if you like Lydian you will LOVE my ultimate modal poster.
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, it's me, Jake. And in this video what we're going to do is explore a bunch of creative and interesting Advanced composition techniques all while revolving everything around the lydian mode or the lydian scale. Now. This is not an intro to lydian. So if you're not familiar with lydian and its properties definitely check out my intro to lydian video, which I've linked to in the description the stuff that I'm really excited to get into here in this video is focused on odd time signatures. We're going to be doing a lot of rhythmic complexity here. We're also going to be doing what might seem some like Really strange modulations two different keys and I also want to talk a lot about arrangement in composition and how one simple idea can be the seed Crystal off of which everything else can kind of grow and Branch off. So let's get started. The first thing I want to talk about is this time signature 7 for unlike my last video where I said, I just played notes and that's where the odd time signature came from here. I specifically intended to write in seven four because I'm a little familiar with seven for its properties.
It's a little oven. An unsettling time signature since you don't have a full for for Bounce It kind of keeps you off-balance. It's a little unpredictable.
It's pretty rare to hear 7 for sound natural and sound, you know, head-banging and groovy. There are examples Pink Floyd's money is one that comes to mind but for the most part 7 4 is a pretty disorienting time signature and in my opinion lydian is a very disorienting tonality the presence of the tritone and they're kind of all just immediately cues you off into this kind of diss ambiguity.
I felt like pairing those two up. This odd time signatures of seven for that kind of keeps you off balance with this tonality that keeps you off balance. I thought would be a fun kind of combination. So when I look at 7:00 for I just think of seven quarter notes and that could also be thought of as 14 eighth notes. So that's really all I did is I left my Tempo meter to 120 beats a minute. I programmed in a click track to 7/4 and I played around with this simple lydian scale shape, which just starts here on the 7th fret and as you can see we're going to be an easy lydian today. I haven't written it in. Any of the E keys yet, which is pretty strange for a guitar player. And I figured Lydia would be a great opportunity to just start writing and basic right? So, we've got e lydian here with my scale shape. And what I started doing is just kind of playing around with these notes palm muting. I'm kind of skipping back and forth and I ended up settling on this pattern now it's in seven four but instead of counting to seven. I'm going to count one two, three, four one two, three, and that's just an easier way for me to count to 7. So what I got was this one and two and three and four and one and two and three and one And two and three and four and one and two and three at and what we've got there is the signature Lydia notes Here the root of the third the tritone in the fifth and I just double up on that one and two and three and four and then going up to the Natural Sixth and just kind of Meandering through the scale a little bit for one and two and three and then we started off again for the second measure one and two and three and four and I ping the major 7th of the scale and then walking down the scale until right here I am. Outline a little bit of my 2 Chord my 2 chord in E. Lydian IS F sharp major and in my previous videos I've talked about how important it is to have that to cord there. It's a really really powerful chord in a lydian totalities that major to however I have like an over-reliance on it. So I tried to specifically avoid doing too much of that that major to chord here. I'm just bringing it in for three notes after this little scale run just outlining just those notes of the Triad right there helps me come back.
And to repeat the whole riff.
To really Juice It Up for lydian. We have to talk about tone and Timbre this is one of those things that people often Overlook when they talk about music theory, you know Theory isn't just the note you play and when you play it, it's also the shape of the note in the tone of the note in the color of that note the actual way. It sounds and I thought a great way to amp up this lydian weirdness is to just coat this entire thing in a lot of delay.
So we're kind of building this lydian Cloud right here. This is a very kind of ambiguous amoeba like, you know cloud of music and I just started wanting to start adding layers to that. The next step was to think about this seven four time signature and what we can do with it. What can we layer on top of that? Well, we've got two measures of seven. All right, that's fourteen quarter notes and we were also thinking of eighth notes. It's the same thing as 28 eighth notes. Well 28 can be divided by Owen or it can be divided by 4. So let's do a grouping of four simple grouping of four and let's just do it seven times and that'll equal 28. The grouping of four. I wrote was just this it's just those signature Lydia notes my fifth my tritone my major third and my route and if I play that seven times it'll take up this entire space time adding that layer on top sounds like this now I could also write a Being of seven and play that four times and it would take up the same amount of space. So I decided to do this on a really twinkly sounding synthesizer.
From here I decided to add in another layer of rhythmic complexity. It's still restricted to 7, but the pattern is completely different than the subdivisions we've talked about previously. It's just another layer of 7 on top and it's done with a simple tambourine pattern.
So I really like this lydian Cloud but clouds don't just appear instantly, right? They rise up, you know slowly over time. They kind of you know, come into existence and then they dissipate out and that was kind of my influence for starting off this track. I decided to introduce each one of these elements slowly one at a time fading them in one at a time. But most importantly I took the main track their the two measures of Plucky eighth notes and I decided to put a severe low pass filter on there and then just slowly slowly open it up and that allowed me to create this kind of opening sound effect.
I also started improvising some string lines on top slowly building up Triads Higher and Higher and it started creating this climactic effect. It started feeling like it was building towards something.
So I've got all this excitement built up and I figured you know, let's Unleash the Power with some mega power chords. We're in E. Lydian. Let's play just a giant E power chord We Got Annie of be another and another be and we'll just let it ring out for a half note and then if you 16th notes and then just kill it give it that space do it again and we'll have the drums help that out. We'll have the base help that out should sound pretty cool.
Now what's really important is while this was going on. I ended up improvising a string part of very simple string part that once again transformed everything and everything from here on after is going to be kind of related back to this little simple line that I accidentally improvised and just stumbled across if we look at our string part. We see that we have an E note peddling the whole time and then a D sharp on top. That's the Major Seventh then.
Shark goes down to the major 6th.
And then the again it goes down to the perfect fifth and then it goes down again to the tritone and that kind of just leaves you unresolved there. But I like that passage of four notes Major Seventh major six, perfect fifth tritone and that string line just kind of Glides over those four chords.
With those four chords are over. I decided to go into real riff mode here and to introduce that riff was I brought in this little scale run here, which you may recognize as the exact same scale run that we saw up here in our plinky little cloudy in line. We're just doing an octave lower now and I decided to add some 16th notes in for interest like that and it was a great way to kind of bring things. into actual riff territory for the Riff here. It was really obvious to just keep playing on this Major Seventh major sixth perfect fifth and tritone. So what I did is I played a Major Seventh chord right here. I've got my route. I've got my fifth in my major 7th, and I decided to play with this Rhythm one two, and a three and one and up again free and then I switch cords to a major sixth just kind of a voice in here. I've got my team ID and my C sharp and I do the same Rhythm one two, and three and one and two and three and then just a regular E power chord.
And then just an E with a tritone at the flap and then back to that little riff right there. We can really boil what's going down here into something called a line cliche align cliche is when you have a steady major Triad, but there's a Melody note that a slowly descending or ascending at the same time. And it creates these pretty simple variations of just your tonic chord. So for example, we've got an E major Triad going on underneath all of this entire thing. For those tiny little notes at the end. We just basically got any major with a with a seventh on top and then we have an E major with a sixth on topics or the major 6 then we have an E major chord and then we have any major with a sharp 11 or a sharp for right so we can think of this entire thing is just a line cliche. We've got just our E major Triad intact, but above it. We have the steady descending or ascending line in this case. We're just moving down.
To help complement this line cliche. We really have to take a look at what the drums and what the bass are doing. I think this is really important the Rhythm there that I'm doing there on my guitars one and a three and one Anna en3 and I decided to have that exact same Rhythm being doubled on our Kick Drum.
Meanwhile, the high hats are doing the simple repeating pattern of sixteenth notes 1 2 E and A 3 e 4 E and A 1 2 E and A 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 You had a 1-2-3.
Meanwhile our base is mimicking that exact same Rhythm that are guitar. Kick Drum is doing 1 2 & a 3 4 & 1 & up the M3 except it's going to help out our line cliche for our E. Major chord. I decided to just play our root in our fifth B.
And then for our E major 6 chord, I decided to just move our base note up to the six there but still pedal off of e 1 2 & 3 4 & 1 Penna yet free. Now for the E major chord. I just go back to the 5th Note 1 2 & 3 4 & 1 & up. Yep. Three and then back to the tritone for that tritone chord one two, and three four except here. I just bring in that same riff as before mimicking the guitar and I feel like this entire group section works really well together.
Now I'll be honest. I feel like we could get some more mileage out of that riff we could probably play it a few more times and it wouldn't get boring. But I wanted to plow right ahead into something different here. I'm trying to keep these tracks here on YouTube Fairly brief. And what I decided to do is like a melodic style riff instead. And once again, it's based completely on this line cliche that we just talked about this descending pattern of D sharp to C sharp to be to a sharp. I decided to do it an octave high and just play it ringing out just play the note D sharp the Run let it ring out for six whole quarter notes and then after that I'm just going to do a little I'd up to the up 1/3 and then come down to the C sharp note. And then once again same thing let it ring out for six whole beets and then a slide up and then back down and we're just kind of making that exact same pattern we heard just a little bit more interesting by doing it with those little jumps right there. And then at the very end, I do this little kind of awkward been to kind of create a little tension there what really makes this work is I double that exact same part on a synthesizer a nice Plucky sounding synthesizer and it gave me this really Great Sound I was very happy with the tone of this lead.
So we've been hanging out on this lydian Cloud for quite a while already and I think something different would be really refreshing like a big chord change and I feel like this is a really fascinating yet simple thing to talk about what we have been in Izzy Liddy and this entire time and we have been avoiding the natural fourth. There have been zero a notes up until this point. That's the whole idea of lydian as you don't have a for you have a sharp 4.
So we've been avoiding a what if we took this entire riff and just Later to a do the entire thing up a fourth that might sound kind of crazy like isn't the whole point of lydian to avoid the fourth and the answer is yeah, but come on, you've seen this all over the place like think of like back to daytripper. It's just a riff that you just take and then you modulate up the whole riff 1/4 and if you stop thinking about chords, you know and keys and just think about tonalities. It's totally natural to take a thing no matter what it is and it is lifted up a fourth and then to bring it back down. I don't care if it has fourths or not. That's a Amin movement regardless of what key were in so even though we're in this be lydian key with no forth so loud just take that whole thing and move it up up to the fourth and that's still going to feel somewhat natural. It's going to almost feel like we went from like an E major 7 chord with the sharp eleven to an a major 7 chord with a sharp 11, which is actually pretty cool as well. So this might seem like a really Advanced modulation like we're going into these different Keys here, but to me, it's a very basic modulation. It's just the oldest one in the book. Take everything up and you transfer it up a fourth to give it a little bit more excitement and then you can move it back down. So it literally I took the entire riff instead of starting here on me for my little pinky riff. I started here on a and I basically kept everything else the same the Baseline changed just a little bit nothing too drastic, but just moving everything up that entire form.
This big change was pretty drastic, but it still felt refreshing and it didn't feel like you know out of place and I felt like it was a really good opportunity to play a guitar solo. So now that I'm in a new key now that I'm in a Lydia and I decided to play off of that same entire line cliche here, once again starting on the Major Seventh, but now I'm on the major seventh of a Lydian, which is going to be a G sharp and I do that line cliche, but I do it way faster all to take up just one measure and that helps me kind of lead into a guitar solo guitar solos all a lydian, but I do throw a little bit of chromaticism just to get a little bit of interest in there and break up a little bit of this lydian mode monotony.
The guitar solos left unresolved who introduced a synth solo. I brought this over to my friend Mike Mowgli. He added in some midi sense that I tweaked slightly to get this wonderful Spacey sound.
And now I think it's time to bring things home. We want to crash back to e lydian and we could just do that. Like I said, we're up a fourth higher. It's going to feel pretty natural to just move everything back down 1/4 to where we were however, what pulls back to E major more than anything else in the world. Well, that would be the B major chord, right? That's the dominant chord in E.
And we're in a lydian. Guess what the two chord of a lydian is if we're in a little Then the 2 chord is B major and D. Major can help pull us back to E major if we think back to where if our plinky little riff doesn't it end with a little bit of an out lining of the two chord so we know that at the very end of our a lydian section were outlining a B major. So let's really amplify that of let's have the base come up to that be let's have the since come up to that be let's have the whole band kind of accent that B major that way we can come crashing back to the tonality of e lydian to wrap things.
To wrap things up. I once again took our line cliche that major 7th 6th and 5th and then the tritone except now it's in a completely different rhythmic permutation instead of wringing out for six quarter notes and then a little bit of eighth notes afterwards. Now it just brings out for a half note and then two eighth notes and then a half note and two eighth notes and a half note and two eighth notes. So what we get is 1 2 3 & 1 2 3 & 1 One two three and one two, three and one two, and you can see that grouping is 3 3 3 3 & 2 that all adds up to 14.
So we're still in this overarching hierarchy of 7/4 timing are plinky riff of still doing the same riff as before but I decided to have the whole band accent this new rhythmic cycle of three beats. Plus three beats + 3 + 3 + 2 and it really kind of throws things out of balance for a little while, but we're still in 7 for I would still write this in.
but I think it's really helpful to just think of it as 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2 now just like a cloud will arise out of the middle of nowhere one needs to dissipate. So all we did here is kind of slow to the fade things out and do a little bit of lydian noodling to kind of give us a nice peaceful closure. So now let's take a listen to what all the stuff actually sounds like when we put it all together as I proudly present to you my lydian cloud Lotus lattice.
So I'm not gonna lie. I'm very happy with how that all turned out and there's a few things I really would like to touch on before we close this out. That didn't make it into the educational part of this. The first thing I'd like to talk about is worded my influence for this come from and I will say that I had a little bit of something rattling around in my head as I went to sit down and approach this and it was the opening track to Spangles nothing lasts, but nothing is lost. The song is called Botanical Gardens and it's got this twinkly kind of, you know, fractal ask cloud-like nature to it, which was definitely in Wincing my decisions here and I was I wasn't trying to recreate that but I was definitely aiming for something in that department.
It's a really great Track by the way, I highly suggest you listen to it. It's got one of those fun beats in 6 for I'd consider it 6 4 & 6 can be kind of confusing. You know, the first time you listen to you might sound think it's like a really odd signature, but it's actually just a fun group of six. The next thing I'd like to talk about is I personally think this entire video is proof to any of those idiots online who talked about music theory stifles your creativity and you shouldn't learn it. Like I am the poster child for somebody who couldn't write anything and to me learning theory has just given Me these tools to dive into this stuff. There is no way I would have been able to write what you just heard. If I hadn't learned Theory, you know, the things I was thinking about the things that I had, you know my choices that were available to me. Yeah, there was some just free form influence and I got to put my own spin on it but really the idea of like, oh, let's harmonize thirds up. Oh lets, you know take this harmonic concept of you know, major 7. So let's modulate up a fourth. These are way too complicated of ideas for me to figure it out all on my own and you know to have those tools in my tool shed and to just be able to kind of use them and apply them is so enjoyable and it's so empowering and I really don't buy the argument at all that learning music theory stifles your creativity because I'm telling you I couldn't write music for a very long time. It wasn't until I started learning little tidbits of theory and started writing little tidbits of Music where things started to grow and this entire composition was heavily Guided by music theory, like I said, I went into it directly wanting to write in seven four and wanting to write and Lydia Without really having any inspiration. I didn't have like a melody in my head or you know an emotion. I wanted to convey. I just figured let's just go in there mess around and see what happens and this is what I got out of it. Lastly. I'd like to talk about for me how important the process of recording and writing is I to me, they're Inseparable. I cannot separate the process of writing music from recording music unless I'm just on my acoustic guitar a lot of times. I write fingerstyle pieces and I just sit there and I write it on my instrument. But if I'm not doing that that means I'm writing an idea and I'm recording it and And I'm messing with it and I'm adding to it and I'm deleting from it and I'm manipulating it. I'm reversing it. I'm flipping it around so, you know those give me ideas I could never come up with when I'm just on my instrument.
So if you don't have recording capabilities, you don't you don't need a studio like this one or like a professional studio. You can get by with very very basic skills. It's just the process of recording yourself and manipulating what you recorded and listening back to it and hearing it, you know, I cannot stress how important and how helpful for me. It's bad as a songwriter. To begin recording I wouldn't be able to write nearly as well as I can right now if I didn't have the ability to record at the same time. So if it's in your future, I definitely suggest you take any money you were going to spend on a new guitar and we're a new instrument and instead invested into recording equipment sound capturing equipment or software. So I hope you enjoy this video and I hope you learned something. If you did, please thank my awesome patreon supporters for sponsoring these videos and making them possible. If you'd like to join them. There's links Below in the description, but if you don't want to do that, I do understand just leave me a like or a comment. Or subscribe if you'd like to help me out. Thanks for watching and I will see you next time.