Tonal Center Modulation

by David Wallimann

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  • Welcome to the tonal center modulation lesson! In this lesson, we'll explore a new way to look at complex modulations and make the improvisation job a little easier.

    When facing a modulation, it's always a good idea to prepare your improvisation by looking at the scales offered. This lesson will be based on 3 different keys:

    A Mixolydian
    B Mixolydian
    E Mixolydian

    In order to facilitate our improvisation, we'll try to see if there are any common notes between the 3 previous keys. In this case, all three previous scales contain an A. That will be our tonal center.

    Now that we determined the center tone, we just need to see on which degree of the specific key that tome is.

    The first key is A Mixolydian, that's already given.

    The second key is B Mixolydian. If we follow the scale by naming the modes that we find (B Mixolydian, C# Aeolian, D# Locrian, etc...), we'll get an A Lydian scale.

    If we do the same thing on the third key, we'll get an A Ionian.

    Using tonal centers is a great way to facilitate your leads as you won't need to skip frets to reach the next modulation key scale.


    A Ionian.jpg

    A Mixo.jpg

    A Lydian.jpg
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