about what modes *are* on a fundamental level, to help the students cut through some of the detailed formula and diagram cruft that arises around discussion of modes.

    It was precisely about cutting through the clutter around modes without diving into details. One key point: You’re still using the same shape, but you’re changing your definition of “which note within the shape do I treat as ‘the best note in the world'”. It’s an essential truth about what makes modes useful, and should be remembered as a guiding principle in future study.

  • #21406

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    I really did try to make this as clear (and as much fun) as possible!  🙂

    Easy Guitar Modes:

    Easy Guitar Modes Package

  • #21423

    superblonde
    Keymaster

    I used the drone track in Melodic Principles to demonstrate the sounds of the different scale degrees. 🙂

    This is a good match too. When I went thru Melodic Principles before, I could hear the scale degrees when played, thats easy, but not really put them into context or know when I should do what. After going thru these CBC weeks which are playing lots of natural minor scales, then finally, it seems my ear got tuned into this and still getting better. So I plan to go thru M.P. again and also make it to vol 3 which I didn’t get to before and probably do Easy Modes in parallel as a good combo. Doing scales seems to have gotten a bad rap somewhere. Maybe from over-drilling but that’s no reason to dismiss them. I would bet, unless for those special people born with perfect pitch or synestesia (genetic gifts), all the great guitarists did a ton of 8 note scales at some point, probably many of them on piano before moving to guitar. vs. because I had only done pentatonic scales before (even my early guitar instructor only assigned the pentatonic boxes as practice) which are tone neutral, maybe I never got locked into the degrees.. funny, because I am so tuned into the sound of metal and blues and instantly dislike major yet could not put it into musical context. I guess that’s the definition of illiteracy, like being able to hear words but not read or write them.

    So, this a question for Doug. For anyone who scoffs at doing the scales with the CBC modes. When did you first do scales (probably before guitar) and about how many ‘total hours’ spent on it? It could be that everybody just needs to put in a minimum 300 hours of scales drilling practice, or whatever, at some point in life.

    I'm an intermediate student of Metal Method. I play seitannic heavy metal. All Kale Seitan! The glutens will be eaten with relish!
    And on the Seventh Day, Mustaine said: ∇ ⨯ E = - ∂B / ∂t ; and there was Thrash; and it had a ♭3; and it was good.

    • #21426

      Sarah Spisak
      Keymaster

      When I went thru Melodic Principles before, I could hear the scale degrees when played, thats easy, but not really put them into context or know when I should do what. After going thru these CBC weeks which are playing lots of natural minor scales, then finally, it seems my ear got tuned into this and still getting better. So I plan to go thru M.P. again and also make it to vol 3 which I didn’t get to before and probably do Easy Modes in parallel as a good combo. Doing scales seems to have gotten a bad rap somewhere.

      Going through Volume III of Melodic Principles and studying Easy Guitar Modes will show you exactly what you can do with these scale degrees!

      In my private lessons I often demonstrate what causes people to hate scales.  Hint:  start on the lowest note of the pattern and play all the way up six strings to the highest note in the pattern and come right back down, without emphasizing any of the root notes!  Be sure to do this in a monotonous rhythm.  😉

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