Lydian Magic Part 1

If you’ve been playing guitar for
more than a day, you’ve probably
heard about scales and “modes”.

Although they can sound mysterious,
they’re really nothing more than
inversions of a scale.

If you have C major scale, you have
the notes: C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.

Then you also have:

C Ionian (Major)
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Lydian
G Mixolydian
A Aeolian (Minor)
B Locrian

All with the same notes — the only difference
is which note you start on, or emphasize.

That’s why , for example, in the Guitar Scale
System software, there’s no modes listed.

Why? Because if you’re learning a pattern
across the whole neck, all the notes would
be the same.

Still, we can create different sounds depending
on which note we start on.

In the next email, I’ll show you a few cool
tricks using the Lydian Mode.

For now, I want to leave with you a cool chord
that emphasizes the lydian sound.

Let’s take E Lydian… The note that really
stands out is the Bb.

This forms a tritone interval, which is the
creepiest of all intervals :)… Play
an E note and Bb to hear what I mean.

I think tritones were actually illegal to play
in the days of old. You could be accused
of being a witch. I’m serious. lol…

Anyway this interval sounds awesomely bittersweet when you
mix it together with the beautiful Maj7 sound
inside of an Emaj7#11 chord.

To me, this chord really captures the essense
of the Lydian mode.

Check it out:


Middle finger goes on the A string,
ring finger on the G string,
pinky on the B string, and you’re
barring the top 4 strings at the
6th fret with your index finger.

Try playing this chord and then
some lydian riffs.

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Wavatar Jimmy

Hey Claude, great lesson, modes are an interesting topic im sure lots of your readers will appreciate.
I have a little objection though. On the E lydian there is no Bb, it’s an A#. I know it’s the same note in practice considering enharmony, but considering musical theory it’s not. Bb would be the diminished 5fth of the mode (in fact you could play an E lydian over an E diminished chord as long as you dont play the 7th) but the deal with lydian is you have a major 7th chord with an augmented fourth. To put it simply, it’s an ionian with the 4th sharp, so you shouldnt call the fourth note a Bb cause it acts as an A# in the lydian mode.


I believe he said the chord had an augmented 11 which is a 4#. You were right about using a# versus b flat since the root key is e

Wavatar Brandon Walker

Hi – I have what I find to be a twist on the Lydian mode. I compine the myxolydian 7th note, thereby creating a |1 – 2 – 3 – b5 – 5 – 6 – b7 – oct.| sequence. the difference may be subtle, and it obviously deviates from the diatonic, but the possibilities in harmony are great; consider the maj3rd interval between b5th and b7th.
The sequence provides a “can’t put my finger on it” sense of tonality. Please try it out.


Wavatar rince

hi, claude, just to let you know that there will be a time when i will actually buy some of your great stuff. keep the emails coming. thanks, mate.

Wavatar Marcel

Very nice lesson.

Wavatar Jimmy

Hi Brandon!!It is indeed a twist. The mode you just described is what we call “overtone” or dominant lydian mode. It’s the fourth grade of the melodic scale, take a look at it, it’s quite cool, although i recomend you start with the harmonic minor first, it’s easier to fit in 😉