Modal Study. The Lydian Scale Flat 7

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The Lydian Scale Flat 7 LessonWe continue the exploration of all things modal, this time looking at mode IV of melodic minor F Lydian b7, is only one note away from F Mixolydian. As usual, all the various scale patterns are written out so, whatever your level, you shouldn’t have any problem playing along to the backing track. We’re now near the end of our current series of articles on melodic minor. We’ve looked at modes I, II, III, V and VI, and in this lesson it’s the turn of mode IV, Lydian b7. Previous lesson was Locrian Nat 2 Scale. To keep things as simple as possible, we’ve been concentrating on the modes of C melodic minor as this scale has only one flat note: as you can see, it’s really like C major scale but with a minor 3rd:

C Melodic Minor

The scale

Lydian b7 scale is also known as ‘Lydian dominant’ or ‘the overtone scale’ (as its intervals correspond with that of the natural overtones/harmonic series generated on a vibrating string). Furthermore, because it’s the fourth mode of melodic minor (also known as jazz minor) it is also sometimes referred to ‘jazz minor four’ (or JM4).

The Lydian Scale Flat 7

Having said this, I would say that it’s much more useful to think of this scale as a Mixolydian scale with a raised 4th (although I’ve never heard it called Mixolydian sharp 4), because it is most commonly used in conjunction with Mixolydian over static dominant chords.

Lydian Scale. Shapes and Patterns

The first neck diagram shows the notes of C melodic minor as they appear on the guitar neck. The next two diagrams below the first then show these same notes seen as an F scale (Lydian flat 7). Firstly, each of the five scale patterns are shown with F7 as the parental chord form and, secondly, these same patterns are shown containing a two-notes-per-string configuration of F dominant pentatonic (for these and other formulae see the list below).


As we’ve been working through the various modes of melodic minor, we’ve been looking at various arpeggio and pentatonic flavours that exist within the key. Each of these devices offers a distinct flavour that can be found within each of the modes. As you will see below, the list has now assumed bewildering proportions. However, don’t be alarmed. You should get used to generating huge lists like this in order to exercise all the theoretical possibilities. The idea is to then reduce the list down to the essential ten per cent or so devices that appeal to you the most.

Remember that each of the following devices can be found with F Lydian flat 7 and so can be practised along with the backing track. I haven’t edited the list because I want to avoid forcing my taste upon you – I want you to decide.

Have some fun experimenting and then choose your favourites! Next Lesson – Melodic Minor Modes. Superlocrian Scale.

Lydian Scale. Neck Diagrams

Lydian Scale Neck Diagram

Round up (triads, arpeggios and pentatonics):

From C:

Lydian scale from C

It’s a part of lesson Modal Study. The Lydian Scale Flat 7

Below you can download a full copy of

The Lydian Scale Flat 7 lesson with backing track for free


14 December 2012 0 comments
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