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A Mixolydian Mode

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Guitar Lesson Overview

Here is a lesson on the A Mixolydian Mode. This mode is the 5th mode of the Major Scale, so if you play the D major scale, you will find it has the same notes. However, I do not recommend you learn it that way.

It's necessary to approach the modes as their own entity, because the chord tones change for each mode. I recommend learning the formula of each mode inside out, so you don't have to resort to the method of "I'll just play the major scale X scale degrees from here..." because that will become awkward and difficult when you play jazz or songs with many chords. It's all about chord tones for me, and IF I base everything from a major scale pattern, I'll end up playing lines that fit the major chord, but not the mode in question.

I have never found the idea of modes just "being a major scale played from a certain scale degree" useful in practice. It's fine for understanding the concept, but I urge all students to learn the sound and formula of each mode separately. That will be most useful in the long run.

So to summarize, if you want to learn the modes, start by studying their formula - how the intervals or scale degrees differ. Then, start applying this on the fretboard, and say out loud which interval and note name you are on, as you play through the mode. Stick with just one mode at a time - it can take many weeks to really memorize it. It's so important that you can hear the SOUND of the mode. I teach modes via Skype if you are interested, and I do ear training exercises with the student.

Modes and their Formulas

The number indicates the interval of the scale.

Ionian
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Dorian
1
2
b3
4
5
6
b7
Phrygian
1
b2
b3
4
5
b6
b7
Lydian
1
2
3
#4
5
6
7
Mixolydian
1
2
3
4
5
6
b7
Aeolian
1
2
b3
4
5
b6
b7
Locrian
1
b2
b3
4
b5
b6
b7

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Video Clips

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