What mode and why - The Weight in A major

Discussion in 'Theory Zone - Guitar Theory Made Useful' started by hmsindy, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. hmsindy

    hmsindy Blues Newbie

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    I have purchased Griff's terrific new course modes unleashed. And, I'm really just in the memorize the modes process. But, I've also created my own jam track for The Weight in A major. So, I'm practicing all the modes over my jam track and only the Ionian works. I do recall Griff mentioning that only one will work. So, it seems that the 1st mode, the Ionian mode works over the track and over the entire chord progression (A, C#min, D, A). Can anyone tell me why?
     
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  2. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

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    My guess would be because it's written in A major and resolves to the 1 chord, I prefer to play it G though
     
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  3. hmsindy

    hmsindy Blues Newbie

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    Thanks PapaBear.
     
  4. Paleo

    Paleo What's the root?

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    All the Relative scales of A Major would "work" because they are the same notes: A Ionian, B Dorian, C# Phrygian, etc., even though A is the tonal center, which makes it Ionian Mode.

    Parallel scales (A Dorian, A Phrygian, A Lydian, etc) won't work. They are from different keys.

    Griff's course is written in G Major. All of the example solos are written in Relative modes of G Major and use the notes and chords of the G Major Scale: G A B C D E F#----> G Am Bm C D Em.

    In each solo example, the tonal center (I chord) will be a different chord from the key of G Major.

    Griff will encourage you to play each of the 7 Standard 2 Octave "boxes" over each of the Jam tracks for the 6 modes since you are actually always playing the same 7 notes.o_O

    The chords determine the mode, not the scale or "box".


    Since your track of "The Weight" progression is centered on the I chord of the Key of A it's in A Ionian, regardless of what scale you choose to solo over it. (A Major Pentatonic, maybe?)

    Those that prefer playing "The Weight" in G will still be in Ionian mode.

    Is everybody happy?:)
     
    #4 Paleo, Mar 16, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
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  5. PapaBear

    PapaBear Guit Fiddlier

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    I knew somebody would come in with a more in depth analogy
     
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  6. Elwood

    Elwood pickin time

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    Me too. For A, I would most likely use a capo so all the nice chord-melody tone stuff from the open G position is available. I guess if your concern is playing lead over the chord structure A would be as good as G though. I admittedly don't know my modes from a hole in the ground though.
     
  7. hmsindy

    hmsindy Blues Newbie

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  8. hmsindy

    hmsindy Blues Newbie

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    Thanks for clarifying relevant versus parallel. I was indeed playing over parallel and not liking it at all. Well duh, now I know why. I will go back over this tomorrow and with (new) time on my hands I'll try all sorts of stuff over this simple song.
    As an asides, I definitely wish I had started with modes instead of pentatonic minor. I can definitely hear the melody in what I'm doing here. And although the Blues is my first love, dating all the way back to the flip side of the Chipmonk's Christmas song, my ear is more attuned to rock and roll. Stay healthy my friends and use this time wisely.
     
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  9. Griff

    Griff Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
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    In my experience, even in rock and roll, hard rock, and country, the pentatonic is still more common than modes, so don't feel like you've somehow done yourself a disservice coming to the modes after the pentatonics. Modes require understanding of the complete harmony picture, pentatonics do not, and sometimes that's just what you need.