Diatonic Theory - What is a Mode?

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What is a Mode?

Essentially a Mode is one piece of a larger entity that's broken out into functioning pieces. Modes along
with the other pieces together are part of one big thing or one bigger entity.

Think of your digital watch/clock. The purpose of the watch is "Time", but when you configure it, or use
it, it is broken out into: Hours, Minutes, AM, PM, the Date, Alarm, etc, etc...

When separated out, they are many things that do one major function together... that function is Time.

When you look at the instructions for your /watch/clock you often see the term "Mode" use for the different
areas that need to be programmed. The Modes for configuring it might be lumped like this:

Time Mode = Hours, Minutes, AM, PM
Date Mode = Day, Month, Year
Alarm Mode = On/Off, Snooze, Hours, Minutes, AM, PM

All of these are specific Modes of the one thing...Time.

All of these are broken up to manage Time on your watch/clock. You "go into each Mode" for the piece you need to deal with.

The Modes of music are very similar in that they are part of another entity we deal with which is called a
"Key".

The Key is part of a bigger entity called: Diatonic Theory.

Like the Clock or the Watch was to Time, the Key is like to Diatonic Theory.

The Key is an important part to managing the pieces of Diatonic Theory.

Relax, Diatonic Theory isn't anywhere near as hard to understand as something like "Atomic Theory" ;)

A Key can be broken out into Intervals, Scales, Chords, Progressions, Tonal-Centers, Modes, etc...

One without the other is more or less useless.

Not knowing all of the information is like setting your alarm with no reference to what time it REALLY is.
Or setting the Minutes correctly but the Hours wrong. The idea is, all of these things work together to
create one functional entity.

So, while a lot of guitarist know the "Patterns of the Modes", not too many of them understand the
Functions of the Modes in a Key, or in music in general.

Using only the Patterns is like pressing the buttons on watch watch hoping you get the right outcome.

I will show you the Diatonic Theory behind the Modes which is the most important aspect of learning what
those "patterns" are really for and where they came from.

Hopefully I can shed some light on the subject and tie something's together for you, some important things.

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