View post (Question about Modes)

View thread

ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 7,938
Originally Posted by: HorsefleshIf I were to solo in a mode say mixalidian would the starting position be on the parent key or?

I woke up this morning & thought about this question again. :) I realized you might be asking in general about how & when to use mixolydian.

My previous answer was: if you want to use mixolydian, then use mixolydian! And how to do that.

But you can also use mixolydian in the context of a chord progress with reference to a key signature or parent scale. You could do that if you are in the key of C major for example, and you have a chord progression with the V chord in it.

C (I) / Am (vi) / Dm (ii) / G (V)

The Roman numeral in a major key progression shows you which mode to use.

Over the C (I) major chord, you'd play C ionian.

Over the Am (vi) major chord, you'd play A aeolian.

Over the Dm (ii) major chord, you'd play D dorian.

Over the G (V) major chord, you'd play G mixolydian.

Now notice that this is really overcomplicating things, because essentially all those modes are just the notes of the C major scale from a different starting point. So, it's more efficient to just say, use the C major scale & target the chord tones of the chords as they change.

However, if you have a modulation, then it becomes a little more useful to think in modes.

C (I) / C7 (V of IV) / F (IV) / G7 (V)

The Roman numeral in a major key progression shows you which mode to use.

Over the C (I) major chord, you'd play C ionian.

Over the C7 (V of IV) chord, you'd play C mixolydian (fifth mode of F major) because you are playing the V of the next chord.

Over the F (IV) major chord, you're back in C major targeting chord tones from F (f-a-c) or F lydian.

Over the G (V) major chord, you'd play G mixolydian.

This approach is sometimes used in jazz. This tutorial covers that kind of approach.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1757

And it might also be helpful to have a look at my collection on improvisation.

https://www.guitartricks.com/collection/learning-to-improvise

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory