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-   -   Thread On Modes (http://metaltabs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21946)

davie_gravy 2006-10-02 13:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5667
I understand modes and how to use them in chord progressions but can some one explain how to use them in conjuction with power chords? I heard that its different when using power chords rather than triads, (Maj, min, dim) and 7th chords etc.


It's actually easier to use them with power chords because power chords are not major/minor specific chords. root/5th is in every mode (except Locrian which is b5th) so technically you could use any mode you wanted over a power chord for that root.

amerok 2006-10-02 14:30

haha, damnit davie, you always get to answer the questions :P

5667 2006-10-02 16:46

Alright cool. Thanks.

davie_gravy 2006-10-03 12:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by amerok
haha, damnit davie, you always get to answer the questions :P



hehe, sorry bro! I'm usually too late. I just get lucky I can answer the ones I do catch.

TangledMortalCoil 2006-10-22 22:10

trying to understand theory, so be patient with me. question: can mode shapes be shifted across the neck? for example, i know the E phyrgian shape in the open position, so if i shift it over one fret and play the same pattern, is that now F phrygian?

amerok 2006-10-22 23:04

Quote:
Originally Posted by TangledMortalCoil
trying to understand theory, so be patient with me. question: can mode shapes be shifted across the neck? for example, i know the E phyrgian shape in the open position, so if i shift it over one fret and play the same pattern, is that now F phrygian?


yes

JonR 2006-10-23 05:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by TangledMortalCoil
trying to understand theory, so be patient with me. question: can mode shapes be shifted across the neck? for example, i know the E phyrgian shape in the open position, so if i shift it over one fret and play the same pattern, is that now F phrygian?
If you mean UP one fret (towards the bridge), yes. (Pattern can't be shifted across the neck, because of the tuning differences between strings.)
Remember the root note has to be the aural root (sound like the root). Otherwise it's just a pattern of the parent major scale (E phrygian = C major, F phrygian = Db major).
(See rest of thread.)

TangledMortalCoil 2006-10-23 07:47

yes, i meant shifting up one fret towards the bridge. thanks for your replies... to make a long story short, i needed to know because i had this riff i made up and i was trying to turn it into a 2-guitar harmony, so i first had to figure out what scale/mode it fit in.. and the phrygian shape worked.

let's say that i had a completely improvised riff and i wanted to harmonize it, but it didn't happen to fit into any ascertainable mode.. is there any other way? i mean how could you calculate, say, 3rds if you didn't know what scale/mode you were in??

davie_gravy 2006-10-23 09:42

Well...

You could do a parallel harmony, which means you would play say a perfect 4th against every interval in your riff, regardless of what note it is. You can always play an interval you want against any note. It's the fact of whether you like how that harmony sounds against that interval that the given time.

If you wanted to play a minor 3rd to every interval in your melody, just locate the root, then come down a string and back (towards the nut) 2 frets and you got the minor 3rd.

JonR 2006-10-23 12:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by TangledMortalCoil
yes, i meant shifting up one fret towards the bridge. thanks for your replies... to make a long story short, i needed to know because i had this riff i made up and i was trying to turn it into a 2-guitar harmony, so i first had to figure out what scale/mode it fit in.. and the phrygian shape worked.

let's say that i had a completely improvised riff and i wanted to harmonize it, but it didn't happen to fit into any ascertainable mode.. is there any other way? i mean how could you calculate, say, 3rds if you didn't know what scale/mode you were in??
It's highly unlikely you'll invent a riff which doesn't fit some scale or other. But assuming you can't identify it...

Apart from davie's suggestion, you could pick any other note from your scale.
I mean, I assume your riff will contain at least, say 3 or 4 different notes. Treat those notes as the scale, whether or not it matches any scale you know. Just use other notes from that set as harmonies.
If in doubt - or if the intervals don't seem to work - use your ear: pick any note, and move it this way or that until it sounds right. (You'll probably find that this exploration adds missing notes from the unknown scale, helping you identify it.)

Your ear is always the best method when harmonising. Even if you know the scale you're using, don't feel you have to stick to it when harmonising. Normally you would (that's safe and easy, and will work), but occasionally chromatic notes work better.
Using your ear can be slow - it may take several attempts (including recording each harmonisation and listening to it) before you're happy with the result.
It can also help to play the harmony alone (without the lead line), to see how it sounds. Good harmonies make their own melodies or riffs.

Even so, quite often, you end up with choices you can't decide between - which is where theory can help.

TangledMortalCoil 2006-10-23 16:23

thanks again. i have tried all of these methods and they all make sense.. plus more importantly, they work. in fact, davie's suggestion about going back a string and two notes toward the nut just made me realize that this stuff has been right under my nose all along.. a simple powerchord contains a root and a 3rd (and a 5th) and you can use that fingering to find pairs of thirds all over (minding the 2nd string). this thread is damn helpful.

EDIT: while i like the ease of applying the minor 3rd technique davie mentioned, it sounds different from the result i get when i calculate the 3rds of my riff based on the phrygian mode.. is this because the phrygian mode is relative to a major scale?

by the way, this guy's articles on intervals and modes are also kinda useful for theory beginners like myself: http://www.guitarnoise.com/authors.php?id=25

davie_gravy 2006-10-24 09:29

Well your diatonic harmonies will always sound more rich and melodic. Phrygian mode is a diatonic 3rd up from the major scale. The parallel harmonies will have some dissonant intervals because the propteries of the major scale dont' always line up with a set.. say minor 3rd interval. Some intervals are minor, some are major. Look in the first post to see what intervals are major/minor/diminished then you will know what harmony to play at any given interval.

JonR 2006-10-24 11:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by TangledMortalCoil
thanks again. i have tried all of these methods and they all make sense.. plus more importantly, they work. in fact, davie's suggestion about going back a string and two notes toward the nut just made me realize that this stuff has been right under my nose all along.. a simple powerchord contains a root and a 3rd (and a 5th)
You mean a triad ;) . A powerchord only contains root and 5th.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TangledMortalCoil
EDIT: while i like the ease of applying the minor 3rd technique davie mentioned, it sounds different from the result i get when i calculate the 3rds of my riff based on the phrygian mode.. is this because the phrygian mode is relative to a major scale?
Yes. As davie explained, sticking to the same kind of 3rd takes you out of key (or mode). If you want to maintain phrygian mode, all of your harmonies need to come from that scale. As with any major scale mode, 4 of the notes are harmonised with minor 3rds, 3 with major 3rds.

So with E phrygian, it works like this

E -> G = minor 3rd
F -> A = major 3rd
G -> B = major 3rd
A -> C = minor 3rd
B -> D = minor 3rd
C -> E = major 3rd
D -> F = minor 3rd

If you used all minor 3rds, you'd effectively be harmonising E phrygian with G phrygian - you'd have a bi-tonal piece of music! (Might sound cool, but would be very strange...)

TangledMortalCoil 2006-10-24 13:03

^ yeah, i meant triad ..the point is there's a 3rd in either one! anyway, thanks again. i just need to read more about intervals. that excel spreadsheet (mentioned in another thread) is real useful. my entire application of scales and modes so far is based on patterns and numeric intervals.. i'm just trying to know more about the underlying theory.

CalledToArms 2008-10-16 11:39

great thread so far! I've really been digging into modes later (Dave Weiner has some great videos on youtube for an introduction).

You guys are lucky to have some of the people here that are answering your questions in this thread. I am not as advanced as them but everything I have learned on my own or asking friends has been restated correctly here by Davie and the others. Its great information! I just happened across this forum today while I was thinking about a progression I wrote and was trying to apply modes to for my band.

On to my question...Its a long one (mainly because I am long winded and not trying to leave info out haha). So bravo to anyone that reads the whole thing and can provide feedback haha. ie let me know If I am thinking of/applying modes correctly and any other suggestions are welcome.

The progression is PART 1 E-F-Am (x2) then PART 2 C-Am-A#/Bb (x2) in each case the first chord is a whole note and the last two chords are half notes

I wrote it without thinking in terms of music theory, it was just a progression that sounded cool to my ears, but now that I want to put a lead on top of it, I have started to kind of evaluate it this 1) so I can ultimately get a cool lead laid out for it, and 2) it seemed like a good exercise for modes after I looked at the progression I had put together. And maybe it will be a good example for others here if we analyze it together.

First thing that I noticed was the presence of 2 major chords 1 half step apart to start my first progression (the E to F). They immediately gave off a cool vibe which is why I liked them when I was writing. After looking some stuff up, it seems like the E-F-Am leans very hard to being an A harmonic minor progression - more specifically an E Phrygian Dominant progression since I started with the V-VI (and phrygian dominant is the 5th mode of harmonic minor). To me, this calls for using E Phrygian Dominant on top of the first 2 chords to really bring out the sound that those 2 Maj chords next to each other evoked -or- maybe E mixolydian over the E to E phrygian dominant over the F if starting on E phrygian dominant was too "specific" to start with. This 2nd option provides a b7 which then moves into the adding the b2 and b6 over the F which might be kind of cool.

This brings me to the Am chord after the E and F. First thing I thought of was simply playing A harmonic minor of top of this since it is the key that my E Phrygian dominant was based off of – thus it shares the same notes and would flow pretty well even though it would have a slightly diff sound. The 2nd idea was to play A Phrygian to kind of keep the Phrygian sound and A gets Phrygian if you look at it in terms of Fmaj. The 3rd thought I had dealt with looking ahead to chords 4, 5, and 6 in my progression. I noticed that C-Am-A#/Bb is certainly NOT in A harmonic minor. These chords seemed to come from F major – or more specifically they formed a C mixolydian sound because it didn’t include an F but instead started on the C and ended on the chord based off a b7 of C. (and C is the 5th of F major hence mixo)

This led me to think of doing something interesting on top of the Am chord in PART 1 to indicate/transition smoothly into F maj / C mixo. Perhaps on the last time I am playing Am from PART 1, I could think about using E Locrian over the Am chord since this is the mode of E found in F maj - and A minor is in F maj. It seems it would both flow well after the Fmaj chord and segueing into the C mixo progression. This would also make my lead be something like E mixo – E phryg dom – E locrian which kind of keeps it congruent and adds darker tones each time ie (b7, then b2,b6,b7, then b2,b3,b5,b6,b7) I liked this because PART 2 of my progression has significantly lighter/brighter sound (F maj) and would be a good contrast to PART 1.

This of course brings me to the 2nd part of my progression, but this post is already long so I think Ill save analyzing part 2 for later and see what any of you think.

SUMMARY:

Part 1 of my progression:

E – F – Am

Possible lead structures I was thinking of at work:
E mixolydian (or major) to E Phrygian dominant to A harmonic minor
E mixolydian(or major) to E Phrygian dominant to A phrygian
E mixolydian(or major) to E Phrygian dominant to E Locrian

Thanks guys, you all have always helped me a ton!

JonR 2009-02-02 13:19

Quote:
E mixolydian (or major) to E Phrygian dominant to A harmonic minor
E phrygian dominant and A harmonic minor are - as you know - the same scale, so you are not exactly going from one "to" the other. It's the chord change that will make that same set of notes sound different.
The choice on the E is yours of course - but personally I would choose the same scale for all the chords.
(That's simply a matter of personal preference. In a sequence changing as quickly as this, I like to keep the same overall tonality if I can. You may prefer the disruptive effect of scale switching - and so might I sometimes!)
Quote:
E mixolydian(or major) to E Phrygian dominant to A phrygian
E mixolydian(or major) to E Phrygian dominant to E Locrian
A phrygian and E locrian are the same thing in this case. "E locrian" over an Am chord will come out as A phrygian anyway. No point thinking of it as anything different.
I'd agree this is a good scale for the last Am before the change, to anticipate the approaching tonality (C mixolydian). (At least a good idea to try it, see how it sounds.)

One way of helping you decide is to come up with a melody - something you can sing over the whole sequence. Certain notes (and therefore certain) scales are going to feel more "right" than others when it comes to melody construction. A melody will give a coherence and a logic to the whole thing.


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