OM: trying to learn modes


New member
hi all... this is my second posting in OM..

i havent been ard for quite sometime due to exams... but now i am enjoynig my holidays and trying to learn some new stuffs..especially modes and harmony and chords voicing..

anyway this is something i came out with yesterday night... very impromptu with lots of mistake here and there.(i apologise for my lousy attempt)

just wanna ask one question... does this sound dorian??
it does sound Dorian. :)

Hear you doing a lot of passing notes, passing that Dorian mode note too... why not emphasize on it? I mean, like land/end on the Dorian Mode note, the sharpen 6th.

i hope you are thinking of modes more in terms of sound/tone than in a scale way, which would kind of spoil it IMO.

1 thing for you to try out... try playing the Dorian note of the chord you are soloing over. ;) Like you got an Am7, so you target the F#, then the chord goes to Dm7 and so you play B# (C rather).
Its in the same style as in a dominant 7th chord, where you have the basic major tonic (1 3 5) then you throw the b7 over it.
dorian sound

yah.. i admit i didnt really concentrate much on the dorian notes... the flat 7.. hehe.. was more playing more on the passing notes... a bit of bad habit of mine i pick up recently... also dunno why... keke

anyway can u share some pointers in chords voicings, harmony, and modes???

thnks a million!!!
well, you can try emphasizing a lot on the modal notes.. like Dorian's #6/b7 note.. the idea is to bring out the flavour, get that mild minor tonality.

Chord voicing, harmony and modes? Erm. Hahaha... I'm not very good with these things.
I do like to use the Lydian mode a lot. Easy and fun to use, love the dreamy quality. Then in minor key, I prefer phrygain for a slightly different minor tone, more obvious than dorian though. heh.
Chord voicings... Try using different bass notes over a certain chord. E.g. A/D, A major with D bass. It works to make arppegios more interesting and makes it easier to get a more melodic kick out of a normal I vi IV V chord prog.
Harmony... as in...?

hey cow, u havent post the link of your morning jam leh....

anyway regarding the harmony thingy... i was like refering to harmonizing... generally i heard of using thirds and fifths.. by what does that means?? as in how to apply ah??
one last thingy... can u elaborate more on the usage of modes and chords??
hey man, the new link has been up since yesterday. ;) There's also youtube.

Ah...erm... harmonising in 3rds or 5ths basically tell you whats the interval between the harmoised notes. You can have them in 3rds and have say, a C note with an E note - thats harmony and a 3rd apart. Or you can have it a flat 3rd apart, C and Eb, for harmony in a minor. Then there's 4ths, 5ths and 6ths... and 9ths... 11ths... so on so forth. I guess that a basic principal would be chords as they are groups of notes that harmonise with each other. I hope i dont; get this wrong... trying to use layman terms.

More on modes and chords? Nothing better than to play them out. Try doing different modes over a bass note. Like drone an E bass, then play various modes over it... the key is to get a feel of their flavour, what they sound like. Then when you are familiar, then talk about using certain chords and stuff. ;)

Riding on this thread, I would like to ask : what is the purposes for all the modes? I've been learning them in scale positions, but I seriously haf not fathomed the true meaning & reasons behind all these modes.

I understand in 1 major scale of, lets say E maj, there are many different modes which are in other keys). How do I apply these modes in my melodies/solos?

Pls advise. Thanks. :D
There are 7 modes... derived from the normal major scale, which is a mode itself (Ionian).

Purpose of the modes? To add flavour. You try it. Have a C bass. Then play C major, but when you come to an F note, play F# instead. You should hear a very very interesting dreamy flavour: the Lydian Mode.

The key thing is to give that unique tonal flavour associated with each mode.

Thats why ppl say you have to hear the modes, not memorise them. Of course, good for you if you an memorise them. ;)
hey killing... thanks. :)
I do teach... but its primarily a passion for the instrument.

Hmmm...i noticed I treat nicknames as if they has a first and last name component... weirdy weridily...
Hmmm...i noticed I treat nicknames as if they has a first and last name component... weirdy weridily...[/quote]

hey man... hmmm.... i can hear you emphasizing the dorian note... but frankly, I can't rem your first posting so I can't compare. :)

SO! Heh... why don't you take your time, redo it again, since you know abt the mistakes and what not... try to sound confident!

When you repost it, post the 1st version, and the latest version, so I can listen side by side.

Oh... pass me the backing? I will try to do something over it.
ShredCow said:
well, you can try emphasizing a lot on the modal notes.. like Dorian's #6/b7 note.. the idea is to bring out the flavour, get that mild minor tonality.
I firstly apologise for being pedantic but I feel that its important to be clear on a few things for future reference.

Dorian doesn't have a #6. Its actually a natural 6. It is raised in relation to its parallel minor scale which has a b6. a #6 is enharmonically similar to a b7 meaning its the same note, just named differently.

If you want to sound dorian, focus on the 6 and minor third of the mode. The 7th is not really as important as the 3rd. If you leave out the 3rd, you could just as easily be playing the mixolydian scale. So focus in on the 3rd and 6th.
sorry for hijacking the thread but people interested in modes, theory and scales should check out the how to guitar section of the forum. There is a wealth of information and a good discussion that was started by guitarman78.

Some of it might be advanced but I can explain in greater detail as well as give you examples. Once time permits I will even be able to post audio examples.

Anyways, carry on gents and rock out!

hey luke thanks for the info, no worries for the hijack!!!

will check it the link !!

hope to hear from u again soon!!!