Using pentatonic scales to create major modes: Lydian

Next up: lydian. Lydian can be played over any major or major seventh chord, but NOT a dominant chord. The best thing about lydian, is that there are no sour notes in the scale, so nothing is to be avoided.

So say you have a C major seventh that you will be soloing over with lydian, which in this key is: C D E F# G A B C. The least tense and most inside sounding choice is to use C major pentatonic: C D E G A. The next choice would be G major pent: G A B D E, and the most “lydian” sounding choice would be D major pent: D E F# A B, which gets all the nice “color” notes in one easy combination. Note that the D scale is the only choice that gets the “lydian” note, which is F# in this key.

To transpose, think of your choices as I/I (one over one or in this example C over C), V/I (five over one or G over C), and II/I (two over one or D over C). You can use this to create tension and release over major chords: start I/I (release), then V/I (tension), then II/I (more tension), then I/I (release). Also the V/I choice will sound like release if played after the II/I choice.