Here’s the backing track to last week’s Lydian mode lesson. Again, this track has been extended from the ‘minus one’ track in the original post, with four repetitions of the clean riff, and then another four of the dirty riff.
To solo over this, you’ll need the A lydian mode. This has the same notes as the E major scale, but the root note is an A. If this concept is a bit too weird, you might want to look at my lesson on modes– which might clear things up a bit.
The track itself has no ‘chord progression‘ and instead relies on two riffs. The first of which is played with a clean tone, and the second with overdrive. You can either use this change of riff style as a cue to add variety to your lead lines, or you can play through regardless.
The Clean Section
The riff for the first section is built around an A major chord. I’m just adding notes over the top to emphasise the ‘Lydian’ quality. The main note to emphasise for this mode would be the sharpened fourth degree (D sharp in this case).
Other than this one note, the scale is essentially the same as the major scale. This means it still has the bright, happy sound that you’d expect from the major scale, but without being so cliche.
So, all the long, flowing phrasing you can use with the major scale will work here, too. In fact, in the original solo to this track, I start with a legato idea along one string.
The Dirty Section
The second section is, again, based around an A chord. This time the riff is based around an A power chord- for added heaviness (not that any part of this track is particularly heavy…).
As I mentioned before, you can either use this section to ramp up the intensity of your solo…or just appreciate a bit of variation. Either way, you should not only be listening to the tonality of the underlying chords (in this case that would be ‘Lydian’). It’s also important to follow the rhythms and style of the riffs.
The second part of this riff has a rising section, which might be cool to follow in the lead line. You could even use this as a buildup- first playing the notes in the riff (C# – D# – D# – E), and then harmonising with it (maybe E – F# – F# – G#), and then higher (G# – A – B – C#).
It’s just a suggestion- and of course you should play your own thing! It’s just one idea that uses the underlying rhythms of the riff as inspiration. You could try my idea, or play something totally different, it’s really up to you.
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