On Line Music Courses from Pluginboutique.com

Play Guitar Modes in a Minute (Ep.1 Lydian Mode)

Play Guitar Modes in a Minute (Ep.1)

Lydian Mode

In this series I will share with you my personal approach on how to use and apply modes concepts in your own solos. You can definitely apply this on any instrument but this series is mainly for guitarists.

This is episode 1 on the Lydian Mode. 

why do I start with Lydian? which is the 4th mode derived from the major scale (Ionian Mode) why not start on the 1st or even the 2nd mode?

First, most important thing that I learned when it came to really understand modes is to think of each as an independent scale. The most useful step you can do first is to train your ears to distinguish and really feel the unique sound of the Lydian mode. Treat it as an independent scale with a unique intervallic structure. Lydian is one of the easiest modes to recognize if you are new, if you are a lead guitarist most probably you have heard those exotic-alien like melodies of guitarists like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. They are well known for their extensive use of this mode in specific.

Here is a couple of instrumentals based on this mode that you can check
Flying in a blue dream by Joe Satriani
Curve by John Petrucci

The standard approach of linking each mode to the parent major scale is useful as well but might not be of any help unless you know the sound of Lydian. Like I said Lydian is on 4th degree of major scale. So 2 degrees higher comes the 6th degree which is the Aeolian mode or the good old friend, Natural Minor Scale. This can be more handy as majority of lead guitarists know the minor scale better since mostly they could have started to play the blues on guitar. Most players are familiar with the pentatonic minor.

In our example today, we will play the Lydian mode with the root G. With a quick look on the scale chart above we can see that on fret 10 on string A we have the note G. If we check 4 degrees lower we have the note D and this is our the parent major scale. If we look 2 degrees higher from G we have B which is the Aeolian mode or the relative minor.

In other words all the notes included in G Lydian are exactly the same notes we have in D Ionian and B Aeolian. If you are familiar with the pattern of the major or minor scale you can easily start to play the mode of today’s lesson the G Lydian. However to do this properly you will need to have the right resolution.

Q: How different modes can have exactly the same notes yet they are distinct?
A: In our case here D Ionian – G Lydian and B Aeolian all have exactly the same notes, what matters is the order of the notes. The most important note that is the key of distinction is the root note and since all those modes are diatonic, the order of the consisting 7 notes are based after the root note.

So to have the right resolution we need to resolve to the root note, this will make melodies more strong and coherent to the listener. So generally when we play G Lydian we need to end all our phrases or melodies on the tonic note (or home) the root note G.

Lets look at the backing track below. It’s basically divided into a verse and a chorus repeating.

The verse chords are for the Lydian mode in G, then the chords of the chorus part are in B Aeolian where you can play the familiar natural minor scale (or even the pentatonic minor scale since they both will be in harmony with the backing chords)

Ok.. I know this lesson could be a bit too much of new information at once, so here is a summary to recap 🙂

  1. G Lydian has exactly same notes as B Natural Minor (Aeolian).
  2. Always resolve to the root note based on the chords.
  3. G Lydian is all over the fretboard and is NOT only in a specific box or position. Locate the note G everywhere and play it.
  4. G Lydian is basically a G Ionian (major scale) with a #4.
  5. When you play less notes you have more control and could easily utilize the unique sound of any mode in general.

Hope this lessons helps you to understand modes on the guitar easily and help you pick up the guitar and start implementing the Lydian mode right away.

Chusss Music Youtube Channel

You might like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *