Free Online Music Theory Lessons Guitar

Music Theory How To Use The MixoLydian Mode In Blues Guitar Solos part 1

Hello, this is Mike Hayes and we're talkingabout music theory, and specifically on this tutorial, we're talking about pitch scales inrelation to chord structures and the idea that we're presenting here is that each chordhas a particular scale that sounds 'just right' with that chord, of course, you can play anyscale over any chord but, we're looking for the 'perfect fit' if you like and we're lookingtoday at the 12 bar blues. On previous music theory tutorials we've discussedthe various modes, so before we get right into the 12 bar blues, I'd like to do a quitereview and let's start with listening to the sound of the Ionian mode and comparing theIonian mode with the sound of the MixoLydian

mode.I'm going to compare the sound of a G Ionian mode to that of a G MixoLydian mode; it'simportant to relate the sound of each mode to a harmonic structure so I'm going to beginour example by playing a G major chord followed by a G Ionian mode and then finishing witha G major chord . And now for an example of the G MixoLydiansound, I'll begin by play a G seventh chord, then the G MixoLydian mode and finishingwith a G seventh chord again . I think you'll agree that the G MixoLydianmode sounds 'just right' over the G seventh chord; now, the thing to keep in mind is thatwe're talking about dominant seventh and the

reason we're talking about dominant seventhchords is because our focus on this tutorial, as we said is on the blues.So if we look at a standard twelve bar blues progression usually speaking we won't havetriads, we won't have three note major chords; we'll usually have four note chords and thesechords will be dominant seventh chords, just like the chord progression you see on thescreen right now. And, the ideal mode to fit over these dominantseventh chords is the MixoLydian mode. This is where our music theory kicks in andhelps us understand 'why' things work; if we have a look at the G seventh chord, whenwe have a look at the notes in the G seventh

chord, I have them here as a vertical structure:G, B, D F; once we have a look at the notes that go to make up the G seventh chord wecan see why the mixoLydian mode works so well over this chord and as we said it's aG dominant seventh chord. When we have a look at the G MixoLydian modewe can see that if we took every second note, we would have the exact same notes that goto make up the G dominant seventh chord. Our next step is to identify the correct MixoLydianmode to play over each chord in our twelve bar blues, and again we'll be using our musicaltheory that we've learnt in previous lessons when we created the scale chord series; that'sthe four note chords that are created out

of each scale by stacking the notes of thescale on top of each other in thirds. So looking at each chord in our twelve barblues progression we can see that the dominant seventh chords are chord five in each key:G7 chord is chord five in the key of C, therefore we could play the G MixoLydian mode overthe G7 chord. The C7 chord is chord five in the key of F,we could play a C MixoLydian mode over the C7; and D7 is chord five in the key of G,and we could play a D MixoLydian mode over the D7.We've cover a lot of musical ground on this tutorial, so to review and consolidate everythingwe're learnt so far here's an example of our

twelve bar blues chord progression with ournew MixoLydian musical resources marked in. You can see that we've identified the G MixoLydianmode that can be played over the G7 chord; C MixoLydian can be played over the C7 regionof the blues; and the D MixoLydian can be played over the D7 chord.At the bottom of the page you'll see the various notes that are contained in each mode; I dohope you have enjoyed this tutorial and we'll cover the modes in greater detail on the nexttutorial.

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