The Mixolydian Scale
The Mixolydian mode is a useful scale mainly for playing over blues and dominant 7th chords. It is similar to a major scale but has a flattened 7th degree.
Let’s look at an example, you can improvise over a C7 chord using a C Mixolydian scale. The chord tones in C7 are C – E – G – Bb and the notes of a C Mixolydian scale are C – D – E – F – G – A – Bb. Let’s try this on guitar:
This is a great pattern to learn because its easy to move around and practice. It’s also easy to find the chord tones of C7 here by playing the scale in thirds.
Let’s try another example, you can improvise over a G7 chord using a G Mixolydian scale. The chord tones in G7 are G- B – D – F and the notes of a G Mixolydian scale are G – A – B – C – D – E – F. Let’s try this on guitar:
You can also combine the Mixolydian scale with the pentatonic scale to great effect. The pentatonic has a flattened 3rd degree so in G it’s a Bb where as the G Mixolydian scale has a B natural which is the third degree. I find soloing with the pentatonic and ending my phrases with the Mixolydian makes for a tasteful and more intricate phrase.
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