When you learn guitar scales, you become able to really spice up
your lead guitar playing. Once you begin to learn guitar scales, you get
beyond the “blues box” or just playing by ear (which is often not all
that it’s made out to be). And one of the best guitar scales to learn is
the Mixolydian Mode.
The Mixolydian Mode can be used with any of
the 12 keys. Since the Mixolydian Mode is in reality a different way of
playing the major scale, knowing it as well as the major scale,
essentially doubles the number of scales that you have at your disposal.
you learn guitar scales, you learn that a scale is a set of seven notes
that is defined by the root note. Now, for less than advanced guitar
players, this means the note that you first play and the note that you
last play when you play the scale. This note should also somehow be
emphasized, such as by bending it or sustaining it for longer than the
other notes that you hit for your lead break or solo.
guitar players, a mode can be more than just the first and last note of
the scale. This means that the advanced guitar player knows the various
intervals contained within a particular mode. This actually defines the
mode’s feel and sound, while the key that the mode is played in defines
the exact notes to be used.
The Mixolydian Mode is defined by
these intervals: Root, major 2nd, major 3rd, major 4th, major 5th, major
6th, and flatted 7th. So, if this mode gets played in the key of C, the
notes, in order, are: G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. As you may know already,
if this were actually the G major scale, then the F would be sharpened.
Therefore, by playing the C major scale emphasising the G you are thus
actually playing the Mixolydian Mode, which will give a very different
sonic feel to the music, by way of flattening the seventh interval.
term “key” describes the central note around which a piece of music is
based. The mixolydian mode can be effectively played over the G major
chords in the key of C or its relative minor: A minor. The mode can also
be played where G is the tonic centre or key in itself.
Mixolydian Mode is often used in rock music to give a solo a powerful,
melodic, and bright feel. As an example; Slash used this mode for his
first two solos in “Sweet Child O Mine”. Jazz guitar players often use
the Mixolydian Mode to solo over a chord progression. This mode is
applied to many different styles or genres of music.
When you learn guitar scales, don’t forget your modes. Learn the Mixolydian Mode.