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Lydian Jam Tracks With Guide Patterns

By Key:   A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G

Lydian is the fourth mode of the major scale, with its own unique melodic and harmonic characteristics. Our "home" is now on the fourth degree of the major scale, meaning any movements are centred around that degree (as opposed to the 1 of the major scale).

You'll hear Lydian's mysterious, evocative sound occasionally in popular music and jazz. But I've especially noticed its prominence in movie scores and instrumental soundtracks.

Get to know the harmonic movements that imply Lydian as our mode so you can recognise and accompany these movements more confidently and purposefully.

Some Jamming Tips

Lydian is all about the augmented 4th (♯4) interval, so this will be our primary focus when expressing Lydian melodically. All we've done is raise the 4th from it's "natural" major scale position. It has a gentle dissonance, but it can be targeted and comfortably held as part of a phrase. Start by getting to know Lydian over the single major chord tracks provided.

Most Lydian based movements/changes will involve the second degree major chord (II or V in relation to the parent major scale), a whole step up from the Lydian tonic. For example, in F Lydian, we might move from F to G (or G7) momentarily, coming back to rest on F, Lydian's tonic chord. When we move up to G, the ♯4 of F becomes the major 3rd of G. Think about how the tones within the pattern connect differently to each chord in the sequence as you build your phrases.

I always recommend starting with simple, three or four note phrases, experimenting with different approaches to a "destination" or target note. You can then work on embellishing, refining and building on your phrases. Take your time with it and keep a mental note of what sounds particularly good to your ears. Develop the good ideas, correct the mistakes and always think about how you can improve a phrase to maximise its expressive potential. That's what jam tracks are ultimately good for.

Grab that guitar and happy jamming!

Lydian Backing Tracks By Key

A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G

A Lydian

Parent Scale:  E Major   |   Notes:  A  B  C♯  D♯  E  F♯  G♯   |   Chords:  A  B  C♯m  D♯dim  E  F♯m  G♯m

A Major Track

Progression Tracks


Note that the "box" tab displays patterns formed around two familiar barre chord positions rooted on the 5th and 6th strings. These are a good starting point for finding your bearings.

Also, don't forget you can combine Lydian with regular major pentatonic and blues phrases/licks. But I've included a couple of pentatonic patterns more specific to Lydian's flavour to try out. The second pattern can be seen as major pentatonic positioned a whole step up from Lydian's root (e.g. play B major pentatonic over A to get A Lydian).

B Lydian

Parent Scale:  F♯ Major   |   Notes:  B  C♯  D♯  E♯  F♯  G♯  A♯   |   Chords:  B  C♯  D♯m  E♯dim  F♯  G♯m  A♯m

B Major Track

Progression Tracks


C Lydian

Parent Scale:  G Major   |   Notes:  C  D  E  F♯  G  A  B   |   Chords:  C  D  Em  F♯dim  G  Am  Bm

C Major Track

Progression Tracks


D Lydian

Parent Scale:  A Major   |   Notes:  D  E  F♯  G♯  A  B  C♯   |   Chords:  D  E  F♯m  G♯dim  A  Bm  C♯m

D Major Track

Progression Tracks


E Lydian

Parent Scale:  B Major   |   Notes:  E  F♯  G♯  A♯  B  C♯  D♯   |   Chords:  E  F♯  G♯m  A♯dim  B  C♯m  D♯m

E Major Track

Progression Tracks


F Lydian

Parent Scale:  C Major   |   Notes:  F  G  A  B  C  D  E   |   Chords:  F  G  Am  Bdim  C  Dm  Em

F Major Track

Progression Tracks


G Lydian

Parent Scale:  D Major   |   Notes:  G  A  B  C♯  D  E  F♯   |   Chords:  G  A  Bm  C♯dim  D  Em  F♯m

G Major Track

Progression Tracks


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