Jazz Waltz. Lydian Sharp Five Scale (Full)

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John Scofileld Lydian Sharp 5 scaleIn this tutorial we take the Lydian mode and sharpen its fifth. Although most guitarists will be unfamiliar with this scale, Eb Lydian sharp five has only one flat note (Eb, F, G, A, B, C and D). Furthermore, all the various scale patterns are written out so, whatever your level, you shouldn’t have any problem playing along to this lesson’s backing track. Previously, in the The Classic Touch. Mixolydian Flat 6 lesson we looked at the fifth mode, G Mixolydian flat 6:

Mixolydian Flat 6 scale

As you can see, it has the same notes as C melodic minor but it’s viewed as a G scale, rather than a Cm scale. Consequently, when thinking in terms of C melodic minor, the notes that make up a Cm triad are the strongest within the scale (C, Eb and G). Whereas; when the same scale is seen as G Mixolydian b6, the notes of a G major triad are considered to be the strongest (G, B and D). This change in perspective should force you into interpreting the same body of notes in a slightly different way. Please do not forget to check our guitar dictionary to find answers and music explanations.

Lydian sharp 5 scale

In this lesson we’re looking at the 3rd mode of C melodic minor: Eb Lydian sharp five:

Lydian Sharp Five Scale

Lydian sharp five is also known as Lydian augmented. Furthermore, because it’s the third mode of the melodic minor (which is also known as jazz minor) it is also sometimes referred to as jazz minor three (or JM3). This lesson I’ve given you five scale patterns for Eb Lydian sharp five, each containing an Eb maj7#5 chord form as a framework on which to build the scale. I’ve also given you the same shapes again, each using an Eb maj7#5 arpeggio as a framework. Remember, as I pointed previously (in Mixolydian Flat 6) , these patterns are meant to act as visual aids rather than practical ones -so don’t worry if you find something awkward to finger. It’s important that you have a clear cut set of visual reference points in place to guide you when soloing. Once you have learned to recognise these chord-based shapes you’ll find that you can start to re-finger things without getting lost.


As you may have noticed, I have deliberately started to adopt a particular format for each of these articles devoted to the melodic minor modes so that you can easily get into a familiar routine – a routine which you can adopt and subsequently apply to any scale.

Lydian Flavours

Previously some of the other modes of C melodic minor, I have described how it is possible for you to extract various distinct flavours from a scale by exploiting the following formulae:

Lydian Sharp Five Scale

Lydian Sharp Five Scale

Below, I’ve listed just some of the possible sounds that exist within Eb Lydian sharp Five that you should try. As usual, I suggest that you take some neck diagrams and plot out the shape of each device within all of the various scale shapes.

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 1

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 2

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 3

From G:

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 4

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 5

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 6

From D:

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 7

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 7

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 8

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 9

Lydian Sharp Five Scale sound 9

The progression

This lesson’s progression comprises chords that are diatonic to C melodic minor that resolve to an Eb augmented chord. Eb Lydian sharp five provides us with an ideal perspective: it enables us to see the notes of C melodic minor as an Eb scale -where the notes of an Eb augmented triad are the strongest notes within the scale.

Jazz Waltz. Lydian Sharp Five Scale

The improvised solo on this lesson’s audio has something of a haunting quality due to the restless nature of the scale. I’ve never heard Lydian sharp five used as the tonal centre of an entire progression like this before. Usually it is used over specific maj7#5 chords. This type of chord is quite rare, but you’ll hear it used in some modern jazz arrangements and by various modern composers. An obvious example of this, on guitar, is John Scofield – especially in his earlier writing (that is, the First four or five albums that he recorded after leaving Miles Davis’ band). The most common use for this scale is to use it in conjunction with Lydian as a form of tension over maj7-type chords (maj7, maj9, maj7b5, maj9b5 and so on). Proceed to study, next lesson Modal Soloing. Locrian Nat 2 Scale

Sound advice

Jazz Waltz sound advice

It’s a full lesson of Lydian Sharp 5 Scale.

Below you can download a free copy of

Lydian Sharp 5 Scale lesson with backing track


20 November 2012 0 comments
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