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(@micro7311)
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28/06/2019 2:56 am  

Hi, I believe I need a simple clarification on how to use and understand modes. I am quite familiar with all the scale shapes up the neck, but not quite clear on the relationship between the key and the overall mode.

For example, below is shown as G Ionian. How does change to say G lydian? If all the notes up and down the fret board are in the key of G, how do the other modes come into play? Do we shift all these shapes somehow?

https://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/modes/g-ionian-mode.html


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(@alangreen)
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28/06/2019 4:48 am  

It's really not as hard as people make out:

Using the example you gave - G ionian is the basic major scale - G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G

G lydian tweaks that - G, A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G - making it a mode of the D Major scale (D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D). G is the 4th note of the D major scale, and Lydian starts on that 4th note

Would you use G lydian in the key of D? Why not? It uses the right notes so works well with a D-G-A7 chord sequence

Would you use G lydian in the key of G? Probably not - the G-C# tritone would sound like you'd played a wrong note

"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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(@micro7311)
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29/06/2019 1:24 am  

Okay that I understand, but what I don’t understand and should have made it clearer in my earlier post is how that translates to soloing/improvising across the whole fret board.

Using that same example if I was in D Major playing in G Lydian, the only Lydian scale shape is the 4th up from Ionian. If I were to utilize the fret whole fret board, then I would be using all the modes? So how does one stay in say G Lydian up and down the neck?


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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29/06/2019 5:15 am  

Using that same example if I was in D Major playing in G Lydian, the only Lydian scale shape is the 4th up from Ionian.

Is it?

Time to sit down and map it out across the fretboard. You should find five different patterns

"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
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@noteboat)
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30/06/2019 1:30 pm  

Using that same example if I was in D Major playing in G Lydian, the only Lydian scale shape is the 4th up from Ionian. If I were to utilize the fret whole fret board, then I would be using all the modes? So how does one stay in say G Lydian up and down the neck?

You stay in G Lydian by playing the notes of G Lydian, and by keeping G as the tonic.

It seems to me you've got two different sources of confusion:

1. Scales are not shapes; scales are sets of notes. Thinking in shapes allows you to visualize those notes on the fretboard, but it's the notes that make it a scale.

2. You're confusing the relative major scale and its modes. If you're in D major, you're in D major. If you're in G Lydian, you're in G Lydian. They have the same notes, but they are not the same scale.

I haven't written a long response to a modes question in a while, so I'll try to shed some light on things. Buckle up :)

I'm going to take the second point of confusion first: scales are sets of notes arranged in order - the word "scale" actually means "ladder". The bottom of your ladder is the tonic, the "ground" of the scale. When you're improvising, you're moving up and down the ladder, but at the end you want to reach the ground. It doesn't make a lot of sense to end a solo at some other point, unless it's for effect.

The steps of our musical ladder aren't the same distance apart... the rungs are close together in a couple of spots, and farther apart in others. In the major scale, the close together rungs are between the 3rd and 4th steps, and between the 7th and 8th steps.

So let's say you have a two-octave ladder that you're going to climb around on. But before you start climbing, you dig a hole and set the base of the ladder in it. The hole is deep enough so ground level is the fourth step of the ladder.

Now you go climbing up and down the ladder, doing your solo. At the end, you don't want to be at the bottom of the ladder - you want to be at the ground. If your ladder is the D major scale, the ground is on G - that's your tonic.

So you don't really want to consider your ladder a D scale. It's a G scale, but the steps are arranged differently than your G major ladder: you've got close together rungs are between the 4th and 5th notes instead of the 3rd and 4th notes. Your 4th step is higher than if you were using the major scale.

From an improvisation standpoint, you want to be thinking in G, because that's the ground. But every time you get to the fourth step - the C note - you'll need to play C# instead, because that's where the rung is in your G Lydian ladder.

Now for the first part - the shapes that ladder takes on the guitar.

There are only five shapes for the pentatonic ladder, because in each position you have only two notes on each string. But when your ladder has more steps, there are more than five ways to lay it out on the fretboard.

Since Lydian is a major mode (it has a 3 instead of a b3), you can compare it to the major scale in any position. The G major scale in 2nd position is: 3-5, 2-3-5, 2-4-5, 2-4-5 3-5, 2-3. If you raise the C notes you get 3-5, 2-4-5, 2-4-5, 2-4, 2-3-5, 2-3.

You can apply this to EVERY major scale fingering - even the ones that don't have an equivalent pentatonic fingering. In 3rd position your G major scale is 3-5-7, 3-5-7, 4-5-7, 4-5, 3-5-7, 3. Your G Lydian will just sharp the C notes: 3-5-7, 4-5-7, 4-5-7, 4-6, 3-5-7, 3.

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(@micro7311)
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Joined: 5 months ago
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02/07/2019 12:08 am  

Hi thanks for the response.
1. Scales are not shapes; scales are sets of notes. Thinking in shapes allows you to visualize those notes on the fretboard, but it's the notes that make it a scale.

Yes I understand the difference between shapes and scales, and what makes up a scale. I think I am over simplifying my question and its becoming confusing. I'm trying to tie in modes in relation to the fret board in different keys.

If I compare the fret board for the ionian Mode:

http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/33

To the Lydian Mode:

http://www.discoverguitaronline.com/diagrams/view/8

The fretboard patterns are the same, just in the lydian pattern the start of the ionian shape is shifted up 7 frets to the 9th fret.

Looking at the root notes, the parent key for the ionian appears to be in G, and the parent key for G lydian is D Major?

So if the song was in the key of D Major, I can or cannot play the G Lydian shapes shown in the second link to give the solo a lydian feel? Or does the chord pattern have to have the 4th scale degree raised a half step (be in lydian) for that to work?


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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02/07/2019 4:49 am  

That link marked "Lydian" doesn't work for me - I get phrygian from the top shape. I've got a Festival booking all day today so I'll try and get back to it afterwards

However: G ionian - the major scale - G A B C D E F# G

G lydian - G A B C# D E F# G

You don't need to move the hand anywhere - it's just the major scale with a raised 4th, so you just need to play the 5th string C# one fret closer to the body

"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
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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