Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jazz It Up With Mixolydian Mode

This is a quick lesson on the Mixolydian mode.It is basically a major scale with a flatted 7th note.In the key of C Major,the flatted note would be the B natural,flatted to a Bb note.So,any Major scale can become a Mixolydian by simply flatting the 7th note,or moving the 7th note down a half step,or one fret.
The defining features of the Mixolydian mode are the major 3rd and the minor 7th intervals. These two intervals give the mode the characteristic dominant sound.
The Mixolydian mode is extensively used in Jazz improvisation over most dominant 7th chords.Note...the dominant 7th chord has the Major 3rd note along with the flatted 7th note.So again,the chord is the ruler,it determines what choice(s) of scale(s) you have to play!An artist that comes to mind using the Mixolydian a lot is George Benson.The diagram(pattern) below can be used in any key,simply memorize the pattern.Then i suggest you learn the Mixolydian starting on the 5th string,4th,etc(different fingerings!).
Intervals: 1--1--½--1--1--½--1

Chords that fit: 7th, 9th, 13th

....Solid black is the Root note
Update... to help in knowing what Major scale contains the same notes as the Mixolydian,simply go up a perfect fourth.The Major scale of that note or key contains the same notes as the mixolydians original key...
C Mixolydian=F Major scale...the same notes..D Mixolydian=G Major..E Mixolydian=A Major scale
all modes are simply a major scale in another key!
...this is to help you grasp the Mixolydian,but you still need to realize the intervals in each mode,their fingerings,and how to execute from the root note


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