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> The Sounds Of The Lydian Mode, Learn the Chords, Scale, Triads and Arpeggios Built From Lydian
The Professor
post Mar 4 2013, 02:42 PM
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In this series of articles we will be taking a look at the different sounds that you can build from any mode in the Major Scale, in particular the chords, scale, triad and arpeggio that go with each mode in the major scale.

So far we have covered the Ionian, Dorian, and Phrygian Modes, which you can see linked below, and we are now ready to dig into the 4th mode of the major scale, the Lydian Mode.

If you need a refresher on the first 3 modes of the major scale, you can find them here:


Sounds of the Ionian Mode

Sounds of the Dorian Mode

Sounds of the Phrygian Mode


In this lesson, we’ll be looking at the chords, scale, triads and arpeggios that are build from the Lydian Mode, giving you a full understanding of how this scale works and the different sounds that can be derived from this commonly used major-scale mode.

Here is a quick look at each device from the lydian mode, with further details provided below to read further.


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Now that you’ve seen these different sounds on paper, let’s take a deeper look at each one of them, starting with the two different chords that you can build using the Lydian Mode.


Lydian Chords



As you see on the pic above, there are two main chords that you can build from a Lydian Mode, a major triad and a maj7#11 chord, where the #11 is sometimes written as a #4 as well.

This is what makes this mode different from Ionian, the raised 4th note, as it is the only note that is different between the two scales.

If you want to build a Lydian mode, you can do so by taking the major scale and raising the 4th note by a half-step (1 fret), as so in the key of C.

C Major = C D E F G A B C (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1)

C Lydian = C D E F# G A B C (1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1)


So you can see how closely related these two scales are, but that #4 (#11 when raised up the octave) really makes the Lydian mode, and Lydian chord, sound unique.

So, when building a major chord from both Ionian and Lydian, you get 1 3 5, the same major chord.

But, when you look at the rest of the Lydian Mode, up to the 11th note, you get 1 3 5 7 9 #11

So, you can bring that #11 down an octave if you want in order to make it easier to insert into a Lydian maj7#11(#4) chord voicing, as was the case in the example above.

When you do this, it is easiest to remove the 5, so that you have a nice, 4-note chord to work with, which gives you the notes R-3-#4-7, the same notes in the chord above.

To finish this section off, just know that the Lydian and Ionian modes produce very similar chord, both produce major triads for example, but it is the maj7 vs. maj7#11 that is the big difference between the two modes from a harmonic standpoint.



Further Reading

What is a Major Triad


Exercise

Write out the note for each major triad and maj7#11 chord in all 12 keys.

Post your answers below and I will correct them and give you feedback if you are having any trouble writing out the notes of these triads and chords.



Lydian Scale



To follow up on the scale explanation from the previous section, the Lydian and Ionian modes are indeed very similar, with only the #4 being the odd note out between the two scales.

To refresh, here are the C Ionian and C Lydian modes back to back for reference:

C Ionian - C D E F G A B C (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1)
C Lydian - C D E F# G A B C (1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 1)

Again, you can use this knowledge to build any Lydian Mode, as you just take any Ionian/Major Scale and raise the 4th note by a half-step (1-fret) and you have that root-note’s Lydian Mode.

As well, you can think of the Lydian Mode as an Ionian Mode, but starting from the 4th note.

So, if you took a C major scale, as so:

C D E F G A B C

And started on the 4th note, F, you would produce F Lydian:

F G A B C D E F

That gives you two different ways to build a Lydian Mode, and you can feel free to use either or. Whatever works best for you is all good, as long as it lets you quickly and easily find all the notes in an Lydian Mode.



Further Reading

Lydian Phrasing Exercises


Exercise

Write out the notes of the Lydian Mode, in all 12 keys.

Post your answers below and I will check them out and post feedback, as well as answer any questions you may have on this scale construction.



Lydian Triad and Arpeggio



You can also build a 3-note triad and 4-note arpeggio from the Lydian mode, which are very similar to the chords you saw earlier in this lesson.

In this case, the 3-note triad is a major triad, with the same notes as the major chord from the previous section, although here you “pick” rather than “strum” the notes to turn them into a melodic device, as opposed to the harmonic device that you saw previously.

The four-note chord shares the same notes as the four-note arpeggio, R-3-#4-7, or F-A-B-E in the example above.

Again, these two sounds share the same notes, but the arpeggio is picked in a melodic fashion while the chord is plucked or strummed in harmonic fashion.

Having the triad and arpeggio under your finger for the Lydian Mode will allow you to bring the Lydian sound into your soloing and melody writing, while fully outlining the sound of the chord at the same time.


Further Reading

How to Build a Major Triad


Exercise

Write out the triad and arpeggio notes for the Lydian mode, a major triad and maj7#11 arpeggio, in all 12 keys.

Post your answers below and I will check your work and help with any issues or questions you may have on this subject.


Learning the structures behind each mode that you are learning on the guitar can help shore up your theory knowledge, as well as make it easier for you to apply these modes to your solos and song writing as you learn to relate them to chords, triads and arpeggios.

If you have any questions or comments, post them below.

This post has been edited by The Professor: Mar 4 2013, 02:52 PM
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 4 2013, 02:48 PM
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Great stuff Professor! This is my favorite mode and I love how guys like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai & Kiko Loureiro create melodies with it.
You are doing a great job with these series. Thanks!


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The Professor
post Mar 4 2013, 02:57 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Mar 4 2013, 01:48 PM) *
Great stuff Professor! This is my favorite mode and I love how guys like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai & Kiko Loureiro create melodies with it.
You are doing a great job with these series. Thanks!



Thanks man, love this mode as well! Some great sounds in there. More to come and thanks for checking out the series.


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Vulpine
post Mar 5 2013, 01:46 AM
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great lesson Would love to hear some samples of Lydian ...
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klasaine
post Mar 5 2013, 08:04 AM
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QUOTE (Vulpine @ Mar 5 2013, 12:46 AM) *
great lesson Would love to hear some samples of Lydian ...


there's a 'guess the mode' thread over in practice room ... https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=47756
You gotta look for 'em but there's a few of each.


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The Professor
post Mar 5 2013, 08:54 AM
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QUOTE (Vulpine @ Mar 5 2013, 12:46 AM) *
great lesson Would love to hear some samples of Lydian ...


Thanks, lots of video lessons on GMC about Lydian, check some of these out.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/search/lydian/


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PosterBoy
post Mar 9 2013, 08:55 AM
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These Modal thread are just what I needed.

I understood what modes were and how they worked to an extent as a scale but could never use them due to the harmonically simplistic music I get to play.

Creating triads like you've shown has made sense, I should have taken things further in my studying. This will be my first step in creating more interesting music.


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The Professor
post Mar 9 2013, 09:37 AM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Mar 9 2013, 07:55 AM) *
These Modal thread are just what I needed.

I understood what modes were and how they worked to an extent as a scale but could never use them due to the harmonically simplistic music I get to play.

Creating triads like you've shown has made sense, I should have taken things further in my studying. This will be my first step in creating more interesting music.


Very cool man, glad you are finding the articles helpful. I'm the same way, I move beyond an item because I think it won't fit my music, but then come back around to it and realize how important it can be to what I do. Enjoy the rest of the articles!


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