Modes & What F&%^$&G Key Are We In?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by DebaucheryCannon, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. DebaucheryCannon

    DebaucheryCannon Debauchery Profit

    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Ok guys so this is a write up I did for a few friends and I figured it might help out some of you all here. Please excuse the lack of professionalism XD.

    Letting Go

    We are all taught from a young age that in order to be a master musician we must learn all of the scales and theory needed to apply in the real music world. I found my way a little differently... well a lot differently.

    I learned how to express myself on guitar simply by doing. It wasn't until I was 21 or so (almost 10 years into playing) that I really started to learn scales and basic theory. I can't stress the importance of learning theory in order to improve the way you play the guitar. I do not recommend worrying about it, however, ever. Just play, and play what sounds good. That is the ultimate goal. Music theory is simply a tool to add flavor and an understanding of certain relationships that exist in music.

    What Key is This In?



    When we say a song or part of a song is in a certain "key" it usually means the note that resolves tension when you return to it is the root, or key, or the song. This works when using diatonic scale structures, but when thing become chromatic or atonal, this way of thinking can go out of the door.

    Modes & Scales

    Modes are simply a way of dividing scales into 7 separate scales: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, and Locrian. Each mode begins, or has it's root, as one of the 7 notes of the major scale (or any scale, but let's think about the major scale for now).
    https://www.musicindustryhowto.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/modes-major-scale.jpg
    Let's divide the major scale into it's 7 notes in the key of c major. 1=C, 2=D, 3=E, 4=F, 5=G, 6=A, 7=B. So 1, or the first note, is Ionian. The Ionian mode starts on C, and thus it is the exact same as the major scale.

    The image above shows how these modes appear separately. Each mode in the chart above starts on the next note of the scale.

    C, or 1 = Ionian D, or 2 = Dorian E, or 3 = Phrygian F, or 4 = Lydian G, or 5 = Mixolydian A, or 6 = Aolian B, or 7 = Locrian

    Ionian - Again, this is simply the mode name for the Major Scale. It begins and ends on the 1st degree of the major scale. When played over a major chord it sounds happy and simple.

    Dorian - Begins and ends on the 2nd degree of a major scale. When played over a minor chord, it produces a very warm and "hip?" sound.

    Phrygian - Begins and ends on the 3rd degree of a major scale. When played over a minor chord it works well, but also sounds great over a major chord.

    Lydian - Begins and ends on the 4th degree of a major scale. When played over a major chord it sounds very psychedelic.

    Mixolydian - Begins and ends on the 5th degree of a major scale. When played over a major chord it has a very unique flavor.

    Aeolian - Begins and ends on the 6th degree of a major scale. When played over a minor chord it is the basic Minor scale.

    Locrian - Begins and ends on the 7th degree of the major scale. This scale has the most tension and anxiety of all of the modes because its root is right before the root of the major scale.
     

Share This Page