5 Easy Lydian Guitar Licks You Should Know

By Tom Hess


The Secret To Adding Fire &
Emotion To Any Guitar Lick
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What is it about the Lydian mode that guitarists just love?

Why do Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and many others use it in so many of their solos?

And how can you use the Lydian scale to get that awesome dreamy sound in your playing too?

This article & video show you how.

And as you’ll soon see:

...it’s not as hard as you might think.

You don't have to be an advanced guitar player to play in Lydian mode.

Nor do you have to know a lot of music theory.

Once I show you the basic principles...

...you can have a lot of fun with the Lydian scale, starting today.

To begin, check out the video below.

Learn these 5 awesome Lydian licks I show you and use them in your next guitar solo:



Here is how to get the most out of the 5 Lydian licks you just learned:

Tip #1. Pay Attention To Your Lead Guitar Phrasing


The Secret To Adding Fire &
Emotion To Any Guitar Lick
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Phrasing is about how you play the notes. Ever notice how 2 guitar players can play the same solo with the same notes and sound totally different?

Phrasing is what makes the difference.

How do you refine your phrasing?

Pay attention to nuances of: vibrato, slides, bends, muting and articulation. Listen carefully to the phrasing of my examples in the video and do your best to match it.

(If you don’t want to “sound like me” – that’s ok. You can always change your phrasing later to whatever style you like. But changing your phrasing is much easier than developing it from scratch.)

Watch this video to see what I mean by “matching phrasing nuances”:
 


 

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Tip #2. Transpose Other Guitar Licks To Lydian

This is a fun exercise you can practice for weeks and never get bored.

Do this:

Take any major key guitar lick you know. Find where the 4th scale degree is. And raise it ½ step (1 fret) to #4.

Important:

“Scale degree” means the note in the scale. NOT: “the 4th note you play in a lick”.

For example: if you have a guitar lick in C major – look for the “F” note (the 4th scale degree). Raise all the “F” notes to F# to change the lick to Lydian.

 

Question: “Tom Hess, what if I have a guitar lick in some minor key? (Say E natural minor)? Can I change it to Lydian too?”

Answer: Yes, of course. Find scale degrees b3, 4, b6 and b7. Raise them all by ½ step (1 fret) to transpose your natural minor lick to Lydian.

If you want more help with this – I can help you in breakthrough guitar lessons.
 

Guitar Practice Circuit

Tip #3. Practice “Milking” The #4th And the 7th Note

The #4 note in Lydian is ½ step below the 5th note. And the 7th note is ½ step below the root note.

These half step intervals contain much of the emotion & dramatic feeling of this mode.

And you can “milk” these half steps using dramatic, slow bends.

Want to see the difference this makes in your playing? Check out this video:
 



Tip: wrap your thumb around the neck of the guitar when you bend strings. This makes bending (and vibrato) easy to do. See this photo:
 

Guitar vibrato hand position

Tip #4. Write Riffs With The Lydian Mode

Remember our talk about transposing guitar licks into Lydian mode?

You can do the same with guitar riffs. Either write your own riffs (using the Lydian mode) from scratch…

… or transpose riffs you already know into Lydian from other keys. (The process is exactly the same as described earlier for lead guitar licks.)

This is a super easy & fast way to create songwriting ideas when you are stuck.

Now you know easy ways to use the Lydian scale to play more creative guitar licks & riffs.

What next?

The next step is to add fire & emotion to every note of your guitar licks, so you sound great even if you can't play fast yet. I show you how in my free eGuide on playing guitar with emotion. Grab it now and learn the secrets of lead guitar playing most guitarists never know.


Tom HessAbout Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.

Learn electric guitar with rock guitar lessons online.

 

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