Discover the Mixolydian ModeThe Original Blues Scale

The Mixolydian mode is the original blues scale for the big bands like Glenn Miller Orchestra and many others.

There were no 6 note blues scales for these old timers. Everything was based on the major scale. This was Jazz and Blues combined with strict musical code.

Those Blue notes, the flatted 3rd and 5th were considered accidentals not a seperate scale.

This mode is for improvising over dominant chords built from the 5th note of the major scale like G7, G9, G11 and G13.

They had no guitar note bending either, everything was done with horns.

This was the commercial version of the Blues, not what was being played by the original Blues players from the South.

3 Different Keys

Every dominant chord puts you in a new key.

This is how they used to think of the blues. A blues song in G with the I, IV and V chords being G7, C7 and D7 would actually put you in the key of C, F and G.

I doubt that the old time Blues player who invented this music thought this way but this is how a person who knew music theory would.

It’s those old timers we owe for the blues scale as we know it today.

G Mixolydian

Here is a little taste of the mixolydian scale. It has more of a major blues sound to it. This is a G7 chord in the back and I only used notes from this mode.

The G Mixolydian played over a G chord

I know it’s a little bland but these are the notes of the mode. I want you to hear the mode notes not the guitar playing.

This mode can be made to sound better with some slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends and other techniques but learn the mode 1st without stomp boxes or other sound altering devices.

The Mixolydian Mode List

Here we go again another 12 modes for improvising. This has a lot of uses. Eric Clapton uses this scale on “Hideaway”. A tune recorded with “John Mayall and the BluesBreakers” written by Freddie King and Sonny Thompson

The Mixolydian Mode Formula

The Mixolydian formula is 1-2-3-4-5-6-♭7

This one is easy to remember just flat the 7th of any major scale