The Mixolydian Scale | Guitar Lesson with Shapes and Lines
What's the Mixolydian Mode?
The Mixolydian mode, also called dominant scale, is the fifth mode of the major scale. The interval formula is root (1), second (2), major third (3), fourth (4), fifth (5), sixth (6) and minor seventh (b7). It has the same notes as the Ionian mode, except the minor seventh (b7), it is considered a major scale.
The Mixolydian mode is widely used in jazz and blues music for improvising over dominant chords. It is one of the most important scale to know.
|G Mixolydian mode||G||A||B||C||D||E||F|
(W = whole step ; H = half step)
What is the Dominant scale?
The Dominant scale is simply another name for the Mixolydian mode. It is called " dominant" because it is built from the 5th degree of the major scale also called "dominant".
Basic Application of The Dominant Scale
The Mixolydian mode can be used over any non-altered dominant chord as dom7, dom9, dom11, dom13, 7sus4.
How to play the Mixolydian mode on guitar?
Mixolydian Mode One Octave Shapes
Here are four one octave shapes that will help youy play the Dominant scale on guitar. The first neck diagram has roots on the 6th and 4th string.
The second has roots on the fifth and third string. The third shape has roots on the fourth and second string and the fourth has roots on the third and first string.
To understand and hear the Mixolydian mode, it is recommended to play these patterns starting from the root note (R).
For example, to play the G Mixolydian mode with the 3rd shape you will need to put your second finger on the 4th string at the fifth fret.
Mixolydian Mode Two Octave Shapes
These two diagrams provides two shapes to play the Dominant scale within two octaves. Be sure to play these shapes in all twelve keys by moving the root note to the desired note while keeping the same intervals.
Mixolydian Mode and Major triad Chord - Audio file
Mixolydian Scale - 5 Exercises
Here are 5 easy guitar exercises for practicing the Mixolydian mode on guitar.
Mixolydian Mode in Twelve Keys
What Are The Twelve Mixolydian Modes
The chart below represents the twelve Mixolydian modes to know. Any jazz guitar student must keep in mind that each mixolydian scale relates to a parent key. For example, the parent key of A Mixolydian is D, in other words, A Mixolydian is the fifth mode of D major.
|A Mixolydian Mode||A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G||D|
|Bb Mixolydian Mode||Bb,C,D,Eb,F,G,Ab||Eb|
|B Mixolydian Mode||B,C#,D#,E,F#,G#,A||E|
|C Mixolydian Mode||C,D,E,F,G,A,Bb||F|
|Db Mixolydian Mode||Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C||Gb|
|D Mixolydian Mode||D,E,F#,G,A,B,C||G|
|E Mixolydian Mode||E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D||A|
|Eb Mixolydian Mode||Eb,F,G,Ab,Bb,C,Db||Ab|
|F Mixolydian Mode||F,G,A,Bb,C,D,Eb||Bb|
|F# Mixolydian Mode||F#,G#,A#,B,C#,D#,E||B|
|G Mixolydian Mode||G,A,B,C,D,E,F||C|
|Ab Mixolydian mode||Ab, Bb, C,Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab||Db|
Related Chords and Arpeggios
How To Build Chords From The Mixolydian Mode?
There is only one difference between the Ionian and the Mixolydian mode, this is the minor seventh b7. The chart below shows you how to build a major triad, sixth and dominant 7th arpeggios from the Mixolydian mode.
As you can see a major triad consists of a root (1), major third (3) and fifth (5). By adding the sixth (6) you get a sixth arpeggio. When adding the minor seventh to the same triad you get a dominant 7th arpeggio. Remember that an arpeggio is a chord whose notes are played one by one.
|G Mixolydian mode||G||A||B||C||D||E||F||Chord|
|Formula||1||2 (9)||3||4 (11)||5||6 (13)||b7|
|G Major triad||1||x||3||x||5||x||x||G|
|G sixth arpeggio||1||x||3||x||5||6 (13)||x||G6|
|G dominant seventh arpeggio||1||x||3||x||5||x||b7||G7|
How To Play The Upper-Structure of Dominant 7 Chords?
Secondary arpeggios (playing the upper-structure of chords)
Another technique used by many jazz musicians is to play the upper-structure of chords. This technique is to play any note in the chord above the seventh. Let's take the G7 chord (G-B-D-F) which is made up of a root (1), major third (3) perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7).
These notes are derived from the G Mixolydian mode. If you refer to chart above, the upper-structure of the G7 chord includes the ninth (A), the eleventh (C) and the thirteenth (E). It means that you can add these extensions to any dominant chord.
This chart shows the extensions that can be applied to dominant seventh chords or dominant arpeggios.
II V I Jazz Line - Extended Arpeggios
This easy example shows you how to apply extensions over a major II-V-I progression in the key of C. Indeed you can play the upper-structure of any type of chord.
The first measure is based on the D Dorian mode (D-E-F-G-A-B-C), it starts with a minor seventh arpeggio (1-b3-5-b7) with the ninth (E) and the eleventh added (G).
In the second bar you may notice three extended tones, the ninth (A), the eleventh (C) and the thirteenth (E) from the G Mixolydian scale (G-A-B-C-D-E-F).
Mixolydian Scale 5 Exercises
This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode for building effective improvised solos.
This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This printable eBook method 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.
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.
This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook contains 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation on how to play over II-V-I chord progressions using different kind of voicings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
The tritone substitution is explained through 6 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links. Printable PDF eBook.
Last edited: 10/27/2019