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Jazz Bass Lessons: Electric Bass: Breaking Down the Modes

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>> Okay,
I'd like to breakdown and hopefully
demystify a little bit subject of modes,
because I learned modes at a fairly
early age, I was fortunate.
My older brother Tom who is a great
guitarist, he was my first teacher.
He showed me a lot of things and I believe
this is one of the things he showed me.
It's important to know them and because
it can sometimes help you negotiate and
group harmonies together, and in music and
when you're dealing with chord changes.
But the only caveat I want to say
is sometimes people get locked into
what I call, the trap of thinking
of everything as chord scales,
they think improvisation's
always based on scales and
the more I got around people
like Wayne Shorter and
everything I realized, and actually,
early on my brother taught me this too.
Arpeggios are really important.
The skips and the triads and
combining them and
doing things even more so than scales.
So I just want to make sure
we don't get trapped in
thinking that scales are the way
we improvise, we play scales.
Now we play melodies, yes their derived,
the scales are kind of a palette of colors
we take notes from and make melodies from.
So in that respect we can use the modes.
Hopefully in a more colorful way.
I always thought it was best to
think of them emotionally colorwise.
Like instead of going I'm just
going to use the Ionian mode,well,
let's see if we can break
these down a little bit.
So basically we'll start with the first
mode of the scale, the major scale.
It's C major.
It's Called the Ionian mode.
The major scale as we know it, right?
Now, for
me right away I want to
think of the melodies.
So that's
C major,
from C to C.
The Ionian.
And then in a minute I'm going to show
you how we can sort of take the scales and
the cords that are built out
of C major in these modes,
and use also the triads and
things to combine them and
make them sound really cool.
So here's C major.
So the arpeggio.
Very pure and open, we know that sound.
Now the second mode is called dorian.
So we play the C major scale from D to D.
The second degree of the C major scale,
and we get this sound.
Kind of
Playing a D minor nine here.
I'm playing the D the F the A and
the E on the top of the nine.
So the Dorian minor scale.
Cuz the second chord in the key of C
major is D minor seven.
Here's the triad,
and here's the arpeggio.
I put the knife on it.
There's the 11th.
There's the 13th.
All within that dorian sound.
dorian, right?
That's a nice sound.
Now phrygian 3rd degree.
Some people
which kind of,
it's Spanish to some people.
They like it for that reason there.
So it's
the C major scale
from E to E.
Very Spanish.
also E minor seven.
All based
on the C major
scale, right?
Just from E to E,
that's the third mode, Phrygian.
These are all Greek names and
the origins of the modes are from Greece.
So now Lydian,
this is one we love in jazz.
Cuz this one is the C
major scale,
but from F to F,
from the fourth degree,
which gives us
it gives the F
major seven with
the plus eleven.
This sound
so, and also,
I'd like you to think about so you don't
get stuck just in the scaliness of that,
is the lydian mode with the sharp four.
There's a really nice little
triad pair within it.
You can play the F major triad,
and the G major triad.
And you can hook them together.
I'll show you what I mean.
Here's the sound.
So, if you start to
play around with the inversion,
of an F major triad and
a G major triad, you get
that's really pretty.
That's lydian.
So it's not only the C
major scale from F to F,
its also that triad combination.
And that's a really pretty sound,
one of my favorites.
Okay, now we go to the fifth mode,
which is the one called mixolydian, and
it represents the dominant seventh.
So, you have
that sound G seven.
The blues.
still a C major
scale from G to G.
Then the sixth degree of C
major is A minor [COUGH].
It's an A minor seven.
It's a natural minor scale.
Which is
a great
And having that F in the A minor
sound is a really rich thing
because it's a raised fifth.
So if it's an A minor seven.
But in the scale is that F too?
Excuse me.
Okay, so [SOUND] that's A minor 7.
Now finally we
have the locrian mode.
The seventh mode of the C major scale
is a B minor seven flat five chord.
And we talked about that before they call
it a half diminished cause it's one,
flat three, flat five, flat seven.
It doesn't have the double flatted
seven that the diminished has.
But it's one, flat three,
flat five, flat seven.
So we have this sound.
Also sounds exotic.
That sound.
now you understand
all seven modes
of C major.
The major scale in all its modes.
The first mode in Ionian it's
the regular major scale.
Second modes, Dorian,
it's a D minor scale.
And then there's phrygian, E minor.
Then there's Lydian F
major with a plus eleven.
And then Mixolydian it's
a dominant 7, G7, and then.
A minor, aeolian sixth degree.
And then locrian.
B minor 7 flat 5, B half-diminished.
And then back to C.