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Lydian Dominant Pentatonic Scale: Guitar Tutorial, Licks & Tabs

February 8, 2020


Jack here, Jbf music and guitar lessons, here
we’re looking at the Lydian Dominant Pentatonic; 3 licks in ascending difficulty which show
just a few ways in which you can use it. Derived from Lydian Dominant- the 4th mode
of the Melodic Minor. But, here being a pentatonic uses only using 5 notes. I’m going for C
Lydian Dominant Pentatonic; which has the notes: C, E, F#, G, Bb, C: Root, 3rd, #4th,
5th, b7th, Root. Basically a Dom 7th arpeggio: Root, 3rd, 5th, ,b7th, but with and added
sharp 4th. There’s also a C7 #11 vamp in this video, if you want to try the licks out;
timestamps as usual in the description and pinned comment. A fairly unusual sound, for Rock music; you
could argue Nirvana’s Big Long Now is built on the #4th, so that might not be too bad
a point of reference to get a rough feel of one of the sounds you can get from this scale.
It’s and it’s parent scale, so as to speak; Lydian Domiannt; are more common jazz; which
there a fair number of videos on already, so here we’ll have more of a focus on a
more exotic, rock-based approach. Queens of the stone age’s Josh Homme is quite partial
to this scale, for a bit more on how he approaches it, check out that tutorial. But before the
Licks, here’s the full scale shape: The combination of the #4; 9th fret A string
and 11th fret G string and b7th: 8th fret D string, 11th fret B string; are what give
this interesting scale is unique character; great to throw in when soloing over an lengthy
and static Dom7 chord, or if you want to sneak less common textures into a blues jam; provided
you don’t go overboard, it should just add a little sprinkle of spicy goodness! If you
know the Hirajoshi scale you might notice there is only 1 note difference; that aforementioned
b7th. So, playing it over a Dominant 7, Dom7 #11; #11 being the #4 an octave higher; or
even a major chord; if the dom 7 is implied it will sound a bit more coherent. Ok, that’s
it in a nutshell, on with the licks! Alright, breaking this down, we’ve got;
3rd, Root, 5th,,b7th, 3rd, Root, 5th, 3rd, Root, b7th; moving out of position briefly;
then #4th, with some vibrato then being bent up a semi tone to resolve the lick to the 5th. This lick might give you that dreamy,
time travel, sort of flash back vibe often used in film or TV scores; the backing music
to set moods or provoke an emotional response in the viewer ; arguably maybe more in the
60s-80s than now. It’s really quite close to the whole tone scale; which is just what
it sounds like; a series of whole tones: Root, 2nd, 3rd, #4th, #5th, b7th, Root; since the
notes are equidistant, any of them could be the Root, the lack of clarity or tonal centre.
But yeah, because our Lydian Dominant Pentatonic is similar it can get that type of sound.
Which is probably a bit easier to tap in to on piano, than guitar, just by the nature
of the instrument. And if you want a breakdown of this scale all over the fretboard like
these videos , just let me know in the comments. Ok, going for a more exotic sound here, maybe
leaning in to a slightly psychedelic vibe? The 3rd is being bent up to the #4th; a full
tone, down to the Root, hopping over the A string
to the b7th, and Root. #4th,then Going up the major arpeggio next; 5th, Root, hammering
the 3rd, b7th pulled off to the 5th. Then some tone bends; which will sound pretty cool
as microtonal ones as well; b7th to root, return to pitch, 5th, b7th, 5th. 3rd bent
to #4th , Root, #4th, b7th. A wide vibrato on that last note will hint at the Root, if
you want a bit more stability, a subtle vibrato will give you that mellow, slightly uneasy
b7th resolution. If you’re enjoying this approach of taking a concept at a base level,
then developing it and fancy getting that kind of thing in your feed, let the algorithm
know; give this video a- like, subscribe and click the bell icon. Channelling some vaguely Marty Friedman vibes
for this one here! This is a repeating pattern, split evenly in to half bar chunks- I always
find these sorts of lick are really good for locking the scale in to memory. We’re going
up through it: Root, 3rd, #4th, 5th, #4th, 5th, #4th, 3rd, #4th. Then taking that sequence
on to the next string set: #4th, 5th, b7th, Root, b7th, Root, b7th, 5th, b7th. On to bar
2: b7th, Root, 3rd, #4th, 3rd, 4th, 3rd, Root, 3rd. 3rd, #4th 5th, b7th, 5th, b7th, 5th,
#4th, 5th. Bar 3- 5th, b7th, Root, 3rd, Root, 3rd, Root, b7th, Root, sliding up to the 3rd,
#4th, with some vibrato and tapping the b7th, then bending it up a tone to the Root for
a really strong resolution. So next up the the vamp, I’d suggest playing each note
from the scale and listening to safe or tense if feels in relation
to the backing; generally the Root, 3rd, 5th will feel secure, the b7th a bit less and
the #4th will add that edge! That was the Lydian dominant pentatonic, for
more underused pentatonic scales check out these videos, for some exotic playing ideas
click there, but yeah; if you’ve enjoyed this, want stay up to date with new content,
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1 Comment

  • Reply Jbf Music & Guitar February 7, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    0:00– Intro Licks
    0:19– Lesson Content: Outline & Outcomes
    0:44– Scale Explained: Notes, Intervals & Shape
    2:04– Scale
    3:23– Lick 1
    4:11– Lick 1 Analysis
    5:22– Whole Tone Scale Comparison
    6:25– Lick 2
    7:19– Lick 2 Analysis
    9:07– Lick 3
    10:27– Lick 3 Analysis
    12:20– Jam Track (Full Version: https://youtu.be/4NAj7D1klsI)
    14:05 – Outro

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