Learn the Lydian Scale- How to write, riff, and solo in the 4th mode

I want to teach you how to use the Lydian scale in this session because often times people learn the scale and then have no idea what to do with it... My goal is change that for you!


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!

Hey, welcome back. This is Jake. And this lesson is all about the lydian scale. Really what I want to teach you guys is how to use the scale because if you're anything like me you learn it and didn't know anything what to do with it. I was like that with almost all of the modes of the major scales like I learned them and I thought okay. Well, what's the point? Well, that's what I'm going to teach you is what is the point and there's a lot of ways we can describe this and I'm going to try and summarize it for you as easily as possible.

If you're just interested in hearing what this sounds like first though. Skip to the end of the video. I'm going to do some improv with the lydian key and you can actually hear what it sounds like. Like before you decide to invest all this time into learning what lydian is all about? Okay. So even if you don't have a music theory background, you should be able to follow this video and I think it'll be a really good place to start actually with your music theory because I'm not going to talk about modes. I'm going to talk about lithium and we're going to treat it like it's own scale. We're not we're going to forget about all the other scales and we're going to just treat like this like its own thing. Okay, so to get started here's the deal to build a lydian scale. You need to start on a route. All right and in today, I will pick G that will be the 3rd fret on. Low string and once I found a route, all I have to do is start traveling whole steps. Okay, I'll whole step is just a distance of two Frets or on a keyboard. It's a distance of two keys. Okay. So if I travel a whole step, it'll take me to a another whole step will take me to be another whole step will take me to C sharp.

And then I have to take a half step that'll take me to D. Then another whole step to e another whole step to F sharp and a half step will take me back to G. So you can see to build a lydian scale. All you have to do is start. On a route and then travel three whole steps one half step two whole steps and one half step and that'll get you an entire lydian scale.

Now. This is a pretty silly way to play our guitar. We don't want to really want to be playing up and down like this. We want to be playing on guitar like this. So the shape I'm going to show you two play lydian looks like this and you'll see it's set up three notes per string.

Also, you'll see I've gone way past a one octave only one octave. This is scale and xanth right here, but I can keep going into another.

Right there and then I kind of run out of space here. So I stopped instead of moving like this. I'm just going to stop there and work my way back down.

So that's just one way to play it now there it was in G, but the nice thing about a scale shape like this is its movable. So if I wanted to play a lydian, all I have to do is just move my finger start on the fifth fret a now I'm playing a little all right. I want to play D. Lydian. I'll just start here on D using the exact same shape.

So what is how do we start using this? I'm going to talk to you about the most important concept when it comes to working with scales and when it comes to working with modes and that concept and it really applies with Lydia and more than the other ones. The concept is to focus on your route. Alright today. My route was G.

All right.

So unless I focus on G, you're really not going to get the lydian feel out of this. So check it out. Here's a bunch of notes from G. Lydian.

Alright, okay, and I'm going to just kind of play those randomly in random order.

Right. There's not a really strong feel here of what's going on.

But as soon as I play a g underneath all this and start focusing on my route, you hear that sound that lydians that tonality is starting to develop and lydian tonalities. Very Spacey disconnected kind of floaty kind of dream. Me right but the only reason we're getting that effect is because I'm giving you the route underneath it without that route. It's very hard to tell what's actually going on here.

You know, that doesn't really sound that dreamy. But if I do it all with a G underneath it All right, so I'm just kind of noodling around there. But you're starting to hear the lydian tonality kind of coming out of that another way to do this at you know to if we want to start writing with this and focusing on the route is to just think about making a riff. All right. So let's say I wanted to just use the notes of G. Lydian.

And what I'm going to do is I'm going to focus on the roof. That's G to keep Palm unit. And then maybe I start going up the scale and then back down.

All right, so I've got this cool little And I'm going to keep kind of playing around with that going up and then back to my route right now. You hear this that that lydian tonality kind of feels like The Jetsons, right? I mean, I think they use it in The Jetsons me George Jetson.

Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.

It's got like a Sci-Fi kind of feel to it. Very progressive rock kind of feel to it. And that's just literally taking some of the notes. I mean, I didn't do any composition that there's no Baseline. There's no chord progression in the and so even at a very limited level you can see just by focusing on the root of any lydian scale and playing the other notes around in you're going to start getting a Lydia and tonality.

However, how do you really kind of squeeze all the juice out of lydian? Well, here's my suggestion for something like that. I think the real key to the lydian power in the lydian feel occurs in the make the root the 3rd note of the scale the 4th note of the scale, which is a tritone and I did an entire video on tritones. You should check that out because that distance right there of my route to my tritone is kind of the heart of the matter here. All right, we've got that up. Lee tritone, but we also have this nice major 3rd note.

All right, and then the fifth as well. So those four notes the root the third the fourth and the fifth I think are the most important notes in the lydian scale and just by playing those notes. I can get some really wonderful sounding lydian things.

So there's a little shape here that I'm actually showing you that just kind of goes through that idea of doing your root 3rd 4th 5th root 3rd 4th 5th, you can move it up again to another strings attached. Jump up two Frets.

You can hear on nice of a sound that is it's just the good parts of the lydian scale instead of doing the entire scale.

Just kind of extracting some of the good parts for these little mini scale shapes is very helpful.

Also, you could do that in this little shape as well. This is when I really like to use as a lead guitar player, here's my route with my middle finger. That's the G and if I want that root 3rd 4th and 5th, that's the root 3rd tritone V.

Then I can use this little shape as well and I Of that because you can bend this note here.

Also, you can follow it up with your first finger to play the shape again in the next octave and again in the next octave.

So all that is is just your route your third your fourth in your fifth and as at the improvised thing at the end, I'm going to improvise over some Lydia and stuff. You're going to see me use that move a lot because it's wonderful. That sounds great.

So my suggestion to sound lydian is to really focus on those notes the root the 3rd the sharp four And the five right there those to me are the heart of lydian. Okay, so isolating those when you're working with the scale try and identify it know. Hey, this is the note. I kind of want to be playing because without that tritone it's not going to really sound lydian if I just hang out on the 5th and the 6th all day. I'm not really getting that lydian feel that tritone is so important there. Now if I want to start writing a lydian chord progression, it's going to get a little bit more difficult and you are going to need to know a little bit of theory here, but I'll walk you through it. It's pretty simple in the key of G. You can see these are all the notes in the G in the G lydian scale and to figure out the first chord. I'm allowed to play here's all I have to do. I'll start on First note and then I'll skip a note. All right that takes me to be and then I'll skip another that takes me too deep. So if I played G B and D together I get this that's a G chord and that's the first chord in G. Lydian and I'm allowed to play this the second chord. I'm allowed to play start on the second note, which is a all right, you'd have an a a c-sharp and Annie e and if you play those notes together you get an amen. So the 2 chord would be a major I can do this with every note start on the three note the third note and you get a B minor chord. All right, the fourth note you get a C sharp half diminished chord, so Really? All I need you to know is that the one chord is really important. These are the chords I'd recommend don't really play around with the you know, the six or the five or anything like that. Try to play with the one chord and the two chord and then the seven chord. I think those are really your Best Bets if you want to compose and lydian now definitely, you know explore and definitely be creative and try out things that I haven't mentioned. But if you want to just kind of start sounding good right away, I really recommend stay on your one chord a long time and then maybe bringing that to core just for a little bit.

And then just try to come back to that one Court as soon as possible.

Because if you wander too far from your one chord, if you just wander too far from that g then it's going to start sounding a little weird. It's not going to sound this like this and floaty.

Lydian field Watch What Happens for example, if all of a sudden I played D major chord, which is in the key listen to what happens right that all of a sudden feels like I've reset into the key of D major and that's you know, the problem with lydian is it's unstable. Wants to resolve.

So we're trying to prevent that. We're trying to keep it from resolving in the way only way we can do that is to really stay on the one and avoid the five chord. That would be my best advice is try to stay away from the 5 chord completely. All right, and with that you'll get these nice lydian chord progressions. So before I just show you what the sounds like by taking a lydian chord progression and playing some notes of this three notes per string shape on top of it. I do want to talk briefly about the fact that this is a mode of the major scale. I haven't really talked about modes and you don't have to think about these things as modes. I actually think it's very helpful to To pretend like this is the only scale in the world prefer get about major forget about Minor forget about everything else and just look at this as its own independent scale and try and figure out. Okay. What can I do with it? What Melodies can I write with us? What does it sound like what chords do I like what chords don't I like because if you treat it, like it's own thing. Then you'll really kind of get to know it and identify it when you hear it as well then later on try to understand that. Hey, this is the exact same thing as a major scale just starting on the 4th note and really that's what this is. If you think about all these notes that we played here in G lydian, they are identical to the notes of the D major scale. So there's really no difference between the D major scale and the G lydian scale other than what did I focus on what did I really spend my time coming back to write and in G lydian? You can see I ended up focusing on this note. Whereas in D Major. I ended up focusing on that out and that to me is the heart of modal of working with modes and that really eluded me for a long time. I just didn't understand. What's the Between D major and G lydian, they're the same notes.

And once I realized hey, if you focus on a different area of this collection of notes, you're going to get a completely different feel than that's when mode started really clicking with me, but I think it's important to treat these things all as their own scale and then later on maybe evaluate how they fit in to the major scale and how they're related.

So you kind of want to look at it both ways. It is a mode. Yes, but it's also its own independent scale and I want you to think of it as that way as well. So I hope you enjoy this little improv here at the end. You're going to see Using that three notes per string shape, but you'll also see me Branch off into some of those little tiny shapes. I showed you earlier with the with the notes of the root the third the sharp 4, which is the tritone and V. I'll be doing a lot of that and this should be pretty demonstrative of what lydian normally sounds like it's very good for Spacey Progressive disconnected feeling in music, and I don't know I'm just a big fan of that stuff. So hopefully you are to thank you for watching and I will see you next time.


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