The Lydian mode

The home of chord IV

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A Lydian scale shapes

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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:
Lydian: #4

Connect Lydian scale 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.

Lydian and the cycle of 4th

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.

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