Mixolydian Scale Bass

Is the mixolydian scale the same as the mixolydian mode ?

Of course, I am asked this question by many students and as always, I say the same thing, the modes are scales too.

When we speak of a mode we refer to the place it occupies within the mother scale, and to what scale it has and what chords it can generate and what its tensions are… but, in short!

The mixolydian mode is the V grade of the Ionian scale and in this bass pdf lesson we are going to learn its fingering.

The names to refer to it are:

Mixolydian mode ✅
Mixolydian scale ✅

This mode or scale is widely used in blues and jazz because its chord is precisely the blues chord, a dominant, major chord with a minor 7.

So, it’s perfect for combining with the major blues scale and minor bass blues we’ve studied before.

Use this scale on a blues but don’t stand on its 4th because it’s the note to avoid!

How to play the mixolydian scale on Bass

As always, here we propose you the mixolydian mode on bass, with three fingerings.

We will start from the A pitch note
Remember to master all three because we will start each one with a different finger.

Don’t forget to use the metronome at slow speeds.

There will be time to run! 🚗 🚕

First mixolydian bass fingering in pdf with finger 1:

mixolydian scale bass fingering

Next fingering with finger 2:

mixolydian scale bass

..and finally you must master the mixolydian bass scale also with the finger 4 or pinkie:

mixolydian mode for electric bass

Where is the Mixolydian mode formed ?

As mentioned above, the mixolydian mode is built on the fifth grade of the major scale and has these distances between its notes:


The scale or mixolydian mode has these intervals:

  • Root
  • Major 2nd
  • Major 3rd
  • Perfect fourth
  • Perfect fifth
  • Major 6th
  • Minor seventh

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7

The piano mixolydian scale is achieved by playing all the white keys from the note G.

How to use Mixolydian mode on bass guitar

The characteristic note of the mixolydian scale is the interval of minor seventh, that is the note that gives the flavor to the mode.

Therefore, you will understand why in a blues fits perfectly on any of its chords, all blues chords have minor seventh.

The blues chord is also called the dominant chord.

The dominant chord has the tensions 9th major and 13th major and has a note to avoid that you should handle carefully in the improvisation and not rest on it ⛔️the perfect fourth⛔️.

Use it as a passing melodic note, not as a repose note.

As we have already said the mixolydian mode is widely used in funk or blues and jazz.

Combine it with the pentatonic scales and you’ll see how perfect it sounds.

And what chords can we play it on ?

We are going to be able to use it on these chords:

Major triad chords – A ✅
Chords of 2nd suspended – Asus2 ✅
Major chords add 9 – Aadd9 ✅
Major chords 6th – A6 ✅
Major chords 6/9 – A6/9 ✅
Major chords with 7th minor plus 9th – A7, A9 ✅
Major chords with 7th minor plus 9th and 13th – A13 ✅

And now you!

Leave us any doubt you have in the comments,

Did you know the Mixolydian scale on bass ?

Do you use the mixolydian mode ?

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