The lydian mode | Free guitar lesson | Diagrams and patterns for guitar

jazz guitar scalesThe lydian mode is the fourth mode of the major scale. There are seven mode named ionian, dorian, phrygian, lydian, mixolydian, aeolian and locrian. It is a major type scale (because of its major third) and very used to play over major chords,  This mode has a very interesting sound because of its #4 (or #11) it is similar to the ionian mode but has a raised fourth (#4) instead of a perfect fourth. Playing the F lydian mode over a C major chord is the same as playing the C ionian mode starting with the fourth (F). Lydian mode gets interesting when it is played over a major chord, for example playing a F lydian scale over a FM7 brings tension because of the raised fourth / raised eleventh (#4), it sounds "Lydian".

F Lydian mode F G A B C D E
Formula 1 2 3 #4 (#11) 5 6 7
Intervals W W W H W W H

(W = whole step ; H = half step)

You can play the lydian mode over the following chords :

maj, maj7,maj6, maj7#11, maj9#11, maj 6/9.

Triads, chords and arpeggios

The lydian scale is a major type scale, there are not many differences with the major scale (ionian mode) only the fourth is raised by a semitone. That means that major  triads, major seventh, and major sixth arpeggios are built the same way as the ionian mode. Only the major eleventh arpeggio is different from the ionian's. This following chart will help you to play any major triad or arpeggio.

F Lydian mode F G A B C D E
Formula 1 2 (9) 3 #4 (#11) 5 6 (13) 7
F Major triad 1 x 3 x 5 x x
F major sixth arpeggio 1 x 3 x 5 6 (13) x
F major seventh arpeggio 1 x 3 x 5 x 7

Lydian guitar diagrams

Here are two recommended guitar patterns to play the lydian mode. To understand and "hear"  the lydian mode it is recommended to play these patterns by starting with the "root".

What is a root ?

Every scale has what is named "a root". This is the most important note of a scale, it gives its name to the scale. For example the root of of the F lydian scale is "F", nothing's easier. In the diagrams this is the orange note (R).

To play the F lydian mode following the first pattern and starting with the lowest root, you have to put your second finger on the sixth string at the thirteenth fret.

To play the F lydian mode using the second pattern still starting with the root, you must put your second finger on the fifth string at the eighth fret.

Once you have learnt these patterns you must play them in twelve keys by moving the root to the desired note keeping the same intervals.

Pattern 1

(roots "R" on the sixth, fourth and first string)

Lydian mode guitar diagram pattern 2

Pattern 2

(roots "R" on the fifth and third string)

Lydian mode guitar diagram pattern 1

D lydian jazz guitar lick

This jazz guitar line is built with the D lydian mode which is D, E, F#, G#, A, B, C#.

Lydian jazz guitar lick

Printable eBooks - PDF

11 blues jazz progression for jazz guitar - Pdf eBook
11 blues jazz studies new

This PDF eBook contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, analysis , explanations and audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.

Mastering the altered scale eBook PDF method booklet
Mastering the altered scale

This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale.

40 blues jazz guitar licks - PDF, eBook, Booklet, method
40 blues jazz guitar licks

40 easy jazz, blues guitar licks with tabs & scale charts. Printable PDF & eBook method to learn to play in the style of Wes Montgomery & Charlie Christian.

25 jazz soul licks PDF eBook with tabs
25 soul jazz guitar licks

This PDF eBook is about 25 soul jazz guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks. Lessons with tabs, diagrams, backing track & audio files.

10 ii v i licks jazz guitar PDF eBook
10 minor II-V-I licks

This printable PDF book will help you to understand which scales should be played over a minor II-V-I sequence. Jazz guitar lesson with tabs & audio.

10 II V I jazz guitar licks PDF eBook
10 II-V-I jazz guitar licks

This jazz guitar eBook pdf contains 10 II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, backing tracks, scales charts. Dorian, mixolydian, bebop and altered scales.

25 half whole diminished jazz guitar licks and diminished 7th arpeggios
25 dominant diminished licks

This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.

25 minor jazz guitar licks E-book pdf
25 minor jazz guitar licks

This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.

5 tritone substitution jazz guitar licks ebook light
5 Tritone substitution licks

The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook

Add a comment

Incorrect code - please try again.

Last edited: 17/03/2017


Enter your email adress to receive the newsletter (no spam),

to keep you informed about the latest lessons, articles and eBooks. 

You will receive a confirmation email... be sure to check your spam box ;)