'D' Lydian Pentatonic Style Tap Lick with Chris Zoupa

Hey guys check out a cool trick to play a Lydian style pentatonic and add some sexy taps... Cause why not?

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I'm not 100% sure whether the purists will agree with me when I say "Lydian style pentatonic" (and by purists I mean opinionated forum trolling douchebags), but I was messing around with the Lydian mode and trying to blend it in with the Hirojoshi scale sound (which is basically a scale specifically designed for ninjas).

What I came up with was a Lydian lick using minor pentatonic principles and phrasing. For example the minor pentatonic takes the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th from the appropriate minor scale relative to the key e.g. if we were in "A" minor (A B C D E F G) the pentatonic is A C D E G. If we are playing in the "D" Lydian mode (D E F# G# A B C#) and we take the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th notes from that scale (D F# G# A C#) we get a pretty mystical sounding scale. Let's take a look at the lick below (see excerpt below).

The ascend of this scale uses some pretty easily phrased 2 note per string legato patterns. Although the lick has a distinctly Lydian/ninjaesque sound the scale can be voiced pretty similar to hammer ons and pull offs in a rock pentatonic. 

The descend is where things get a little cray cray. We'll need too use taps and hammer ons from nowhere technique which is a pretty cool trick made famous by Greg Howe. Once you get some speed behind this you'll hear quite a bit of Marty Friedman and Jason Becker's Cacophony styled motifs as they used this scale and similar voicing quite a bit.

Hope you guys enjoy the lick. Happy shredding!

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By Chris Zoupa

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the little pics next to the video post..... Zoupa needs to just have his own. I consider him more than family on here, based on his formidable chops, stunning good aussie looks, and super chill personality. Plus i actually like his bands music, between him and Jensen we just need a classical regular on here and this site would be on top for go-to lessons in each genre. Chris, please keep doing what you do best, I ALWAYS look forward to your most recent guitar trip, and your insight there in. Thanks, Zakk
    I think it's okay to call it a lydian inspired pentatonic. At least I know where you're coming from with that. But I'm sure that the trolling douchebags are just trying to set the record straight for musicians who might misunderstand the application of modes due to mislabeling. And I loved the tapping lick, it's a really good exercise. I've been wanting to improve my tappping skills and this is a great speed and accuracy builder, thanks a lot!
    Thanks for the lesson, Chris. There are bits in here I'm weak on, so I'm looking forward to working on this. Excellent as usual.
    Actually, there is a name for this scale - Burrows Hirajoshi Scale. When Western ethnomusicologists "discovered" these scales, they found three different ones (probably each scale was from a different area of Japan), all named hirajoshi, which just translates to "even tuning." This one is the one founded by Burrows in the 70's, but the other two, like the phrygian-esque one that most people are familiar with, were founded in 1947 and 1995, respectively. So you're not wrong at all (it's definitely a five note scale with the characteristic notes of the Lydian mode), but there's a more specific scale name for it that you can use as well Cool lick, by the way - that's the most important part, not all the theoretical and musicology bullshit lol
    ^ if you want to get even more in-depth, hirajoshi scales are technically called Hemitonic Pentatonic Scales, which are just pentatonic scales with one or more semitones. If you don't want to get more technical in terminology, just enjoy the ****ing awesome shred in this video haha \m/
    Pretty interesting, I like how you've taken the minor pentatonic format and made it into a "lydian pentatonic" scale. I'm sure the theory godmothers will chime in with "hurr its note modal modes aren't scales hurr" but it's easy to understand what you meant and how you created it.