Blog

 

Do you know what is unusual about Bob Dylan's song 'Don't think twice, its alright'? I analyze the chords and modes and show how the Mode Decoder can easily help you to expand your soloing ability. Knowledge is power! NB I'm using a James Tyler Variax set to Acoustic guitar.

The Chords of this song are

C G Am F

C G Am D

So the song is mostly in C major (C Ionian). The only problem is that D major is not part of the C Major scale - the correct chord is Dm. However all this does is place this part of the song into G majoe (G Ionian).

For soloing, this gives us an opportunity to expand our soloing by adding a note not available to the rest of he. We can see which note this is by changing the Mode Decoder from C major to G major and back again. From this we can see that the 5th fret and 12th fret are common - so we can solo with the minor pentatonic in both modes. However, using the 2 additional notes which, when added to the minor pentatonic, make the minor scale, we can see that because the 5th fret is firstly in location 1 and then in location 2, the position of these 2 notes change as the mode changes - ie when the D major is played.

Practically then we can see that this means that there is a new note available to play on the 5th string only when the D major is played.

Listen to the recorded version on Soundcloud here

 

 

Here I run through how you can wrote songs in any Mode and Key without any musical theory knowledge - just reading off the chords which can be played together. I also show how to solo over the chord progression.

 

This example is in F# Aeolian.

This tutorial shows how The Mode Decoder helps me bypas modal theory  but be able to change the mode of 'Praise You' by Fatboy Slim from its original G Mixolydian mode to E Phrygian mode by carefully selecting from the palette of chords displayed.

Since the melody contains notes of the G Mixolydian scale (GABCDEF) by moving the root note emphasis away from G and onto E, the whole character of the song can be changed from a happy bluesy character to a Spanish / Egyptian sounding one!

Here is a re-working of the chord structure of Hey Joe, made famous by Jimi Hendrix. Its an interesting chord progression as the first half of the progression is in E Aeolian and the second half is in F# Aeolian. They share a D Major chord which allows the progression to pivot around this chord. At the end of the analysis is the studio version I use in the demo.

Hey Joe chords are:

C G D A E

E aeolian part:

C G D

F sharp Aeolian part:

D A E

So to mess about with this, using The Mode Decoder, I have created a chord progression modulating between E Aeolian and B Aeolian (which pivots around the chord Bm instead - like this:

First 3 chords - E Aeolian

C G Bm

Last 3 chords - B Aeolian (which shares the Bm chord - and pivoting on it instead of the D as in the original)

Bm F#min A

To solo to this, solo with our old friend 'minor pentatonic position 1' on frets 12, 5 and 7 (as you would for for E Aeolian) but end the phrase on a Db note!

Finished progression:

C G Bm F#min A

 

Further to my earlier posting about the modulating modes of Jimi Hendrix Hey Joe, here is a re-working of the chord structure of the song. Its an interesting chord progression as the first half of the progression is in E Aeolian and the second half is in Fsharp Aeolian. They share a D Major chord which allows the progression to pivot around this chord.

Hey Joe chords are:

C G D A E

E aeolian part:

C G D

F sharp Aeolian part:

D A E

So to mess about with this, using The Mode Decoder ®, I have created a chord progression modulating between E Aeolian and B Aeolian (which pivots around the chord Bm instead - like this:

First 3 chords - E Aeolian

C G Bm

Last 3 chords - B Aeolian (which shares the Bm chord - and pivoting on it instead of the D as in the original)

Bm Fsharp min A

To solo to this, solo with our old friend 'minor pentatonic position 1' on frets 12, 5 and 7 (as you would for for E Aeolian) but end the phrase on a Db note!

Finished progression:

C G Bm Fsharp min A

Setting The Mode Decoder ® to E Aeolian:

Gmajor

Setting The Mode Decoder ® to B Aeolian:

Dmajor