The Mixo-blues Scale | Mixolydian Blues scale | Mixo Dorian scale | Guitar Shapes & licks

What is The Mixolydian blues Scale?

The mixo-blues scale can be confusing because of its different names. Indeed, it can also be called Mixolydian blues scale or mixo-Dorian blues scale or even mixolydian / blues hybrid scale. Anyway the result is the same, this scale is a combination of the minor blues scale (1-b3-4-b5-5-b7) and the Mixolydian mode 1-2-3-4-5-6-b7. It belongs to the "hybrid scales family". The result of this mix is a nonatonic scale containing nine notes. Here is the formula 1-2 (9)-b10 (or #9 or b3)-3-11(4)-b5(#11)-5-13(6)-b7. 

 

C mixo blues scale C D Eb E F F# G A Bb
Formula 1 2 (9) b10 (b3 or #9) 3 4 (11) b5 (#11) 5 6 (13) b7
Intervals W H H H H H W H W

W= whole step - H=Half step

The first thing that could worry you is the presence of the b10. This is the same note as the minor third (b3) but theoretically we cannot have two thirds, that's why it's better to call it b10. Note that it can also considered as a raised ninth (#9).

You have to notice that there are some possible extensions in it. The ninth (9), the raised ninth (#9), the eleventh (11), the raised eleventh and the thirteenth. That means you can play the mixoblues scale over the following dominant 7th chords (example given in C) :

  • C7, C9, C#9, C11, C#11, C7b5, C13.

The Mixolydian blues scale is a nice choice for coloring basic Mixolydian lines. An effective solution when you want to add a bluesy touch and spice up your playing over any dominant seventh chord.

Jazz guitar method - Mastering the pentatonic scales

Mixo-blues scale - Guitar positions 1 & 2 - One octave

How to Play the Mixo-blues Scale on Guitar?

Here is a first mixoblues scale guitar position. The roots (R) are located on the first, the fourth and the sixth string. Why it is so important to identify where the root notes are placed on the guitar neck ? Because they have a crucial function. They give its name to a scale.

For example, the A Mixolydian blues scale has its roots on the sixth string at the fifth fret, on the fourth string at the seventh fret and on the first string at the fifth fret. Any jazz guitar student must be able to locate any root and play any scale anywhere on the guitar fretboard.

Mixo-blues Scale Guitar Diagram # 1

Mixo blues guitar diagram 1

This second mixoblues guitar diagram has its roots on the fifth, third and first strings. To play the D Mixolydian blues scale starting with the lowest root (on the fifth string) you have to place your first finger at the fifth fret on the guitar fretboard.

This diagram is a little more  difficult than the previous. Indeed, you will have to slide with your little finger between the minor seventh (b7) and  the highest root. 

Don't hesitate to experiment your own fingerings.

Mixo-blues Scale Guitar Diagram # 2

Mixo blues guitar diagram 2

George Benson - Mixoblues Lick

This example shows how George Benson used the Mixolydian blues scale in his jazz improvisation. This lick is a transcription of his solo in "Last train to Clarksville" a cover of the Monkees. You can notice that the G mixoblues scale is played over a G7 chord. There are no particular difficulties in this line, except perhaps the choice of the fingering. Once you have learned this line, you must be able to play it in any key and make it evolve by adding notes that you hear or that you feel. The aim of learning licks like this George Benson's riff is to be able to replace them in your guitar improvisations. Not necessarily note-by-note but that the general idea comes out naturally in your playing.

G mixo blues scale G A Bb B C C# D E F
Formula 1 9 b3 or #9 3 11 b5 (#11) 5 13 b7
Intervals W H H H HH H W H W

 

  • 101 Dominant Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF guitar lesson provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
  • 40 Major Jazz Guitar Licks

    Printable PDF eBook containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
  • 49 Essential Jazz Lines

    This printable eBook in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation, audio files and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
  • Mastering Pentatonic Scales

    This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
  • 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks

    This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines with tabs and audio files both in major and minor keys
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    Jazz guitar comping. How to play II-V-I chord progressions on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
  • 11 blues jazz studies

    This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • Mastering the altered scale

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
  • 40 Blues Dominant patterns

    This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
  • 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks

    You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
  • 25 Diminished Patterns

    This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 6 Tritone substitution licks

    The tritone substitution is explained through 6 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links. Printable PDF eBook.

Last edited: 03/07/2019