How to play psychedelic Mixolydian blues

Robby Krieger performing live onstage
(Image credit: Chris Christoforou/Redferns)

If you’ve already ventured into what many regard as the mysterious world of modes, the name Mixolydian may be familiar to you. If not, no problem. My own approach to modes has always been intuitive, rather than methodical, but whichever way you choose to proceed, there should be something in this article for you. 

I think we can agree that when soloing over a 12-bar blues in the key of A major, the A major scale would not be conducive to cool-sounding blues solos. Try this yourself over the backing if you’re not convinced. Yes, it’s possible to come up with a phrase here and there, but the overall impression is that the A major scale (A B C# D E F# G# A) is not a great fit.

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.