Take a look at the melody below and analyze it the best you can:
Notice how the melody seems to be for the most part centered in an E Mixolydian mode.
However, you have those two measures highlighted in blue that hint at a temporary modulation to B Mixolydian. Then, it returns back to E Mixolydian.
If you play this melody, the transition works so smoothly. Why?
Well, think about the B Mixolydian mode. The mode itself is built around a B7 chord. In common music theory practice, the B7 chord will resolve (typically) to a chord with a root in E.
Thus, that is why the modulation from B Mixolydian is smooth, because it has the innate pull to resolve back to a centered tone of E anyways.
So, for this tip’s overall lesson: when using temporary modulations, consider the resolution of the scale/mode as well as the chords built on it for a seamless transition.
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