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I've Assembled A Spreadsheet On Modes


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Originally posted by WillPlay4food

snailplow & Smorgasboy,

I think you two are correct. I'll modify my practice routine to include practicing all the modes to get the patterns under my fingers.

Also I need to work on my ear so I know when I'm hearing a C7 vs. CMaj7 vs. Cm7b5 vs. Cmin7 so I know what mode to play in. I don't work with sheet music too much, I just try to play along with whatever songs I'm listening to.




Check this out.




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I just hope that at some point this all makes sense to me.


It will and, once it does, you will realize that it's just a hundred ways of looking at the same thing.


It seems to me that you are taking quite a large bite and attempting to digest it all at once.


Here's another way to look at it (BTW, I suggest you get yourself a piano of sorts to help you "see" scales and modes easily)


If you were to play a C Major scale but use triads instead of single notes you would still play only natural notes (no sharps or flats). This will result in the first chord (I) being C Major, the second chord (ii) being D minor, the third (iii) E minor, fourth (IV) F Major, fifth (V) G Major, sixth (vi) A minor and seventh (vii) B diminished.


In jazz the ii - V -I progression is very common. In the case of C Major that would be D minor - G - C and if we extend the chords a bit and play them as sevenths then it would be Dm7 - G7 - CMaj7


Santana uses the Dorian mode often and may play over a two chord progression such as Dm - G7. As the OP has pointed out, D Dorian uses the same notes as C Major but puts the tonal centre in a different place (D instead of C). Getting back to the ii - V - I jazz progression we can see that the Santana thing is like the ii - V part of the ii - V - I and the same notes would work in either case.



With all of that being said, my suggestion would be to study some of Santana's playing and see how he uses the Dorian mode effectively. You can the record a simple progression such as Am - D9 and see how playing all natural notes with the exception of the F being sharp to create interesting melodies in the key of A. You can start with the A pentatonic pattern which is a sub-set of the Dorian mode and look at the other notes that can be added.


If the second chord of the Am - D9 progression was Dm instead of D9 then the F# would become F natural and all the other notes, including the pentatonic pattern would remain the same but you would be playing in A Aeolian rather than A Dorian.


Once you get you musical head (as opposed to the analytical head) around the Dorian mode then move on to another mode. Perhaps someone on the forum could suggest something specific to work on.


It helps this approach considerably if one knows the location of all the notes on the guitar fingerboard. This is why I suggest some form of piano as a tool to help with learning other instruments.




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