Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 12

Thread: Modes and Emotions

  1. #1


    Real Name: Jasper Eads
    Join Date: Nov 2011
    Location: In a state of constant progress.
    ME: Schecter OE-7
    MA: n/a
    Rig: 11-Rack-Peavey60/60
    Member Number: 2215
    Posts: 160
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 0

    Modes and Emotions

    W'sup?

    I have been wondering for many moons what modes of the major diatonic are associated with what emotions?

    I can "feel" 1 mode as happy / complete.
    I know that minor modes are supposed to be sad but that's not what I hear or "feel". (I actually tend feel happy with 6 because I love the way it sounds and the way melodies play out on the fretboard. Kind of an excitement and sense of accomplishment when I write a technical sounding riff around that mode.)
    But as for the rest.....I suppose there is a disconnect somewhere in my brain.


    Anyone able to teach me what I seem to be missing / misunderstanding?
    A huge plus if you can explain how and why. I have trouble understanding and accepting anything without knowing how it works and why its done that way.

  2. #2


    Real Name: call me Ahab...
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
    ME: Suhr Modern 7
    MA: Martin MC16-GTE
    MB: Dingwall Afterburner 5
    Rig: Mesa Roadster, Recto 4x12
    Member Number: 4
    Posts: 32,549
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    I don;t really think that any one emotion has a lock on any particular mode. I've heard mixolydian come across as both pretty happy (say, a celtic jig) and pretty sad (anything by the Smashing Pumpkins) and I could see phrygian being used for something pretty sinister as well as something pretty sad and depressing. They're just notes and intervals. Some are darker than others (I'd put locrian at the darkest end of the spectrum and lydian at the lightest) but really it's WHAT you do with them rather than the notes themselves, and even really the performance, that defines the emotion.
    "They can kill you, but the legalities of eating you are a bit dicier." - David Foster Wallace

  3. #3


    Real Name: Josh Rivera
    Join Date: Feb 2009
    Location: Fort Collins, CO
    ME: RG3570z
    MA: Breedlove Pursuit Concert
    Rig: Mesa/Boogie Mark Five:25
    Member Number: 414
    Posts: 2,251
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE0qLKHnflo]joe satriani great lesson on guitar modes part 1 - YouTube[/ame]

    Satch talks about that a bit in this video series if IIRC

  4. #4


    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: london
    ME: 70s Strat
    MA: 70s Guild
    Rig: Fenders
    Member Number: 2680
    Posts: 7
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 0

    Quote Originally Posted by JasperEads View Post
    W'sup?

    I have been wondering for many moons what modes of the major diatonic are associated with what emotions?

    I can "feel" 1 mode as happy / complete.
    I know that minor modes are supposed to be sad but that's not what I hear or "feel". (I actually tend feel happy with 6 because I love the way it sounds and the way melodies play out on the fretboard. Kind of an excitement and sense of accomplishment when I write a technical sounding riff around that mode.)
    But as for the rest.....I suppose there is a disconnect somewhere in my brain.


    Anyone able to teach me what I seem to be missing / misunderstanding?
    A huge plus if you can explain how and why. I have trouble understanding and accepting anything without knowing how it works and why its done that way.

    I recommend trying this backing track, you can use it to easily experiment and experience the vibe of each of the 7 major modes...

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSFcXP1lx9o]7 Modes Backing Track - C Ionian, D Dorian, E Phrygian, etc.. Happy Jammin'!! - YouTube[/ame]

  5. #5


    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: london
    ME: 70s Strat
    MA: 70s Guild
    Rig: Fenders
    Member Number: 2680
    Posts: 7
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 0

    oh and this one (slightly more advanced)

    all modes starting from C [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m37y2mltNNI]7 Modes Backing Track - C Ionian, C Dorian, C Phrygian, etc.. Enjoy!! - YouTube[/ame]

  6. #6


    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Chicago
    Member Number: 2741
    Posts: 1,138
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 0

    All I remember is Flying in a Blue Dream is in C Lydian (at least the beginning solo part) and it's kind of happy with its sharped 4th.

    I need to study music theory again.

  7. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2011
    Location: In an apartment
    Member Number: 2024
    Posts: 75
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 0

    In Indian music, a 7-note descending scale can be alot of things depending on which 2 notes you exclude for the descending version.

    Ever notice how it is possible to get the same dippy lounge jazz emotion out of any possible scale?

  8. #8


    Real Name: Jasper Eads
    Join Date: Nov 2011
    Location: In a state of constant progress.
    ME: Schecter OE-7
    MA: n/a
    Rig: 11-Rack-Peavey60/60
    Member Number: 2215
    Posts: 160
    Thanked: 0

    iTrader: 0

    Thanks guys for your input. Im still not sure how to tie down which emotions to any given scale. Though I suppose what I feel doesn't matter as long as the audience thinks it sounds cool??

Similar Threads

  1. Mixing vintage & modern modes on a recto
    By Reverend 7 Strings of Hate in forum Music: Recording Studio
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-13-2010, 12:46 AM
  2. Brett Garsed lesson on the melodic minor modes for blues.
    By distressed_romeo in forum Guitar: Theory & Playing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-29-2009, 06:10 PM
  3. Learned my modes by accident yesterday..
    By budda in forum Guitar: Theory & Playing
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 03-12-2009, 02:33 PM

Tags for this Thread

Fractal Audio Systems  Eric Clemenzi  Angel Vivaldi
Bowes Guitarworks  Decibel Guitars  NumbSkull Audio Production



VigLink badge