Applied Theory: Learn Using The Modes For Creative Purposes

February 11, 2015

Usually, we think of modes as something we only use when it comes to soloing/improvisation. We forget that we can also use them to compose music and get creative.

In today's lesson I want to show you how you can use the basic seven modes of the major scale in order to make the most out of one simple idea. Ideally, this lesson should also help you get out of an episode of "writer's block."

The cool thing about modes is that they allow us to take one melody and change its character. In order to illustrate this, I'm using a simple idea in C Ionian (C major) which I then play using different modes. You'll notice how the essence of the melody is the same (rhythm, structure), yet modifying the intervals that make that melody up have a clear impact on the melody's character:

Feel free to apply this approach with your own ideas. It's not always necessary for you to come up with tons of ideas. At times it's better to take one idea (either a chord progression, a riff, or a melody) and make the most out of it before trying to write something new. Start making music now :)

About the Author:
By Miguel Marquez. Don't hesitate to subscribe to my YouTube channel, as more lessons on applying music theory are in the planning stage. Also follow me on Facebook to stay up to date on lessons and music:

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