Modal interchange

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Joined: July 22nd, 2015, 8:55 pm

Modal interchange

Post by t146 » July 22nd, 2015, 9:26 pm

Let's say I want do a song in E minor (heavy prog/rock/metal) with heavy and clean sections. If I have different sections in the song let's say one section in E Dorian and another in E phrygian (using the chords built from those modes) etc... Will they fit in the song since they're all E minor type scales but use some chords not in E natural minor? What if my progression has a Cm or C#m instead of a Cmaj.

Also can I take E natural minor, E Dorian, E phrygian, E harmonic minor, E melodic minor and write out all of the chords from each scale and then substitute and borrow them at will? This kind of thing has always been confusing. I haven't even mentioned the parallel major or the relative major. I like to make music on the darker side but i want to all fit together and be interesting. Any enlightenment would be appreciated.


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Alan Green
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Re: Modal interchange

Post by Alan Green » July 22nd, 2015, 10:50 pm

E Dorian is in the key of D, so you'll want a C# in your chordal harmony at that point - A instead of Am, for example

Likewise, E Phrygian is in the key of C, so you'll want F natural instead of F# - a Bdim chord instead of Bm for example, or F instead of F#dim

Given the genre you're playing, it'll either sound great, or horrible. Let your ear decide.

If you have a section with a Cm chord, or C#m, then you need to look at what's going to work in the melody. If you play an E against the Cm chord it'll clash horribly (E against Eb). Likewise G against the C#m. To work with this kind of structure, loo at the chord tones and follow then for the melody/ solo.
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