Hi all - I'm hoping that some of the very well-read people in here can enlighten me a bit? I'm very new to the whole world of improvisation and jazz techiques etc and I've been reading up on it. I've done a fair amount of music theory over the years and I have enough paperwork to get me past Grade 8 theory (possibly even LCTL- who knows ). It's evident that a lot of store is placed on using modal scales, in addition to the standard diatonic major/minor (plus pentatonic major/minor, whole tone etc), particularly around various types of 7th chords. I'm just curious as to why the use of modes in this way has developed, rather than say just chromatic alteration of standard diatonic harmonies? Is it because it provides a sort of standard mechanism for doing it, that's "easily" applied. From what I've been reading it's as though we've come back to figured bass but using chord symbols then putting modes on top of that. I probably need to spend some time at some jazz gigs and get talking to some musicians - anything around north Shropshire / south Cheshire? Thanks in anticipation!