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In this lesson I discuss all the Lydian Mode Guitar secrets I wish I knew Years Ago.

1. Covering how to hear the sound of a Lydian chord progression.
2. Playing the Lydian scale using Pentatonic scales.
3. Easy ways to play great Lydian Scale licks.

Over the years as a professional teacher I have seen and read many articles on the subject of The Modes. many are very good and sadly a few are not so good.

One of the main points that i have noticed is that the majority of lesson focus on the scale or mode but don't discuss the use of chords to create the Modal sound. In this lesson I will show you how to play modally both melodically and harmonically. For this lesson i shall focus on my favorite mode which is the Lydian mode.

The Lydian mode is the 4th mode of the Major scale, because of the intervals present in this mode which contain Root a Major 3rd and a perfect 5th the Lydian mode is seen as a major mode. In fact, most people refer to the Lydian mode as a major scale with a raised 4th which to all sense and purpose it is. For this lesson we are considering the C Lydian Mode.

Lydian Mode 1

In the diagram above we can see the intervals of both the major scale and the Lydian mode. We can clearly see the only change is the raised 4th note.

If we look at all the notes in the C Lydian scale you will see the scale contains an F#, if you have been studying your major scale theory and the circle of fifths you will realize that the Lydian scale contains the same notes as the G Major scale. G  A  B  C  D  E  F#  G but starts on the 4 note also known as the 4th degree being the C note. So if we wanted to play a solo that sounded the same as a C Lydian scale solo we could simply play a G major scale.

But how can I create the sound of a Lydian Scale using a chord sequence rather than just playing a C Lydian solo over a C chord or even a C maj7 chord? We let me show you a simple way to do this.

To do this we need to look at chordal harmony. We know that C Lydian is the 4th degree of the G major chord so if we harmonized the G scale we end up with these chords.  G  Am  Bm  C  D  Em F#dim G.  Considering C Lydian id the 4th degree we would play a C major chord and we could then solo over this chord using the notes from G major with the chord tone being the notes of a C major triad C  E  G.

Now here is the fun part, if we then move to another chord in the G major scale but want to give the chord progression a Lydian tonality we must add a C note to the new chord. We know that Lydian is considered a Major mode it would make sense to move to another Major chord so lets then move to a D chord which contain the notes D  F#  A but because we want the chord have a C tonality we will make the root a C in place of the D this will now give a triad that contains a C as the root the F# is the raised 4th which is the Lydian note and the A which is the 5th of the D chord. so now we have a chord progression that moves from a C major chord to new chord triad that contains the same root note but also the Lydian note and the 5th from the II chord from the harmonized scale of the C Lydian mode i.e. D Major.

When we play the 2 chords one after the other we now will hear the sound of the Lydian mode within these 2 chord movements.

Lydian scale chord harmony

So now let’s look at how we can play the Lydian scale over this progression using our standard pentatonic scale boxes or positions.

We know that C Lydian ( C  D  E  F#  G  A  B  C) is derived from the G major scale ( G  A  B  C  D  E  F#  G) so we could use G major Pentatonic scale, but the majority of beginners learn the minor pentatonic scale first so let’s use the relative minor of G which is Em pentatonic scale giving us the notes E  G  A  B  D however we are still missing the F# which is essential to give us the Lydian sound so we need to use another pentatonic scale that will give us the F#.

The answer is Bm pentatonic B  D  E  F# A  Bm is the 3rd chord of the G major scale so we know that this scale work nicely over any chord created from the G major scale.

So by moving from Em pentatonic to the Bm pentatonic scale we can play a C Lydian Solo using easy to play and understand pentatonic scale position and boxes. So all the cool licks that you have learned using a minor pentatonic scale can now be used to create a very cool Lydian sounding licks.

Please watch the video for a in depth lesson on creating Lydian chordal sound and soloing using simple pentatonic scale shapes.