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!

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

C Mixolydian Triad and Arpeggio Shapes



Typical Chord Progressions

Backing Track Mixolydian 1:

Backing Track Mixolydian 2:

Backing Track Mixolydian 3:

Useful Licks

Mixolydian Scale Lick 1:

Mixolydian Scale Lick 2:

Mixolydian Scale Lick 3: