Modes...

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Grant5896
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Modes...

Post by Grant5896 » July 30th, 2014, 9:11 am

Hi All,

Need some help on modes of the major scale that I can't seem to fathom on my own. I'm trying to learn both Lydian and Phrygian modes for my Grade 7 guitar exam. Let's keep it simple and say I'm playing in C. Ionian would start on C, Dorian on D, Phrygian in E (you get the picture) but...in the book I'm working from, the example they've given me is G Lydian but it starts on a G. But Lydian mode starts on the 4th degree of the scale and working backwards, if the 4th degree of the scale is a G, then the root note/key should be D?

In a jamming scenario, if I'm playing in G and use the example they've given me, surely I'd sound wrong because I'm actually playing in D.

Conversely, if they are intending me to play in G to start with, the Lydian mode of G should start on C, being the 4th degree of the scale. If I play in G and start soloing in G, aren't I just using G Ionian mode?

So why does my book give G Lydian mode starting on a G?

Does anyone know/understand/care what I'm on about?

Thanks,

Grant

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Alan Green
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Re: Modes...

Post by Alan Green » July 30th, 2014, 10:29 pm

Grant5896 wrote:Hi All,

Need some help on modes of the major scale that I can't seem to fathom on my own. I'm trying to learn both Lydian and Phrygian modes for my Grade 7 guitar exam. Let's keep it simple and say I'm playing in C. Ionian would start on C, Dorian on D, Phrygian in E (you get the picture) but...in the book I'm working from, the example they've given me is G Lydian but it starts on a G. But Lydian mode starts on the 4th degree of the scale and working backwards, if the 4th degree of the scale is a G, then the root note/key should be D?

In a jamming scenario, if I'm playing in G and use the example they've given me, surely I'd sound wrong because I'm actually playing in D.

Conversely, if they are intending me to play in G to start with, the Lydian mode of G should start on C, being the 4th degree of the scale. If I play in G and start soloing in G, aren't I just using G Ionian mode?

So why does my book give G Lydian mode starting on a G?

Does anyone know/understand/care what I'm on about?

Thanks,

Grant
Ah, good old Modes. About as well understood as stone-age oompah-loompah street slang. I have the syllabus requirements and workbooks here for London College of Music, the Associated Boards of the Royal School of Music, and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto - all serious study programmes; not one of them needs you to waste time on Modes at any level. Nor does Trinity Rock - the new benchmark for electric guitar studies. Even studying my Bachelor's Degree, the course books had two lines on Modes - a title and the message "Don't bother". Trinity College London does have a Modes requirement at Grade 7 and 8.

Right. From the top:
Grant5896 wrote: I'm trying to learn both Lydian and Phrygian modes for my Grade 7 guitar exam. Let's keep it simple and say I'm playing in C. Ionian would start on C, Dorian on D, Phrygian in E
Correct so far
Grant5896 wrote:...in the book I'm working from, the example they've given me is G Lydian but it starts on a G. But Lydian mode starts on the 4th degree of the scale and working backwards, if the 4th degree of the scale is a G, then the root note/key should be D?
Correct - G Lydian is in the key of D. Of course it will start with G - what else could it start with? Just like your example of Dorian in C starting with D - apply the logic.
Grant5896 wrote:In a jamming scenario, if I'm playing in G and use the example they've given me, surely I'd sound wrong because I'm actually playing in D.
This is where it starts to confuse people - you would not play G Lydian over a chord of G in the key of G because of the C# in the scale clashing horribly with the D in your chords - your mode is one in the key of D, remember. Clash. Dissonance. Wrong notes. You would play C Lydian (C, D, E, F#, G, A, B) to remain in key.
Grant5896 wrote:Conversely, if they are intending me to play in G to start with, the Lydian mode of G should start on C, being the 4th degree of the scale.
Correct - as above.
Grant5896 wrote:If I play in G and start soloing in G, aren't I just using G Ionian mode?
Depends. If you're playing G Ionian (the major scale) then you're in G. If you're playing G Lydian then you're in D. If you're playing G Phrygian, then you're in Eb.
Grant5896 wrote:So why does my book give G Lydian mode starting on a G?
It's an example. If you look at the Major Scale you'll get an example in one key and you have no trouble moving it between keys. Same with the modes.
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NoteBoat
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Re: Modes...

Post by NoteBoat » July 31st, 2014, 5:35 am

Grant5896 wrote: In a jamming scenario, if I'm playing in G and use the example they've given me, surely I'd sound wrong because I'm actually playing in D.
Not exactly. You're using the same notes as the D scale, but your keynote is still G. Think of it as the G major scale with a #4.

How you'll sound depends on the chord progression. Many modal tunes use a simple vamp, just 2-3 repeating chords. So if you're playing over a I-V vamp in G, the chords are G and D - neither has a C note.

If you have a chord that includes C, you have a choice of momentarily leaving the mode, or simply avoiding the C# in your melody.
Conversely, if they are intending me to play in G to start with, the Lydian mode of G should start on C, being the 4th degree of the scale. If I play in G and start soloing in G, aren't I just using G Ionian mode?


Nope, you're using the same notes - but that's not the same thing as using the same scale.

If you play in A natural minor, you're using the same notes as C major. But they're different scales, because one resolves to A and the other to C. Same thing with modes - C Lydian is a C scale with the F notes sharped. That's a much better way to think of it than "G scale starting from C". Either is technically correct, but you want to focus on what your tonic note is.
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Re: Modes...

Post by Donn302 » August 8th, 2014, 10:09 am

" I have read five different explanations to my 'One, question. I am beginning to think there are NO 'hard Fast rules' on the question of modes... perhaps it is up to the individual to choose which works' for them."

( If you are playing in the Ionian mode root of C' and you change to the Mixolydian root of G... Are you keeping the C as root and developing your chords from the 5th degree... or maintaining the G root and keeping the C as the Drone? OR, more to the point... Does it Matter / As it depends on what the player and composer wants ?

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Re: Modes...

Post by NoteBoat » August 9th, 2014, 4:16 pm

You can think about music however you'd like.

The question is: if you change your thinking, can a listener tell? If not, the construct is really all in your head, isn't it?

If you're playing in C major, you're using the notes of the C major scale. If you decide to change to G mixolydian, you're still using the notes of the C major scale. You may be thinking you're doing something wonderful.... but the listener won't know what you're thinking; they only know what they hear.

And they'll hear C major.
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