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Watch the Week 4: Lydian Dominant | Introduction online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Modal Mother Lode Alpha

The Lydian Dominant Mode

Lydian dominant (AKA Lydian b7 and/or Mixolydian #4) brings in a new modal family - melodic minor - to the Alpha zone. It's the 4th mode of melodic minor and the first mode in the course to have multiple alterations as compared to the Ionian template. Not by coincidence I chose this mode next because its two alterations you've worked with already: #4 and b7. It's edgy and hippie-like all at the same time and goes like this:

1 2 3 #4 5 6 b7

Whatever fingering challenges you came up against in Mixolydian and Lydian are coming at you at the same time now. Guess what else is coming at you at the same time? Tritones! The melodic minor modal system just happens to produce TWO tritones within all its scales. Double the pleasure and double the flavor - dig it! When it comes to a cool altered approach to dom7 and don7#11 chords Lydian dominant is a great choice that's not too heady, but still very cool.

The Rock Lick
Lydian dominant brings back the adjustments Mixo- called for while retaining the ones Lydian brought forth. Sorta bringing twice the havoc! Make use of everything you worked on throughout those two rock lick environments. At the close the C7sus#4(2) will help finish off this introduction to the sound of Lydian dominant just right.

The Funk Vamp
Like the rock lick all the fanfare that both Mixolydian and Lydian brought to the funk vamp is combined into two sets of eight bar goodness. Given the double fun of two tritones within the same scale you have even more altered 4th instances in the chords. And, that's not all. You have something especially peculiar to chew on - a diminished 4th! That's right, a b4. While there's no real musical purpose for such weirdness it does come to light here in order to make an accurate parallel comparison to the Ionian template. In actuality that d4 is just merely a major 3rd/. Think of it as a useless enharmonic doppleganger! Once you get through all that have fun with the challenging C7#11/F# in the final bar.

The Blues Solo
Lydian dominant gets one more chance to double your pleasure with both Mixo- and Lydian aspects in one fun 12-bar blues solo. It's all here for you to swing and what have you through a vertical soloing approach. You get the grainy goodness of Mixolydian and the piquant seasoning of Lydian all in one!