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Wax on, Wax off approach to learning

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by alderre, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. alderre

    alderre Strat-O-Master

    530
    May 1, 2014
    New Braunfels
    Ok @fezz parka and @simoncroft

    I spent (or wasted) enough time with modes last night and today trying to understand them.

    I took my time and tried to open my mind. Here's what I got after simplifying it in my own limited way (or rather, how I explain it to myself)

    My boring usual approach:

    • I determine the Key of the song and decide if its happy or melancholy. So let's say the first chord happens to be a Dm in this song. I know I can play a Dm pentatonic scale all over the neck. I know my boxes and can jump from 1st box to 3rd to the fifth and any box no problem. Sounds nice but I'm tired of it.

    •I add a note here and there to the Dm pentatonic (like a G#) and I feel like a boss, but the feeling is fleeting


    NOW that I am studying modes


    • I know the song is in Dm

    • I like Phrygian because it sounds a little Eastern. I know Phrygian is the 3rd mode. And the first mode Ionian is basically the C major scale pattern.

    • I move back 2 Positions using the WHOLE- WHOLE - HALF-WHOLE-WHOLE-WHOLE-HALF
    step thingy (So I am on the 3rd mode) so if I was playing a C major scale pattern with my pinky on D (the 10th fret) NOW I go back 2 positions so my pinky is on the 6th fret. I put my pinky on the Bb. Right? And I play a C major scale pattern starting with a pinky on the 6th fret

    • Since I know my boxes(?) I can play up and down the neck and i am playing in D Phrygian. :eek:

    •All I have to watch out for is to land on the notes that match the chord underneath? (maybe they always match?)


    Am I getting there? I feel like this works. If it does then I will say goodbye to the Pentatonic and Blues scale.

    So if I like Dorian I just move back one position so my pinky is on the 8th fret and do the same
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017

  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Ok...To understand modes pre Jamey Aebersold (chord/scale method), look at how the modes relate to the parent scale. The modes are degrees of the parent scale.

    Here's how three modes will build a C major chord progression:

    CDEFGAB = Ionian 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.
    EFGABCD = Phrygian 3,4,5,6,7,1,2.
    GABCDEF = Mixolydian 5,6,7,1,2,3,4.

    Play the C Major scale. Record it.
    Play the E Phrygian scale over it. Record it as an overdub.
    You're harmonizing in thirds.
    Now play the G Mixolydian scale over that. Record it. You're harmonizing with fifths.

    This is what you end up with. The C major scale harmonized to create a C major chord progression in triads.

    I. CEG - C major
    ii. DFA - D minor
    iii. EGB - E minor
    IV. FAC - F major
    V. GBD - G major
    iv. ACE - A minor
    vii°. BDF- B dim.

    3 "scales". 1 chord progression.

    There are three major modes and four minor modes.

    There's much more to the way modes work than playing any minor mode with a specific key center.

    D Dorian is the second degree in the key of C.
    D Phrygian is the third mode in the key of G....edit: in bizarro world. In the real world it's Bb. (Thanks Kelly)
    D Aeolian is the sixth mode in the key of F.
    D Locrian is the seventh mode in the key of Eb. :)

    Blowing modes is a relatively new thing. It's a shortcut. Truth is this: As long as you hit/ touch on chord tones on the changes and resolve to chord tones on the tonic/I, you can play whatever you want in between. Anything in the chromatic scale.

    Chord tones are home base.
    The two pent notes are great consonant passing tones.
    The two diatonic notes will give you a modal color.
    The remaining notes in the chromatic scale are your dissonant "outside" notes. Use theses sparingly, and make sure to resolve from dissonance to consonance. Chord tones are the best way to complete that resolution.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  3. alderre

    alderre Strat-O-Master

    530
    May 1, 2014
    New Braunfels
    So as a teacher would you say my way of “seeing it” is hindering my learning?
     

  4. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    If you are making the music you want to make, then no it's not a hindrance per se. If you want to know how/why things work, you'll have to dig deeper.

    Have you seen my theory cheat sheet posted here?
     

  5. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    I won't attempt to improve on what @fezz parka has posted, but I have cut a little off the front of his post the highlight the 'action' part. Learning how these ideas sound, and how you personally made them happen on the neck of your guitar, is vital to any musician starting to incorporate these ideas into their own playing.

    Otherwise, you might as well watch a TV program on any science or nature topic that interests you! You'll be engaged while the information is digested, but you won't really have learned anything by the end.

    The reason I say this is I spent years treading water as a musician. I was like the guy who had the really boring job at the back of the store: "Simon's had 30 years experience." No: "Simon's had 3 years experience, followed by 27 years repetition." Following fezz's kindly advice was one of the things that started to break me out of that.
     

  6. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    oops....or are you testing him?
     
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  7. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Or I f'd up. LOL

    Bb.... :)
     
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  8. alderre

    alderre Strat-O-Master

    530
    May 1, 2014
    New Braunfels
    I have. I’m studying it. I really appreciate everyone who shares the knowledge.
     
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  9. BobbyS

    BobbyS Strat-Talker

    350
    Dec 11, 2011
    Los Lunas, NM
    look at how the circle of fifths relate to the strings and notes on a guitar
     
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  10. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    Any advice I've read on modes highlights this...you need to get what these things sound like in your ears otherwise it's all just a mechanical exercise. As you go through the mechanical exercises and get it all in your ears, it seems to make sense to try to understand how/why it all works.

    We can easily memorize the cheat sheet from @fezz parka ... but so what...that's the easy part. Learning what they sound like and how to apply them...that's the real work.

    I love the sound of modal playing, but I'm not there yet. Like @alderre, I add a note here and there outside the pent scale and I feel like a boss!! LOL.

    When I get done learning the next batch of songs for my band (the work is never done!) my plan is to look at arpeggios. I'm starting very simple...E shaped one and A shaped one...much like when we all started barre chords.
     

  11. alderre

    alderre Strat-O-Master

    530
    May 1, 2014
    New Braunfels
    I remember when I started all I wanted was to be able to play “is there anybody out there?” On my acoustic. I thought I could die a happy man then.

    But the fact that one probably will never acquire all knowledge is proof that music is magic.
     
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  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Duh. You have to implement it. Data memory and muscle memory, there's two types. You can't just read and memorize a chest (cheat stupid auto correct phone) sheet, you have to do it too. That's as plain as the nose on your face. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  13. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    That would actually be a great way of memorizing a cheat sheet...make it a chest sheet to carry around with you LOL.

    Perhaps it's "duh" to you, but to those of us mired in trying to pull this all together, it warrants the occasional reminder me thinks :D.
     

  14. heltershelton

    heltershelton ROCKIN FOREVER Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 5, 2013
    Not Florida
    we will all be trying to pull it all together for the rest of our lives. it never ends.
     
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  15. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    That's part of what keeps me going. There are those moments where you feel as though you are channeling some sort of magic...sometimes you even manage to record that magic for posterity. Nothing at all like it!
     
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  16. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Then the cheat sheet isn't "so what", it's essential to advancing what you know. And if you need a Captain Obvious reminder, then remind away. :)
     

  17. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 12, 2016
    US
    I hope you understand I wasn't trivializing your cheat sheet. My "so what?" comment is something I think we should all ask when presented with information...I do this myself all the time. The answer to "so what?" is where things become useful. So What also happens to be an awesome tune.
     

  18. alderre

    alderre Strat-O-Master

    530
    May 1, 2014
    New Braunfels
    I hope one day I get to the point where I can say “Duh” to people regarding theory.
     
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  19. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    Good to know. It sure read that way, When I say "so what?", it usually means "big deal".
    What if? How?, or Why? is inquisitive. So what?, in most circles, is dismissive. :)

    "I bought cardboard when it was 14 cents a ton!"
    So what? ;)


    You don't read a cookbook and not use the recipes. You don't memorize a cheat sheet without implementing what you learned. What would be the point?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017

  20. fezz parka

    fezz parka The Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    The "duh" was towards the Captain Obvious comment about implementation. Not about theory.

    "The sky is blue."

    Duh. ;)