Writing Prog Metal Djent with Lydian Dominant

Mmmm... futuristic prog djent riffs! And a sneak peek into a giant project of mine =D 


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!

Every single musical scale has its own flavor its own unique identity and its own. Motion that it comes with it lydian. Most people would agree has this kind of Spacey sci-fi out there Vibe and in my opinion Lydia and dominant has all that great stuff, but it's less bright. It's less happy and it's less floaties. It has a lot more bite to it. It's got a little bit of a zany harebrained chaotic feel to it, which I really really enjoy it is a weird sounding scale to use in the rock and roll genre. You usually hear Lydia and Dominic being talked about by jazz players, but I think it's a completely legitimate scale to use. I've heard it a lot in some really cool Progressive. Metal the band intervals. I know specifically they write with it quite frequently. So I want to show you a little bit about the lydian dominant scale what we could do to compose with it and more importantly using a scale like this to compose some really complicated rhythmic patterns and you know a kind of cool proggy genti Groove like you heard in the intro right there. So let's get down to it. The first thing we really need to know is what is lydian dominant. How do we build it? All that stuff? So a lydian dominant scale is the same thing as a lydian scale, but we've just flat of the 7th note. If you don't know what lydian is that's fine you should We learn it. But here's how we would build it from scratch today. I'm going to start on the Note a if I want to build a lydian dominant scale. I'll start on a and then I'll go travel a whole step another whole step another whole step and then a half step whole step another half step and then another hole and that will give me these notes. Hey C sharp D sharp F sharp notes of Midian dominant, or you could call it a lydian flat 7.

You can also think of these notes. As being the fourth mode of the melodic minor scale, so if you know, what a melodic minor scale is well, if you just start that from the 4th note, then you'll end up with the same sequence of half steps and whole steps. So even right now we can start hearing a little bit about how the scale feels and the emotion that it conveys. What I'm going to do is I'm just going to hang out on the tonic note. Okay, that's hey. I'm just going to hang out here and then I'm going to go up and down the scale right and I can call that a rip. It's kind of a it's a pretty linear.

But you here it's not happy like Mater. It's not sad like it's not really dark and crushing like a weird kind of quirky, which I really really enjoy and that's just going up and down. What am I mixed it up?

Right. So that's where I started coming up with the Riff that you heard at the beginning is essentially just playing the notes of the scale and surrounding it a lot with my tonic which is a in fact, what I like to do is I like to surround it with the tonic power cord. Okay. Imagine if I took every single one of these notes and I turned them all into power cords A B C sharp D sharp F sharp and G.

Well now I can make a riff just by using those power chords and then including the notes of the scale back to the notes of the scale.

Back to the power.

So a little bit of combination of both are now something to keep in mind. When you do power chords, sometimes you'll end up adding a note that is not in the scale. For example, if I play a G power chord, you'll see that my ring fingers playing a d and there is no D in my lydian dominant scale in the key of A. So this is like an illegal power cord. I'm not allowed to play a G power chord, but screw that I mean, it sounds good. I'm getting the tonality of the flatted 7 by going from that power cord. By the fact that this notes not in the key doesn't bother me. It doesn't sound bad and just the fact that it's not the key doesn't mean. Oh don't do it. If you like the way it sounds you should do it, you know all this music theory stuff isn't to tell you what you can't do is to give you ideas of what has been been done before and how can you replicate that and then you're really free to kind of do whatever you want with it. So in this video really what I wanted to get into is not writing so much note riffs but more rhythmic riffs. This is the kind of stuff. I really like with gent in Prague when you've got these rhythmic pulses that are kind of tricky to follow and they're really right for Polly. Her in strange time signatures that flow on top of it. So here's what I did. Okay. I took this idea of 7 plus 7 plus 7 plus 9. All right. It's a simple concept anytime you're working with odd numbers. You're probably going to get something that sounds you know, Progressive and cool.

So when you're working with odd time signatures one thing you shouldn't do is just Blast away at every one of those notes. For example, it's kind of boring if I just do 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Putting gaps in between those rhythmic phrases is way more interesting. For example, a grouping of 7 would sound a little bit more Progressive If instead of playing Seven eighth notes. I played a dotted quarter note and then two quarter notes, that would give me this pulsing of one two, three. One two, one two, one, two, three, one two, one two, one two, one two, one two, one, two, three, one two, one two, one two, one two, one two, one two, three.

So anytime you're dealing with an odd time signatures trying to subdivide it into smaller groupings and then just play the beginning of those groupings. You'll get these kind of policy weird time up. I threw my pick I found it. Okay, so by playing those little accents you get that pulsing pattern. You've probably heard a lot in prog rock and you're free to change that right now. I'm just doing this consistent pattern of one, two, three, one two, one two, one two, three, but you know, what, if you did one two, one, two, one, two, three, one, two, one two, one two, three, or what if you did one, two, three, four, five, one, two, one, two, three, four, five. One, two, one, two, three, four, five all different valid.

Options to give you a progressive feel over a simple grouping like seven.

So my grouping is consistent it goes one, two, three, one two, one two, one two, three, and I do that three times because I've got three groupings of 7 on my last grouping of nine. What I do is a grouping of three and then I do a grouping of four and then I do a grouping of two so that last one is one two, one, two, three, four, one two, putting it all together. Here's what it sounds like one two, one two, one two, one one two, one two, one one two, one two, one, two, three. One, two, three, four, one two, one two, one two, one two, one two, one two, one two, one two, One two one, two, three, one, two, three, four, one two, so what I'm doing there is hanging out on an a power cord and just doing the pulses as prescribed from there. Eventually. I move up to that b power chord because the two chord is an important chord in lydian dominant. It's a very important chord in the lydian scale naturally.

And since I'm surrounded by all these weird diminished and augmented chords, I want something sounds nice and easy that to court is a really good bat in the lydian key or the lydian dominant key and I do have the synthesizers kind of backing up that chord so I have the synthesizers outlining at a major chord and then I have the synthesizers outlining an a major with a sharp 11 or a tritone added in there and then also back to just a regular a major and of course going to that B chord once again, so I am on a sixth And I want to make the sound gentie and a is way up here on the fifth fret but what if I invert my a power chord for example in a power cord is just an A and so I could play an A here and a here and I have the notes of an 8-hour for they're just they're just reversed.

Right and these are like inverted power cords metallic has done this thing a lot. You see this kind of thing in Smoke on the Water Smoke on the Water is all those inverted power chords like that where the root is actually on the thinner string.

So instead of playing my a power chord here. How about I just play my a power cord completely open on my sixth string which is hilarious to just plug away at those zeros and not be in drop d right. So just hanging out there.

This would be implying a be because I have my be here and my F sharp right there. Now this might not sound like an A or a B. But if I add in a bass guitar underneath that that's going to give these inverted power chords more context.

So really what I'm doing is about as gentle as it gets on a six-string to just plug away at to open strings. Same time.

It's still have it somehow sound mladen, right?

Now writing a solo for this would be a lot of fun, but it would also be a different video. So I will do something like that in the future.

I wanted to make this video to kind of show you a little bit of the thought process that goes through my head when I decide to write in an exotic scale like lady and dominant, it's not really the scale you sit down and write riffs with but hey, if you give it a try you might end up with something really surprising and I really like the way this riff feels this is actually going to be the verse section in a song I wrote I have been working for way too long on a concept album. I'm embarrassed to tell you how long I've been working on this concept album, but Over-the-top prog rock album and this song that you're hearing this riff is going to be in a song for when our main character travels to the Future.

Right? What better scale to pick for a song about traveling to the Future than lydian dominant. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to give you a little sneak peek of what the vocals would do on top of this roof because writing anything on top of odd time signatures can be tricky. But if you really go back to those subdivisions and you look at those those accent patterns, then those can kind of be the scaffolding on which any Melody that you write hangs on or any guitar solo you write can hang On those accented patterns. So take a listen to this entire section again, but now with some vocals saying by yours truly.

So thanks for watching this video. If you did enjoy this video, please consider supporting my channel on patreon. I have a link down in the description. If you can't do that, that's fine. Just like subscribe favorite all that kind of stuff and I will plan on seeing you in the not-so-distant future.



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