newb mixo questions

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newb mixo questions

Postby vwjodyme » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:52 am

So i have been trying to tackle scales for awhile now, memorizing the boxes and stuff, and just wanted to get some clarification on modes/scale relationships.
I have a scale book that I have been using that lists fingerings for given scales including the mixo which i have been content with. then i got a dvd on modes and am thoroughly confused :lol:
I have been understanding the mixo as a scale with 5 boxes, but now it seems it's the 5th mode out of 7 in the major scale. And if the key of the scale is in say C, then each of the modes would follow the C major scale so the mixo would end up on G. I'm not really sure what i am asking here. I guess does anyone have a simple way of thinking of this? for jerry type stuff should I just be focused on the different scale shapes of the major, mixo, and pentatonic scales or start learning modes now?

i guess everyone is always saying Jer was heavy on the mixolydian, so was he using it in 5 boxes or the 5th mode in a given key or are they the same thing? i think i might be out thinking myself now :shock:
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:51 pm

In my opinion you're outhinking yourself, and it's a lot simpler than you're making it. What's confusing is that there are about a half-dozen ways to think about modes, find the right way for you, and you'll be fine.

Here are 3 different methods arranged in increasing order from least theory-geeky to most theory geeky:

If you know your major scales mostly as memorized fingering patterns, then it helps to think of Mixolydian as being from the 5th degree to the 5th degree up an octave. (aka G to G in C major - no sharps or flats)

If you know the major scale primarily as individual scale degrees, then just think of the major scale but flat the 7th. (G major is G A B C D E F# G, G Mixolydian is G A B C D E F G) This happens to be my go-to method, for what it's worth.

If you know your circle of 5ths and traditional key signatures really well, it helps to think of it as lowering one tone - aka subtracting one sharp or adding one flat. (G major has one sharp, G Myxolyidan has no sharps or flats. F Major has one flat, F Mixolydian has two flats, etc) This way of thinking helps when you dig into the fact that Jerry didn't just solo in Mixolydian, but he also actually wrote many of his songs in it as well.


The bottom line to understanding modes is that they really aren't that complicated. Functionally it's just a matter of learning scales. You alread know more than one scale, right? Well, it's time to learn another. Don't overthink it, just get a basic understanding, then spend some time in the practice room just getting the scale under your fingers.
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby vwjodyme » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:18 pm

Thanks Rusty! That helps a lot...flattened 7th. I think I was becoming stuck in boxes when I should be focusing more on the actual notes i am playing :-)
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby dleonard » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:24 pm

...to go off what Rusty said

It's always good to know the notes you are playing...especially the 1,3 & 5 of the chord. BUT, if you just do like Rusty said and just think of the relative position of the notes from the major scale it can be pretty easy.

Mixo (flatten the 7th of major scale)
Dorian (flatten the 3rd and 7th of major scale)
Lydian (sharp 4 of the major scale)

Another way that really worked for me was just taking the major and minor pentatonic scales and adding the extra notes

It seems insane at first (like...how the hell does anyone really do this --> at least how i thought), but once you just put some time into getting the feel and patterns of these few scales it will be second nature, and everything will open up for you.
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby jahozer » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:31 pm

Hey,
To confuse you even more, I think of it in the way you described. The other guys are absolutely correct, but I think as the 5th mode of the scale, so if the key is in C, I start the C maj scale on the G and end on the G. You are essentially staying in C the whole time.
The boxes are just different ways of playing it on different parts of the neck, and you are correct in thinking about intervals more than patterns.

Jerry also does a lot of combining mixo and major. So if you were in C maj, you would play that flat 7th and the natural 7th. giving you a chromatic run that is actually the be bop scale. That trilly little 4 note pull off he does all the time really works descending down from the root.
But yeah, dont over think it. Its always presented waay more complicated than it should be, and I am surely just helping that confusion. Whole towns have been burned down started by fights over modes and scales...
Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is the best.- the girl from the bus
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby Adam Deckard » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:11 pm

dude check this out. learn the major scale in the 5 boxes that you have been practicing. learn in so good that you can run through it in the boxes AND up and down the strings. once you have that down, the modes are really just taking those patterns and shifting them up and down the neck. like take G major for example.. the first box starts off with your middle finger on the 3rd fret on the low e string... it goes 2,4,1,2,4,1,3,4,1,3,4,2,4,1,2 <--- thats the box shape, the numbers are your fingers (index,middle,ring,pinky = 1,2,3,4 respectively)... well the fourth box shape in ur list where you do 2,4,1,2,4,1,2,4.... starting on the C note.. well take that shape and slide it back to the same 3rd fret you start the G major scale on and play THAT box... thats the G mixo scale and you would follow those same shapes in order all the way up the neck to play all the G mixo notes! its so easy man and the more you shift those boxes around the more cool sounds you will get out of it... if this doesnt make any sense let me know ill make a quick vid and show u what i know which isnt much, but i believe will get you going faster than some dude giving you a bunch of music theory down the throat...
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby Adam Deckard » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:17 pm

Let me know if this helps any!



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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby easytoslip » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:23 pm

thanks Adam D, helps me out
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby Poor Peter » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:30 pm

Everything that everyone has suggested to you is sage advice, but...Arpeggios, bro....that's where it's at. Jer relied heavily on arpeggios. Thats how he seemingly never get lost. He always knew where "home" was. Find yourself a good "Deal" or a "Dupree's" or a "Sugaree" or "Eyes" .... arpeggios galore. Then sneak your mixo's and your ionians, your dorians and your pentatonics in. Don't get hung up on memorizing scale patterns. Your solos will get boring and repetitious. Learn your arpeggios and everything else will fall into place much more easily.
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby AlabamaDidn'tGetAway » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:55 pm

I think the light bulb went off for me regarding modes when I started learning fiddle tunes from notation. I was working on Salt Creek. The notation has 2 #s, thats the key of D. WTF is up with that? Every back porch picker worth his salt know Salt Creek is in A! The melody starts on an a, ends on an a, so do the chords. Yet these dot writing MF's say its in D! Well, the light went off and I realized its that pesky G chord. The b7. The tune keeps going there. The G note and therefore the G chord, the b7, is not a note in the A maj scale. Thats why Salt Creek is A Mixo. See, the dot writers dont really care where the tonal center is. They just expect you to play the dang dots. The tonal center then takes care of itself. But us ear players, we darn sure care. Thats when I learned "key", in a classical/dot readers world, means the key signature, not the tonal center, which is what us jammers generally refer to as the "key". The dot writers ask "how can we write this out with the fewest possible flats or sharps"? Turns out D major fits A mixo. The f# and the c# are called for in the key signature of D, and the g remains a natural note. So the dot writers use D maj. If they used Amaj, they'd have to use 3 sharps, the c#, the f#, and the g#, then put a flat sign by every g note!

My advice is dont over think modes. Its just an alteration of the major scale. I just think of mixo as the maj scale with a b7. Dorian is just a maj scale with a b3 and a b7. The minor scale is just the maj w a b3, figure out which dang 7th to play by ear. I dont worry about which minor scale its called, just what sounds good. The maj scale w just a few altered notes, your minor and maj pentatonic boxes(just stripped down maj or min scales w notes left out) and your pretty much covered. Learn the notes on your fretboard. Learn as many diff places to play all your chords as you can. Figure out the intervals of those chords, learn yer roots, 3rds & b3rds 5ths, maj7ths and b7ths. Then find the 4th, your prob gonna need it at some point in the tune. Then you only got just a few more note possibilites. The 2nd, the 6th, a passing b5, hell you'll hit those by accident. Pick a chord position, then hum a melody and play it. Rinse and repeat till you get too old for your fingers to move, and by then we're all done for I guess.
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby AlabamaDidn'tGetAway » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:52 pm

Adam Deckard wrote:dude check this out. learn the major scale in the 5 boxes that you have been practicing. learn in so good that you can run through it in the boxes AND up and down the strings. once you have that down, the modes are really just taking those patterns and shifting them up and down the neck. like take G major for example.. the first box starts off with your middle finger on the 3rd fret on the low e string... it goes 2,4,1,2,4,1,3,4,1,3,4,2,4,1,2 <--- thats the box shape, the numbers are your fingers (index,middle,ring,pinky = 1,2,3,4 respectively)... well the fourth box shape in ur list where you do 2,4,1,2,4,1,2,4.... starting on the C note.. well take that shape and slide it back to the same 3rd fret you start the G major scale on and play THAT box... thats the G mixo scale and you would follow those same shapes in order all the way up the neck to play all the G mixo notes! its so easy man and the more you shift those boxes around the more cool sounds you will get out of it... if this doesnt make any sense let me know ill make a quick vid and show u what i know which isnt much, but i believe will get you going faster than some dude giving you a bunch of music theory down the throat...


This makes perfect sense. Its just another way to view the same thing that the "theory" dudes are trying to point out, when they say "learn your intervals and arrpegios". I use patterns and boxes all the time. I started like most kids w an elec guitar, the minor pentatonic box, or blues scale, or somebodys variation thereof. Then I discovered you shift you box and your root note and you get maj pentatonic, totally different sound, same boxes, just shifted. But thats just 5 notes. They always said they was supposed to be 7. So I learned the other 2 notes and added them to my boxes. At some point it seemed like I was learning boxes and patterns within boxes and patterns. And I still wasnt happy with my note choices a lot of the time. I decided to back up and punt and try to simplify, at least in my mind. So I started studying chords. I figured out which notes are making those chords, and stripped my boxes down to those. I found that of all your note possibilites those were the best ones to start when trying to find a melody or improvise a line. Then I kinda started reconnecting those arrpegios with all those old boxes, but keeping the basic 3 or 4 tones, the notes of the chord, as home bass. My playing got a lot more melodic and and tuneful as a result.
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Re: newb mixo questions

Postby NotStStephen » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:26 am

Just made a big ol post on this in think tank one.
Aint no time to hate....
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