For the past few weeks we’ve been expanding on C Major pattern #3, and how adjusting its tonic (root) notes can make it two different modes – one called Phrygian, and one called Lydian. This week we’re taking a look at some Lydian sounds, which can be thought of as being otherworldly, dreamy, haunting, or arresting. For this exercise we’ll be looking at the “otherworldly and dreamy” qualities. For players with access to reverb and delay effects, Lydian is a great mode to use them with!

In this mode, the “character” note that makes it pop is the fourth note in the scale, or the sharp fourth (#4th). By leaning heavily on it and its surrounding notes you can really bring out the sound of the mode.
Take a look at the riff below, which is using Lydian in the key of A, by starting the scale on the fifth fret, low E string. The riff is heavily using the “character note”.

Here’s a great, dreamy backing track for you to try the riff overtop of!

Was this helpful to you? Do you have any famous Lydian riffs that you’re fond of? If you want to learn more, we are currently offering online video conference lessons!

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