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> Sounds Of The Lydian Dominant Mode, Learn the Chords, Scale, Triads and Arpeggios Built From Lyd Dom
The Professor
post Apr 22 2013, 01:14 PM
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The Lydian Dominant Mode

In this series of articles we will be taking a look at the different sounds that you can build from any mode in the Melodic Minor scale, in particular the chords, scale, triad and arpeggio that go with each mode in the Melodic Minor scale system.

In today’s lesson, let’s take a look at the chords, scale, triad and arpeggio that are built from the 4th mode of Melodic Minor, the Lydian Dominant Mode.

Besides learning a fingering or two for this important scale, it is good to know the other melodic and harmonic devices that are built from the Lydian Dominant Mode so that you can apply these to your practice routine, as well as build your theory chops so that you recognize when to use the Lydian Dominant Mode in your soloing and song writing.

Here is a quick look at each device from the Lydian Dominant Mode, with further details provided below to read further.

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Lydian Dominant Triad and Chords

To begin, there are two main chords that are built from any Lydian Dominant Mode, the Major Triad and the 7#11 chord.

The Major Triad is built from the Root, 3rd and 5th note of the Lydian Dominant Mode, and the 7#11 chord is built by using the Root, 3rd, #4th (11th), and b7th of the same mode.

Each of these items can be played as a whole, to produce the triad/chord, or they can be plucked one note at a time to produce arpeggiated versions, both of which you saw in the tab/notation example above.

So, in the key of F, the major triad would be:

F A C or R 3 5 of the Lydian Dominant Scale

And the 7#11 chord in F would be:

F A B Eb or R 3 #4 b7

This knowledge will help you learn to transpose these notes around the neck and into different keys as you learn to build different triads and four-note Lydian Dominant Mode-based chords in all 12 keys.

Theory Exercise

Write out the note for each Major Triad and 7#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 Dominant Scale

The Lydian Domiant Mode is built from the following interval structure:


In this pattern, whole equals a whole step (2 frets on the guitar) and half equals a half-step (1 fret on the guitar).

So, if you apply that formula to the key of F, as in the example above, you get the following notes.

F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H) C (H) D (H) Eb (W) F

Or, you will also see this scale written in numbers as such:

1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7 1

The Mixolydian Mode, and the Lydian Dominant Mode, are both modes of the Major and Melodic Minor scale systems, they are also very closely related.

This means that you can think of the Lydian Dominant Mode, in theory or on the guitar, as a Mixolydian Mode with a #4.

So, you can take any Mixolydian Mode fingering that you know, raise the 4th note by 1 fret (half-step) and you have yourself a Lydian Dominant Mode fingering.

Theory Exercise

Write out the notes of the Lydian Dominant 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.

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.

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