Dorian Meets Mixo

by Guido Bungenstock

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  • Hi guys!

    Today we take a look at D Dorian, G Mixolydian and the G Mixolydian #4 (Lydian b7) mode.
    I made a common chord progression to demonstrate this.

    The D Dorian and G mixolydian Modes are both coming from the Natural C major Scale. D Dorian is the second mode and G Mixolydian is the 5th mode of C Major.

    D Dorian looks like this:
    D(root) E(2nd) F(minor 3rd) G(4th) A(5th) B(nat6) C(b7)

    G Mixolydian looks like this:
    G(root) A(2nd) B(major 3rd) C(4th) D(5th) E(nat6th) F(b7)

    As you see all C Major notes are here. But when I play on top of this progression I DO NOT think of C major, I think like if I would have a NEW TONAL CENTER. So I'm thinking here D Minor but with a natural 6th (the note B).
    This makes a whole difference because our progression here doesn't sound like we were playing in C major it sounds like MINOR!

    Let's go a step further by using the D Melodic Minor scale!
    D Melodic Minor looks like this:
    D(root) E(2nd) F(minor 3rd) G(4th) A(5th) B(nat6) C#(major 7th)

    As you see we have only have ONE difference, C becomes C# (or in other words, a major 7th)
    Now, when we play the same scale but starting on the G, we get the Mixolydian #4 scale.

    G Mixolydian #4 looks like this:
    G(root) A(2nd) B(major 3rd) C#(#4) D(5th) E(nat6th) F(b7)

    The cool thing about this Mixolydian #4 scale is that it works on all Dominant 7th chords, and in our example over G7/13.
    So keep in mind, every time you see chords like G7, G7/9, G7b5, G7#4 or G7/13 our new scale works perfect here. And also in just normal blues progression! Isn't this great? :-D

    But because of this strange sounding #4, you may need a little time to get familiar with it.

    So here's the whole chord progression:
    A Part 0:00-0:38
    ||:Dm7/9 | % | G7/13 | % :|| 4x

    This section as a small interlude that contains some small modulations:
    B Part0:39-0:55
    |Bb/Eb | % | Gm7/9 | % |
    |Bb/Eb | % | Gm7/9 | E7sus4/b59 A7/#5/#9 A7/13/b9 |

    A Part 0:56-1:20
    ||:Dm7/9 | % | G7/13 | % :||

    Final words
    You'll find a lot of useful licks and melodies in my video that combine the three modes.
    So have fun with it!

    I tried to transcribe as close as possible. Specially in the Guitar Pro 5 you'll find all this little extras!

    Cheers - Guido

    Technical specifications
    Guitar: Music Man Luke II
    Strings: D'Addario EXL 120
    Recording Amp: Kemper Amp(Peavey 6505 Profile)

    Amp(Only for Monitor): Peavey JSX Top with Marshall 2x12" V30

    Audio Interface: Focusrite Saffire PRO 24
    Recording SW: Logic 9, several plugins

    Standard tuning: E, A, D, G, B, E

    Tempo: 110 BPM

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