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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Modal scales.


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/45942

haggis - Posted - 02/27/2017:  13:05:40


My take on the modes tells me that there is no value in knowing that a D dorian runs D to D through a C scale unless you can,on the hoof , name every mode and its parent scale. No, I believe you must fist learn the three  major and three minor modal scale patterns independant of their parent scales,but as scales in their own right, then learn their application. Just saying?

Addie - Posted - 02/27/2017:  15:53:29


I just play the tune.  smiley



Unless I need chords, that is.  I can name the mode by looking at the dots, though.  Double tonics are my downfall.

Lonesome Fiddler - Posted - 02/27/2017:  16:14:35


I agree with Addie.  Just play the tune.  Follow your ears.  Sing it.  Then do it.

buckhenry - Posted - 02/27/2017:  19:55:22


Well, for each major/ionian scale that is learnt you automatically have learnt to play the 6 modes mentioned.



So if you learn all the 12 major scales you have already learnt how to play (12x6)............. 72 modes....!?



But why bother with modes and all that other stuff, just play the choones......!?

pete_fiddle - Posted - 02/28/2017:  00:15:08


Modes for me are a way of visualizing the tonal universe as it where, how it fits onto that little fingerboard, stepping stones through a tune, logical fingering patterns, points of departure/return, ways of altering things to fit with my current skill levels (or lack thereof) :o) ...etc. How they differ from the "expected" tonal centres/scales, or sound with, or against a chord progression is how music works for me....



but mostly i just play the tune, best i can

haggis - Posted - 02/28/2017:  08:45:48


I note that some FB friends say that they just play the tune. Modes seem to be of little use if you play the melody until you have it nailed, then what?

Addie - Posted - 02/28/2017:  09:21:30


Modes are like flavours.  Some stick with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.  Others are drawn towards raspberry, kiwi, and tangerine.  What's the significance?  There isn't one.  wink

alaskafiddler - Posted - 03/01/2017:  03:13:04


quote:

Originally posted by haggis

 

I note that some FB friends say that they just play the tune. Modes seem to be of little use if you play the melody until you have it nailed, then what?







I think more in terms of modal; to which I consider different than scales, more about tonal center and overall harmonic layout.



I find knowing the mode as being useful,  in helping learn the melody;  as the mode lays out the harmonic space the melody navigates. Especially in quickly picking up by ear. The then what, for me, is to use knowing the mode to help twist and turn the melody, improvise upon the melody or basic melodic theme.


Edited by - alaskafiddler on 03/01/2017 03:14:10

carlb - Posted - 03/01/2017:  04:55:54


For me, many of those tunes use in-between notes, so I don't know how that fits into the modes. For my ear, they are the right notes for certain tunes.

 

alaskafiddler - Posted - 03/01/2017:  18:16:51


quote:

Originally posted by carlb

 

For me, many of those tunes use in-between notes, so I don't know how that fits into the modes. For my ear, they are the right notes for certain tunes.

 







Good point.  I tend to think of modal as more general concepts; as being able to tweak, fine tune adjust intervals. Not so fixed pitch and scales, it's more in how notes are used, and not so major/minor based. That said, if describing the tune, or in writing it down... might loosely refer common terminology, or to nearest fixed pitch.  With that I might think of a melody being more  Mixolydian; (or more Dorian, more Ionian..) but I have different flavors of each. 



 

alaskafiddler - Posted - 03/01/2017:  18:31:45


quote:

Originally posted by carlb

 

For my ear, they are the right notes for certain tunes.

 







Forgot to mention, and addressing what is knowing modes, or theory is good for. There is sometimes a tendency to think of it as learning  "rules" first....and perhaps analyzing, calculating and following rules;....  forgetting the part of using your ear and listening to what sounds right. Alternatively, the idea is to open ears, to explore other possibilities, and to form some understanding (even if informal) of what's going on in how some music is shaped. In this it is a bit more of listening, using actual sound examples first... then what ever explanation (or rules) might come out of that.


Edited by - alaskafiddler on 03/01/2017 18:33:41

pete_fiddle - Posted - 03/02/2017:  08:56:59


seems to me that, as a melody, or improvisation on a melody progresses, notes are introduced which differ from the home/original mode. This usually happens 1 note at a time taking the melody either flat around the circle 5ths or sharp,  eg: dorian to mixolidian ... or dorian to aolian etc, this allows a player, (well me anyway),  to think in chunks of melody, rather than a bunch of individual tones, much as a guitar player wold think in so many bars of a chord, then so many bars of the next chord,  when this happens the melody makes musical sense to a modal thinking ear, although maybe not to a major/minor 12 tone equal temperament, 1st 3rd 5th,7th chord musically trained ear?



BTW i think something similar  happens in 12TET thinking as well, with the Melodic minor scale, using the major 7th to pull to the root ascending, and the b6 to pull to the 5th descending?


Edited by - pete_fiddle on 03/02/2017 09:00:35

fujers - Posted - 03/02/2017:  16:15:58


I don't know..the way I use scales and modes are a little different than the way you might use them. I play a scales as a scales and I play a modes as a modes. How I use them is I don't play a whole scales and I don't play a whole modes. I play parts of the scale and I pick just notes out of a mode to fit what it is that I wish to play. I also heavily really on pentatonic scales to get me through just about all that I play. Now, I just mix them all up to get what I want. It's not hard. The scales modes I mostly use are Dorian and Aeolian more the maj stuff I play. I play... I can't remember for min stuff because....I just can't remember.



Some of the modes I sometimes don't bother with because they sound weird to me...and sometimes if I fill like being weird I'll use them..thats just sometimes. Me...I like playing a melodic kind of music...and sometimes I like playing things on the outside of things. I also like playing b3ds, b5's, b7's 6ths and 9's



All in all. I like to play pentatonic with a mix of modal and scale playing. To me it gives you the best of both words.

Jerry

pete_fiddle - Posted - 03/02/2017:  16:39:22


quote:

Originally posted by fujers



 

All in all. I like to play pentatonic with a mix of modal and scale playing. To me it gives you the best of both words.

Jerry







 



i think i'm going to think more pentatonically for a while.....see how i get on, i did this once before, just by missing out all the semitones from the modes i get my pentatonic "patterns"

bluesmode - Posted - 03/02/2017:  21:10:22


quote:

Originally posted by haggis

 

 >the three  major and three minor modal scale patterns







haggis: do you mean Ionian, lydian and mixolydian for major, and dorian, phrygian and aeolian for minor?

bluesmode - Posted - 03/02/2017:  22:13:00


quote:

Originally posted by pete_fiddle

 
quote:


Originally posted by fujers



 


All in all. I like to play pentatonic with a mix of modal and scale playing. To me it gives you the best of both words.

Jerry








 




i think i'm going to think more pentatonically for a while.....see how i get on, i did this once before, just by missing out all the semitones from the modes i get my pentatonic "patterns"







Pete: why limit yourself to 5 notes unless it's a refresher. Going out to the blues bars jams once a week has focused my efforts for improv. I'm thinking of 5 note patterns for pents, 6 note patterns for maj/min blues scales and any 7 note modal major scale, which would be dorian most of the time for blues. Most of the time we're in A or E at the blues jams, but C D G are used and I've been practicing the afore mentioned pents, blues and dorian scales for all the 5,6 & 7 note patterns, thru the 1 4 5.



when you wait for an hour and a half to play usually 4 songs so you might get 4 solos, I've found that to be good incentive to know these patterns (you said it Pete). There is a different cadence to the different scale lengths which automatically takes over as 5 note pents, 6 note blues scales and 7 note modes are woven together. 

pete_fiddle - Posted - 03/03/2017:  00:28:49


"Pete: why limit yourself to 5 notes"



Sometimes i find that "limitation is the mother of invention" :o)

buckhenry - Posted - 03/03/2017:  01:03:16


quote:

Originally posted by fujers




I also like playing b3ds, b5's, b7's 6ths and 9's



 








Call that 'modes'..... or just 'flatten notes'......?





Because when you flatten the 7th it gives you the Mixolydian, include that with a flat 3rd then you have the dorian, include those two with a flat 6th and now you have the Aeolian....etc, etc.....





Now playing modally is different than just flattening notes when ever you feel like it. You stay in the mode and don't alter any notes, thats modal playing.



I had an improv session with  a didgeridoo player recently, he had an E didge, I remember using three modes over this tonic....Phrygian mode ( b7 b3 b6 b2 ) Spanish Mode ( b7 b6 b9 ) and mixolydian. I didn't mix the 'notes' up, I 'switched' between the modes to create tension and release, so I played in each mode for a length of time.

pete_fiddle - Posted - 03/03/2017:  01:37:51


Sounds like Jerry may be playing primarily pentatonic scales, and adding a couple of notes to make a scale maybe ??(i'm probably over simplifying there)....just another way of looking at things, that seems like a more natural way to me, as the notes in the pentatonic scales harmonize with each other with double stops etc, and form a good framework for improvising by adding b3 b5 b7 etc any way what ever he's doing it sounds good on the vid of him playing back in the 80's

fujers - Posted - 03/03/2017:  08:24:47


This is just the way I play and it might be different than the way you play. I usually start with pents on most of the songs I play. But if some reason I hear pents ain't working I'll switch to scaling but don't use regular scaling thats where I use modes like a Aeolian or Dorian. What I do is drop a couple notes from those modes it's kind of like pents but not. I like useing my flat notes sometimes it just depends on the song..if it can use flat I'll play it. Pents are uised a lot in the music so I use them. Playing in this manner I can play up and down the neck with ease. You can play the exact thing  in 3rd as you play in 1st. With a few changes in notation in 3rd gives you a different fill than playing in1st. You can play this way in any key you want and they all sound different. Just by changing your starting note and still playing the same thing gives you another fill to song. If I started a song in 1 one time and the time I started on the flat 3 or 5 or 6th the next it gives the song a whol new fill. Anyway, that about how I play and it's never dull. Jerry

fujers - Posted - 03/03/2017:  21:29:49


If I may. You know the secret to my playing is...There is no secret. I play just like you do

bluesmode - Posted - 03/04/2017:  02:24:16


quote:

Originally posted by halbut

Now playing modally is different than just flattening notes when ever you feel like it. You stay in the mode and don't alter any notes, thats modal playing.







I agree with this. If you're not playing a major scale in one of the 12 keys, you're not playing in any of the modes of the major scale.



as I've said before, a big advantage for me is that I don't have to concern myself with what's sharp or flat while playing in any of the 7 church modes. all I need to know is the major scale I need to play and I already know how to trim the full scale back to blues scales and pents. I only work on the modal major scales for a 1 4 5 in the keys of E A D G C. 



 

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