Cool 'C' Lydian Lick With 5 Note Groupings

Howdy shredders. Here's a cool way to use Lydian with 5 note groupings to give your lead interesting flavours and rhythm emphasis.

Ultimate Guitar
The Lydian mode has always fascinated me. I remember hearing Marty Friedman and sometimes Jason Becker use it when I first got into Cacophony and was absolutely blown away. The way they'd use it was eerie, mystical and sometimes extremely oriental sounding.

Before I put this exercise together I was messing around with some pentatonic with 5 note groupings. I remember Shawn Lane said something along the lines of "Using groups of 5s is a great way to throw the rhythm and predictability of straight quavers and semiquavers" without resorting to triplets or a dumb time signature.

So... I found a cool Lydian shape which happened to sound rather sexy in the key of "C." Keep in mind a few of these notes double up on string changes.

I added a pattern with groupings of 5 notes in straight quavers and hey presto! Lydian delight. I definitely think it has a Marty Friedman vibe.

Try figure out a way to implement this scale into your soloing. It'll definitely spice things up a bit!

Enjoy the exercise guys! Happy Shredding!

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By Chris Zoupa

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    this is great, thanks alot! Sounds great! I love these simple lick lessons that you can incorporate into your playing!
    The accurate name for this scale is the Hirajoshi scale. A japanese pentatonic scale. Pentatonic meaning it has five notes in it. It can be used in a C Lydian context, it can also be used in Emin and resolve to E which would make it an aeolian mode, you can also use it Gmaj which would make it Ionian etc.. It is NOT a lydian mode without a context. You are right about Marty and Jason using it but they most often resolve to the Min! For example Marty's Dragon Mistress uses this scale BUT is not a Lydian mode!
    sounds cool,not a fan of the fingering presented
    Damn straight! Especially that jump to 14 in the middle, even though you could just use the 9 that your finger is right over.
    Long time lurker, love your quick tutorials Chris. Signed up to ask this. I'm a theory minimalist so bear with me please. These notes you're using (F# E C B G) from C lydian, are they just notes you liked? Or some form of a pentatonic scale? That's all I have for now. Thanks!
    Yep, it's pentatonic. It's one note off from being the standard pentatonic major scale. Here's why. C Major is C D E F G A B. If you drop the 2nd and 6th notes in the scale, you get C E F G B, which is C pentatonic major. C Lydian is C D E F# G A B. The only difference is the 4th note (F) is raised by 1 fret/semitone (to F#). Thus, if you drop the 2nd and 6th notes, you get C E F# A B, which is the pentatonic scale used in the examples.
    He's using notes from the Lydian mode which is the 5th mode of the major scale. Just google the lydian mode. It's a scale of it's own. If you want to understand modes, there's about 100 or so lessons on this site covering it, although it's pretty rare to find one that really nails it.
    no. C lydian is the 4th mode of G major. I don't know how this guy has all the vids here and he doesn't even know how to use that mode. so here's the why's and how's: in a C major chord: Because it makes the I chord a Cmaj(#11) chord. in a G major chord: Be aware of the dissonance cause by the note C during the Gmaj chord(play the notes G B D C to hear it) Anyway, look at what notes you're playing and see how your notes affect the chord being played. Being mindful of what you play over what chord is essential to good phrasing.
    I know what notes he's using and what scale, just curious why he selected those specific 5 notes.
    pretty cool mode to play with,I am jealous of how well Chris effortlessly plays it in the lesson.