Last week we looked at the idea of playing C lydian or C lydian #5 scales over D7 as a basis for improvisation and introduced the concept of the lydian chromatic scale.
We observed that C lydian chromatic scale in ascending order of 5ths is written C G D A E B F# Db Ab Eb Bb F. We can extend the idea of substituting more outer notes for inner notes to form more outer sounding lydian-based (lydian altered) scales in C to play over D7. Remember that the lydian scale is C D E F# G A B based on the first 7 notes (C G D A E B F#) of the lydian chromatic scale in ascending 5ths. With the lydian #5 scale we substituted Ab(G#) for G thus removing the 5th and introducing a #5 into the scale.
Let’s rewrite the C lydian chromatic scale to show the intervals of each note as they are usually written with reference to C.
For the lydian #5 we swapped an inner position 2 for an outer position 9.
Now let’s swap an inner position 5 for an outer position 10 to give a C lydian b3 scale. The resulting scale (C D Eb F# G A B) is the 4th mode of G harmonic major. Played over D7, the combined sound is that of D7(b9).
We now examine C lydian #9. Here we substitute D# (position 10) for D (position 3) with the resulting scale being C D# E F# G A B. Play it over D7. It’s quite cool to my ear even though there is no D. It’s perhaps a little more out than C lydian #5 which swapped a position 9 for a position 2 and C lydian b3 which swapped a position 10 into position 5. You could describe the overall effect of C Lydian #9 over D7 as D7(b9,9) which is a little unconventional.
Next, consider C lydian #9#5. This scale is C D# E F# G# A B. Even cooler. Again, no D but when you play it over D7 you get the sound D7(b9,9,#11).
Just to wrap up for this week think about the following relationships:
C lydian 4th mode of G major
C lydian b3 4th mode of G harmonic major
C lydian #5 3rd mode of A melodic minor
C lydian #9 6th mode of E harmonic minor
C lydian #9#5 6th mode of E harmonic major
The point to note is that the conventional source scales (the major melodic minor, harmonic major and harmonic minor) for these lydian altered scales do not necessarily have a common tonic.
If you are interested in seeing more on this subject, tune in next week to Jammers eNews.
END OF PART 2