#1

Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:55 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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There are many ways to look at modes. One way is called "derivative." This is what I like to call the beginner music theory 101 textbook way because it seems this is the way that most people teach the modes. Nothing wrong with it although I personally find it more fits the classroom setting better than actual real world on the spot improv. That being said, it definitely has it's place and many people use this method.

Basically, it says that each note of a major scale can generate it's own scale. The term "mode" was taken from this principle because it's a new scale, but using the same notes as a parent scale. So, instead of calling it the Lydian scale they called it the Lydian mode because it was derived from a parent major scale.

Example using G major as the parent scale.
Notes in G major scale are: G A B C D E F# G (W W H W W W H)

G Ionian mode: G A B C D E F# G (this is the major scale)
A Dorian mode: A B C D E F# G A
B Phrygian mode: B C D E F# G A B
C Lydian mode C D E F# G A B C
D Mixolydian mode D E F# G A B C D
E Aeolian mode E F# G A B C D E (this is the minor scale)
F# Locrian mode F# G A B C D E F#

Some modes sound major (Ionian, Lydian, Mixolydian)
Some modes sound minor (Dorian, Phrygian, Aeolian)
Some sound strange (Locrian)

This is the basic way modes are taught in guitar magazines, music theory textbooks, and on the internet.


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#2

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:35 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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Another way to look at modes is called "parallel." In this way, we don't think of "A Dorian" as coming from the parent scale of "G major." We create the "A Dorian" starting from "A."

Let's keep things simple and use C major. Let's use this scale to take a look at the major sounding modes.

C major scale: C D E F G A B C (W W H W W W H)

If you play the C D E G A (that's everything excluding the 4th in this case F and 7th in this case B) that is a C major pentatonic scale.

Eye opening isn't it? This is the first scale ever discovered. This is very important.

If you now take your C major pentatonic scale and add the 4th and 7th then you have the C major scale or the Ionian mode. So, it seems the 4th degree and 7th degree are very important here.

What if we alter the 4th or the 7th?

If we raise the 4th a half step but leave the 7th alone we would have: C D E F# G A B C THIS IS C LYDIAN

So, the Lydian mode is simply a major scale with a #4.

If we flat the seventh a half step but leave the 4th alone we would have: C D E F G A Bb C THIS IS C MIXOLYDIAN

So, the Mixolydian mode is simply a major scale with a b7.

You will never be able to use these unless you hear them for yourself so DOWNLOAD BACKING TRACKS and PLAY THESE OVER BACKING TRACKS.

Ionian mode works over major chords
Lydian mode works over major chords
Mixolydian works over dominant chords


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#3

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:51 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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What sort of chord functions do chords stacked of 3rds built upon these things have? Any tonic functions, dominant preps, or dominant functions? If I am in a C Lydian world and I want to tonicize IV, how could I get there? Unlike with the major and minor scales where each scale degree (minus ones that are the root of a diminished chord) correspondes to a closely related key within +/- one accidental, there does not appear to be any such meaningful way of relating these things to each other...If there is another unexplored world out there for me to explore in my music than I wanna know everything about it...If my questions appear "tough" on these mode things, its only because I require that they should be able to stand up to the same standard of scrutiny that the Major and minor scales have endured for centuries....before I will let them into my musical life. But if it turns out that there really is beauty, logic, and meaning that can be found in these things...then I am gonna keep myself openminded and be willing to engage these mode thingies.

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#4

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:35 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
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Pebber is the master of all things modal so I will wait for him to weigh in on your question but, I personally feel any musician will benefit from an understanding of the modes and their uses. They add spice to your playing and, if you are playing over a modal chord progression, what else are you going to do? If the chord progression is a Lydian chord progression, than it is calling for you to play the Lydian mode. So, in that case, you would need to know it.

For example, if you take the C Lydian mode and harmonize it (the same way we did in the sweep picking thread) you get: Major, Major, minor, diminished, Major, minor, minor. Which is a completely different order than the order of chords we got by harmonizing the major scale.

If we start building chords by stacking thirds starting with C we will get a C Major chord, then we can add the 7th and get a CMaj7, then we'll get a CMaj9, but THEN you encounter the #11 (or #4) which makes the MAJOR SCALE INTO THE LYDIAN MODE so now if you continue you get chords such as CMaj7#11, CMaj13, Cadd9, C6/9 and you probably need to use the Lydian mode against these chords.

The Maj7#11 is used quite a bit by Vai and Satriani among others. Regardless, when you see a #11 it screams for the Lydian mode to be used because that is the same as the #4 which is what makes the major scale into the Lydian mode.

I will let Pebber continue with this answer from here if he feels necessary. And I will go into the other modes when I have time.

Also, no question about this is too tough. The jazz guys put all this stuff to the test over the past 100 years so this is all well documented stuff that is taught by all the heavyweight teachers. Pebber taught me this. It's like studying Bach. It's not really up for debate. It can be questioned but those questions have probably already been answered.


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Last edited Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:30 pm | Scroll up

#5

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:00 pm
by deltadiscos • 301 Posts

I had a Scales book where it had each 3nps scale as a different mode. Starting from a different scale tone.
Not a good way to think of modes, but a good way to find them and hear how they sound.
Another good way to hear them is pitch axis theory, playing modes all starting from the same root note..


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K

Last edited Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:03 pm | Scroll up

#6

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:39 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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The modes that sound minor are Dorian, Phrygian, and Aeolian.

Let's use the key of A minor.

For the major sounding modes we started with the major pentatonic scale. For the minor modes, let's start with the minor pentatonic scale.

If we play an A minor pentatonic scale the noes are: A C D E G

With this scale as our starting point we are missing the 2nd and the 6th

If we add the 2nd and 6th we have: A B C D E F G A THIS IS THE A AEOLIAN MODE or an A Minor scale

If you raise the 6th you get: A B C D E F# G A THIS IS A DORIAN

So, the Dorian mode is a minor scale with a raised 6th (#6)

If you flat the 2nd you get: A Bb C D E F G A THIS IS A PHRYGIAN

So, the Phrygian mode is a minor scale with a flat 2nd (b2)

The Locrian Mode

I tend to think of the Locrian mode as it's own thing because it's not major or minor. It is diminished. Therefore, it creates a lot of tension and you don't resolve to diminished chords.

But, it does sound really cool so here it is.

If you take the minor scale, flat the 2nd and flat the 5th you have:
A Bb C D Eb F G A THIS IS A LOCRIAN MODE

The reason I said the Locrian mode sounds strange is because it's tonic triad is a diminished chord. The interval of A to the 5th which is Eb is an interval of a diminished fifth. A C Eb (the 1, 3, 5 of the Locrian mode) is a diminished triad.

So, you would use the Locrian mode over diminished chords.

That's it for now. I hope this helps you better understand the modes.


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Last edited Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:42 am | Scroll up

#7

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:47 am
by Tom (deleted)
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From a beginner's perspective, when you say it sounds minor/major, what's the difference there, is it that one sound more A than the other? And if so, what is it that still keeps the other one more A than the minor, is it more notes or the root note? And what keeps a diminished mode still in a key, simply the root note or something else?


Last edited Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:48 am | Scroll up

#8

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:49 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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That's a good question but I think it can only be answered by actually hearing it for yourself. So, for instance, find some G major backing tracks (Pebber has a bunch of them on his site for free and there are also a lot of them on youtube) and play the G major scale over the backing track. Do this for a long time. Many hours. Many days. Really absorb what MAJOR sounds like. Then move on from there to other scales and chords.

As with most theory, I find you only truly understand it when you hear it.


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#9

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:05 pm
by pebberbrown • 867 Posts

OK here is the answer to these questions:

What sort of chord functions do chords stacked of 3rds built upon these things have? Any tonic functions, dominant preps, or dominant functions? If I am in a C Lydian world and I want to tonicize IV, how could I get there? Unlike with the major and minor scales where each scale degree (minus ones that are the root of a diminished chord) correspondes to a closely related key within +/- one accidental, there does not appear to be any such meaningful way of relating these things to each other..

Modal playing and modal jazz tunes dont think of chord scales and stacked 3rds and tonic or dominant functions and you dont "tonicize" a IV chord in modal compositions. Modal jazz compositions are the opposite. Modal compositions use a STATIC chord that occurs as a background "PAD" or "COLOR" to improvise on. They almost always stay on ONE static chord as an ANCHOR that remains continuous for a long period of time to establish the solid TONAL GRAVITY of ONE CHORD in the background. They dont change chords and jump around in II-V-I or IV-I or V-I "cadences" or progressions.

Go get the CD - Miles Davis Kind of Blue, and listen to "SO WHAT." Now THATS a modal tune. They stay on Dmi7 for 16 bars, then only move up a halfstep to Ebmi7 for 8 bars then back to Dmi7 again for 8 bars and then repeat, repeat repeat. The soloists (Davis, Coltrane and Adderly) all get to play over ONE STATIC tonal center. This is where they get to experiment with different sounds from different modes/scales over one chord.

Functional Harmony rules are out the window I am afraid. No cadences, no secondary dominants, no tonicization of any other chords. Just improvisation over ONE static chord tonality for more than 2 or 4 bars (measures) at a time.


Most Metal is modal usually as they solo over ONE static tonality at a time.

Miles kicked it all off with this album and everyone followed suit for many decades after. Please go get this album!

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
Miles Davis - Jack Johnson
Miles Davis - Water Babies
Miles Davis - Man with the Horn

All great modal improvisation albums.
The BEST!!!

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#10

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:10 am
by Slashiepie • 118 Posts

So if i understand correctly and oversimplify things.

You are only playing modally if you stay over one chord vamp. As soon as a cadence kicks in it's over and you have gravitated automaticallytowards a key?

This means that modes are barely ever used when soloing in rock/pop/contemporary music, instead we just play from different scale degrees with fancy names but stay in one key?


Last edited Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:13 am | Scroll up

#11

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:33 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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Quote: Slashiepie wrote in post #10
So if i understand correctly and oversimplify things.

You are only playing modally if you stay over one chord vamp. As soon as a cadence kicks in it's over and you have gravitated automaticallytowards a key?

This means that modes are barely ever used when soloing in rock/pop/contemporary music, instead we just play from different scale degrees with fancy names but stay in one key?




It doesn't have to be simply one chord. It could be 3 or 4 chords but the chord progression is sparse and the key does not change. This allows you to use one scale or mode throughout the entire solo.

So, most pop and rock music is essentially modal


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#12

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:04 pm
by pebberbrown • 867 Posts

Ursin is absolutely correct - BUT

GO AND LISTEN TO THE ALBUMS!
After you do THAT a dozen times only
THEN is anyone qualified to discuss it.

All your questions will be answered with your
ears. Sit down and spend the time and LISTEN!

Dont post any more questions until you listen to
those albums!

Miles Davis - Man with the Horn - FAT TIME (with Mike Stern)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqHpb7hF7MM


Last edited Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:13 pm | Scroll up

#13

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:40 pm
by John567 • 156 Posts

I'd like to add also that one of the challenges of playing modally over a song like "So What" is keeping you place. The form can lose me at times. Especially, when your coming out of the last 8 bars and going back to the beginning 16 bar phrase. I find these tunes can be tricky. Another one like that is "Sunflower" by Freddie Hubbard (or was it Wayne Shorter?).

Tricky stuff...

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#14

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:42 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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Classic example. "Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression."

What's the secret chord progression? What's the mode to use?


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#15

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:07 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

Gmin7 to C7 sounds good to me. So thinking in F-major, I start by using G Dorian and C Mixolydian and go from there.

----

Not exclusively modes per se, but I really enjoyed this:



and then of course this supplemental information:

johnmclaughlin.com/v1/updates/tablatures.html

Let me know if I'm not welcome here and I'll continue my self-ban.

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#16

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:06 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
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Well, technically I think "Variations on the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression" is Gmin to C7. Regardless, you could use G dorian over G minor and then C mixolydian over C7 but the point is to use 1 mode over the entire thing. In this case Frank used the "secret Santana mode" of G Dorian.

The point of the modal playing (the way improvisers looked at it) was to be able to use 1 mode and investigate that mode. See how far it could be stretched. Then you could add in chromatic notes. Really stretch the tonality of the chord(s) you were playing over.

Yngwie may use Phrygian Dominant over a chord progression but he definitely isn't trying to stretch any tonalities. He's playing it fairly straight up and by the book. That's one school of thought.

Whereas here, Zappa takes G Dorian out into the stratopshere with some insane phrasing. He's not particularly playing outside of the key here but the note placement and phrasing over the static chords give it a real modern vibe.

Santana would also use G Dorian over a vamp like this and of course he wasn't playing very "out there."

Zappa was really exploring and trying to see what exactly could be gotten out of G Dorian over Gmin and C7.


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#17

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:06 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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I am having difficulty seeing how modes are any different from the those 3 NPS Shapes that everyone thinks are the holy grail of speed playing.


Ursinic Aknowledgements:

Play Guitar better than Fred Durst?---Check

Play Guitar better than Lil' Wayne?---Check

Play Guitar better than Franz Listz?---
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#18

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:31 pm
by John567 • 156 Posts

Hi NicholasJacquet,

Are you talking about the fingerings in general or just the theory? To me there's the different fingerings of the major scale and then there is the theory side of things. I do have a fingering that I use that line up with the modal theory quite well. I believe they are the same 7 types that Pebber has talked about. I think the 3 NPS are just arranging the fingers so that they are just that: 3 notes per string. Here's a quick glance of what I mean:

Mode vs 3NPS.JPG - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)



They both contain the same notes just a different arrangement. In reality you could argue that its all just the key of C. But, modes are about the different tonalities within the key of C. At least that's the way I think of them.....

I don't really use the 3 NPS system. I've been using the 7 fingers for such a long time that they all seem to melt into one big fingering.

I don't know if this answers your question. Let me know if it doesn't.

:D

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#19

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:54 pm
by John567 • 156 Posts

Just one more thing. Just because this fingering (A Aeolian) starts on the A doesn't mean that you have to use it over an Am7 chord. If you think about it you can use it over any of those chords based in C. For example, I really like this fingering over the Dm7 Drop 2 chord (string set 5-2):

m7 vs mode.JPG - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

Again... I hope this helps.

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#20

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:29 pm
by student • 146 Posts

I could be wrong doing this, but I just leave all Pebbers Major Scale fingerings the same when I do the modes.
Say I want Dorian, I just start on the 2.

I know it gets more complex than that, but since I am a newb I prefer having my root or mode that I am in, the starting note


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#21

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:58 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
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Modal theory is not simply the 3NPS system. I don't think the 2 have anything to do with each other. There is a lot to the modes. The concept is simple. To put it into practice is much more complicated. To simply toss it aside as just being major scales is simply ignorance and childishness.

As far as starting on the root goes: Yeah, we guitar players love to start things on the root. It's ok if you are new to it. But you want to be able to branch out of this eventually. A good way of doing this is to take say Major Scale position #1 in G major. Sit in that position and try to play all the major scales in that position. The root notes will move around. You'll see that and get a better understanding.

If the chord is G major then the G major scale notes of G A B C D E F# G will fit and it doesn't matter where you start it will be G major over the G major chord. If the chord is A minor the scale now becomes A Dorian and you would want to play off the major 6 and major 9 which are the characteristic notes of the Dorian mode.

Remember, it's all about the chord you are soloing over. G major chord you play G major scale. A minor chord the G major scale becomes the Dorian mode. You can't think of it as G major scale anymore. You must think of it as A Dorian because A Dorian has it's own sounds. When you learn how to use these sounds then you will be experiencing modal playing. You have to hear it. What does Dorian sound like? Well, I can't tell you.

What if some kid came to you and said "I want to be a blues guitar player" and you say "Ok well, what blues players do you like?" And the kid says "I don't listen to any blues players I just know that I want to play the blues."

Where the fuck do you go from there?!?!?! How do you teach him?

Same with the modes. Same with all musical subjects.


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#22

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:21 am
by student • 146 Posts

Very insightful read Ursin. From your response, you made me think of a practice routine.

Perhaps a good practice routine might consist of harmonizing the G major scale at a very slow speed and loop it.
Then improve through the modes while playing in 1 position.


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#23

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:55 pm
by John567 • 156 Posts

Hi student,

If you want a practice routine.... only if your really interested should you read on. I tend to rant a bit.

Here's my 2 cents: I would start off finding a backing track of one chord comping. I know diraben is pretty good at making backing tracks. You could start with making your own. Better yet type in "Gm7 Backing Track" into Youtube.

Pick your fingering and mess around with it and see how all the notes feel tension wise. It's like Ursin said... modes are modes not fingerings. In fact, if you were to play starting on F (F Ionian) it wouldn't sound "majory" at all. It would sound like the b7 of Gm7.

Play each note slowly just to hear what happens. How does the note want to resolve (move to)? What does the major triads sound like when you arpeggiate them (F, Bb, C, etc)? The minor triads? Intervals?

I know a lot of the time guitarists are so concerned about the fingering that they forget why they are practicing them in the first place.

I did this type of practicing for awhile just to get accustomed to the tensions in the dorian mode.

Phase 2: Sing first then play.

Sometimes I think I'm the only one who does this. My goals were never to be a singer but this next routine help me in a big way. I was able to hear phrases quicker, my hearing got better, etc...

1. Play the root, sing the note, and match the pitch.
2. Play the 2nd step, sing the note, match the pitch.
3. Continue to do this till you've done one octave. Do it descending as well.

If you do this enough you should be able to hear the notes eventually. Once this happens:

4. Sing a small two or three note phrase and try to play it on the guitar. Do this with the backing track to give it context. It makes it a bit easier.

Now you don't have to be George Benson. And if you are embarrassed about how your voice sounds, no worries, my voice sucks too. :D

I hope this helps. Let me know how it works.

:D

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#24

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:36 pm
by student • 146 Posts

Thanks John, I am leaving out the singing.
I am slowly creating a practice routine that is working for me.
This works for me because I can mix things up while trying to place on emphasis on musicianship.

Here it is:
It is focused on a song(right now it is Giant Steps)
I play the melody into a looper and then work on my chord progressions over the melody looping back. I did all my own chord explorations to find which chords sounded the best.

When I get sick of this, I focus on Pebber's 5 position system for the following keys (B, G, Eb)...these are the 3 keys Giant Steps transitions around. I do metronome drills for all 3 keys in all 5 positions.

Then it is Module 1 and Module 2 with a lot of emphasis on Trilling.

Lastly, I then youtube backing tracks for the 3 keys I am in and Jam(I will now pause between tracks and sing).

If I still have more time, I just jump back into Giant Steps and work on my chord progressions.
My chord progressions are choppy and slow right now. Even at 40bpm you still gotta have them fast hands to make it sound smooth :)


EDIT: I just realized that I am going to have to choose another song to work on, because Giant Steps is Anti-modal with all them chord changes. Oh man I am stoked to go out and start listening to modal music and finding a tune that I want to learn.


Last edited Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:59 pm | Scroll up

#25

RE: Modes Thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:32 pm
by John567 • 156 Posts

Hey student,

Yeah, I understand. Giant Steps is no laughing matter. I'm still working on it myself. But, I usually leave it alone for awhile, then come back to, etc... Don't give up on it. Just put it aside and come back to it when you feel the need for it.

I'm glad to hear that your mixing your practice routine up. I know thats what I do. Although, I do keep some things consistently on my practice list (Pebber's Right Hand Stuff is done daily. No exception).

I thinks Pebber has the key when he talks about what to listen too. The first modal type experience that I had was "So What" from Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" album. It's just Dm7 to Ebm7. But the form is tricky. You could start there. Its actually a great album. Lot of good stuff on it.

"So What" is great because it allowed me to practice with my chord forms, different finger positions, etc. I think its because of length of the form and that subtle half step change from D to Eb was just difficult enough to keep me challenged. At least it was challenging for me at the time. Still is in some ways. Learning the head up to speed was story in and of itself. Especially, for someone like me who isn't the strongest reader.

Tricky tune.

Keep me up to date, student. I would love to see your progress on youtube. Let me know if you post anything.

:D

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