7 Blues Guitar Secrets that Can Save you Years of Practice
SECRET 2: Harmonize the Mixolydian Scale
Now, let's delve into the second secret: harmonizing the Mixolydian scale. At first, this might seem specific or unusual, but understanding the Mixolydian scale and harmonizing it can greatly enhance your musical expression.
A quick note on music theory: While some may shy away from it, understanding theory doesn't hinder your ability to play from the heart. It complements your playing, providing a deeper understanding of the fretboard. So, let's demystify harmonizing the Mixolydian scale.
The Mixolydian scale is crucial in a blues context, introducing a flat seventh note. Unlike the major scale, it features this unique tone, as seen in a blues key like A.
Now, harmonizing involves playing more than one note simultaneously, typically using intervals of two notes. For instance, you can harmonize in thirds, skipping over the second note to reach the third and so forth. This technique adds richness to your playing and opens up new melodic possibilities.
Practice each set of intervals systematically, staying within the scale. Explore intervals like sixths and tenths, creating unique sounds that can enhance your musicality. Consider incorporating these harmonized intervals into your riffs, connecting them seamlessly.
Take the time to understand each interval in the context of the A7 tonality. For instance, explore the third and fourth intervals, recognizing how they form parts of the A7 tonality. Understand the connections, and it will start making sense in a musical context.
As you harmonize, think beyond the mechanical exercise and look for ways to combine different intervals creatively. Moving between patterns and string sets can make your playing more musical.
It might seem like a lot to absorb, but take it one step at a time. Begin with thirds, work on one string set at a time, and relate them back to the positions on the fretboard. For example, recognize how a sixth interval overlaps with the A7 chord shape.
In summary, embrace the depth of harmonizing the Mixolydian scale, starting with thirds and expanding from there. This practice, although challenging, will significantly enrich your playing.