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> Pentatonic Lydian ?
Ben Higgins
post May 22 2014, 09:27 AM
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Hi all. In my latest lesson Vai-olation I explore the sounds of the Lydian mode, along with the Mixolydian. 2 staples of Vai's sound.

As well as looking at some of the more obvious diatonic runs using the E Lydian mode, I also use the Eb Minor Penatonic scale to get a different sound that, although it sounds a bit 'outside' is still very much picking out notes of the Lydian mode. How does it work ? Let's take a closer look.

Here's the E Lydian Mode: Note the Blue circles denoting the root of E.



Here's the Eb (or D#) Minor Pentatonic.



Now, if you took a chord progression which moves from E to F# and returns to E and let's say the bass is cycling a constant pedal tone of E. This 'Flying in a Blue Dream' type of vibe would give us the perfect bed for a Lydian sound.

Now, instead of blazing through your typical 3 note per string Lydian runs, take the Eb (D#) Pentatonic and try that. It sounds... well, different but it sounds kind of... well... Steve Vai, right ? It works. But how ?

Let's got back to the scale diagrams. Place your hands in position for the D# Pentatonic and slowly walk yourself through the intervals. Now, take another look at the diagram of E Lydian. But ignore the blue root notes and start again on the D# and trace the scale tones of D# Minor Pentatonic.



They're all there aren't they ? smile.gif What does that tell us ? All of those notes that make up the D# Minor Pentatonic are also found within E Lydian. It's just that the D# Minor Pentatonic is only touching upon some of those scale tones. Please read that bit again if you need to.

If we go back to the E Lydian mode properly for a moment, let's look at the intervals. The intervals that make the Lydian mode 'Lydian' is the presence of both the major 3rd and major 7th together. Now, by playing the D# Minor Pentatonic you will be touching upon both of those important intervals. That's why you get a Lydian sound but it still somehow sounds 'different' because the rest of the scale tones are not included.

And people still think pentatonics are boring !!! Ha !

I hope you enjoy the different possibilities that this provides. Maybe try this over a Lydian inspired backing track (I've given you a clue how to do that above !) and see for yourself. Why not share some recordings ?


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klasaine
post May 22 2014, 03:08 PM
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Cool!
Very 'jazz' way of approaching something you'd play Lydian over.
Emaj7#11 chord = minor penta one 1/2 step down.



This post has been edited by klasaine: May 22 2014, 03:11 PM


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Gabriel Leopardi
post May 22 2014, 04:36 PM
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Hi Ben, this is a very interesting approach and shows how powerful and rich can be pentatonic when used in uncommon ways. I will definitely try this over the backing of your lesson... and I was thinking... what about a collab based on this? smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post May 22 2014, 06:48 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ May 22 2014, 04:36 PM) *
Hi Ben, this is a very interesting approach and shows how powerful and rich can be pentatonic when used in uncommon ways. I will definitely try this over the backing of your lesson... and I was thinking... what about a collab based on this? smile.gif


Yeah we can do that. Do you want to be the collab leader on it ?


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 23 2014, 08:38 AM
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Great ideas Ben! I was actually wondering what the next collab might be centered around smile.gif Let's see what everyone has to say about it!


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