Messiaen’s 5th Mode.Composition and improvisation lesson

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The 5th Mode from Messiaen’s mode has six transpositions [listed below]. Messiaen’s 5th mode is quite distinctive due to it’s semitones, tritone possibilities, and the two major 3rd intervals occurring in it. In terms of the guitar fretboard this is very handy when creating fluid lines due to its easy fingering.

Messiaen Mode 5 [5th mode 6 transpositions]

Messiaen’s 5th mode [Non Transposed]

Messiaen Mode 5 [5th mode of limited transposition]

Messiaen’s 5th Mode Extended

Messiaen’s 5th mode extended

Creating Scalic runs: Messiaen mode 5:


Descending Messiaen Mode 5


Messiaen 5th mode Ascending

One very useful concept is to mirror the intervals of the mode and create an atonal sounding contrapuntal study. This great when employed as a compositional device.

Messiaen 5th Mode Contrapuntal Etude “Mirroring” concept

Cross Picking/ Chordal Picking: Notice the use of Tritones.

Picking pattern = “Down Down Up”

Messiaen 5th mode Cross Picking

Cross Picking/ Chordal Picking: With an open G string.

Messiaen 5th mode Cross Picking/ Chordal Picking:

Messiaen 5th Mode: Scale to chord Imitation device.

Messiaen 5th Mode: Scale to Chord Imitation Compositional device.

Messiaen 5th mode: 3 octave scale imitation descending line

5th mode Messiaen Descending Run [Immitation]

Cross Picking part 2: Using 4 note tritone chords.

Picking pattern =”Down Down Down Up”

Messiaen Mode 5 D D D U Cross Picking Tritone guitar
Messiaen Mode 5 Cross Picking Guitar Tritones

Notice the two open strings :

Open Strings Messiaen chords Mode 5 Guitar

Messiaen Mode 5 Cross Picking Guitar Tritones Open Strings

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