Melody of the Week - Classic Beatles

What if...I picked up guitar first, or ukelele, or maybe banjo????

If you've known me for any amount of time - you'll know that guitar wasn't actually my first instrument. I started on Violin when I was about 4 and then piano at 8 and then bagpipes at about 11.

They say that the first instrument you learn forever shapes how you look at/feel/see/interpret music. I'm not sure if that's entirely true for violin (as I just never really bonded with the instrument) but when I found the Scottish bagpipes - I really fell in love and I think they have for sure stayed "with me" all this time.

Specifically the sound of them. For those that don't know - Bagpipes exist in the Key of D major (if you're playing with fiddles and guitars) - but the chanter (the little wooden thing at the bottom that you play with your fingers that make the melodies) is tuned in A Mixolydian. (the 5th mode of D major).

If you've been following along with these emails and/or my blog recently you'll probably know that I've been featuring a "sounds of the modes" series - to help you hear what they are/where they appear - while also giving you hopefully some cool licks to try out.

Today's is no different and since we were living in Mixolydian land because of the bagpipes - we'll visit a very popular tune that also outlines the sound of Mixolydian (the 5th mode of the major scale) very nicely.

Mixolydian is one of my favourite sounds, and it's found all over music from traditional Gaelic music to classical, rock to blues and jazz! It's particulary great for soloing over Dominant 7th chords. (if you ever want to play something other than a pentatonic scale) ;)

Norwegian Wood utilzes the mixolydian sound very well - to hear it best, it's important to get that static E major chord in the back ground then play the melody as outlined below.

Also - something tricky/fun is the time signature of this tune: 6/8. You count this as 1 2 3, 4 5 6. You'll see that I've bolded the 1 and the 4 as these are where the stresses happen. This gives 6/8 a bit more of a rolling feel over 3/4 - which to my ears is a bit more boxy and waltzy (for obvious reasons).

Guitar pro files, as well as a pdf of this, as always, are available for download as bonuses exclusively to Fretboard Infinity Loop Members.

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