How To Play And Create Chord Progressions Using The Mixolydian Mode

How To Play And Create Music Using The Mixolydian Mode

by Simon Candy


Mixolydian Chord Progression Guitar Article PicIn this video, you learn how to write chord progressions on guitar in the Mixolydian mode. The Mixolydian mode is known as the mode of rock and is the basis for many songs in this genre of music.

In this lesson, I break down the mixolydian mode so you can understand it clearly and precisely.

You then learn how to write chord progressions using the mixolydian mode targeting the all important characteristic note that makes the mixolydian sound what it is.

You also learn some examples of actual songs that use the mixolydian mode including:

• Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynrd
• Norwegian Wood - The Beatles
• Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve

Watch the video below to learn more:


Mixolydian Chord Progressions

The following are some examples of chord progressions written in the Mixolydian mode. Watch the video above for detailed explanations and breakdowns of each example.


• Progression 1:

The first example is a two chord vamp using the I and the VII chord. To set up the Mixolydian sound, you want to begin on the key’s root chord.

In this case, it is G Major:




• Progression 2:

This second example is a I VII IV I chord progression in the Mixolydian mode:




• Progression 3:

Example 3 is a similar progression to example 2 with the addition of the Dm chord which is the v chord in G Mixolydian:




Mixolydian Song Examples

The following are just some examples of the many songs written in the Mixolydian mode. Watch the video above for detailed explanations and breakdowns of each song example.


Sweet Home Alabama: Lynyrd Skynyrd

“Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd is in the key of D Mixolydian.

The entire song is made up of a I (D), VII (C), IV (G) progression:




Norwegian Wood: The Beatles

The first part of “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles is in E Mixolydian, based on the I (E) chord.

It is the melody here that determines the key, without it, we would not know if the key is E Major or E Mixolydian:




The second part of “Norwegian Wood” modulates to E Dorian gravitating to the tonality of Em:




Bittersweet Symphony: The Verve

The song “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve is another example of a song in the key E Mixolydian. The chord progression consists of the I (E), v (Bm), VII (D), and IV (A) chords:




Learn how to expand the number of chords you can play on the guitar