Confused about mixolydian

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by hardrock420, Jul 4, 2017.

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  1. hardrock420

    hardrock420 Member

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    I can't quite seem to figure this out. Please let me know if I've got this right: A Mixolydian is simply playing the A major scale over an E major progression.
    Right? Or you could say that you are flatting the 7th of E major and using A as your root which is exactly the A major scale.

    So basically mixolydian is just playing the major scale of the IV chord in the key and that's it. Am I missing something here?
     
  2. jcsk8

    jcsk8 Senior Member

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    You can use the mixolydian as you said in a IV chord (or shape) over a major tone, or you can use it over a dominand 7ht chord, like G7, or A7. That flat 7th of the mixo is also present on dominat 7th chords, so you can use over them. Try to put a A7 on some program or loop and try the mixo shape over it on the same tone (A mixolydian). It fits. There are some notes wich you didinĀ“t want to rely much over them, as they work better as passing tones. But overall it fits very well.

    http://www.seymourduncan.com/blog/the-players-room/breaking-down-the-barriers-the-mixolydian-mode

    http://www.guitarplayer.com/lessons...blues-scalethe-most-useful-scale-of-all/56020
     
  3. frozenotter

    frozenotter Down with the Sickness

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    You are correct. Typically it is used in blues progressions. For example, record a slow 12 bar blues progression in A (1=A 4=D 5=E) and when you get to the D Chord, play A mixolydian notes (D major). You should hear a little blues magic come out.

    *edit*

    A mixolydian would be playing D major starting at the A, not playing A major. E mixolydian would be playing A major starting at the E.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  4. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    No, that's E mixolydian. The mode is named after its keynote first - the note that's the key of the progression, or the root of the chord - and then according to the scale formula above that. The sound of the tonal centre rules - ie, the root of the I takes precedence over IV or V or any of the others.
    Yes, if A is the root. It's not if the progression is in E major.
    No, you're right.
    But it may be easier to just think "major key with b7" You want E mixolydian? Lower the D# of E major to D.
    Those 7 notes are most commonly called "the A major scale" - because they are normally used in the key of A major. But if the key is E that name makes no sense.

    A chord sequence can sound mixolydian on its own, with no melody or improvisation over it. Try the following:
    |E / / / | E / D A |E / / / | E / D A |... etc.
    E is obviously the key chord, but there is a D, which means the scale (overall) is not E major, but E mixolydian. You can use the scale you call "A major" over it, but it's not A major in any real sense, because A is not the keynote.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  5. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    Not really. A mixolydian on the A major, maybe, but for the D chord to sound bluesy, you need a C natural in the scale, so D mixolydian (A dorian) on the D.
     
  6. frozenotter

    frozenotter Down with the Sickness

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    The simplist way to think of mixolydian is to play a major scale...when you get to the 5th ..you continue the scale up to that 5th's octave. That 5th as a root is mixolydian mode. E is the 5th of A major ...that's E mixolydian...A is the 5th of D major ...that's A mixolydian ...etc.
     
  7. frozenotter

    frozenotter Down with the Sickness

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    You are correct. Mixolydian does contain A's major 3rd which allows for the major and minor third to be used in blues. It has to be played carefully though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017

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