The Lydian dominant scale - Guitar lesson with diagrams

The Lydian dominant scale

What's the Lydian dominant scale 

The Lydian b7 scale, sometimes referred to as the overtone scale or acoustic scale  is more generally known as Lydian dominant scale. It is the fourth mode of the melodic minor scale and a great choice when you want to highlight a sharp eleventh sound (#11) in your jazz lines. It is used in a number of music types as blues, rock, jazz, but above all in jazz-fusion. The Lydian dominant scale is a nice alternative to the dominant scale when you want to improvise over dominant 7 chords, it allows you to step outside the box. John Scofield, Larry Carlton, Scott Henderson and many more famous jazz-fusion guitarists are fond of this #11 sound.

F lydian dominant scale F G A B C D Eb
Formula 1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7
Intervals W W W H W H W

How to build the Lydian b7 mode 

The Lydian dominant scale is made of seven notes, the formula is Root (1) - Second (2) - major third (3) - Augmented fourth (#4) - Perfect fifth (5) - Sixth  (6) and minor seventh (b7).We can compare it with the mixolydian mode to observe that Lydian dominant mode has the same notes but with a raised fourth (#4). 

Mixolydian scale 1 2 (9) 3 4 (11) 5 6 (13) b7
Lydian dominant scale 1 2 (9) 3 #4 (#11) 5 6 (13) b7


Lydian modes comparison

If you are reading this, it means that you know that there are three other important Lydian modes. If not here is a comparative chart including :

  • The basic Lydian mode, fourth mode of the major scale (1 2 3 #4 5 6 7).
  • The Lydian #2 (or #9) mode,  sixth mode of the Harmonic minor scale (1 #2 3 #4 5 6 7).
  • The Lydian augmented scale, third mode of the melodic minor scale (1 2 3 #4 #5 6 7).
Lydian mode 1 2 (9) 3 #4 (#11) 5 6 (13) 7
Lydian dominant 1 2 (9) 3 #4 (#11) 5 6 (13) b7
Lydian #2 (or Lydian #9) 1 #2 (#9) 3 #4 (#11) 5 6 7
Lydian augmented  1 2 (9) 3 #4 (#11) #5 6 7


Lydian dominant guitar diagrams

Here are two diagrams to play the Lydian dominant scale on the guitar.

Lydian dominant mode guitar diagram 1

Lydian dominant mode guitar diagram 2

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Last edited: 08/12/2017

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