What Are Lydian Pentatonic Scales, Learn to build and play lydian pentatonic scales on guitar
The Professor
Jun 6 2013, 05:51 PM
Theory Instructor
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What Are Lydian Pentatonic Scales

Though many of us know the relatively common Major Pentatonic Scale, most of us tend to stop there with our exploration of major-sounding pentatonic scales. While the major pentatonic scale can provide years of creative inspiration in your solos, there is also another, “brighter,” pentatonic scale that is worth checking out in the practice room.

This is the Lydian Pentatonic Scale.

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at the theory behind the Lydian Pentatonic Scale, how it is built, how to apply it to your soloing and a few common fingerings that you can explore in the practice room.

How to Build a Lydian Pentatonic Scale

The Lydian Pentatonic Scale is built from the following interval pattern.

Root - 2 - 3 - #4 -6

You can see these notes laid out in tab and notation for an C Lydian Pentatonic Scale here.

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You can also think of the Lydian Pentatonic Scale as being a fragment of the corresponding Lydian Scale.

If you have a C Lydian Scale, C D E F# G A B, and you take out the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th notes, C D E F# A, you now have a C Lydian Pentatonic Scale.

To apply this scale in a soloing situation, you can use the Lydian Pentatonic Scale over major, maj7, maj6, maj9, maj6/9, maj7#11 or maj9#11 chords.

2 Common Lydian Pentatonic Scale Fingerings

To help get you started, here are two common fingerings for the C Lydian Pentatonic Scale, one with a 6-string root, and one with a 5-string root.

Try memorizing these Lydian Pentatonic Scales in the key of C first, then take them to the other 11 keys around the neck as you expand on these scale shapes in your guitar practice routine.

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Lydian Pentatonic Scale Practice Guide

To finish up, here are a number of ways that you can practice Lydian Pentatonic scales in order to get the fingerings, and theory, behind these scales under your fingers and into your guitar playing.

1. Sing the root note, C for example, and play the corresponding Lydian Pentatonic Scales over that root.
P2. lay a root note on the guitar, C for example, and then sing the corresponding Lydian Pentatonic Scale over that root note.
3. Say the note names, or interval numbers, such as C D E F# A or 1 2 3 #4 6, as you play and sing the notes in the above exercises.
4. Put on a static vamp, Cmaj7, Cmaj9 or Cmaj7#11 for example, and practice soloing over those chords using the related Lydian Pentatonic Scale as the basis for your solo.
5. Repeat any/all of the above exercises in all 12 keys.

Do you have a question or comment about Lydian Pentatonic Scales? If so, share them in the comments section below this thread.

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