Friday, January 09, 2009

Learning Modes - Putting Something Together

Now that we can find a major scale that is equivalent to a mode we need to be able to know how to choose which modes to play. Here is one method that can yield some good results. For starters lets look at a very simple chord progression in the key of G:

|: G | C | G | D7 :|

We need to determine what modes work with which chords. To do this of course, we need to be able to spell our chords. First take G Major which is made up of G-B-D. Lets find which modes retain these 3 notes.

G Ionian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F#,G) - This works
G Dorian (G,A,Bb,C,D,E,F,G) - Nope it has a Bb
G Phrygian (G,Ab,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G) - Nope Bb and Eb
G Lydian (G,A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G) - Yes
G Mixolydian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G) - Yes
G Aeolian (G,A,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G) - No
G Locrian (G,Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G) - No

So from this we see that G Ionian (major),G Lydian and G Mixolydian will work for a G Major chord.

Next we look at C Major which is made of C-E-G

G Ionian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F#,G) - Yes
G Dorian (G,A,Bb,C,D,E,F,G) - Yes
G Phrygian (G,Ab,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G) - No
G Lydian (G,A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G) - No
G Mixolydian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G) - Yes
G Aeolian (G,A,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G) - No
G Locrian (G,Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G) - No

C major works with G Major, G Dorian and G Mixolydian

and Finally D7 which is D-F#-A-C

G Ionian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F#,G) - Yes
G Dorian (G,A,Bb,C,D,E,F,G) - No
G Phrygian (G,Ab,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G) - No
G Lydian (G,A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G) - No
G Mixolydian (G,A,B,C,D,E,F,G) - No
G Aeolian (G,A,Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G) - No
G Locrian (G,Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G) - No

So we will stick with G Major for the D7

When we map this out




|:GCGD7 :|
G Major
G Lydian (D Major)
G Mixolydian (C Major)
G Major
G Dorian (F Major)
G Mixolydian (C Major)
G Major
G Lydian (D Major)
G Mixolydian (C Major)
G Major

So we have several options here we can play major all the way or use any combination we choose. When we use G Lydian we have a #4 note added and when we play G Mixolydian we have a b7 note.

We could of course look at the scales under the C chord in terms of C if you really wanted to, You would find that G Dorian = C Mixolydian,G Major = C Lydian and we already saw that G Mixolydian = C Major, but these are all enharmonic and so dealing with them all as modes of G can make it easier for some.

So here is an mp3 (inside the zip file) of these 3 chords that you can put on repeat on your computer and try jamming over these chords using these modes. I threw this together at 1:30am, so it probably won't sound very good. Anyway check it out and good luck!
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