Modes, Scales and Chords Q/A
Scales Over Chord Patterns
On Tue, 6 Feb 1996 email@example.com wrote:
> How does one apply the various modes (lydian,
> mixolydian, etc.) over cord patterns? What kinds of exercises are
> available to practice this?
If you are looking for rules from theory, it depends somewhat on
the genre and the desired effect. Generally, for modal music,
learn the major, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales and
you've then got the fingerings for most modal music. For phrygian,
the equivalent of the "picardi third" is used to resolve the II
For applying these modal scale notes over chord patterns,
- First, be very aware of the relativity of the modes:
Playing a jazz I ii V progression in a major
key is equivalent to playing a VII i IV in dorian
or IV v I mixolidian. Similarly i V VI minor is
equivalent to vi I II phrygian. Phrygian key is
equivalent to playing a VII i IV in dorian or IV v I
mixolidian. Similarly i V VI minor is equivalent to
vi I II phrygian. Phrygian with the resolved 3rd
mentioned above differs from the "hungarian" scale
only in that the 7th is raised for the latter.
This gives rise to the suggestion of using the
hungarian scale as a substitution for phrygian over
the minor key progression.
- Think in terms of the melody as reinforcing notes in or
extending each chord:
For example, using the I chord, the major scale is:
2 nineth (extention)
4 eleventh (extention)
6 sixth (extention)
7 seventh (extention)
- Be aware of opportunities for using voice leading. For example if
you have a chord progression I V I, playing an augmented 4th just
before the V chord or the 7th note in the scale just before the
I chord leads the melody to the root of the respective chords.
- Be aware of chord substitutions (tri-tone substitutions common
to jazz for example). One example is V7 being replaced with
vii dim. 7 (this is equivalent to raising the root of the V7
chord by 1/2 step). Thinking in these terms lead to the use
of the diminished scale over the V7 chord in jazz, for example.
In effect, the V7 chord becomes a V7-9 due to the notes played
>FERGUSON'S APPROACH TO TEACHING & LEARNING GUITAR.