Decoding Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones (E Mixolydian)

Stmpathy for the Devil is a fairly straightforward song using mainly 3 chords.

We start on E major, which is our root note.

This means that, as E is major, the song could be in either the Ionian, Lydian or Mixolydian mode.

The next 2 chords are D major and A major with a Bminor in one section. This makes the song Mixolydian.

The structure is:

I – VII – IV  with a V section

E – D – A             Bm

On the front of the Mode Decoder ® you can see a palette of 31 chords Mick Jagger could have used to write the song. Its good fun to use them to create your own sections – a middle 8 that never was!

We could use the mode Decoder to do this simply by picking different nimbers 1-7 e.g.

VI – II – I

Reading from the choices on the Mode Decode ®, these could be 

Csharp min7 – F sharp SUS4 – E

Though you could also have

Csharp SUS4 – Fsharp Min9 – E11

…and then back to the song.

To jam along to it look for the 3 neck locations on the Mode Decoder® – These are

Location 1 – F sharp – 2nd and 14th fret

Location 2 – B – 7th and 19th fret

Location 3 – C sharp – 9th and 21st fret (thought the 21st probably won’t be useable)

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