I HIGHLY SUGGEST THAT YOU <SAVE> AND PRINT OUT THE CHARTS PROVIDED HERE (charts index webpage ) . As a lessor option to <printing> them all before you start the course, each chart will also have a link at the sections of this course where they are needed; So you can view them or <save> / <print> them as they are needed.
OK.. HERE COMES THE 2lb CHEESEBURGER AND BASKET OF FRIES:
WHAT ARE MODES ANYWAY?
If any course were to cover everything about modes, it would be the size of a music library; Because everything played in Euro-American (called Western) music is directly related to modes, even in the occasional circumstances it departs from modal structure.
The best way to understand modes is to realize the evolution of musical tuning and of scales and thus chords. Indeed, modal structures have been the basis of harmonic music since it's earliest invention.
Early tuning and scales. Back in the later Medieval times, European (Western) music was quite different than it is today. One major difference is that music compositions were written for a specific key and could not be played in any key desired. This was because the physics and math of music back then was based upon the true harmonic relationships between notes, whose intervals get smaller and smaller as they move upscale and are not straight-line linear, and therefore do not match the intervals downscale. Today we use a different system I will explain further below. Due to the unmatching note harmonies of different keys in the old system, different Major and minor keys would match harmonies only if they were derived from a common relative scale. To standardize music so musicians from one area could play with musicians of another area, a standard note tuning was instituted, and the C Major scale was assigned as the common Major scale, and would be harmonious to Major and minor compositions written with C Major scale notes. This is why C scale is the only scale that has no sharps or flats and is all white notes on a piano (black keys came later). So there was a different scale type for each note of C scale being root. This means that harmony lines and chords could be written that would harmonize perfectly in the composition. If a composition passage or harmony was written off of D root note, it was written with C Major scale notes but used D note as the root (#1) note; With the result being the D root passage would be a minor 7 and would be harmonic to all other chords, scales, passages, etc in the composition because the composition was written from the C Major scale notes; because using only C Major scale notes in a D scale can only result in a minor 7. Check it out yourself:
D E F G A B C D = 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1.
Likewise if a composition passage was written with C Major notes but with an E root, it would be an Eminor7b6b9 scale, and would therefore be harmonic to everything else in the composition written from C Major notes under that old standard.
Now briefly about transitioning from the old tuning method that used true harmony notes, to the modern system of "almost" in tune: About 250 years ago composers started becoming concerned about being restricted to specific keys for specific compositions. Some of them even wrote compositions in "wrong" keys, but the dissonance due to the interval harmony disparities was not well received. So they started experimenting with tuning instruments so that the upper scale intervals matched the lower intervals more closely in several keys. The several systems that evolved were called Tempered Tunings. And over time the tempered tunings evolved into the most common tuning we use today called Stretched Tuning, where the whole range of the notes' vibrating frequencies are stretched out in their tuning standard to more closely match each other in harmony in all keys. So the tuning standard we use today does not have pure harmonious notes and the notes are off harmony slightly, but we do not recognize it because our ears are attuned to the tuning we use. This slight off-harmony between notes is why many guitarists have difficulty tuning their instruments since open strings cannot possibly be in harmonious tune to other notes played different places up the neck ! Experienced Guitarists know to compromise half way between those differences when tuning by ear, although most of them don't know why. Electronic tuners take stretched tuning into account. A study of stretched tuning will allow a musician to tune his instrument the best it can be tuned.
Evolution of the modal system. With the advent of Tempered tunings, composers realized they could reassign the Major scale to a different key and write the Major and minor compositions around that new assigned Major scale key and accomplish a Major scale template for the purpose of their composition, around which they wrote the remaining Major and minor passages, chords and harmony. Modes did not have to be "invented" because they were inherently present in music's physical math. The ideas of modal system NAMES evolved out of a need / desire to simplify the terminology and concepts of the modal physical math structure. Rather than having 12 different sets of Major and minor scales and chords that would match the 12 existing notes that could be used for root notes, the composers realized they could simply assign a name for each of the 7 scale / chord types that result from writing with the notes of a Major scale; And since there are only 7 notes in a Major scale to use as root notes they could reduce the 144 possibilities of 12 notes down to only 7 possibilities that could be applied to all 12 key notes. So they gave names to each of the 7 scale types that could be written off of root notes derived from a common Major scale.
Names evolved for each of those 7 scales, NOW CALLED MODES:
Today the names we call Modes are:
Ionian Mode = The scale whose root note is note #1 in it's relative Major scale.
Dorian Mode = The scale whose root note is note #2 in it's relative Major scale, we call the Dorian mode.
Phrygian Mode = The scale whose root note is note #3 in it's relative Major scale.
Lydian = The scale whose root note is note #4 in it's relative Major scale.
Mixolydian Mode = The scale whose root note is note #5 in it's relative Major scale.
Aolean Mode = The scale whose root note is note #6 in it's relative Major scale.
Locrian Mode = whose root note is note #7 in it's relative Major scale.
Those modes ALL have the same identical notes, ...but each mode starts on a different note for root.
When we analyze those scales we find:
Ionian is a Maj7 scale.
Dorian is a min7 scale.
Phrygian is a minor7b6b9 scale.
Lydian is a Maj7#4 scale.
Mixolydian is a Dominant 7 scale.
Aolean is a minor7b6 scale.
Locrian is a diminished (minor7b5b6b9) scale.
THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME NOTES AND ALL ARE HARMONIOUS TO EACH OTHER.
If we wanted to write a song in the key of C Maj, our mode notes for C would be:
C Ionian is a CMaj7 scale. C D E F G A B C. The Mother Maj scale.
D Dorian is a Dmin7 scale. D E F G A B C D E.
E Phrygian is an Eminor7b6b9 scale. E F G A B C D E.
F Lydian is an FMaj7#4 scale. F G A B C D E F.
G Mixolydian is a GDominant 7 scale. G A B C D E F G.
A Aolean is an Aminor7b6 scale. A B C D E F G A.
B Locrian is a Bdiminished (minor7b5b6b9) scale. B C D E F G A B.
If it has slipped your mind, remember that (for example) D MAJOR scale is D E F# G A B C# D so as we take away the sharps as C Ionian did in the above modes for C .we would get D E F G A B C which flats the 3rd and 7th notes and makes it a Dmin7. Same thing for all the other modes since C Ionian took away all their accidentals (sharps and flats) also.
It is remarkable and seemingly magical that the Ionian Mother scale no matter what key it is in . erases the need for keeping track of the specific sharps and flats in all the resulting mode scales, and even erases the need to keep track of the specific notes in all the modes, that all automatically fall into place in the modal system. All we have to do is to know the NUMBER system applied to the modes and they will work in any key automatically. The only scale we need to "keep track of" is where the Mother Ionian is for whatever particular scale we desire to play in any key. And keeping track of the "Mother" Ionian is as simple as learning a template of the Major scale note NUMBERS, what mode is derived from each step, and what kind of scale each mode is. To illustrate how easy this will be, consider this: If IMaj7 is the same thing as IImin7, then they are interchangeable, and since the IImin7 root is up 1 whole step on the IMaj7 scale, then we can play a IImin7 scale by playing a Maj7 scale 1 whole step down from the root we want to be min7. Now all we have to learn is a similar simple relationship for all the modes.
But now we have to combine 2 number systems without getting confused:
The Major scale (Ionian) is the "Mother" scale for modes and has it's step NUMBER sequence 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 .NO SHARPS OR FLATS ON THE NUMBERS, and that's why it is a Maj7. The NOTES of each of the modes are all the same, BUT EACH MODE SCALE HAS IT'S OWN NUMBER SEQUENCE TO SIGNIFY IT'S OWN NOTE STEP ORDER. NUMBERS ONLY SIGNIFY THE NOTE STEP SEQUENCE FOR A SPECIFIC TYPE OF SCALE, CHORD OR MODE. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 is the note NUMBERS for Maj7 NO MATTER WHAT THE SPECIFIC KEY OR NOTES ARE. In music theory every scale and it's chords and every mode have their own number sequence no matter what specific key or notes are involved.
For instance, a Pure Minor scale has a b3, b6 and b7 so it's number sequence is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1 no matter what specific key or notes are involved. And that's the number sequence for the Aolean mode EVEN THOUGH IT'S ROOT NOTE IS THE 6TH NOTE OF THE MAJOR SCALE SEQUENCE .AND EVEN THOUGH IT'S USING THE IDENTICAL NOTES THAT IT'S IONIAN (Maj7) SCALE IS.
To fully grasp this we have to be able to visualize a slide rule effect of the 2 different scale number sequences; one the Mother Ionian and the other for the resulting modes:
See figure 092301-1 and follow along (as previously said, it's best to <save> it and print it out for reference as we go along):
The remarkable thing about the modal system and the essence of this course is that if a melody is written in any mode, a harmony could be written for any interval in that mode by writing the melody in the mode that corresponded to the interval you want to write the harmony line. In other words if you wanted to write the 3rd interval harmony, all you have to do is duplicate the melody in the mode that occurs when note 3 of the melody mode scale is used for root, with no further computations necessary other than the particular voicing you might want. Likewise chords could be easily written for a particular interval tone center by writing the chord in the mode of the tone center interval; In other words if you wanted to write a chord that sounded like a 5th interval tone center then you wrote the chord in the mode created by the 5th interval of the melodies scale mode. Any of the modes can be substituted for each other in these manners, and opens a whole new world and arsenal for most musicians. If you like Jeff Beck, Carlos Santanna, the Lap Steel masters, and jazz music to name a few then you will be glad to know that the modal system is where their musical minds are coming from even though some of them might not fully realize it (Jeff and Carlos DO)..
Even more remarkable is that we can reverse the aforesaid modal process and if a scale or chord is minor7 (which is Dorian), we can play ANY of it's related modes' scales or chords and it will be harmonious to the minor7. So we can simply memorize the finger pattern of ONE of those modes' scales and root chord and substitute it for any of the other modes scales or chords SINCE THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME NOTES. I use the Major scale because it is easily recognized, is most known and it's math the easiest to translate with the other modes. See chart 102001-1. We will have to know where to place that Major scale which we will learn in this course. Likewise if a scale or chord is Mixolydian (dom7), we can again SUBSTITUTE it's Ionian scale or chords and they will be fully harmonious! Either one is the same as the other ! What that means is that if a song calls for a G7 (G Mixolydian) chord, we can make a neat sounding harmonious substitution by playing ANY C Major chord because C Major is the Ionian of G7 (which is Mixolydian the dominant 7 mode) AND CMaj notes are the same identical notes as G7 notes. We could likewise jam CMaj7 notes for G7 chord or scale OR VICE VERSA. Likewise if an A7 (A Mixolydian) chord is called for, we can play ANY D Major chord because A7 is Mixolydian and DMaj7 is it's Ionian scale. In all of these cases the chord substituted is not always the same voicing as the original chord but it is harmonious, and just a little thought and adjustment can make it the same or similar voicing. On the surface this all sounds a bit complicated and is the reason why most musicians avoid the subject of modes like the plague; But it is not complicated at all. All it requires is realizing a very simple relationship between the 7 scales that are derived from the Major scale, each note in the Major scale becoming root for each of the 7 scales. And actually, there are only 4 of the modes used in the vast majority of music ...which are Maj7, min7, dom7, and min7b6; So we really only have to deal with learning 1 finger pattern and which of 4 places it should be placed relative to a chord, scale, or key root; And that is rather easy. Now if you stop to think about it, 99% of everything you play falls into one of those 4 scales ! Look at chart 102001_1 again.
Another example as a teaser: C scale = Dmin7 scale = Emin7 scale = FMaj7 scale = G7 scale = Amin7 scale = Bbdim scale. If you don't believe me, TRY IT ! You will be amazed that the more you play around with the above substitutions, the more your ear will define them differently, because your ear will not hang on to one note as being root, so the same chords will sound different to your ear depending upon what your brain subconsciously hears as a root note. Really cool, and part of the universe and arsenal this course will open for you.
Remember the "5 times" technique ! ! ! !