HomeForumsGuitar InstructorsQuestions about Easy Guitar Modes

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sarah Spisak 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #21616

    Anonymous

    Hi I have some questions for Sarah:

    I’ve some concept problems regarding Easy Guitar Modes and hope that you can help to clarify.  I understand when you said there are distinctive sounds for a mode played over a particular chord harmony, I can understand this when you play the mode scale up and down over a chord, but when you ask me to use the mode to construct some melodic lines, I have problem on what notes to choose in order to maintain the same modal characteristics  since all the notes are same across every mode, do I just choose notes to revolve around the root, the 3rd and 5th degree and emphasize on those notes of that mode?  is it what to do so that I can create melodic lines  that will maintain that modal characteristics, or there are some other rules for that, otherwise if I just choose any note in a particular mode, how can I tell that it is in that mode since the other modes just share exactly the same diatonic notes, I’m really perplexed. Please help. Thanks a lot.

  • #21620

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your e-mail and forum post!  It can take a while for this information to “soak in”.  Yes, emphasizing chord tones is a good idea.  There are also some “tricks” to bringing out the sounds of the modes.  For example, in Lesson Eight I show how to play a major arpeggio and then add the #4.  It really wants to resolve to the 5!  For phrygian, the b2 is the characteristic note.  I think of Mixolydian as featuring the natural 3 and the b7.  It’ not necessary to play every note in the mode- in fact, it will usually sound better if you don’t, at least when making melodies.  For shred runs, you can use them all!

    I hope this is helpful.  Please let us know if you are still perplexed.

    🙂 Sarah

  • #21621

    MotleyCrue81
    Participant

    A bunch of fiddling around will also let you acquire your own way of playing in a certain mode. Nobody plays the same, whatever sounds good to you is what matters. Sometimes just not paying attention to which note is which scale degree and just focusing on what sounds good or cool will help you feel the mode. Then kinda break it down afterwards and analyze what scale degrees you’re using, etc to see what’s actually happening.

    Bring hair metal back!

  • #21624

    Anonymous

    Thank you very much , Sarah , that helps a lot 🙂

  • #21653

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    David, I wanted to add-

    Practice over the backing tracks while playing them back at slow speed- perhaps about 70%.  Find a not that will sound good when the chord changes.  Improvising in “real time” can be quite challenging.  Slow it down and give yourself time to prepare for the changes!

    🙂 Sarah

  • #21654

    Sarah Spisak
    Keymaster

    A bunch of fiddling around will also let you acquire your own way of playing in a certain mode. Nobody plays the same, whatever sounds good to you is what matters. Sometimes just not paying attention to which note is which scale degree and just focusing on what sounds good or cool will help you feel the mode. Then kinda break it down afterwards and analyze what scale degrees you’re using, etc to see what’s actually happening.

    “Fiddling around” is an excellent method for learning to improvise!  🙂

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