‘A flat mixolydian’ is the 5th mode of the Db major scale. The notes in Ab Mixolydian are:

Ab – Bb – C – Db – Eb – F – Gb

If you have read the post on understanding the mixolydian mode, you will know that the mixolydian mode contains a ‘flat 7’ (parallel approach). You will also know that it is the 5th mode of the major scale (derivative approach).

Because the flat 7′ (or ‘lowered 7’) is the only difference between the mixolydian mode and the major scale, it is a very simple mode to analyze.

The Ab mixolydian mode is the default scale that is used to improvise over Ab dominant 7 chords.

Let’s briefly look at how to construct Ab mixolydian using both the parallel approach and the derivative approach.

Ab Mixolydian Mode Using The Parallel Approach

Ab Major has the following notes:

Ab – Bb – C – Db – Eb – F – G

If we ‘lower’ the 7th note, we get the following:

Ab – Bb – C – Db – Eb – F – Gb

Ab Mixolydian Mode Using The Derivative Approach

Ab is the 5th note of the Db major scale:

Db – Eb – F – Gb – Ab – Bb – C

If we play the Db major scale and start on the 5th note we get the following:

Ab – Bb – C – Db – Eb – F – Gb

Let’s look at the Ab mixolydian mode in the different positions on the guitar fretboard:

Ab Mixolydian CAGED Positions

None of the notes in Ab mixolydian can be played on the open strings of the guitar. There is therefor no ‘open position’ for Ab mixolydian. Let’s look at the positions along the fretboard:

Ab Mixolydian 1st Position (Lowest Fret is 1)

A Flat Mixolydian Mode 1st Position Frets
A Flat Mixolydian Mode 1st Position Notes

Ab Mixolydian 2nd Position (Lowest Fret is 2)

A Flat Mixolydian Mode 2nd Position Frets
A Flat Mixolydian Mode 2nd Position Notes

Ab Mixolydian 5th Position (Lowest Fret is 5)

A Flat Mixolydian Mode 5th Position Frets
A Flat Mixolydian Mode 5th Position Notes

Ab Mixolydian 8th Position (Lowest Fret is 8)

A Flat Mixolydian Mode 8th Position Frets
A Flat Mixolydian Mode 8th Position Notes

Ab Mixolydian 9th Position (Lowest Fret is 9)

A Flat Mixolydian Mode 9th Position Frets
A Flat Mixolydian Mode 9th Position Notes

That covers the 5 basic positions and the open position of A mixolydian along the guitar fretboard. For an in depth explanation of the mixolydian mode, check out mixolydian mode explained.

Further Reading

  • Ab7 chord (Ab mixolydian works well over this chord).
  • Ab7 arpeggio (Ab mixolydian is a great companion to the A dominant 7 arpeggio).
  • Db Major scale contains the mode of Ab mixolydian.

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