Are modes redundant if.....

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Are modes redundant if.....

Post by almann1979 » August 18th, 2011, 11:15 am

Does learning modes become redundant if you approach soloing in a "chordal" way instead of a "scalar" way. Just a thought that occurred to me earlier on.

If you are used to Playing over the chords, rather than in the key, do you ever need to think modally?

I am certainly not suggesting not learning modes, and even if you are playing over the chords i am sure it is important to know which scale to use if you want to put in a fast legato bit, or a descending run etc.

But in general, does playing over the chord, make understanding modes far less important?
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Re: Are modes redundant if.....

Post by NoteBoat » August 18th, 2011, 8:19 pm


There are lots of ways to approach soloing. If you're thinking in terms of "this is a chord tone", then your solos will be centered around arpeggios; if you're thinking "this is a scale tone" you'll be centering in terms of scales/modes.

You want an awareness of both - what notes can be emphasized (because they're chord tones), and which ones are best left to subordinate roles (because they're non-harmonic scale tones). One analogy that springs to mind is to think of your solo as a piece of art: the use of chord tones is the drawing, the use of non-chord tones provides the colors. If your drawing is bad, your colors won't help; if your colors are bad, it'll seem strange, but recognizable.

Ultimately you want your ear to guide you as you create a melody. When you reach that stage, you'll be aware of the chord & scale tones, but they won't drive your decisions.
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