Tag Archives: lydian dominant guitar lesson

Lydian Dominant – 10 Licks – What is the Best Arpeggio?

This video is going over 10 Lydian Dominant Guitar Licks each one with a different arpeggio that you can add to your own vocabulary. I will also first cover what common chord progressions have Lydian Dominant chords, and some solid Lydian b7 chord voicings.

Some of the arpeggios that I cover are sus4 triads, quartal harmony and some non diatonic melodic minor arpeggios. There are many great options for getting some new sounds over these chords.

Lydian Dominant Scale

The first thing to cover is what the Lydian Dominant scale is. All the examples in this article are using a G7(#11). The scale is a mode of the melodic minor scale found on the IV. This means that G lydian b7 is D melodic minor from G to G. The scale is shown here below:

3 Lydian Dominant Progressions

There are three common lydian dominant progressions. The Tritone Substitute, the backdoor dominant and the V of V in a major key.

Below all three are shown.

First the G7 is the tritone substitue of Db7 in a II V I in Gb major. 

The second example in that line is a IV bVII I in A major where G7 is the backdoor dominant or bVII.

G7(#11) Chord Voicings

Below are some common and playable voicings for a G7(#11) that all fit in the G Lydian b7 sound.

Lick 1 – DmMaj7 Arpeggio

The first example is using the minor melodic connection by using a DmMaj7 arpeggio in the line. This also fits with the context since it is a G7 that is resolving as a backdoor dominant up to Amaj7. The arpeggio on the Amaj7 is the top part of a Herbie Hancock Arpeggio

Lick 2 – F augmented Triad

The F augmented triad is also an integral part of the G lydian b7 or D melodic minor. In this example the G7 is again resolving to Amaj7 and the F augmented arpeggio is used in the 2nd half of the bar.

Lick 3 – Fmaj7(#5) arpeggio

This example is using the G7 as a tritone substitute in a II V I in Gb major.

The G7 line is a combination of two arpeggios, first the Bø which is the arpeggio from the 3rd of the G7. This nicely leads into an Fmaj7(#5) arpeggio that really spells out the extensions of the G lydian dominant with the #11(C#) and 13(E)

Lick 4 – A7 arpeggio

This example is a longer line on a G7 resolving as a backdoor dominant back to Amaj7.

The first part of the G7 line is really build around a Dm triad arpeggio and this is followed by two arpeggios first a descending A7 and then an ascending Bø that resolves to the maj7th(G#) of Amaj7.

Lick 5 – Gsus(#4)

If you explore the diatonic sus4 triads in D melodic minor you will come across this great sounding arpeggio: Gsus#4. This sound is very distinct and as you can hear it is a great candidate for a G lydian b7 sound.

The example starts with a chromatic enclosure, then a Dm melody and from there continues with a Gsus(#4) arpeggio resolving to Amaj7.

Lick 6 –  A(add9) or A major Coltrane Pattern

The first part of this line is an Fmaj(#5) followed by a Dm melodic scale run. From here it continues with an A Coltrane Pattern that is repeated in the octave and finally resolves to the 7th(/F) of Gbmaj7.

Lick 7 – G7(b5)

The G7(b5) arpeggio is a clear candidate for the Lydian sound since the arpeggio is contains the #11 (or b5). Notice how G7(b5) is not strictly a diatonic arpeggio in D melodic minor.

In this example I am using G7 as a tritone substitute in Gb major again.

The G7b5 is played as a pattern and the entire bar is filled up by this pattern.

Lick 8 – A7(#5)

The A7(#5) is one of my favourite arpeggios in melodic minor, and in fact there are two dom7th(#5) arpeggios in there.

This example is using a IV bVII I progression in A major where the G7 is the bVII.  The entire line on the G7 is taken up with an ascending A7(#5) arpeggio and resolves via the F down to the 5th(E) of Amaj7.

Lick 9 – C#7(#5)

The other Dom7(#5) arpeggio is the C#7(#5). In this example I amusing that in a line where the G7 is a tritone substitute for Db7 in Gb major. 

Again the arpeggio is clear enough to be the only thing I am using on the G7.

Lick 10 – G major b5

The forgotten triad or G major b5 is also a good arpeggio to get the Lydian b7 sound across. In this example I am combining it with first a Dm triad then the G(b5) arpeggio and then I resolve that to an Amaj7.

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