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Mode

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Mixolydian

Mixolydian is the scale you get when you play one octave up from the fifth note of the scale. If we make C-major our reference, you get mixolydian if you play from G to G.

Mixolydian is a major scale, as it has a major third.

If we compare the mixolydian with the major (ionian) scale, we will see (and hear!) that the mixolydian scale has a minor seventh, while the major has a major seventh. Viewed from the top, the seventh is one half step below the root in major, and one whole step below in mixolydian. Some will say that mixolydian has low leadning note, others will say that it has no leadning note. I will not make the verdict if it is low or no. But it does not have the same leadning effect as the leadning note in a major scale. The tonality is weaker in mixolydian.

The mixolydian scale is often called the dominant 7th scale, which indicates that it is used over at dominant 7th chord.

The main chord in mixolydian, next to the root chord, is the bVII. This is the mixolydian chord. If it is a major key and you have the bVII chord, it is very likely that you are in mixolydian mode.

The third chord would be either the v or the IV chord. In G-mixolydian, that would be Dm or C. Dm has the m7 note (F) in it, which is the characterizing note in mixolydian. But the IV is also frequently heard in music played in mixolydian mode, for instance in the sequence F - C - G.

Recordings with Mixolydian - Mode

  • AC/DC - Back In Black -
  • AC/DC - Meltdown -
  • Bryan Adams - It's Only Love -
  • Aerosmith - Same Old Song And Dance -
  • Alice Cooper - School's Out -
  • The Allman Brothers Band - Melissa -
  • Asia - Heat Of The Moment -
  • Seth Austen - Banish Misfortune Duet
  • Bachman Turner Overdirve - Takin' Care Of Business -
  • Bachman Turner Overdirve - Let It Ride -
  • The Beach Boys - Surfin Usa -
  • The Beatles - Baby You're A Rich Man -
  • The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love -
  • The Beatles - Dear Prudence -
  • The Beatles - Every Little Thing -
  • The Beatles - Get back -
  • The Beatles - Got to Get You Into My Life -
  • The Beatles - Hard Day's Night -
  • The Beatles - Hey Bulldog -
  • The Beatles - I feel fine -
  • The Beatles - If I Needed Someone -
  • The Beatles - I'm a Looser -
  • The Beatles - Inner Light -
  • The Beatles - Love Me Do -
  • The Beatles - Paperback writer -
  • The Beatles - She Said She Said -
  • The Beatles - Taxman -
  • The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows -
  • The Beatles - Within You Without You -
  • Jeff Beck - Freeway Jam -
  • Boston - More Than A Feeling -
  • J J Cale - Cocaine -
  • The Champs - Tequila -
  • Lou Christie - Lightning Strikes -
  • Eric Clapton - Cocaine -
  • Eric Clapton - Got to Get Better In A Little While -
  • Eric Clapton - I Feel Free -
  • Eric Clapton - If I Don't Be There In The Morning -
  • Eric Clapton - Let It Rain -
  • Eric Clapton - Tales of Brave Ulysses -
  • Cream - Badge -
  • Cream - Sunshine of Your Love -
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son -
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash - Southern Cross -
  • Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You -
  • Foo Fighters - I'll Stick Around -
  • Free - All Right Now -
  • Guns N' Roses - Patience -
  • Jimi Hendrix - Wind Cries Mary -
  • Journey - Send Her My Love -
  • Judas Priest - Living After Midnight -
  • Judas Priest - You've Got Another Thing Comin' -
  • The Kingsmen - Louie, Louie -
  • The Kinks - All Day And All Of The Night -
  • The Kinks - You Really Got Me -
  • Kiss - Love Gun -
  • Huey Lewis - Heart And Soul -
  • Living Colour - Cult Of Personality -
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird -
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama -
  • Alanis Morisette - You Learn -
  • Van Morrison - Gloria -
  • Motley Cure - Girls, Girls, Girls -
  • Robert Palmer - Addicted To Love -
  • Otis Redding - Knock On Wood -
  • The Rolling Stones - Not Fade Away -
  • The Rolling Stones - She's So Cold -
  • The Rolling Stones - When The Whip Comes Down -
  • The Rolling Stones - Shake Your Hips -
  • Sam & Dave - Soul Man -
  • Sam & Dave - Wrap It Up -
  • Carlos Santana - Evil Ways -
  • John Sherman - Rascally Rabbit -
  • Spin Doctors - Little Miss Can't Be Wrong -
  • Steely Dan - Bodhisattava -
  • Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild -
  • Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride -
  • Talking Heads - Psycho Killer -
  • Talking Heads - Burning Down The House -
  • James Taylor - Fire And Rain -
  • Tesla - Signs -
  • Rufus Thomas - Walkin' The Dog -
  • Eddie van Halen - Runnin' With The Devil -
  • Eddie van Halen - Dancing In The Street -
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan - Couldn't Stand The Weather -
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan - Crossfire -
  • Joe Walsh - Funk #49 -

  • Books


    Videos


    More >>
    Ultimate Guitar Techniques - Soloing With Modes
    In this indispensable DVD, Danny Gill takes an in-depth look at the seven major scale modes.
    RefNr: RDR0129
    Order From:
    SheetmusicPlus
    MusicRoom
    Amazon UK
    Amazon US

    More >>
    The Mixolydian Mode (Eddie Van Halen).
    Learn to improvise, compose and recognize modal music. Also includes a guitar jam track and licks in the style of Van Halen. Lessons by Danny Gill, The modes of the major scale have been used for centuries as a compositional tool and as a source for improvisation.
    RefNr: RDR0390
    Order From:
    SheetmusicPlus
    Previous page: Previous page: TechniqueNext page: Scales Next page:

    Further references:

    Play Amazing Lead Guitar
    Lesson:
    Guitar Techniques 2007 - 144 - 2007

    Dominant genes: A rocker's guide to the Mixolydian
    Lesson:
    Guitar World 2007 - 2007-12

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    Previous page: Technique Next page: Scales