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The Mixolydian Mode: Essential Guitar Scales

Today’s Mixolydian Mode lesson follows on from the previous Dorian lesson and dissects the Mixolydian mode into it’s most important scale shapes, Triads, Arpeggios, progressions and licks!

Get stuck in and get creative!

mixolydian mode 1

Formula 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7

In a sentence: Bright and bluesy. 

Parent Scale: Major

Mode: 5 

More than a Feeling – Journey

Summer Song – Joe Satriani

Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

The Mixolydian mode is most commonly used by combining it with both major and minor pentatonic scales. It is frequently heard in blues, rock and country guitar solos and very often heard in the playing of Derek Trucks, the Allman Brothers Band and Stevie Ray Vaughan. If you’re listening to a 12 bar blues and the mood lifts from a minor to a major sound, this is often created from either using major pentatonic scales or the Mixolydian mode.

The Mixolydian mode is similar to the major scale, however Mixolydian contains a b7 interval which takes some of the bright shine off the pure major scale. By ‘dulling down’ the major scale’s brightness, Mixolydian becomes more suitable for upbeat rock and blues.

C Mixolydian Scale Shapes

mixolydian mode 2 mixolydian mode 3 mixolydian mode 4 mixolydian mode 5 mixolydian mode 6


mixolydian mode 7

C Mixolydian Triad and Arpeggio Shapes


mixolydian mode 8 mixolydian mode 9 mixolydian mode 10 mixolydian mode 11 mixolydian mode 12


mixolydian mode 13 mixolydian mode 14 mixolydian mode 15 mixolydian mode 16 mixolydian mode 17

Typical Chord Progressions

Backing Track Mixolydian 1:

mixolydian mode 18


Backing Track Mixolydian 2:

mixolydian mode 19


Backing Track Mixolydian 3:

mixolydian mode 20


Useful Licks

Mixolydian Scale Lick 1:

mixolydian mode 21


Mixolydian Scale Lick 2:

mixolydian mode 22


Mixolydian Scale Lick 3:

mixolydian mode 23

Joseph Alexander, guitarist & guitar teacher - Fundamental Changes for guitar

Author - Joseph Alexander

Joseph Alexander has been a guitarist and expert music tutor for over 20 years. His tuition books are published in four languages and have sold over 200,000 copies to widespread critical acclaim. He is currently writing and publishing cutting edge-material that breaks down the barriers between learning and playing the guitar. As well as a…

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