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Time to Burn: Applying Modes to Different Tonal Centers

When working on writing melodies for my original compositions, my standard approach is to examine the chord progression in order to determine which scales or modes would best apply. A mode is the notes of scale, such as the major scale, oriented around a different root note and chord; Modes offer great flexibility in terms of the way they relate to a set of chords within relative keys.

Time to Burn: Phrasing Arpeggios Over a Chord Progression

One of my favorite things to do is take a classically flavored chord progression, like the one shown in FIGURE 1, and use it in a rock guitar context. This particular progression is based for the most part on what is known as the cycle of fourths, in that the root note of each of the first five chords is the interval of a fourth above the previous root note.