Lydian

The Lydian mode

The home of chord IV

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A Lydian scale shapes


When to use the Lydian mode

Lydian is the 4th mode and consequentially used over chord IV.

The scale sounds as if it wants to go somewhere, therefore many songs hold the IV chord back. If used as the first chord in a bridge or m8 section, it feels as if the section ‘takes off’.

When improvising, use Lydian every time chord IV appear. Do not underestimate the importance of being able to solo in Lydian as most songs use the IV chord.

The best way to approach learning the Lydian mode is to start with your trusted Major Pentatonic. From here, simply add the #4 and maj7, like this:

Major Pentatonic:
1
2
3
5
6
Lydian: #4
7

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Connect Lydian scale shapes


Connect those shapes

This video lesson demonstrates how to connect all Lydian shapes in A.

When you can do it along with the video lesson, move on to other keys.

Also, try different rhythms, triplets are used in the video but any rhythm is possible.

In the advanced course, you’ll get plenty of musical examples demonstrating the use of Lydian.


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Lydian and the cycle of 4th


The final step

This exercise takes the Lydian mode and runs it through the cycle of 4th.

Instead of jumping up and down the neck, we now move to the closest possible shape, like this:

A Lydian – E shape, D Lydian – A shape, G Lydian – D shape, C Lydian – G shape, F Lydian – C shape.

Repeat that pattern a fret up, starting in Bb with the E shape.

Keep this exercise up for a few days and you’ll never forget how to play the Lydian mode.


Related Pages


Course

Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords, arpeggios, and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fretboard.

Ggo to Advanced Guitar Course.


Exercises

These are pretty advanced exercises. You’ll be playing 7th note chords, arpeggios and modes all over the neck.

But don’t fret – As you’ve already mapped out the fretboard with pentatonic scales and barre chords, extending the concept is actually really simple.

Go to Advanced Guitar Exercises.


Songs

Learn how to play famous advanced songs.

Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, and Wish You Were Here.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.


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Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

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