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Watch the Week 2: Mixolydian | Blues Solo 1 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Modal Mother Lode Alpha

The Mixolydian Mode

The Mixolydian mode starts the parallel comparison train rolling. It's the 5th mode of the Diatonic modes that's closely related to Ionian. With just one alteration as compared to Ionian, we're able to quickly create the Mixo- vibe from the one octave cell template. It's funky and crunchy and goes like this:

1 2 3 4 5 6 b7

Mixolydian slightly changes the three style-based ideas with its lowered 7th degree (b7). The change will be minimally felt aside from a minor fingering change, but the sound - that's a whole different thing. With the shifting of just one note as compared to the Ionian template you get a welcoming blues-rock-funk vibe through all three style template that's infectious. It's no wonder Mixo- is a big time go-to modal choice for so many different types of players!

The Rock Lick
Staying in the 17th position Mixolydian's formula takes the screaming rock Lick, note-for-note, and instructs you to "flat the 7". The fretboard architecture changes slightly - mostly in the extender range, but within the cell as well. Listen carefully for my advice on handling the bend from b7 to 1 in the pickup notes and the tail end after the descending 16th note run. In the final bar look out for the modally cool C7sus4/F intentionally voiced for that crazy Fractal patch I got going on.

The Funk Vamp
Mixolydian will continue to throw you stacked perfect and augmented 4ths, just this time in other locations. You can expect the syncopated 16th-note feel to be intact as it will remain in play throughout all the funk vamps. Always keep close tabs on where the tritones are in the stacks that include them. Those are the signature stacks and will help deliver the sound of Mixolydian to your ears for real! Mixolydian establishes the double eight bar vamp approach where the first eight are an exact iteration of the Ionian eight bar funk vamp template. The following set of eight bars sticks with the syncopated 16th-note groove while presenting another example of the sound and vision of Mixolydian stacks. At the close of the double eight bar vamp will be a modally cool C9/E for your playing pleasure.

The Blues Solo
Mixolydian takes the Ionian template blues solo and shifts that 7th degree down a half step creating a Skynyrd-approved vibe. With subtle phrasing techniques in tact this solo closely mirrors the Ionian template, which makes it easy to hear the difference thus allowing you to digest the sound. More importantly, Mixolydian introduces the first vertical solo where the IV chord lick is a movable permutation of the I chord lick. That said, watch for the horizontal vs. vertical concept as you progress through the course.