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Part 3 of this series displays a matrix for Mode 3, with it’s various permutations, and lists some of the triads that are available through different series of stepping from note to note or skipping over one or two notes throughout the matrix. The purpose of this post is to do the same for Mode 4:
Unlike Mode 3, which can be looked at as three symmetrical trichords, it’s probably best to think of Mode 4 as two symmetrical tetrachords (group of four different pitches). Each tetrachord is primarily made up of half steps (H – H – H – min 3rd), and the starting notes of each of these tetrachords are separated by the interval of a tritone (C and F# in the example above).
Through various combinations of stepping or skipping from note to note, we can build the following triads (among others). Note that Type 3, Type 4, and Type 5 offer both major and minor triads:
You might also notice that, due to the symmetrical nature of the mode, Types 3, 4, and 5 are identical, in terms of what trichords/triads they contain (i.e. they all contain D major, C minor, etc.).
Mode 4 is more commonly encountered than Mode 3. It’s structure is similar to the octatonic scale, and can likewise be superimposed over dominant-to-tonic situations. Michael Brecker, Donny McCaslin, and others have used this scale in the following manner. When starting the transposition above on the note D and stepping downward:
Likewise, if you play the symmetrical mirror of the mode (start on Ab instead of D, then play as a descending scale), you’ll find that this same transposition of this mode also works over Ab7 to Db major.
There are also some really great extended modal sounds with this mode, some of which will be demonstrated in my next post.
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August 27, 2014 at the Garage
10:30 pm – 1:30 am
with Mark Cocheo (guitar), Nitzan Gavrieli (piano), Gary Wang (bass), Chris Benham (drums)
SPECIAL GUEST: The King Sweater
In response to John’s question about practical uses for Mode 3, I submit the following:
Although I’m generally not a fan of plugging licks, the truth of the matter is that licks are a very effective means of integrating new material. The lick below shows a practical use for Type 4 trichords from Mode 3, which contain a series of major triads.
A D dorian scale is used in measure 1 to set up the C major tonality. The descending Mode 3 trichords (Type 4) begin on the second note (and-of-1) of measure 2, down one trichord, up the next, etc., continuing through to beat 3 of the final measure.
Carrying the idea further, the licks listed below follow the exact same methodology, only they begin on the third and fifth scale degrees of the D minor 7 chord.