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Author: Subject: An Interesting Take On Fillmore East Whipping Post

Universal Peach





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  posted on 12/8/2013 at 07:51 PM
I just ran across this in a music theory article that was actually about another band. If you ever wanted to know exactly why the last few minutes of the Fillmore East Whipping Post is so haunting, here you go...

(Lydian mode in improvisational rock is a pretty cool thing to explore. Duane Allman’s other-worldly coda in the Fillmore East “Whipping Post,” where he plays an A dorian scale over a C pedal supplied by the rest of the band, is my favorite example. The resulting pitch collection is C lydian, with much of Duane’s melodic emphasis falling on the pitches E and B. Not only is B a cool note to hit in this context, because he's truly playing A dorian, he usually bends to get there.It’s a truly special, exotic, emotionally charged moment that I’ve returned to again and again.)

Special, exotic and emotionally charged is a good way to describe that section of Whipping Post.

I know there are plenty of people here with more music theory knowledge than myself, so feel free to chime in on the technical aspect of what the writer is talking about. I should probably give him attribution, this is from an article by Mike Hamad about Phish's new album here is a link...

http://blog.phish.net/1383832931/mode-modulation-and-wingsuit


 
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  posted on 12/8/2013 at 08:08 PM
And all this time I thought Lydian and Dorian were characters from a Tolkien novel.

 

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  posted on 12/8/2013 at 09:11 PM
quote:

I just ran across this in a music theory article that was actually about another band. If you ever wanted to know exactly why the last few minutes of the Fillmore East Whipping Post is so haunting, here you go...

(Lydian mode in improvisational rock is a pretty cool thing to explore. Duane Allman’s other-worldly coda in the Fillmore East “Whipping Post,” where he plays an A dorian scale over a C pedal supplied by the rest of the band, is my favorite example. The resulting pitch collection is C lydian, with much of Duane’s melodic emphasis falling on the pitches E and B. Not only is B a cool note to hit in this context, because he's truly playing A dorian, he usually bends to get there.It’s a truly special, exotic, emotionally charged moment that I’ve returned to again and again.)

Special, exotic and emotionally charged is a good way to describe that section of Whipping Post.

I know there are plenty of people here with more music theory knowledge than myself, so feel free to chime in on the technical aspect of what the writer is talking about. I should probably give him attribution, this is from an article by Mike Hamad about Phish's new album here is a link...

http://blog.phish.net/1383832931/mode-modulation-and-wingsuit


You've just gone WAY over MY head, Rob. Not that that's real difficult to do.

 

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  posted on 12/8/2013 at 10:25 PM
I think of the dorian mode as the relative minor to Lydian....Lydian scale is the most fun and one of the most beautiful collection of notes....modes...scales...what ever you'd like to call it....

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 08:25 AM
Goldtop, I actually like Hamad's term "pitch collection" to describe a certain mode. You have this collection of notes, and you can play them in any order or pattern you want, but it will still be in a certain mode as long as you stay with those "ingredients."

Robslob, trust me this stuff is a little over my head too. I don't even play a melodic instrument and can't read music.

The way it has started to gel in my mind is that different keys/modes produce different moods/feelings. A Major is a very "happy" key for a song to be in. As correctly noted in Spinal Tap, D Minor is "the saddest of all keys."

Likewise, different modes convey different moods to a song. In the same piece, the writer talks about how he came to view Mixolydian mode as the "feel" of Dead songs like Bird Song and Dark Star, both of which have Mixolydian melodies.

One of the best things about music is that the more you study it, the deeper it gets.

 
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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 09:49 AM
so did duane know this or did he do it just because it "sounded good"?

[Edited on 12/9/2013 by patrickcrenshaw]

 
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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 10:21 AM
Very interesting stuff...Im gonna send this to my sister who is classically trained as were my late mom and dad...she'll understand this well beyond what I can get out of it...probably best I go back and listen although,Rob,if you could link the clip and the particular part to listen to....
 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 10:39 AM
quote:
Goldtop, I actually like Hamad's term "pitch collection" to describe a certain mode. You have this collection of notes, and you can play them in any order or pattern you want, but it will still be in a certain mode as long as you stay with those "ingredients."

Robslob, trust me this stuff is a little over my head too. I don't even play a melodic instrument and can't read music.

The way it has started to gel in my mind is that different keys/modes produce different moods/feelings. A Major is a very "happy" key for a song to be in. As correctly noted in Spinal Tap, D Minor is "the saddest of all keys."

Likewise, different modes convey different moods to a song. In the same piece, the writer talks about how he came to view Mixolydian mode as the "feel" of Dead songs like Bird Song and Dark Star, both of which have Mixolydian melodies.

One of the best things about music is that the more you study it, the deeper it gets.


I'll try to explain this the best I can. Most ABB songs are modal. Whipping post runs in a dorian mode....Which is the second scale step in G major. Every major scale has 7 modes. If you start on G and end On G following the correct pattern of whole and half steps you'll get a major scale. If I start on the second note...in this case "A" and use all the notes in G major but start and end on A I have a dorian Mode., If I start and end on B I have a phyrgian mode. If I start on C and end on C I'll have a Lydian mode. If I start on D and end on D I'll have Mixolydian mode(Also a great Blues scale) If I start on E and end on E Ill get the Aeolian mode(relative minor). If I start on F# and end on F# I'll have the locrian mode. In fact the guitar is tuned to a Phyrgian Mode...most people are totally unaware of that

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 10:44 AM
quote:
so did duane know this or did he do it just because it "sounded good"?

[Edited on 12/9/2013 by patrickcrenshaw]


At some point it was because it sounded good. He may never have known the music theory hehind why it sounded good.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 10:44 AM
Another way to understand them is

Ionian = Major scale
Dorian = Minor scale with a major 6th
Phyrgian Mode = Minor scale with a flat 2nd
Lydian = Major scale with a sharp 4th
Mixolydian = Major scale with a flatted 7th
Aeolian mode = natural minor
Locrian = Diminish scale


[Edited on 12/9/2013 by goldtop]

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 11:40 AM
Thanks for the posts Goldtop! I've heard of the modes and play a few but never explained that way. Good stuff!

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 11:59 AM
quote:
Thanks for the posts Goldtop! I've heard of the modes and play a few but never explained that way. Good stuff!


great hoped that helped. I don't really think about any of this when I play I think note name and how that note functions over the chord being played.

Most people play through scales as patterns and don't really understand that at any given moment there are only 3 or 4 tones that are worth playing and those notes change with each chord. The other notes should be used as passing tone or common tones between chord...i.e the note G is the root in G but it's also the 5th in C....so using that note over both chords is warm and fuzzy

I also use intervals to express colors....if I want pretty I use the 2nd or 9th, the major 3rd, the major sixth and major seventh. If I want tension I use the blue notes, flat 3 flat 5 and flat 7. If I really want to twist your head I'll use flat 9 or flat 6. But you always always always need to start and end on a chord tone or the listener simply won't understand the melody.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 12:05 PM
As far as key colors....Sharp keys are very tight and bright flat keys are loose and blue F and Bb being the best blues keys. Minor keys have different levels of darkness and sadness. Dm being the relative minor to F a loose key makes it really sad. But D major is very tight and bright....almost yellow....A to me is red as is E

C is neutral in color to me....clean white but very clean

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 12:27 PM
quote:
Thanks for the posts Goldtop! I've heard of the modes and play a few but never explained that way. Good stuff!


X2

I find the descriptions pretty interesting. I've been playing for years, but I primarily play by ear & have picked up a bit of formal theory in bits & pieces.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 01:03 PM
quote:
I'll try to explain this the best I can...


Thanks!! You've explained it in a way I can finally understand it.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 01:30 PM
Here's something I discover teaching....Most people who play the guitar have no idea what note they're playing. For most they play in a box or pattern.

As a Piano tuner and teacher....all piano players know exactly what note they are playing.

I started playing guitar when reading and theory was still a part of learning guitar. Now there are so many other methods people use to learn the guitar they loose the theory behind what is being played and they just play boxes or patterns. Tab is for the most part useless. If you have to take the time to figure out tab....why not take that time to learn what figgin note your playing???

The first thing I make everyone who come to me to learn is to learn what every note is on your instrument.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 01:31 PM
Doesn't Dickey actually play this part, or am I thinking of a different piece of the song?

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 01:48 PM
They both play part of the section....which is actually longer than the 1st album version of the whole song

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 02:43 PM
I compare this wine. I can't taste "cherry" "cassis" or "boquets of citrus" but I can tell you what I like to drink.

Can also tell you what I like to hear.

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 06:01 PM
Marley, this is the "coda" section after the final verse, not the part of Dickey's solo where he breaks it down to nothing, then builds up that pretty little melodic section before heading into the big "buildup" section.

It's the part with the "Frere Jacques" quotes, if that helps. Try around the 19 minute mark and you'll get it.

 
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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 06:16 PM
quote:
Marley, this is the "coda" section after the final verse, not the part of Dickey's solo where he breaks it down to nothing, then builds up that pretty little melodic section before heading into the big "buildup" section.

It's the part with the "Frere Jacques" quotes, if that helps. Try around the 19 minute mark and you'll get it.


Yes....it's actually Dickey who plays the first part up to Frere Jacques then Duane takes over......

Update: Just listened to it again...Dickey first up to FJ with Duane playing harmonies then taking it the rest of the way

[Edited on 12/9/2013 by goldtop]

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 06:44 PM
Off topic, I know, but has there been any Frere Jacques (WP) or Joy to the World (YDLM) teases in recent history, ie the last 20 years(!)?






 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 08:44 PM
thanks for the explanation goldtop. I've read a lot about modal compositions in jazz (initially focusing on Kind of Blue), assumed that's what the Allmans are doing, but have a better understanding of it now.

If modal compositions and improvisation are based on scales and not chord changes, how do you decide what to play while comping?

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 09:05 PM
quote:
Minor keys have different levels of darkness and sadness. Dm being the relative minor to F a loose key makes it really sad.



or to quote nigel tufnel - "the saddest of all keys"

 

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  posted on 12/9/2013 at 09:06 PM
Even in modal music there is a tonal center....a home note...In WP it's A

The 3 chords they play over the solos really are linear. There is no resolution to the harmony....The chord really just keep movement below the melody played by the soloist.

In tonal music the chord changes resolve with the melody. Blues sky is an example of chords resolving with the melody during the verses but once the solo comes it's a E and A chord and in a sense it's modal. Since the melody resolves but the chords don't.

Scales are a collection of note to use but within that scale at any given time there are really only a few notes that fit whats happening....so paying a C note over G chord is still in the scale but C functions as a suspended note over the chord G and it doesn't sound bad it just goes nowhere unless you resolve that note to a chord tone...B Or D in this case since those are the other notes in a G chord. So over a G chord....I'll avoid playing a C note unless I'm playing something really fast and I blow right through it and end on a chord tone....

Here's where reading became an advantage. If you know how to read go to a piece of music and look at what the melody notes are. They will be chord tones over the chord being played. I took that same method to improvisation as do all soloists. Play along with Whipping post and find out how many time they play the notes A C and E.....you will see that those 3 tones are used more than any other and every time they sustain a note it's going to be one of those 3. So really those are the 3 notes that define soloing in WP. The other ones just get you to those 3

Listen to Blue Sky and count how many times in the solo E G# and B are used....those are the 3 notes of an E chord and every time they sustain a note it will be one of those 3....


[Edited on 12/10/2013 by goldtop]

 

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