Wednesday, May 20, 2009

C Lydian Blues

What the heck is modal blues? The truth is, Blues, as we traditionally know it, is a mixed mode. But how can we understand a mixed mode if we don't know the modes on their own?

A lot of music teachers make a lot of hay about the Modes of the Major Scale! Here's the first of a series of lessons on these modes. I'll be starting by taking on the modes in the key of C from light to dark, with a trek through a familiar twelve bar form in each mode.

The 'lightest' or 'brightest' of the modes is Lydian. A major scale with a raised 4th degree: F# instead of F. One sharp, no flats. In fact, some musicologists could argue that the key signature I've given here is wrong. However I didn't want there to be any ambiguity. This tune is in C Major, Lydian Mode.

Sing a major scale and then raise the 4th degree.

Do Re Mi Fi Sol La Ti Do

To many western ears, this sounds a little exotic when sung like this. But getting to know this sound well will really help you understand secondary dominants and some other common practice period stuff.

Here's a 12 bar blues to jam on while getting to know the sound of the Lydian Mode. Have fun making some melodies and learning some whirlies in Lydian.

Bars 1-4:

Bars 5-8:

Bars 9-12:

All 12 Bars in one shot for your printer.
Click the pic to enlarge:

Advancing Guitar Lessons: Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun for Beginners and Beyond


Brian said...

Dan -- nice post. I never thought of combining the Lydian mode with the blues.

I think I see why you're using the D chords in place of the traditional IV chord in the form, but can you explain why you didn't include the raised fourth in any of your C chord voicings.

pluto said...

This is just kind of what I heard in my head when I thought about it.

Plus, I really wanted the tonic chords resolved and unambiguous.

But there's no reason you couldn't play the f# over any of those C maj7 chords giving you the Cmaj7#11. Just make it musical.

Post a Comment

Hello Internet Guitar Pickerdom,

Thanks for reading.

I love seeing strangers say hello at a party, don't you?

So please leave a comment. Say hi.

Even better, ask a musical question about the lesson above.

I might even answer you. Who knows?

Please don't spam me.



Popular Posts

Jam Classes

.38 Special #mm 12 Bar blues 930 club accra acoustic guitar adele advancing guitar lesson aeolian Aerosmith agbekor alexandria VA American Idol Andy Summers arlen roth Arlington arlington guitar lessons arlington VA augmented sixth chords baritone slide guitar barre chords Baseball bass bass wanted beginner beginner chords beginner guitar lessons Blink 182 blink-182 blues blues guitar Bo Diddley bob seger breast cancer breast cancer benefit brian eno CCR changing chords cheap trick chord transitions chris martin classic rock coldplay comping count basie country guitar creativity creedence clearwater Revival CSI D.C. david bowie dcguitar dcguitarlessons death metal derek trucks Diddley Beat diddley bow dire straits dorian drumming earl slick easy guitar ECM eddie van halen electric guitar elvis costello every ewe falls church VA fear of music fever finger style guitar fingerstyle guitar first chords folk guitar Foo Fighters forming chords franz ferdinand freddie green free beginner guitar lessons free concert free downloads free guitar lessons free guitar tab free guitar tablature free music free music lessons fun fundraiser funk funk guitar gear review ghana gimme shelter girl talk gospel music guitar guitar accessory guitar anti-lesson guitar effects guitar hero Guitar Lesson guitar lessons guitar lessons washington D.C. guitar review guitar slide guitar tab guitar voice leading guns n' roses Hallelujah Hank Williams harmonic experience harmony hendrix chord hey jude holiday raffle Home how to practice humor hybrid picking Improvisation ipod management ipod playlists it might get loud jackass guitar lessons knoxville dcguitar jam class chuck berry johnny b. goode jam band jam class jambalaya Jazz jazz comping jazz guitar jazz guitar lesson jazz theory Jeff Buckley jim hall Jimi Hendrix jimmy page Joe Perry john mayer johnny cash johnny marr joke Jonny Buckland julia cameron k Keith Richards Kids music kinewe Law and Order led zeppelin left hand muting lesson video lessons live music blog live music review Lost lou reed lyrics Margot MacDonald mark knopfler masters of the telecaster merriweather post pavillion Michael Jackson Mick Goodrick mick jagger modes muscle memory Music music lessons music review music theory music theory lesson music videos new gear new music octave displacement online guitar lessons open position palm muting paul mccartney paul simon tribute show strathmore peggy lee performance anxiety pete townshend Phillip Phillips phrygian physics police tour Polyrhythms power chords presale code proud mary Purple Haze radiohead rave ray brown reading music red house reggae relaxation rest strokes rhythm changes rhythm guitar rhythmic displacement right hand muting ringo starr rlington VA robbie fulks robert johnson rock guitar rock guitar lessons rockband rockville MD rolling stones roxanne scales Scarborough Fair slide slide guitar slide guitar washington dc guitar lessons "washington dc guitar lessons" arlington va smart playlists solfege songwriting stay positive stephen davis Stevie Ray Vaughan Stewart Copeland Sting stride guitar strum strumming surf guitar surfaris take me out to the ball game taking back sunday talking heads tear teardrop the artist's way the beatles The Black Keys the edge The Grand Candy the hold steady the national The Police the rolling stones the smiths the white stripes the who thebravery tina turner Tour triads twelve bar blues twitter twitter guitar lessons u2 van halen Venus Virgin Fest voice leading W.A. Mathieu walk the line washington washington D.C. washington D.C. guitar lessons washington guitar lessons waterfall Weaving weaving rhythms weezer when the saints come marching in mississippi john hurt who windham hill wipeout writing youtube zen guitar lessons arlington va dcguitar jamclass zz top

Jam Class and Lesson Rates

DC Guitar's Jam Class offers top notch group and private guitar, bass, songwriting and music theory lessons for the Washington, DC Community.

Please email for current lesson rates.

Be sure to ask about Jam Class, too.