Improving Your Modal Feel

Discussion in 'Learning' started by Crispy, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Crispy

    Crispy Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    Improving your modal feel

    Modes are really cool tools to use in writing and playing. I think the way in which I learned modes was a bit confusing and left me unable to really applying them correctly.

    I learned modes from a scale book. It gave good instructions on what they were and looked like, but lacked in application. I would practice them as if they were just another scale. For a long time I would try to play them interchangeable with a the major scale. I would be playing over a simple GCD progression. Of course an ionian mode works perfectly. Then, since a lydian is a major mode I would attempt to play a G lydian over the same GCD progression. It sounded horrible. I later came to realize that to play a G lydian you needed a lydian type progression. So I would play GDA progression which is a proper progression but my "feel" was still not very lydian it was more D ionian. I was play the correct notes and the correct chords, but in me was still a very ionian (major scale) feeling.

    What was happing, I was play D ionian. In my playing a GDA progression, my soloing was really playing over the chords in the wrong order. GDA was becoming DAG. I would start and stop on the correct chords and it sounded okay, but not a lydian feeling.

    If you want to get more of that modal feeling, practice your modes over a progression that illmates the root chord of the ionian equivalent. Practice a G Lydian over a progression that is G A Bmi. This illmates a D chord and forces you to not to concentrate on the D chord, the ionian equivalent. Your modes will sound more interesting and you will have stronger modal feeling.
    Simon Park likes this.
  2. Simon Park

    Simon Park Active Member

    Jun 27, 2017
    South West Victoria, Australia
    Great advice, Crispy!

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