Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:29 pm Post subject: Modes, Harmonic minor modes, melodic minor modes
Im trying to learn more about modes and i stumbled across stuff about modes in harmonic minor and melodic minor. How do you choose which mode to use over a chord thats being played? is it all just about the different general sounds that each mode makes? How does one go about memorizing 21 modes and how to play them on the entire fretboard..i know it takes years of practice but still seems like an amazing thing to me
Also, what are modes such as Hypolydian and Hyperphrygian?
Modes become useful depending on there relationship to chord tones. You have to look at the chords that are made from the scale.
So let's say you are working on the modes for the harmonic minor scale.
Let's say A minor harmonic: A B C D E F G# A
The way I think about it is what chords can you get from every chord tone:
So You could use the first mode for: Amin(ACE) Aminmaj7(ACEG#)
Second Mode: Bdim(BDF) and B-7b5(BDFA)
Third Mode: Caug(CEG#) or Cmaj7+5(CEG#B)
Fourth Mode: Dmin (DFA) Dmin7(DFAC) Dmin9(DFACE)
Fifth Mode: E7 (EG#BD) E7b9 (EG#BDF)
Sixth Mode: Fmaj7 (FACE)
7th mode: G#Dim(G#BD) G#o (G#BDF)
All I did was build the chords from the scales using thirds. Thus identifying the use of the mode. So for example you could use the 6th mode over a Maj7 chord. Or Use the 3rd mode over a Augmented chord.
So that should give you a good start. Again, let's say you are playing a Minor chord you could potentially use the 1st or 2nd Mode; Also depends on where you are coming from and where you are going and for how long.
Modes are really like flavors, created by the intervals within. And a very linear way to think, but not in necessarily a bad way.
Alright, I hope that helps.
Also I personally think it's easier just to learn the scale, and not the modes, and learn what chords what scales work over, for instance instead of thinking D dorian works on a Dmin7 chord, just think CMajor scale works. Or you could think "Play a major scale from the flat 7th of the chord"
Oh, I can't seem to stop tonight. Another thought. What about creating your own scale. You could come up with your own Modes for it as well, and learn what other things might work.
For example a scale I've come up with (which may already be something, but I've never seen it anywhere, sounds cool though) :
It's very exotic middle eastern like so: GABb C#DEb F# (we'll call it the "Mirth Scale"
So what Chords would this work over:
1st mode: Gmin (GBbD) Gminmaj7(GBbDF#)
2nd mode: A7b5 (AC#EbG) "I've never tried that, but I bet it would be cool.)
3rd Mode: Bbaug(BbDF#) Bbmaj7+5(BbDF#A)
4th Mode: C#dimSus2 (C#EbGBb) "Actually it would be a 3rd inversion Eb7 chord"
5th Mode: Dmaj7 (DF#AC#)
6th Mode: Ebmaj7 (EbGBbD)
7th Mode: F#min (F#AC#) F#min6 (F#AC#Eb)
As you may have noticed I used the note from the scale to avoid confusion, though not always the appropriate name for the chord, for example Eb for D#(6th) in the 7th mode, sorry if this was confusing.
Just to talk about scale making you can take any chord and make up your own scale. So let's say Fmin7 is the chord, so you have:
F Ab C Eb: As long as you have those notes you can basically add any other notes you like, to some degree> So some examples may be:
F Gb Ab B C Db Eb I just added any note I wanted. (sounds good too.)
Or even more than 7 notes, or less:
F G Ab Bb C C# D Eb
F G Ab B C Eb
So anyways the sky is the limit, all above scales sound pretty cool and were completly synthetic, though they may exist elsewhere, I never tried before, they work because the system works, and will sound good. So I hope all of this helped, and didn't scare anyone away. Cheers,
see the pattern? It's made by the tetra chords used to create scales. These are all listed in the order they are in if each is spelt relative to C and matched to the major keys with the same notes in cycle of 4ths (C lydian has the same note as G major or F mixolydian has the same notes and Bb major), which to my ear also gives them in descending order of brightness. Lydian bright... Locrian dark... or the semiotics of drink Lydian is one absynth Locrian is 7 pints of Stella Artois.
so if you have melodic minor, the tetra chord is a bit different.
lydian aug - #4 #5 (lydian with added #5)
super-locrian = b2 b3 b4 b5 b6 b7 ( ionian with a raised root )
lydian dominant - #4 b7 ( mixo with a raised 4th)
jazz minor = b3 (dorian with a nat 7)
mixo flat6 (aeolian with a major 3rd)
I'd stop here. Why have I called it the jazz minor? Because the notes are the same descending as ascending.. unlike the melodic minor. I use it or the dorian to play over a minor and the other notes are chromatic.
But where is the harmonic minor? It's not there.. it was used to ensure that minor keys, chords had a perfect cadence from V to I by some monks. I'm not interested in neo-classical so it's not on my radar. from the guys I know who use it they use 2 modes no more.
I'd stop there and start playing with compounded arpeggios then, two dominant arpeggios a tone apart will make a melodic minor scale.. two minors a tone apart will make a major scale... and over changes thats as much as you'll get to use maybe adding some stuff on substitutions or extensions.. there is a limit to scales I think.. and I don't like music over a static chord... (where I see them being used) it's dull.
I also see pentatonics as arps rather than scales because if you wiggle it just right you can get the pentatonic to play 2 3 5 6 7 over a major chord.. it dodges the obvious root note and the dodgy 4th note which can sound dissonant. _________________ Fabulous powers were revealed to me the day I held my magic Suhr(d) aloft and said "by the power of great scale!"
Actually, I've never got much into the Harmonic minor either. I've never particulary liked neoclassical, but I think maybe I should explore it more(harmonic minor, not neoclassical), this is the first time i've ever written it all out like that. i'll ahve to experiment, and see how it works in a more fusion jazz setting, anyways.
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