Importance of Modal Sequencing

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Importance of Modal Sequencing

Importance of Modal Sequencing

The Importance of Modal Sequencing is something that is overlooked by many musicians. The ideas and techniques that are used within Modal Sequencing are the foundation of many of the musical concepts used in the creation of melody and the rearranging of melodies to make up motifs and other patterns that create structure and meaning within music. I’ll cover some of these ideas in this blog post as well as helping musicians understand modal sequencing.    Many courses that I have published contain the basic elements found in the Modal Sequencing Bundle.    Just to name a few:

All of these use the ideas of Modal Sequencing on a macro level as a way to organize and see all possible ways to use any group of pitches.  This helps you organize sound in your mind so that you can make educated choices on how to:  

  • Work with motifs when composing or soloing.
  • Build natural melodies that interrelate as you improvise.
  • Organize your practice so that you can see your goals clearly.
  • Alter a melody both rhythmically and melodically to give yourself more bang for your buck with each new phrase of music that you learn.
  • Understand what great improvisors are doing when they play .

On a micro level, be aware that any group of two notes has two possible combinations and 4 combinations when doing transposition within one octave.   So three note groups have 6 possible combinations and 18 possible permutations when using them within one octave.  Understanding this information and knowing how to use it to your benefit is crucial when working within a musical environment.  Just this basic knowledge gives you:  

  • New ways to form melodies and chords.
  • Ways to change a super simple rock progression into new chord voicings.
  • New ways to find the simple building blocks of more difficult music.
  • Ways to change more advanced structures like slash chords or 3 note pitch class set into new chords and melodies.

So you can see that knowing the basics of modal sequencing is a crucial aspect on understanding music on a macro level and working with it on a micro level.

Essential Scales has a truncated version of Two and Three Note Modal Sequencing and for some students it might be all they need.  On the other hand, one of the reasons I created Two and Three Note Modal Sequencing was because so many students were having a hard time figuring out a complete modal sequence from only seeing the few note patterns that are used in the Essential Scales course.  For instance, if you want to play a Symmetrical Diminished scale ascending and descending in 4ths how do you do that?  Well it’s a bit tricky, especially if you don’t know the scale very well yet.  So with the Modal Sequencing Bundle all sequences are written out ascending and descending so there is no confusion.  That can save you a lot of frustration, believe me!

Some students are not great readers of written music and fear that the Modal Sequencing Bundle will require them to read.  The answer is yes, it will require you to read but only until you understand the sequence being used, and then you are encouraged to stop looking at the written notes, and just learn the modal sequence everywhere on your instrument and in every key.  So you would be better off thinking of the Modal Sequencing Bundle as a reference book where you get your ideas, and then go off working on them on your instrument and applying them to Jam Tracks.  This is the best approach for this course.

Bruce-Arnold-Guitar-Flutterby-Cycle 5 Importance of Modal Sequencing

Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart

You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!