Jamie Holroyd Guitar

Jamie Holroyd Guitar

3 Lydian Patterns Every Guitarist Should Know

3 Lydian Patterns Every Guitarist Should Know

This article explains 3 Lydian patterns that are arranged for guitar. Within any jazz guitar scale, there are usually several patterns ‘hidden’ that can be used to make the scale sound more interesting.

Before looking at the Lydian patterns in this lesson, it is essential that you are comfortable with playing the Lydian scale on the guitar. The following chart shows a Lydian scale shape that starts with the root on each of the bottom 3 strings of the guitar using the same fingering for each position.

The numbers below each note are finger numbers. Practice playing through these three Lydian scales in different keys on the guitar neck.


Lydian Scale Shape


Besides knowing single octaves of the Lydian scale across the neck, it is important to be able to play two octaves of the Lydian scale in one position.

The following chord diagram shows two seperate two octave fingerings for the Lydian scale on the bottom two strings of the guitar neck.



Lydian Scale 2 Octaves


Lydian Patterns Example 1


Every scale in music contains different triads within it that can take your jazz guitar improv to the next level. This Lydian patterns example was created using two the triads that are a tone apart within the Lydian scale.

In this Lydian patterns example those triads are G and A.

Besides practicing scales on the guitar it is important to write them down in notation. The following example shows how I found the two triads within the Lydian scale.


Lydian Scale Triads


These two triads work well because the G triad contains the important chord tones of G. The A triad contains the upper extensions such as the 9th, #11, and 13th.

Because triads are groups of 3 notes they work well using 3 note rhythm patterns. This first Lydian patterns example shows how these two triads can be played using the Kurt Rosenwinkel Rhythm.

Practicing triad pairs this way develops picking technique and creates rhythmical interest in your improvisation.

Lydian Patterns 1Example 1


Lydian Patterns Example 2


This next Lydian pattern example is a two note per string pattern that repeats itself across the guitar neck. This example isn’t completely from the Lydian scale because there is a D#.

This gives a Lydian Augmented colour to the Lydian Patterns example.

Because this lick contains no 7ths it will work over any type of G chord. This Lydian patterns example will provide a different colour against each chord type. Experiment with practicing the pattern over each one.


Lydian Patterns 2Example 2


Lydian Patterns Example 3


Using the minor pentatonic a semi-tone down from the root is an effective way to create a maj7#11 sound.

This final lydian patterns example shows this technique in action. Besides using jazz patterns within the pentatonic scale, blues licks will also work well.


Lydian Pattern 3Example 3


Lydian Patterns Practice


Practice ascending and descending through this Lydian patterns example. Once it can be fluently have a go at creating your own patterns using these two triads together in different areas of the guitar neck.

Because these Lydian Patterns all use constant rhythms, have a go at gear changing through the different rhythmic subdivisions.

Click here to listen to an example of me doing this with Lydian Patterns Example 2.

Use this free backing track to practice the patterns with.

What do you think of these Lydian Patterns? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Be Sociable, Share!



Thank you.. very helpful and inspiring

Jamie Holroyd

No worries thanks for checking it out!

Leave a Comment


Charlie Christian plays that in over the IV in the Sheik of Araby, I thought it was just an augmented thing but it makes more sense as a Lydian thing.

Leave a Comment

David Price

Thank you for your collection of Lydian scales and patterns. However, you did not say over which chords they might be played. Do we play a C scale over a F chord producing a flat 5th on the F chord (B)? - meaning that to produce a Lydian sound we play a major scale built on the 5th note above the chord we are playing. Should we think of it in these terms as mostly I hear the "Lydian is built on the 4th note of the scale" not the 5th?
I'm a bit confused.

Leave a Comment

richard Bourne

great things to know when you lock into the mode

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment