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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Modes: Lydian

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So Lydian mode is I
little bit of a different one.
It's used in jazz but
not often just by itself but
in sometimes in conjunction in
the middle of a as a little vamp,
or in the middle of a chord progression,
you might land on a Lydian area for
a little while, as a release.
But it does get used.
It abs, ab, absolutely does get used.
And we'll get into,
specific uses of it as we move along.
Basically, the Lydian characteristic.
Is that it's another major mode.
It's got a major third.
It starts on the fourth degree of the,
of the C scale.
So here's our C scale.
But if we started from F.
At fourth degree.
One, two, three, four, right?
Started from there and
played from the, from the F to the F.
You see that.
First of all, it's a major.
The third is major.
And the big strong characteristic
that it has because
every note of it is just like the F
major scale, except for one note.
I'm gonna give you a little
give away look there.
It's the fourth degree.
The fourth degree is raised
compared to the F major scale.
Reminder again we're not talking about
comparing it to C that it's derived from,
we know that it's the C scale notes
going from F to F we know that.
But comparing it to F major
that's the same.
When we get to the fourth degree F major
we normally have a half step there
whole step, whole step, half step.
But in this case, it's got a whole step.
Gives it a different sound.
The rest of the scale is a major scale.
Five, six, seven, one.
So, the only note that's different
is the four, and it's a sharp four.
It's raised.
I'll do it in this position so
we can go two octaves.
So that's the mode as
a stand alone entity.
So it's characteristic.
It has that tri tone if you remember
when we were doing the intervals.
Remember the song Maria?
that I used as a reminder.
Okay so.
That sharp four characteristic
is a very rich sound,
especially when you put a chord with it.
So, we're gonna get into tensions,
like ninths and 13ths and, and 11ths soon.
I'm gonna bring up a tension right now,
and I wanna make sure you know.
Tensions are when you
extend an arpeggio above
the octave you may have heard
people talk about this.
You get to ninth right,
the ninth is the second degree
of the scale above the octave.
Right, so in the key of C
if you continue up and
skip notes like you do for arpeggios
the next note you get is a D
that's the ninth.
I'm going over this really quickly just so
I can get to the 11th because
it's very important for Lydian.
The next one is the 11th
Who would be F in the case of C.
So remember,
I'm just skipping notes on the piano,
you have the white key C skip D and go to
E, skip F and go to G, skip A and go to B.
Now we're gonna skip the octave an go
to D, then you're on the ninth,
cuz it's nine notes up from C.
One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine.
Skip the E cuz that's just
a repeat of the third, right?
And then go to the F.
So now we're skipping C, E, G, B, D, F.
F is the 11th.
Now, when we get into tensions,
we'll go all the way up to the 13th,
which is up, way up to the A.
So now go back, going back to Lydian.
The natural occurring 11th right,
if, if you just do it in a major scale is
actually the fourth degree.
But in Lydian, the thing about it
is that fourth degree is raised.
So it would sound like this.
It's a much brighter sound, you hear it.
It just opens up right away.
So in the key of F if we,
if we do, do the F arpeggio
with the notes of a C major scale
You get that sharp 11.
You get it automatically because
it's in the scale, look.
That sharp four degree.
So now if we go down to
try to hear this in a,
what I call the color reference,
you know the harmonic basis for Lydian.
We'll take an F chord down here,
a major seven and
just lift up my finger and
get that sharp 11,
that raised fourth degree
it's that B, open B string
What a sound, it's really cool.
If we even play an F bar chord and
just open up the top two strings,
we get the B and
we get the major seven ringing.
And that's a very Lydian sound.
Just listen to that for a minute
It's an F bar chord and
I just lift up the bar, and
just keep the F on the low,
on the low six string.
Grab your guitars and
play that a few times.
It's a beautiful chord.
It has a lot of uses in jazz.
Now, there is also a progression
that's kind of, characteristically
Lydian because remember,
going back to the scale in chords.
Remember that?
When you start on that
on the four chord, it's a major seven,
because remember it's a major mode Lydian.
And the next chord is also a major chord,
so two major chords next to each other,
it's an interesting sound.
One is dominant and one is a major seven.
Now if I go back down to my bar chord and
I go,
leave these two notes ringing,
the E and the B, and I go back and
forth between the four chord in C and
the five chord in C.
Those two major chords next to each other
That's a Lydian progression
So in Lydian, it's one major,
two major,
One major, two major,
I'm playing in the triads and
letting these notes ring
Again, get your guitar, play that
a little bit and you'll get the feel and
sound of Lydian in your head.