Tag Archives: how to play lydian dominant

Lydian Dominant Licks – The Best Modern Arpeggios and Structures

In the Lydian dominant sound you can access a lot of cool sounds and you can put it to use in modal situations, blues, tritone subs and IV minor chords. This video will give you some new ideas and non diatonic arpeggio structures to add to your Lydian dominant ideas. I will use 3 Lydian Dominant Guitar Licks to demonstrate how great the arpeggios work in the context of this sound!

You can use the Lydian Dominant Scale as refreshing and surprising sounds besides the fact that you need for some of the chord progressions you will keep running into in jazz standards and originals.

The Scale and the chord

All the examples in this lesson are using an A7(#11) as the Lydian dominant. The Lydian dominant scale that goes with this chord is the 4th degree of the E melodic minor scale as shown here below:

The first Lydian dominant example – The Gmaj7(b5)

The first example is using two non diatonic arpeggios and a triad pair.

The diatonic arpeggios in E melodic minor are EmMaj7, F#m7, Gmaj7(#5) A7, B7, C#m7b5 and D#m7(b5). Basically the arpeggios you get by stacking 3rds in the scale.

But besides those you can also construct other chords in the scale. One of those is the Gmaj7(b5) which is what I use as the first 4 notes of this example. From there it continues with another non diatonic arpeggio: the A7(b5). After this I continue with a very common triad pair with A and B major triads. This is a very common triad pair to use for melodic minor. The triads are played in 2nd inversion.

Crazy arpeggio ideas – Drop2 and diatonic sus4 arpeggios

The first arpeggio in the second example is using a Drop2 version of the A7(b5) arpeggio. The line continues with a Bsus4 triad.

The combination of Bsus4 and A7(b5) voicing works as one large arpeggio structure. If you want to learn more of this approach you can do so here: Crazy Arpeggios

From the Bsus4 arpeggio the melody continues by moving up to the next diatonic sus4 triad: Asus#4.

The last part of the line is coming out of a G augmented triad idea.

Using them as Tritone dominants or as an altered chord

The previous example resolves to a D#, which you can directly interpret as an Eb, the 5th in Abmaj7. It is important to keep in mind that these lines can be used as tritone dominants or altered scale ideas as well.

Sweeping maj7#5 arpeggios and add some Quartal ideas!

A great arpeggio for the Lydian dominant sound is the maj7#5 arpeggio. For an A7(#11) this is a Gmaj7#5, which I am using as the opening statement in the 3rd example. From here the line continues with an F#m7 arpeggio. 

The 2nd bar is combining two Quartal arpeggios. First from G that you might recognize as an A7(13) chord. From here it continues with the one from C#. Together these two spell out an A7(9,13) sound.

The line ends on a D#. This is also an example of a line that would make a great Eb7alt or tritone guitar lick.

Summing it up

I hope you can use these ideas with some non diatonic arpeggios and quartal arpeggio ideas to expand on your own Lydian dominant vocabulary!

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Lydian Dominant licks

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