In continuation of the topic of modes and modal playing, the next stop on our journey will involve examining the Lydian mode: the fourth of the diatonic modes. This mode happens to be one of my favorite-sounding modes, because it tends to have a bit of a dark and mysterious sound to it, and depending on how it's used in phrasing, it can even create a bit of a soothing, and (for lack of a better term) "air-y" type sound. Believe it or not, it's probably already a sound that you're pretty familiar with, as the theme song from "The Simpsons" is often used in teaching the sonic characteristics of this mode; another one of my favorite examples of the Lydian mode is found in Joe Satriani's "Flying in a Blue Dream." So, without further ado, sit back back, relax, and prepare to delve deeper into the Lydian mode.
What's so interesting about the Lydian mode is that it's nearly identical to the Ionian mode, or the Major scale, with the exception being its sharpened fourth interval.
Lydian Mode/Scale Formula:
2. Major 2
3. Major 3
5. Perfect 5
6. Major 6
7. Major 7
Interestingly, while the major 3rd provides the Lydian scale/mode with a "happy" sounding quality, its #4 -- depending on how you look at it -- can also be considered to be a b5 (I know, don't think too far into it, music theory can begin to really hurt your brain after a while), which creates what's known as a "tritone" or "the devil's interval," thus creating its mysterious quality.
Okay, enough talkin' about it already, and let's get to tinkering with it. In the following groove in C Lydian, aim for the chord tones (as always), which, in this case are:
Major 3rd (E)
Major 5th (G)