There seems to be so much confusion and white noise surrounding the concept of modes. At Guitar Lessons NYC I’ve found a way to filter the noise.
Modes are often taught from a strictly paint by numbers approach. It’s like teaching how to cook without ever tasting the food you’re making. The textures are often not coupled with the mathematics.
This is a problem because when you just approach modes from a numbers perspective it takes a long time to digest (took me years to fully understand on a deep level). Just because you’ve seen a pumpkin doesn’t mean you know what it tastes like, does it?
It often goes like this Y=X over Z except when playing T which then play Q until X comes back. Yikes, that’s not very musical and doesn’t evoke any emotion. I’m not saying you never need to play “match the notes” ay Guitar Lessons NYC . I’m saying this is not our final destination. Many instructors stop at this mid point. They get you half way across the country and leave you in a small bus station with no fare.
This vital flaw in modal instruction baffles many students that come to me from other instructors. They come to me looking for clarity.
We’ll fly to Cali in first class and have tacos when we arrive.
I Can See Clearly
How do I achieve this modal clarity? It’s a combination of factors. We do learn the technical specifics behind the modes. This part IS important.
It’s always in your favor to understand theory. At Guitar Lessons NYC I simplify the explanation a lot though. Sometimes reading theory books feels like reading a dictionary. A bunch of information that isn’t grouped with an application. This alone confuses most people.
The next step for a lot of instructors is to jump into riffs and modal solos. But, there is a incredibly important step missing here in between these two stages.
Understanding the intervallic relationship within each mode:
Developing your ear so you know what each interval relationship within a mode will sound like before you play it.
At this point in my career at Guitar Lessons NYC , I get the same question I used to ask more experienced guitarists when I was young… How do you know when to use each mode? Ofcourse there isn’t one straight answer for that. But, the most frequently used solution by great guitarists is playing what they “hear”. I hated that answer because it seemed so vague. That is until the lightbulb went off in my head.
It doesn’t mean random notes anytime, anywhere. It means having a strong grasp of the sounds of various scales, modes and chords, then choosing what’s appropriate for the application. Not random at all.
2 Cups Of Sugar
I keep making the cooking and baking reference at Guitar Lessons NYC because it’s such a good analogy.
Think about any great cook. At first they follow a recipe, but the more experienced they are, the more they sway from the recipe. They make adjustments based on taste.
Often guitarists play modes as if they’re reading the recipe for the first time. They see modes as a steady stream of notes rather then a collection of colors or flavors. Each mode is it’s own type of curry for instance.
Great modal players are also good tasters. Not any different from a wine taster. Master musicians make they’re choices based on taste not just theory.
It’s Not Hip To Be Square
Most guitar lessons are taught from a square peg goes in a square hole mentality. Music is not that “square” though. At guitar lessons nyc I give you the tools to make the same type of decisions you’re favorite players make. I don’t just give you the boring raw technical data.
Music theory doesn’t have to be like understanding HTML code.
Often when students come to me with modal confusion they’ve patched some concept of modes together. Before the’ve completely absorbed the content they’re shredding through them with no direction.
It’s almost like getting in a car for the first time and driving as fast as possible. Yikes!! You need to know what all the controls are for and most importantly where the brake is.
The “brake” for modes are starting and ending points. During Guitar Lessons NYC we always know where the brake is.
Modes are a great way to inject a different type of tension and release into a song or solo. If all you’re playing is tension there is no release. in this case it doesn’t sound musical.
There is a technique for this that deals with target tones. Notes that have the most resolve. This formula is part theory and part hearing.
Tools Of The Trade
You’ll get a deep grasp on the theory AND hearing in my modal classes. I’m sending you out into the wilderness with a compass and survival pack. Often modal instruction drops you off in the jungle with barely any clothes on your back and definitely no compass.
I came across this technique for Guitar Lessons NYC because like many, I was confused about theory for quite some time. I had many books on the subject, but it was very hard to piece together though. Few books really broke it down to it’s simplest form. They all jumped into deep mathematics on modes.
What about application though? What about target notes? Tension and Release? I’ve written a complete manual that covers all of these areas. You will learn all the specifics plus the pay off.
I’ve put together the class I wish I would have had when I started learning modes. Clarity is always the utmost importance to me in teaching. I have found a way in NYC Guitar Lessons to get rid of the fog surrounding modes.
Modal Bank Account
As with all lessons you not only get documentation, but video from each lesson to review during the week.
We’ll also have audio examples to work out with. What good is learning about modes if we’re not using them in context? To aid this I’ve created backing tracks with rhythm guitar, drums and bass for you to practice with. This is important because as your learning modes you should always be hearing the colors each mode adds.
Each backing track is specifically made for the exact exercise we’re working on. As we progress in NYC Guitar Lessons you’ll not only have a succession of notes and videos but backing tracks.
For more on Modal Lessons For Guitar