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> Solo Challenge: Ionian Vs Lydian, Build a solo using the Ionian and Lydian modes over a Major Chord
The Professor
post Jun 22 2013, 10:31 AM
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Soloing With Ionian vs Lydian Modes



When learning how to solo over major chords, many of us will explore the Ionian Mode (Major Scale) in order to break away from the Pentatonic Scales that many of us know and use when first checking out lead playing.

Though the Ionian Mode is a great place to start when soloing over major chords, there is another Major Scale Mode that you can explore in combination with the Major Scale to bring a “brighter” sound to your soloing riffs, that’s the Lydian Mode.



Ionian and Lydian Construction



Both modes are very similar in their make up, in fact they are only one note difference. This is why they are both used to solo over a Major chord, but also why learning how to use each of them in your soloing can provide two flavors to any major-chord lick you come up with.


The Ionian Mode is built as such:


R 2 3 4 5 6 7 R

Or in C it would be:

C D E F G A B C


As you can see, the C chord is found right inside that scale, C-E-G, which is why you can use an Ionian Mode to solo over a major chord with the same root.


The Lydian is built as such:


R 2 3 #4 5 6 7 R

Or in C it would be:

C D E F# G A B C


Notice that 6 of the 7 notes in Lydian are the exact same as the notes in Ionian, the Root, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th.

The only note that is different is the fourth note, which is a #4 in Lydian and a natural 4 in Ionian.

This is the note you want to focus on in your solos in order to really distinguish between lines that use Ionian and lines that use Lydian.



Further Reading


How to Build and Play Ionian Modes for Guitar

How to Build and Play Lydian Modes for Guitar

How to Build and Play Major Triads for Guitar



Soloing With Ionian vs Lydian



Now that you have some background on how to build and use these scales in your soloing, let’s look at some exercises that you can do in order to mix and match them over a static major chord.

We will use a C chord in the following exercises as an example, but feel free to do any/all of these lessons in 12 keys in your own practice routine.


1. Put on a C major chord vamp and solo using only the C Ionian Mode to build your lines.
2. Put on a C major chord vamp and solo using only the C Lydian Mode to build your lines.
3. Put on a C major chord vamp and solo using C Ionian for 8 bars, then C Lydian for 8 bars.
4. Put on a C major chord vamp and solo using C Ionian for 4 bars, then C Lydian for 4 bars.
5. Put on a C major chord vamp and solo using C Ionian for 2 bars, then C Lydian for 2 bars.
6. Put on a C major chord vamp and solo using both scales mixed together, switching whenever your ears tell you to use one scale or the other.


By soloing over one chord and moving between both scales when building your licks and riffs, you will not only learn to play each scale, but you’ll learn how each scale sounds similar and different when applied to a soloing situation.



Scale Soloing Challenge!



Now that you’ve worked on these two scales a bit, it’s time to share your work!

Record a short solo over a static chord, C or any key you are comfortable with, using both the Ionian and Lydian Modes to build your riffs and licks during the solo.

Post the audio or video of this solo below and we can check out what you’ve come up with, give some feedback and just enjoy hearing all of the different ideas that people come up with in their solos.

Here is a sample backing track that you can use to solo over, or feel free to create your own and use that for your solo.


Attached File  C_Major_Backing_Track.mp3 ( 6.98MB ) Number of downloads: 382




Do you have a question about Ionian vs Lydian when soloing? If so, feel free to post it in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to help you out any way I can.


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zoom
post Jun 22 2013, 11:16 AM
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Wow cool exercise! Not done to much mode stuff but I can really hear it now from solo's I've heard. The F# really sounds cool. I thought it might be more a passing note but not at all you can really land on that note. biggrin.gif
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The Professor
post Jun 22 2013, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE (zoom @ Jun 22 2013, 11:16 AM) *
Wow cool exercise! Not done to much mode stuff but I can really hear it now from solo's I've heard. The F# really sounds cool. I thought it might be more a passing note but not at all you can really land on that note. biggrin.gif



Cool, glad you are checking out these modes! You're right, if you pass through the F# it can sometimes lose it's effect. But, if you really dig in on it, and even land on it, there's no mistaking that you're playing a Lydian line in your solo.


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MGranada
post Jun 22 2013, 02:59 PM
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Hey all, Matt

Here s my small contribution to the forum in this topic.Hope you guys enjoy it...


Ionian Vs Lydian

Cheers
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The Professor
post Jun 22 2013, 03:14 PM
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QUOTE (MGranada @ Jun 22 2013, 02:59 PM) *
Hey all, Matt

Here s my small contribution to the forum in this topic.Hope you guys enjoy it...


Ionian Vs Lydian

Cheers


great stuff man, thanks for sharing!


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brwnhornet59
post Jun 22 2013, 09:25 PM
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Here is my take. I made no real attempt at being melodic outside of the given tensions. I got a bit carried away and played through the whole play along...LOL...Sorry for the low volume and crappy recording, but here it is... smile.gif

https://soundcloud.com/brittr2

Great job Miguel!!! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by brwnhornet59: Jun 22 2013, 09:21 PM


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The Professor
post Jun 22 2013, 09:48 PM
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Nice playing man, thanks for sharing.


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DeGroot
post Jun 23 2013, 04:56 AM
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Great playing guys! Cool backing to jam over. Hope to see more of these modal practice tracks.

Here is just a small section from the BT. I used Lydian sparingly but hopefully you'll feel the vibe when it is played.

https://soundcloud.com/degroot-2/solo-challenge-ionian-lydian



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The Professor
post Jun 23 2013, 05:27 PM
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QUOTE (DeGroot @ Jun 23 2013, 04:56 AM) *
Great playing guys! Cool backing to jam over. Hope to see more of these modal practice tracks.

Here is just a small section from the BT. I used Lydian sparingly but hopefully you'll feel the vibe when it is played.

https://soundcloud.com/degroot-2/solo-challenge-ionian-lydian



Very nice mate! I think that's the key to using some of these modes, that you only use something like Lydian once in a while. Then it keeps it's effect. If you overdo it, it can start to sound bland, but once in a while, and when compared to Ionian, it has a really nice contrast to it.


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