A note by itself is like a single point in one dimension. In the above section, we touched on the modes from the Melodic Minor, Harmonic Minor, and Harmonic Major scales. One more thing to note is that Aeolian itself is the relative minor of a functional major tonic. It is either a sustained note or a regularly played note. The tertian seventh chord based on C is Cmaj7 (C E G B). Locrian isn’t ever really used as a modal tonic centre since it’s so unstable. The above is an interesting theoretical exercise. Amin7 (the vi chord) can have a tonal sound, but in this chord progression, it sounds a bit more like a pre-dominant (to C). Rather than being called Aeolian mode, it’s usually referred to as the minor scale. Notice how the quality changes to minor? Here is how to view the fretboard in E minor, using the notes and chords of G major. But let’s take a look at our possible circular movements and see how they apply to Dorian. Here are some Mixolydian chord progressions I like: And when building melodies over these Mixolydian chord progressions, pay special attention to the root and the minor seventh (Mixolydian’s characteristic tone). Let’s look at them: So in C Major, for a simple example, we have the following seventh chords: And as we discussed earlier, they each have their function is tonal harmony (tonic, pre-dominant, dominant). Not as commonly used as quartal harmony, secundal harmony can be used to good effect when really striving for interesting chords. This creates more tension and resolution between the V and the tonic! This tritone interval contains a tension that wants to resolve inward or outward by half steps. You can play in other natural minor keys by centering music on the 6th degree of other major scales. As long as there’s an emphasis on where the Aeolian i chord is, this chord progression should be fine, too! There’s a common tonal chord progression in jazz that goes (relative to Major): But if we never go to I in the above example, we may be able to get away with a modal Dorian sound: Going back and forth between i and IV here never really gives us a resolution and sounds a bit tense. Why is this useful? Chord progression This panel allows you to choose the progression of the chord progression. The names of the modes will give us a good idea of what the characteristic tone(s) will be. Playing the dominant seventh chord, with its tritone interval, would bring us into the territory of a 4-5-1 tonal harmony chord progression and remove us from modal harmony. The chord changes and root movement don’t give a particularly functional sound either, which is great! I’ll restate here that Locrian is rarely ever used as a modal centre. But I’m thinking Dorian the entire time I’m soloing. These chords make modal harmony strong in our music. It can be intro, verse, chorus, or anything else. If there’s a “most important modal tip” I can give you, it’s the use of a pedal point on a mode’s root. And when building melodies over these Aeolian chord progressions, pay special attention to the root and the minor sixth (Aeolian’s characteristic tone). I hope this article has provided some insight into playing and writing with modal harmony. But just for fun let’s analyze its chords and build some chord progressions based on it. . In fact, we want to avoid circular movement in modal harmony, as it sounds too much like tonal harmony. The opening riff has an Aeolian melody line played against an offbeat bass note (starting on the modal root). (♭5), Augmented means there’s an augmented fifth alt. These lesser utilized scales can really create an interesting sound when we use them modally. Modal Chord Progressions ... Let's pick the next chord in the list which will be a minor 7th chord (corresponding to the Aeolian mode). But there’s usually one or two special characteristic notes we can lean on in modal harmony. It is the relationship between notes that make music. Any time a piece of music uses the major scale and centers on the 6th degree, chord vi, it’s Aeolian mode, better known simply as the minor scale. Try secundal harmony out for yourself and hear how it fits with your modal music! Find guitar scales using graphic interface. So we know from our analysis of modal cadences that the ♭VII(maj7) and the ii(min7) work well as cadential chords in Dorian modal harmony. I wish you the best with your modal study and musical successes! It’s as if we’re resolving out of Locrian modality and heading toward Lydian.


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