The Mixolydian Mode and why it needs a bit of help

Anyone who is into Blues music or Rock will most likely be very familiar with the sound of the Mixolydian Scale/Mode. However on it’s own the scale may need some help and encouragement  to really develop to it’s  full potential.

Much Blues Piano work which pioneered the Blues used the Mixolydian Scale. However in Blues piano it was important to follow the chord changes (particularly those of the IV chord and V chord) with changes to the Mixolydian appropriate to those chord changes. For example it was rare for a piece played in say the Key of A to stay solely on the A Mixolydian Scale throughout the entire piece over the most likely chord changes of IV ( D Maj) and V (E Maj).  So in Key of A more normally you will encounter that the A Mixolydian changes to D Mixolydian over the IV chord and again may change to E Mixolydian over the V Chord. There is good reason for this as we can see if we examine the scale to find out it’s inherent weaknesses.

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Albert King Style

The Albert King Style is deceptively straight forward but also hard to replicate convincingly. This is due in part to the fact that Albert King used an unconventional tuning and strung his guitar upside down. This means that if you wish to follow what he was doing it presents problems when playing with conventional tunings and strings.

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