Is the mixolydian mode the same as the dominant 7th? I don't know how else to ask it - My grammar is very good!

2 Answers 2


They are not the same, because the Mixolydian mode is a mode and the dominant 7th is a chord.

However, they are related. The G Mixolydian mode is G A B C D E F, and the G dominant 7th chord is G B D F, a subset of that Mixolydian mode.

This similarity is because the dominant 7th chord is built on the fifth scale degree of a major key. Similarly, the Mixolydian mode begins on the fifth scale degree of a major key (note that G Mixolydian has the same members as a C-major scale, and G is scale-degree 5 of C).

Part of the confusion is that jazz musicians can use a Mixolydian scale to improvise over a dominant 7th chord, and some musicians thus take that to mean the two are synonymous. They are similar, but not the same.

  • So I have got it nearly correct, except for the scales bit
    – Xetrov
    Jun 5, 2017 at 15:30
  • Looks like it, yep. If you can clarify exactly why they are different but also why they're similar, then I'd say you've got it.
    – Richard
    Jun 5, 2017 at 15:34
  • Yeah, I've actually learnt something today: Mixolydian Scales!
    – Xetrov
    Jun 5, 2017 at 15:35
  • @Goodra - yes, except 'scales' that use the notes from a normal scale (Cmajor, Eb harmonic minor, F# melodic minor, etc. but have another note , not that root, as their base or home, are generally called modes.
    – Tim
    Jun 5, 2017 at 15:45
  • @Tim , so is it appropriate to call it a scale or not?
    – Xetrov
    Jun 5, 2017 at 16:00

First, lets check you know what a Mixolydian scale is. It is a scale whose root note is the 5th note. For example, a Mixolydian C Scale consists of G A Bb C D E F G. A Mixolydian G Scale is D E F G A B C D

A Dominant 7th scale is just essentially the same thing. They have the same definitions!

However, the Dominant 7th chord is incorrect. Mixolydian is a type of scale. Dominant 7th is a chord.

  • 1
    Although I would personally call those two scales the G and D Mixolydian scales, respectively, just because we tend to name scales based off of their initial pitch.
    – Richard
    Jun 5, 2017 at 15:38
  • 4
    Umm, the first scale is G Dorian, not C Mixolydian. Same pitches, different starting point. Ditto, for the second scale: it's D Dorian, not G Mixolydian.
    – Thomas N
    Jun 5, 2017 at 16:28

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