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.

Mixo-blues scale - Guitar positions - One octave Shapes

How to Play the Mixo-blues Scale on Guitar?

Here are four mixoblues scale guitar positions. The first shap has roots on the sixht and fourth string. The second form has roots on the fifth and third string. The third diagram has roots on the fourth and second string. The last one has roots on the third and first 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 the scale. So, don't hesitate to play these shapes anywhere on the guitar neck.


George Benson - Mixoblues Lick

This example shows how George Benson used the Mixolydian blues scale. 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


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Last edited: 02/26/2020