Easy Mode Lesson

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by blakem, Oct 9, 2008.

  1. jbutler

    jbutler Senior Member

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    Thank you, Thumpalumpacus.

    But I hope anyone else reading this will please take note of how I screwed up in my later post, (it's instructive..) I first learned about Modes in the context of soloing on top of chords over twenty years ago, and like most players, I learned a method for "HOW," (positional-pattern-"home key," etc,) but not the "WHY." It was only much later when I got away from guitar that I really started learning something of the "why."

    As shown by the mistakes in my other post, I still fell back into the original misconception I had been warned against at the beginning: thinking of the "home key" as the foundation rather than as a temporarily useful misnomer and bridge to learning the modes that should later be disregarded.
     
  2. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    I hadn't heard of "iastian" before, but seems you're right.
    Wiki is pretty good on the Greek system, as well as on other historical ways of understanding the "mode" concept:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(music)

    (I particularly like the observation that the word "mode" is Latin, not Greek...;))
     
  3. LiveSimply

    LiveSimply Senior Member

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    I mentioned the following instructor in a different thread, but I wanted to highlight his channel to those in this thread as well. He has always impressed me with the thoughtfulness with which he tackles his subject matter. In the following, Andrew talks about Modal Improvising Concepts:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk2_b1_rSZg&feature=plcp]IMPROVISATION - Modal Improvising Concepts - YouTube[/ame]
     
  4. Mattyboy

    Mattyboy Senior Member

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    Bump, because it helps.
     
  5. luke_h

    luke_h Member

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    Knowing modes is great but understanding how to use them in playing is different. I suggest getting course by Frank Gambale "improvisation made easier" where he explains how to use each mode in own playing. There're chords, mp3 backing tracks, lessons and a little of theory. This course helps going from intermediate to advanced player. :thumb:
     
  6. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Hence the reason every guitarist should be well versed in the CAGED system. In fact from a practical sense it might actually be all you need to concentrate on. Jon, Isn't that the "system" you speak of?
     
  7. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Yes, in a way.
    I never heard of the CAGED system when I was learning. And I didn't learn scale patterns as such.
    But naturally I saw the way that the 5 open position major chord shapes translated into other chords higher up the neck.

    Eg, way back when the 1st fret F barre chord was still giving me problems, I discovered you could play an F like this:

    -5-
    -6-
    -5-
    -7-
    -8-
    ---

    I found that much easier. Of course I saw it looked like a C moved up 5 frets. But I knew it was F, and I also knew it had the notes F A and C in it.

    Moreover, I knew my major scales in open position. I knew all the notes in open position, and was beginning to learn them up the neck too - not with any system (and not because I thought I should learn them!), but just by spotting patterns and connections.

    So because I knew how to play a C major scale around the usual C shape. that meant I could play an F major scale by applying the same pattern around that shape 5 frets higher. I didn't have to work out each note. (I could have, but the pattern meant I didn't need to.)
    No-brainer... ;)

    As I said, I never knew this was a "system". I was just finding stuff out for myself. I was never interested specifically in becoming a great guitarist, or in developing technique, or anything technical like that. I just wanted to play the songs I wanted to play, and get better at it.

    But the point about CAGED is - like any pattern system - you need to have a working knowledge of the notes too for it to have any useful application. You need to think in sounds and note-chord relations (and chord-key relations), not in shapes and patterns.
    Of course, CAGED is good for chord-scale relations (better than the modal system), but (at the basic level) only connects one chord with one scale (the tonic of the major key). You need to know that every scale pattern contains 7 chords - some of them as arps more than playable shapes - and every triad chord shape can fit at least 3 scales.
    And you need to understand the contexts that dictate which of those choices are best at any time.

    So although I have a kind of soft spot for CAGED, the only really true "method" is:
    1. Learn every note on every fret (at least the natural notes, ABCDEFG)
    2. Learn basic chord structure (major, minor, dom7)
    3. Learn basic key theory (I, IV, V)
    4. Learn as many songs as you can.

    Any kind of pattern system is peripheral, and may help, or it may just distract and mislead. These things tend to be sold as short-cuts, but never trust anything described as that. Short-cuts either lead to dead ends, or require you to eventually backtrack to pick up what you've bypassed. It's no good getting to a destination early if you don't know what to do when you get there (or even why you're there) ;). It's more important to enjoy the trip.
     
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  8. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Great info Jon. Your level of sharing is beyond anything I have ever seen on any forum. You should have VIP next to your name. Thank you my friend.
     

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