Tonal Center Blues

by David Wallimann

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  • Today, we'll apply the concept of tonal center to a standard blues chord progression. Tonal center is a way to bring different modulations to a common note in order to facilitate the transition between two foreign keys.

    In this lesson, we'll be playing over the 3 following chords:

    A7, D7 and E7

    We'll play a Mixolydian mode over these chords. That's A Mixolydian, D Mixolydian and E Mixolydian.

    To make things a little easier on the fingers, and to keep the musical ideas smoother, we can bring these 3 modes to a common tonal center note.

    Several notes would work, but to keep things sinple, let's chose an A note. In other words, we need to ask the following questions:

    Which mode starting in A is equivalent to D Mixolydian?
    Which mode starting in A is equivalent to E Mixolydian?

    The answer is A Dorian for D Mixolydian, and A Ionian for E Mixolydian.

    Memorize the following scales and enjoy modulating over the chords!

    Dorian.jpg

    Mixolydian copy.jpg

    Ionian.jpg
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