Please note, this transcription was computer generated and has not been checked for errors. However, I do hope you find it helpful. Be sure to check out The Ultimate Modal Poster!Exploring the mixolydian scale and how it supports AC/DC's tracks. signalsmusicstudio.com twitter: @signals_music FB: @signalsmusicstudio Free online guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Located in Crystal Lake, Jake Lizzio provides free jam tracks and video lessons for guitar players, as well as music theory videos and other music education content.
AC/DC is one of few rock band celebrated by both younger and older Generations alike. Their songs have left an indelible mark on music culture and songwriting while many other bands and artists originating from the same time and style had scared off mainstream audiences AC/DC enjoyed widespread appeal even while writing songs with controversial content.
There are many reasons why AC/DC-- attained this level of universal adoration for starters everything about the band exudes fun. Angus Young stage presence was irresistible.
Still the standard that lead guitar players hold themselves to today. They also had a tenacious work ethic on full display in the 1979 film Let There be Rock and they knew how to write catchy choruses with easily repeatable lyrics for maximum crowd chanting pleasure.
However, I do believe there's another reason for their Mass Appeal and it relates directly to the music itself how it's composed and a little scale called mixo-lydian.
You've probably heard the following sequence.
This is known as the major scale a set of notes that can be created by performing the right amount of whole steps and half steps most of the music we hear on a daily basis is composed in the major scale, especially when it comes to advertisements and children's songs, but the major scale is so happy. It borders on annoyingly sweet like a delicious cupcake with far too much frosting here for yourself is I play some chords from the major scale underneath the major scale now if I wanted to scrape off some of that delicious frosting and Take away some of the sweetness of the scale. I could bring in mixo-lydia.
All I have to do is take my major scale and flat the 7th note. That means to lower it one half step.
Now this already sounds a little less happy and more interesting. But the real magic happens when we use the chords available to us using these seven notes by putting them together. We get progressions like these.
Mixolydian progressions form the backbone of AC/DC sound and if we add vocal lines that include a minor third it will sound very similar to the band's composition.
To my ear mixolydian sounds like Majors rebellious little brother. The two scales have a lot of the same positive characteristics, but mixolydian just feels more cool more.
Yeah, and yeah, the undeniably fun sound of AC/DC songs is what I believe that allowed them to write lyrics like these and have them loved by kids but not denounced as satanic demon worshipping music by their parents. I mean, I highly doubt that the lyrics to Highway to Hell would have been so easily accepted by parents if Saying over something in a harmonic minor key with blast beats and growling vocals Zane.
I'm on the house.
This does not make Mom want to dance so many of AC/DC songs are built on the scale that it's sort of a defining characteristic of their music the running joke is that they've written the Same album 15 times and there are unsourced rumors and quotes on the internet that the band themselves agree with this but the association between mixolydian and a cdc's music is so strong that it can be difficult to write in mixolydian keys without it sounding like an AC/DC song.
They're certainly not alone and using the For example Norwegian Wood by The Beatles uses mixo-lydian throughout the verses to make it a little more interesting and uplifting and in Born This Way by Lady Gaga mixolydian provides the heavily energized and positive harmonic layer to an already motivational song. But if we took the chords Melodies and lyrics of born this way and put them over an electric guitar with a 4/4 Rock beat in the background you'd be forgiven for thinking it's an AC/DC song.
Jim out See you around my hair and put my lipstick on the glass of her boudoir.
So if you're a musician with a message to tell it's worth considering the musical elements, you can use to deliver that message by picking musical elements with wide appeal you increase your chance of having your message being heard by a wider audience and you can negate the negative reaction. You might have from some possibly controversial content. It's true that a lot of people love songs like Pumped Up Kicks and House of the Rising Sun without ever thinking about what the content of that song really is because the music itself doesn't take him to a dark place and I'm certainly not saying you should sacrifice the message and soul of your music just to To make it more acceptable to parents but it certainly doesn't help to brighten things up a bit and I think mixolydian is an excellent choice for that. It makes listeners feel energized positive and happy without getting too sugary.
And hey if it's good enough for AC/DC, it's good enough for me happy on it.