modes theory... something I don't understand?

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JackOnTheRocks
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Posts: 13
Joined: August 20th, 2015, 10:48 am

modes theory... something I don't understand?

Post by JackOnTheRocks » August 24th, 2015, 7:29 pm

Hello,

Okay, I am very new to modes and have been
exploring it for the past week and a half.

However, something is still a little shaky. Let me explain.

First off I watched this video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5K-DbaaI4wc

I know .... it's a 3 part video.... but the 2nd part
is what concerns me. I just want to show that
I am doing the the same experiments as the
video is.

And I tried the same thing.... Here's what I did:

1) I played a solo over a B major chord starting
my solo with the tonic of B note and playing
notes from the B major scale. This would put
me in Aolian mode since I did like the video where
we start on the key of B major.

2) In the next measure, my solo switched to
b Dorian where this time the solo would use the notes of the A major scale but the first note always starting
on the B note because the underlying chord is
still a B minor (B minor because the Dorian is a minor mode). However overall, this would now put me in the key of A major.

3) In the next measure (3rd measure), my solo switched over to a B Lydian where this time the solo would use the notes of the F# major scale but the first note always starting on the B note because the underlying chord is
still a B Major (B Major because Lydian is a major mode). However this would now put me in the
key of F#.

So I can go on like this from mode to mode and
always starting the tonic on a B note since my progression
chords are always a B Major for major modes and
B minor for minor modes.

By now I don't think the rhythm guitar player is
too happy simply playing the same B chord over
and over again and simply switching from B Major to
B minor.

So one thing I find the video didn't expand on is what happens if for measure #4, I tell my rhythm guitar
player to go to D major chord, and I want to solo
in D Dorian mode.... would my solo scale become
all notes of the C major scale.

So I would start my first note with D, and then solo
with C, D, E, F , G, A, B, C....

right?

Also, should the rhythm guitar player
switch to D Maj, D minor or D# minor?

Just want to make sure I'm thinking of this in the correct
way.

thank you

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Alan Green
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Re: modes theory... something I don't understand?

Post by Alan Green » August 24th, 2015, 10:39 pm

Getting there.

1 - It's the ionian mode, not the Aeolian.

2 - Your rhythm player is going to be very confused. When you switch to B Dorian, the B Major chord won't work because there's no D# in the key of A. The Bm chord is correct here but the change might ot be seamless.

3 - The B Major chord will work here in F# because it's the subdominant chord (part of the I-IV-V three-chord trick).

The rhythm guitar player needs to play what's written for the tune. It's his job. You're the composer, it's your decision what he plays.

Your problem comes with the key change to C and the D-something chord. If you're playing D Dorian, you want a chord of Dm (with the F natural) instead of D Major (which has an F#). When you switch to the key of C (which you've just done), your basic chord harmonisations are: C, Dm, Em, F, G7, Am and Bdim.
"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger
"I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk

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JackOnTheRocks
newbie
Posts: 13
Joined: August 20th, 2015, 10:48 am

Re: modes theory... something I don't understand?

Post by JackOnTheRocks » August 25th, 2015, 9:33 am

Hi Alan,

ok, sorry for being so thick.... and your help is
really appreciated. So to recap one
last time.... here's the scenario:

Measure#1)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: Ionian
Solo: Using B major scale
Key: B Major

Measure#2)
Underlying rythym chord: B Minor
Mode: B Dorian
Solo: Using A major scale
Key: A Major

Measure#3)
Underlying rythym chord: B Major
Mode: B Lydian
Solo: Using F# major scale
Key: F# Major

Measure#4)
Underlying rythym chord: D Minor
Mode: C Dorian
Solo: Using C major scale
Key: C major

So allow me to do a few more here so I make sure I get this:

Measure#5)
Underlying rythym chord: G Major
Key: C major
Mode: G Mixolidian
Solo: Using C major scale

Measure#6)
Underlying rythym chord: A Minor diminished
(A, C and Db)
Key: B flat major
Mode: A Locrian
Solo: Using B flat major scale

Now assuming I got the above correct....
My lead solo part of my song would change
key 5 times ????????? Is this ok..???? Usually
most songs have their solo parts staying to
the same key as the rest of the song!!!!
So what gives with these modes....??? it seems
like we are changing keys all the time.... isn't this
weird?

Thanks for your help....
cheers

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