What are some songs/solos using Lydian?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by emu!, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm trying to get the feel for this whole Lydian thing. Vai and Satch always talk about it in articles, etc. But other than those two, what songs are exclusively using this mode?

    When I try to use it, there seems to be a lot of dissonance unpleasing to my ear. Maybe I'm playing it over the wrong backing chords? Any suggestions?
     
  2. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    check out george russell.

    i like lydian over a maj7 chord. try it over a maj7#11. now we're talking. and that's just the begining!
     
  3. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here's a great progression for diving into lydian -

    Am7 to BbΔ (this chord is also sometimes called C/Bb)

    ----5-----X-----
    ----5-----5-----
    ----5-----7-----
    ----5-----7-----
    ----X-----X-----
    ----5-----6-----

    Scale : Bb C D E F G A Bb

    Record (or have somebody play) the above prog. Any rhythm is fine. Two measures on each chord is a good place to start.
    *I would begin soloing using the notes A, E, D and C to get the 'feel' of the lydian sound especially over the lydian chord - the BbΔ then add in the other scale tones. The Bb and E are where the 'money' is. That's the Lydian sound.
    **You'll notice that an A minor pentatonic (A C D E G A) outlines all that.

    ***Steve Vai actually showed me the above prog many years ago (probably 27 years ago) specifically to work on lydian.

    ****VERY IMPORTANT! - Even though the parent key or scale is F major - YOU'RE NOT IN THE KEY OF F MAJOR. Everything in this prog resolves to A's and E's.

    Theres an extensive list of songs that employ lydian at the end of the article ...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydian_mode

    Jazzers Keith Jarrett and Wayne Shorter, among many others, are great 'lydian' players. Especially over major type chords. They like to raise the 4th or omit it altogether (you'll hear them do this over a Bb major type chord all the time ... A Bb C D F G A - very non-resolving).
     
  4. Corey

    Corey TDPRI Member

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  5. IggyT

    IggyT Tele-Afflicted

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    Jeff Beck gets some mileage out of this mode...

    He may not know what its called but he has used it a lot for many years.
    iggy
     
  6. Corey

    Corey TDPRI Member

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    Iggy, Beck knows what it's called. Have no illusions. :cool:

    Here's a nice Satch tune with some Lydian melodies featured:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxREATMy804

    Main thing is to know the sound so you can use it when you want that color. Lydian is a very "regal" sounding mode to me. What does it sound like to you? Put a label on it so you can retrieve that sound at will from the dark recesses of your grey matter.
     
  7. fakeocaster

    fakeocaster Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Dreams by Fleetwood Mac,

    The solo section of Reeling in the Years or any song that goes backward and forward between F and Em or F and G for an extended period


    To be honest Ive never felt that modes gave me much insight into actually playing anything. However I know that there are many here who disagree
     
  8. Corey

    Corey TDPRI Member

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    Interesting. When you play what's your "home base"?
     
  9. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    depends. i once had a student come to me after he had been taking lessons elsewhere for a few years. he was getting into jazz, and we were working on ii V I's. I remember him telling me, he was going to play D Dorian to G mixolydian to C Ionian over a ii V I in C. I think I said, "slow down there, cowboy."

    but there's other times when modes are essential. How are you gonna play "So What?" what do you play over a maj7#11 chord? how do you jam over "dark Star?" there's a place for them, but like anything, they can be overthought.
     
  10. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

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    I guess this is over my head.:confused:
    Lydian is a MAJOR type mode/scale, right? I am assuming Bb Lydian is the key here. The Am7 throws me. Most major type songs I know do the I IV V thing. Is Lydian not condusive to the I IV V? Maybe I just don't have the ear to be a jazzer.
     
  11. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    The word or scale or mode LYDIAN is meaningless 'by itself'. It's just 7 notes.

    What I am trying to get you to do with the above prog is "hear" the lydian sound ... but it only sounds lydian in context.

    The key of the above is either Bb lydian or, if you want ... A phrygian (or F major). Same intervals, different starting notes.

    Record the prog. You have to play over it. It won't really sound lydian to you yet without the chords underneath. Focus on the Bb lydian 'non-resolving'ness of it (my description).

    Lydian can absolutely be applied to I-IV-V ... but you have to get through this interchange first.

    Here, if you wanna go deep ...
    http://www.lydianchromaticconcept.com/

    *As most of us posters here are alluding to ... 'lydian' - as a root chord/scale - is really best over a maj7#11 chord.
    e.g. Bbmaj7#11 = Bb lydian - Bb C D E (the #11) F G A
    In a lot of jazz, because of the freedom and ambiguity of extensions and alterations applied to major chords (or any other type of any chord), players will gravitate towards the lydian thing because it has an 'open' sound or a 'regal' sound (as Corey stated) or what I like to refer to as a non-resolving sound.

    Straight up I - IV - V progs, as in blues, rock and country, can utilize lydian - but generally NOT starting from the roots of the chords. And this is where it can start to get complicated.
    I would suggest that before you worry about lydian conversion or the lydian-chromatic concept, you assimilate a healthy amount of plain old major and minor scale theory and it's application.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  12. Leon Grizzard

    Leon Grizzard Friend of Leo's

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    For the augmented fourth interval, I always think of the first notes of Maria from West Side Story: G C# D, repeated - Maria, I never...
     
  13. Jeffscreamedcorn

    Jeffscreamedcorn Tele-Holic

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    I read the question as an inquest for examples of lydian mode, not examples of use of the lydian chord scale applied to harmonic functions, like IVmaj7 (from Ionian mode), bVIImaj7 (from Mixo), bIImaj7 (from Phyl) or bIIImaj7 (from Dor).

    Common Lydian modal progressions are Imaj7 (#11) to II7 or Imaj7 to VII7.
     
  14. Corey

    Corey TDPRI Member

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    Well there's more than one approach to playing modally so it's all fair game, i.e. you could use a lydian scale to solo over a diatonic chord progression, use it with other modes of the same root for pitch axis, etc. Not all those things will be learned by any one set of examples.

    Tunes like Lords of Karma, Not of This Earth, etc. are definitely great listening though.

    My advice is get Frank Gambale's "Modes No More Mystery" DVD.
     
  15. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Aeolian on the Em, Lydian on the C:

     
  16. Valvey

    Valvey Tele-Holic

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    I don't think you could say that tune is in the lydian mode. It's one of those rock pentatonic tunes that were discussed in this forum a few months ago. You could say it is in the key of C, even though that chord is never heard in the song. Or you could say it is in Am, which makes a brief appearance behind Lindsey Buckingham's solo.


    The Jetsons theme is in lydian-- appropriate because that mode has a a bit of a cheesy futuristic quality to it.
     
  17. Corey

    Corey TDPRI Member

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    Naw, there's nothing cheesy about the Lydian mode, or any mode for that matter. It's just you. Lydian is a fairly majestic sounding mode with vast potential for all sorts of greatness.
     
  18. rsguitarplayer

    rsguitarplayer TDPRI Member

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    Joe Satriani

    Check out Flying in a Blue dream by Joe Satriani. Title track. Lydian.
     
  19. guitarua

    guitarua TDPRI Member

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    Just as an aside, but sorta related, the Theme from "The Simpsons" is Lydian-Dominant. I think Danny Gatton did a nice version of it if I recall.....
     
  20. carshena

    carshena TDPRI Member

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