Modes of the Gypsy Minor scale


This lesson presupposes an undertanding of modes ( of the major scale).

If, you do not understand modes already, please take the time to look through the lessons at:
http://simianmoon.com/snglstringtheory/scales/modes1.html
http://simianmoon.com/snglstringtheory/scales/modes2.html
http://simianmoon.com/snglstringtheory/scales/modes3.html

This lesson on modes is in three parts.

Part one consists of a general review of scales, a definition of modes, a derivation of the modes of the gypsy minor scale, and other pertinant information used in parts 2, and 3.

Part two covers a brief analysis of the modes individually, fretboard maps, associated chords, etc.

Part three gives some applications of these modes.

PART ONE

Recall that we defined a scale as:
a group of notes within an octave (and any octaves of those notes) usually played one at a time.

We can describe (define) a scale in any of these ways:
- by letters (representing specific pitches)
- by numbers (representing specific intervals)
- by step pattern (describing intervals from note to note)

We now define a mode (of a scale) as a scale within a family of scales that are related by their step patterns (and therefore also by their specific pitches).

Let's just jump in...

Recall that The gypsy minor scale has the following step pattern: W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2, intervals 1,2,b3,#4,5,b6,7, and with root on C, the notes C-D-bE-F#-G-bA-B-C.

We can derive the modes of a scale by using its step pattern. We do this by moving the first step of a step pattern to the end, and repeating until we return to the first scale we started with.

We now derive the modes of the gypsy minor scale (gypsy minor scale = W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2).

W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2 = gypsy minor scale
1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2-W = oriental
m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2-W-1/2 =
1/2-1/2-m3-1/2-W-1/2-m3 =
1/2-m3-1/2-W-1/2-m3-1/2 = byzantine
m3-1/2-W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2 =
1/2-W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3 =

* Alternate names for these scales follow below under the specific scales. (Some people just use 2nd mode of the gypsy minor, etc.)

Now taking these step patterns and (with the help of a transposition chart if necessary) turning them into an intervallic notation (numbers), we have:

gypsy minor scale = 1,2,b3,#4,5,b6,7
oriental = 1,b2,3,4,b5,6,b7
= 1,#2,3,4,#5,6,7
= 1,b2,bb3,4,b5,b6,bb7
byzantine = 1,b2,3,4,5,b6,7
= 1,#2,3,#4,5,#6,7
= 1,b2,b3,b4,5,b6,bb7

We define a major scale as a scale containing the notes
(intervals) 1,3,5.
(In other words, using the notes in the scale we can construct a major chord off the root note)

We define a minor scale as a scale containing the notes
(intervals) 1,b3,5.
(In other words, using the notes in the scale we can construct a minor chord off the root note)

We define a diminished scale as a scale containing the notes
(intervals) 1,b3,b5.
(In other words, using the notes in the scale we can construct a diminished chord off the root note)

We define an augmented scale as a scale containing the notes
(intervals) 1,3,#5.
(In other words, using the notes in the scale we can construct an augmented chord off the root note)

Comparing the above definitions with the scales (modes), we see that Byzantine,and 6th mode are major scales. Gypsy minor, and 7th mode are minor scales. There are no diminished scales. 3rd mode is an augmented scale. The oriental scale is majorb5, and the 4th mode has a root chord with the equivalent of a suspended 2nd and a diminished fifth.

Recall, that we can harmonize chords from the gypsy minor scale. we did this by stacking thirds to get the following chords:
in triads: i-IIb5-bIII+-#ivosus2-V-bVI-vii
in 7th chords: imaj7-II7b5-bIIImaj7#5-#ivo7sus2-Vmaj7-bVImaj7-viibb7 (vii6)
in 9th chords: imaj9-II7b9b5-bIIImaj7#9#5-#ivo7b9sus2-Vmaj7b9-bVImaj7#9-viibb7b9
in 11th chords: imaj9#11-II11b9b5-bIIImaj11#9#5-#iv11b9b5sus2-Vmaj11b9-bVImaj7#9#11-viibb7b11b9
in 13th chords: imaj9#11b13-II13b9b5-bIIImaj13#9#5-#iv11b9b13b5sus2-Vmaj11b13b9-bVImaj13#11#9-viibb7b13b11b9

In a similar proceedure to finding the modes from the step pattern, we can find the chords harmonized from the modes. the general proceedure is to move the first chord to the end of the list, and then renumber all the chords using the numbers/ intervals for the respective mode.

Before discussing each mode, we'll consider an alternate (though more frequently seen) way of viewing modes.

Consider starting the gypsy minor scale on A, we can define the modes this way:
A-B-C-D#-E-F-G#-A = A-Gypsy minor
B-C-D#-E-F-G#-A-B = B-Oriental
C-D#-E-F-G#-A-B-C = C-
D#-E-F-G#-A-B-C-D# = D-
E-F-G#-A-B-C-D#-E = E-Byzantine
F-G#-A-B-C-D#-E-F = F-
G#-A-B-C-D#-E-F-G = G#

We can consider the above (2 paragraphs) to be in the form of relative modes (analagous to relative major and minor, see major scale's lesson). Whereas the previous examples could be seen as parallel modes (all starting from a common 1).

So from relative modes we gain a sense of how the modes progress through a key (in what order they follow one another). We can also get that from the step pattern. From parallel modes we gain an understanding of the different mood the mode brings us.

It is much easier to hear the differences between modes when playing them in parallel (from the same root note) then when playing them relative (in same key).

And last, we recall that we can create progressions from groups of chords. We can create modal progressions (progressions that come out of /go with the mode) out of chords from the mode.

Modes of the Gypsy minor scale, pt.2

We now consider each mode:

Gypsy MINOR

|-1|--|-2|b3|--|--|#4|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|
|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|--|-2|b3|--|--|#4|-5|
|b3|--|--|#4|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|--|-2|b3|
|--|-7|-1|--|-2|b3|--|--|#4|-5|b6|--|--|
|--|#4|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|--|-2|b3|--|-4|
|-1|--|-2|b3|--|--|#4|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|

Gypsy minor scale "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|#4-|-5-|b6-|---|---|
|-2-|b3-|---|---|---|
|---|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|---|---|#4-|-5-|b6-|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|

Gypsy minor scale "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|#4-|-5-|b6-|---|---|
|---|-2-|b3-|---|---|
|---|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|---|---|#4-|-5-|b6-|
|-7-|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|
|#4-|-5-|b6-|---|---|

I've previously described the Gypsy minor scale in detail (see last lesson). The gypsy minor scale is heard in forms of classical and folk musics. It's step pattern is W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2. We can represent its intervals as 1,2,b3,#4,5,b6,7. we can see it is a minor scale (contains the notes 1,b3,5). With the root note on C, it is the notes C-D-Eb-F#-G-Ab-B-C. Some also lists the gypsy minor as hungarian, hungarian minor, double harmonic minor, and hungarian gypsy minor.

We associate the following chords with the gypsy minor scale:
in triads: i-IIb5-bIII+-#ivosus2-V-bVI-vii
in 7th chords: imaj7-II7b5-bIIImaj7#5-#ivo7sus2-Vmaj7-bVImaj7-viibb7 (vii6)
in 9th chords: imaj9-II7b9b5-bIIImaj7#9#5-#ivo7b9sus2-Vmaj7b9-bVImaj7#9-viibb7b9
in 11th chords: imaj9#11-II11b9b5-bIIImaj11#9#5-#iv11b9b5sus2-Vmaj11b9-bVImaj7#9#11-viibb7b11b9
in 13th chords: imaj9#11b13-II13b9b5-bIIImaj13#9#5-#iv11b9b13b5sus2-Vmaj11b13b9-bVImaj13#11#9-viibb7b13b11b9

We can create progressions from these chords. we should include the i chord, and it should be the chord which the progression wants to resolve to (this is true of all modal progressions, replacing i with the appropriate one chord).

Oriental

|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|b5|--|--|-6|b7|--|-1|
|--|--|-6|b7|--|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|b5|--|
|--|-3|-4|b5|--|--|-6|b7|--|-1|b2|--|b3|
|b7|--|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|b5|--|--|-6|b7|
|-4|b5|--|--|-6|b7|--|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|
|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|b5|--|--|-6|b7|--|-1|

Oriental "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|b2-|---|---|
|---|---|---|-6-|b7-|
|---|---|-3-|-4-|b5-|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|
|-3-|-4-|b5-|---|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|---|

Oriental "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|---|---|-6-|b7-|---|
|---|---|---|-3-|-4-|b5-|
|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|b2-|---|
|-3-|-4-|b5-|---|---|---|
|---|-1-|b2-|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|-6-|b7-|---|

The oriental scale is the 2nd mode of the gypsy minor scale. The oriental scale is rarely heard. In the key of Am, it would be the notes: B-C-D#-E-F-G#-A-B (with strongest emphasis on the B note). Its step pattern is 1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2-W. We can represent its intervals as 1,b2,3,4,b5,6,b7. We can see it is a majorb5 scale (contains the notes 1,3,b5). Some also lists the Oriental scale as the 2nd mode of the gypsy minor scale.

We associate the following chords with the oriental mode:
in triads: Ib5-bII+-iiiosus2-IV-bV-vi-bvii
in 7th chords: I7b5-bIImaj7#5-iiio7sus2-IVmaj7-bVmaj7-vibb7 (vi6)-bviimaj7
in 9th chords: I7b9b5-bIImaj7#9#5-iiio7b9sus2-IVmaj7b9-bVmaj7#9-vibb7b9-bviimaj9
in 11th chords: I11b9b5-bIImaj11#9#5-iii11b9b5sus2-IVmaj11b9-bVmaj7#9#11-vibb7b11b9-bviimaj9#11
in 13th chords: I13b9b5-bIImaj13#9#5-iii11b9b13b5sus2-IVmaj11b13b9-bVmaj13#11#9-vibb7b13b11b9-bviimaj9#11b13

There aren't any common progressions for the oriental mode, as it is not used much. You can make up your own, but because of the tritone in the tonic chord (b5), there is a restless feel in the root chord that makes it tend to not feel resolved.

3rd mode of the gyp.min.scale, Ionian#5#9

|-1|--|--|#2|-3|-4|--|--|#5|-6|--|-7|-1|
|--|#5|-6|--|-7|-1|--|--|#2|-3|-4|--|--|
|#2|-3|-4|--|--|#5|-6|--|-7|-1|--|--|#2|
|--|-7|-1|--|--|#2|-3|-4|--|--|#5|-6|--|
|-4|--|--|#5|-6|--|-7|-1|--|--|#2|-3|--|
|-1|--|--|#2|-3|-4|--|--|#5|-6|--|-7|-1|

Ionian#5#9 "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-7-|-1-|---|---|#2-|
|---|---|---|#5-|-6-|---|
|---|---|#2-|-3-|-4-|---|
|#5-|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|#2-|-3-|-4-|---|---|---|
|---|-7-|-1-|---|---|---|

Ionian#5#9 "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|---|---|#5-|-6-|---|
|---|---|---|#2-|-3-|-4-|
|#5-|-6-|---|-7-|-1-|---|
|#2-|-3-|-4-|---|---|---|
|---|-7-|-1-|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|#5-|-6-|---|

The Ionian#5#9 is the 3rd mode of the gypsy minor scale. In the key of C, it would be the notes: F-G#-A-B-C-D#-E-F (with strongest emphasis on the F note). Its step pattern is m3-1/2-1/2-m3-1/2-W-1/2. We can represent its intervals as 1,#2,3,4,#5,6,7. We can see it is an augmented scale (contains the notes 1,3,#5).Some also lists the Ionian #5#9 scale as the 3rd mode of the gyp.min. scale.

We associate the following chords with the Ionian#5 mode:
in triads: I+-#iiosus2-III-IV-#v-vi-VIIb5
in 7th chords: Imaj7#5-#iio7sus2-IIImaj7-IVmaj7-#vbb7 (#v6)-vimaj7-VII7b5
in 9th chords: Imaj7#9#5-#iio7b9sus2-IIImaj7b9-IVmaj7#9-#vbb7b9-vimaj9-VII7b9b5
in 11th chords: Imaj11#9#5-#ii11b9b5sus2-IIImaj11b9-IVmaj7#9#11-#vbb7b11b9-vimaj9#11-VII11b9b5
in 13th chords: Imaj13#9#5-#ii11b9b13b5sus2-IIImaj11b13b9-IVmaj13#11#9-#vbb7b13b11b9-vimaj9#11b13-VII13b9b5

4th mode of gyp.min.

|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|
|---|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|---|-4-|b5-|---|
|---|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|
|---|---|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|bb7|---|
|---|#4-|-5-|---|-6-|b7-|---|-1-|---|-2-|b3-|---|---|
|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|

4th mode "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|---|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|
|b5-|---|b6-|bb7|---|
|bb3|---|---|-4-|b5-|
|bb7|---|---|-1-|b2-|
|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|
|---|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|

4th mode "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|b5-|---|b6-|bb7|---|
|---|bb3|---|---|-4-|
|bb7|---|---|-1-|b2-|
|---|-4-|b5-|---|b6-|
|---|-1-|b2-|bb3|---|
|b5-|---|b6-|bb7|---|

The 4th mode is the 4th mode of the gypsy minor scale. In the key of C, it would be the notes: D#-E-F-G#-A-B-C-D# (with strongest emphasis on the D# note). Its step pattern is 1/2-1/2-m3-1/2-W-1/2-m3. We can represent its intervals as 1,b2,bb3,4,b5,b6,bb7. We can see it is a different scale from many of the types we've encountered before (the root triad contains the notes 1,bb3,b5).

We associate the following chords with the 4th mode:
in triads: iosus2-bII-bbIII-iv-bv-bVIb5-bVII+
in 7th chords: io7sus2-bIImaj7-bbIIImaj7-ivbb7 (iv6)-bvmaj7-bVI7b5-bVIImaj7#5
in 9th chords: io7b9sus2-bIImaj7b9-bbIIImaj7#9-ivbb7b9-bvmaj9-bVI7b9b5-bVIImaj7#9#5
in 11th chords: i11b9b5sus2-bIImaj11b9-bbIIImaj7#9#11-ivbb7b11b9-bvmaj9#11-bVI11b9b5-bVIImaj11#9#5
in 13th chords: i11b9b13b5sus2-bIImaj11b13b9-bbIIImaj13#11#9-ivbb7b13b11b9-bvmaj9#11b13-bVI13b9b5-bVIImaj13#9#5

Byzantine

|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|--|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|
|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|--|-5|
|--|-3|-4|--|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|b2|--|--|
|--|-7|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|--|-5|b6|--|b7|
|-4|--|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|
|-1|b2|--|--|-3|-4|--|-5|b6|--|--|-7|-1|

Byzantine "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-7-|-1-|b2-|---|---|
|---|-5-|b6-|---|---|
|---|---|-3-|-4-|---|
|---|---|-7-|-1-|b2-|
|-3-|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|
|-7-|-1-|b2-|---|---|

Byzantine "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|-5-|b6-|---|---|
|---|---|---|-3-|-4-|
|---|---|-7-|-1-|b2-|
|-3-|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|
|-7-|-1-|b2-|---|---|
|---|-5-|b6-|---|---|

The Byzantine mode is the 5th mode of the gypsy minor scale. In the key of C, it would be the notes: E-F-G#-A-B-C-D#-E (with strongest emphasis on the E note). Its step pattern is 1/2-m3-1/2-W-1/2-m3-1/2. We can represent its intervals as 1,b2,3,4,5,b6,7. We can see it is a major scale (contains the notes 1,3,5). Some also lists the Spanish major scale as the Double Harmonic scale.

We associate the following chords with the Byzantine mode:
in triads: I-bII-iii-iv-Vb5-bVI+-viiosus2
in 7th chords: Imaj7-bIImaj7-iiibb7 (iii6)-ivmaj7-V7b5-bVImaj7#5-viio7sus2
in 9th chords: Imaj7b9-bIImaj7#9-iiibb7b9-ivmaj9-V7b9b5-bVImaj7#9#5-viio7b9sus2
in 11th chords: Imaj11b9-bIImaj7#9#11-iiibb7b11b9-ivmaj9#11-V11b9b5-bVImaj11#9#5-vii11b9b5sus2
in 13th chords: Imaj11b13b9-bIImaj13#11#9-iiibb7b13b11b9-ivmaj9#11b13-V13b9b5-bVImaj13#9#5-vii11b9b13b5sus2

The most common Byzantine progression is I-bII.

6th mode of gyp.min.

|-1|--|--|#2|-3|--|#4|-5|--|--|#6|-7|-1|
|-5|--|--|#6|-7|-1|--|--|#2|-3|--|#4|-5|
|#2|-3|--|#4|-5|--|--|#6|-7|-1|--|--|#2|
|#6|-7|-1|--|--|#2|-3|--|#4|-5|--|--|#6|
|--|#4|-5|--|--|#6|-7|-1|--|--|#2|-3|--|
|-1|--|--|#2|-3|--|#4|-5|--|--|#6|-7|-1|

6th mode"E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|#6-|-7-|-1-|---|---|
|---|#4-|-5-|---|---|
|---|---|#2-|-3-|---|
|---|---|#6-|-7-|-1-|
|#2-|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|
|#6-|-7-|-1-|---|---|

6th mode"A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|---|#4-|-5-|---|---|
|---|---|---|#2-|-3-|
|---|-6-|#6-|-7-|-1-|
|#2-|-3-|---|#4-|-5-|
|#6-|-7-|-1-|---|---|
|---|#4-|-5-|---|---|

The 6th mode of the gypsy minor scale. In the key of C, it would be the notes: F-G#-A-B-C-D#-E-F (with strongest emphasis on the F note). Its step pattern is m3-1/2-W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2. We can represent its intervals as 1,#2,3,#4,5,#6,7. We can see it is a major scale (contains the notes 1,3,5). It could also be seen as a minor scale (1,#2,5), or a diminished scale (1,#2,#4), the #2 being enharmonic to the b3 and the #4 being enharmonic to the b5 in the system we are using.

We associate the following chords with the 6th mode:
in triads: I-#ii-iii-#IVb5-V+-#viosus2-VII
in 7th chords: Imaj7-#iibb7 (#ii6)-iiimaj7-#IV7b5-Vmaj7#5-#vio7sus2-VIImaj7
in 9th chords: Imaj7#9-#iibb7b9-iiimaj9-#IV7b9b5-Vmaj7#9#5-#vio7b9sus2-VIImaj7b9
in 11th chords: Imaj7#9#11-#iibb7b11b9-iiimaj9#11-#IV11b9b5-Vmaj11#9#5-#vi11b9b5sus2-VIImaj11b9
in 13th chords: Imaj13#11#9-#iibb7b13b11b9-iiimaj9#11b13-#IV13b9b5-Vmaj13#9#5-#vi11b9b13b5sus2-VIImaj11b13b9

We note that the #6 is enharmonic to the b7, so including that with the above info, We could replace the Imaj7 chord with one of the following: I7, imaj7, i7, i7b5, Imaj7b5, I7b5 imaj7b5.

7th mode of the gyp.min.

|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|b4-|---|---|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|
|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|b4-|---|---|-5-|
|b3-|b4-|---|---|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|
|---|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|b4-|---|---|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|
|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|b4-|---|
|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|b4-|---|---|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|-1-|

7th mode "E-shape" (root note on the 6th string)

|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|---|
|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|
|b3-|---|-4-|---|---|
|---|---|-1-|b2-|---|
|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|bb7|
|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|---|

7th mode "A-shape" (root note on the 5th string)

|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|
|---|b3-|---|-4-|---|
|---|---|-1-|b2-|---|
|-4-|---|-5-|b6-|bb7|
|-1-|b2-|---|b3-|---|
|-5-|b6-|bb7|---|---|

The 7th mode of the gypsy minor scale. In the key of C, it would be the notes: G#-A-B-C-D#-E-F-G# (with strongest emphasis on the G# note). Its step pattern is 1/2-W-1/2-m3-1/2-1/2-m3. We can represent its intervals as 1,b2,b3,b4,5,b6,bb7. We can see it is a minor scale (contains the notes 1,3,b5).

We associate the following chords with the 7th mode:
in triads: i-bii-bIIIb5-IV+-vosus2-bVI-bbVII
in 7th chords: ibb7 (i6)-biimaj7-bIII7b5-IVmaj7#5-vo7sus2-bVImaj7-bbVIImaj7
in 9th chords: ibb7b9-biimaj9-bIII7b9b5-IVmaj7#9#5-vo7b9sus2-bVImaj7b9-bbVIImaj7#9
in 11th chords: ibb7b11b9-biimaj9#11-bIII11b9b5-IVmaj11#9#5-v11b9b5sus2-bVImaj11b9-bbVIImaj7#9#11
in 13th chords: ibb7b13b11b9-biimaj9#11b13-bIII13b9b5-IVmaj13#9#5-v11b9b13b5sus2-bVImaj11b13b9-bbVIImaj13#11#9

Modes of the Gypsy minor scale, pt.3

CREATING MODAL PROGRESSIONS

Taking the chords from a mode, we can create progressions from them. We can use these progressions to solo over and/or compose songs with.

ex. From Byzantine we could take the two chords I,bII,iii and create a vamp I-bII-iii-bII to solo over in I-Byzantine.

This is a good way to practice playing the modes, creating melodies with a specific mode, train your ears to sound, and build up a knowledge of specific progressions that go with the specific modes. looking for a good place to use such knowledge? You could analyze songs you know (turn chords from letters into numbers, so C-F = I-IV) and then find scales/modes that would go with the progressions. You could find new songs with a TAB search of some kind (try www.harmony-central.com for TAB or maybe www.tabcrawler.com).
Or, if you're the least bit into jazz, I fully recommend picking up a copy of "The Real Book" (old or new editions). - no, I don't get any kickbacks from them, it's a standard book used by most jazz musicians.

Speaking of jazz for a moment. One of the most common applications is to think of modes and individual chords in a context. That is to say that there is a relationship between the chord and scale and they use that in choosing a scale to solo with over the changes. They simplest approach (after looking at the key, and playing that major scale) is to look at the particular chord, and play a corresponding scale. So for example over a Gm/maj7 chord, you could/would play G-harmonic minor (over imaj7 play i-harmonic minor). You would do this chord by chord.
Sometimes for one chord, there are several possibilities. It comes down to experimentation to figure out which sounds better in a given moment (sometimes analyzing other chords around the chord can give further context/clues, but right now we're considering the school of thought which looks at only one chord at a time).So here are some chord/scale correspondances with these modes and the modes of the major scale:

CHORD    -    TYPE OF SCALE TO USE

major         use ionian, lydian, mixolydian, Spanish Major, Lydian #9,
		  overtone, hindu, byzantine, 6th mod gyp min
majorb5       use oriental, 6th mod gyp min
7             use mixolydian, Spanish Major, overtone, hindu, byzantine, 6th mod gyp min
maj7          use ionian or lydian, Lydian #9, 6th mod gyp min
7b5           use oriental, 6th mod gyp min
7/11          use mixolydian, spanish major, overtone
7/#11         Use Overtone, 6th mod gyp min
maj7/#11      use lydian, lydian #9, 6th mode gyp min
maj7/11       use ionian
9	      use mixolydian, overtone, hindu
7b9	      use Spanish major
7b9b5         use oriental
maj9	      Use ionian, lydian
maj7#9	      Use Lydian #9, 6th mode gyp min
maj7b9        use byzantine
11            Use mixolydian, hindu
9#11          Use Overtone
11b9b5        use oriental
maj11b9       use byzantine
maj7#9#11     use 6th mode gyp min

minor         use aeolian, dorian, phrygian, harmonic minor, dorian #4,
		  melodic minor, javanese, gypsy minor, 7th mod gyp min, 6th mod gyp min
m7            use aeolian, dorian, phrygian, dorian #4, javanese, 6th mod gyp min
m/maj7	      Use harmonic minor, melodic minor, gypsy minor, 6th mod gyp min
m9            use aeolian, dorian , dorian #4
m/maj9	      use harmonic minor, melodic minor, gypsy minor
m7b9          use phrygian, javanese
m11	      use aeolian, Dorian
m9#11	      use Dorian #4
m11b9	      use phrygian, javanese
m/maj11	      use harmonic minor, melodic minor
m/maj9#11     use gypsy minor

o             use locrian, locrian nat.6, altered dominant bb7,
		  Super Locrian, locrian nat.2, 6th mod gyp min
m7b5          use locrian, locrian nat.6, Super Locrian, locrian nat.2, 6th mod gyp min
o7	      use altered dominant bb7

+	      Use Ionian#5, Lydian Augment, Ionian#5#9
maj7#5	      Use Ionian #5, Lydian Augment, Ionian#5#9
maj9#5	      Use Ionian #5, lydian Augment
maj11#9#5     use Ionian#5#9

Some related directions from here:

Let's consider some relative progressions from similar scales.
Let's look at Ionian, Mixolydian, Spanish major, Hindu, and Byzantine.
Triads formed:
Ionian: I-ii-iii-IV-V-vi-viio
Mixolydian: I-ii-iiio-IV-v-vi-bVII
Spanish Major: I-bII-iiio-iv-vo-bVI+bvii
Hindu: I-iio-iiio-iv-v-VI+-bVII
Byzantine: I-bII-iii-iv-Vb5-bVI+-viiosus2

7th chords formed:
Ionian: Imaj7-ii7-iii7-IVmaj7-V7-vi-vii7b5
Mixolydian: I7-ii7-iii7b5-IVmaj7-v7-vi7-bVIImaj7
Spanish Major: I7-bIImaj7-iiio7-ivmaj7-v7b5-bVImaj7#5-bvii7
Hindu: I7-iim7b5-iii7b5-ivmaj7-v7-VImaj7#5-bVII7
Byzantine: Imaj7-bIImaj7-iiibb7 (iii6)-ivmaj7-V7b5-bVImaj7#5-viio7sus2

Let's consider a 1-2-3 progression...
From the above, we could have I-ii-iii, I-ii-iiio, I-bII-iiio, I-iio-iiio, or I-bII-iii.

What if we created a progression like I-bII-ii-iii what would we use to solo over that?
We could use Ionian, or Byzantine, or both.
Likewise over I-bII-ii-iiio, we could use Mixolydian, or Spanish Major, Hindu will work as well.

Looking at the same sort of thing in 7th chords:
Imaj7-ii7-iii7, I7-ii7-iii7b5, I7-bIImaj7-iiio7, I7-iim7b5-iii7b5, Imaj7-bIImaj7-iiibb7(iii6)

Suppose we had Imaj7-bIImaj7-iiio7
or I7-ii7-iiio7
we have the opportunity to try to play inside or try to play outside.
To play inside we could switch scales when the chords are no longer in the scale we are using.

so for instance with: Imaj7-bIImaj7-iiio7
we could play Byzantine over Imaj7-bIImaj7, and we could play Spanish major over bIImaj7-iiio. This would give some inside choices.
For a slightly outside choice we could play either scale over all 3 chords. The sounds should work over 2 out of three chords and possibly have problems with the 3rd depending on how we chose to use them.

The next lesson is on the whole tone scale and other symmetric scales.

Peace,
Christopher Roberts
snglstringtheory@aol.com


How do I change all those numbers to letters (for notes, chords, etc.)? Here's a transposition chart simianmoon.com/snglstringtheory/guitar/8theory3.html

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Last updated April 17, 2003
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