Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video Locrian mode and the whole tone scale, part of Music Theory for Songwriters: Harmony.
The last mode of the diatonic scale is the Locrian mode,…and it is by far the rarest of the modes…used in modern song writing.…It's the mode built on the seventh degree…of the major scale and sounds like this.…In order to figure out a C Locrian mode,…I'll look at a D flat major scale.…I'll play D flat up.…(piano playing)…Then I'll go to the seventh note…of the D flat major scale, which is C.…(plays piano note)…And I'll play all the same notes, starting on C.…
(piano playing)…Here it is compared to a C major scale.…(piano playing)…And now, C Locrian.…(piano playing)…Let's hear that on the guitar.…(guitar playing)…It's got a very unusual sound,…because the triad built on the tonic…of the Locrian mode is actually a diminished chord.…
To find out the tonic chord of C Locrian,…we start with the tonic of C,…(plays piano note)…skip the second note of D flat,…play the third note of E flat.…(plays piano note)…Skip the fourth note of F and play the fifth note of G flat.…(plays piano notes)…This gives the mode a very unstable sound,…
In this installment, musician Julian Velard digs into more intermediate-level music theory topics. Starting with minor scales, he shows examples of classic songs in minor keys, and then explores the modes of the diatonic scale (e.g., the mixolydian mode). Next, Julian dives into chords with 4 or more notes, covering 7th chords, chord extensions (e.g., 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths), suspended chords, diminished chords, augmented chords, and inversions. Finally, he covers key centers, modulations, pedal points, alternate bass notes, and polychords. At the end of each chapter, Julian explains the techniques shown within the context of his own original songs.
- Working in minor scales
- Using Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, and Mixolydian modes to write songs
- Extending chords
- Using 7th chords in a song
- Transposing a song
- Building different harmonies from a single melody