Sunday, August 9, 2009

Modes and Slash Chords

How are you? I was just going over some of your lessons online and found them very interesting. I do have a question:

I am currently using the C Mixolydian mode to jam/solo over the root of the mode (C). I am very confused on what chords to use. I saw a video of Frank Gambale explaining this but I can't understand this. He mentions to use the 4th and 5th chord of the major scale. To me, the major scale of C mixolydian is F major...correct??? do I play a B and C? If I am wrong, what am I doing wrong??? I would appreciate any help

Glad you like the lessons. You have to understand the diatonic system to use the modes properly. As you described, you always use the mode over the diatonic chord of the same name right? So C mixolydian works over a C7 chord. Here is the diatonic system for C mixolydian, the key is F major:

I - F (or Fmaj7) - Ionian
ii - Gmin (or Gmin7) - Dorian
iii - Amin (or Amin7) - Phrygian
IV - Bb (or Bbmaj7) - Lydian

V - C (or C7) - Mixolydian

vi - Dmin (or Dmin7) - Aolian

viio - Edim (or Emin7b5) - Locrian

Now probably what Frank is saying, is that the IV and V chords of this key, played over the root of the mode are good slash chords to play for a modal vamp. The IV and V chord in the key of F are Bb and C right? So play these over the C root, as in: Bb/C - C/C (C/C is really just a C triad). So this is a good progression to jam on. This will work for any of the modes:

Bb lydian for example: Bb and C over the lydian root: Bb/Bb - C/Bb (really Bb - C/Bb). This is good for Bb lydian.

D aolian: Bb/D - C/D

A phrygian: Bb/A - C/A

All these examples are simply the IV and V chord played over the modal root. Of course this is just a simple way to practice and you can simply make up progressions from the modal chord. Just don't mix up the chords too much or you will lose the modal sound. Two chords are usually best. C mixolydian: C7 - Dmin7 or C7 - Bbmaj7 for example.


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