TIP OF THE DAY

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The Virtues of the D Minor Tuned Treble Kalimba: Playing in C Mixolydian Mode

I continue to explain why I tune my Treble in D minor: because it is very natural to play in five different modes. If you don't understand what modes are, look back to October 4th's Advanced Tip. Last week's mode on the D minor tuned Treble was the B flat Lydian mode, and this week we start on C to make the Mixolydian.

The regular Treble tuning and the D minor tuned Treble kalimba,
showing the C mixolydian scale
Listen to me goofing around in the C mixolydian mode

Remember how the Lydian mode was almost just like the regular major scale, but one note was changed? This is the same way, every note sounds like the major scale, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, but ooops - the 7th is flat. If you are a fan of the Grateful Dead, you will immediately recognize this as the scale that forms Dark Star and Roll Away the Dew. And of course, there is a lot of great Celtic music you can play in this mode. So, it really is required reading for almost any musician.

And the Mixolydian mode works very well together with the Lydian mode, as in Fire on the Mountain.

Last week, I promised you I'd show how the Bb Lydian mode could use the C scale and chords to sound like The Beatles. THIS piece starts in the Lydian and then goes to the Mixolydian, and then does a fake out (because there is no E flat, or regular 4th... if you understand that comment, YOU are on top of it; if you don't understand, go back and reread last week's tip - do it, I dare you, you can get this).

Listen to me doing the Beatle-esque thing with the Lydian and Mixolydian modes.

Of course, we'll have some more modes coming up next week. AND, if you've actually retuned your kalimba to Dminor with me, drop me a line, I'd love to hear your experiences.