How to Play the Lydian Augmented Mode on Guitar

The lydian augmented mode is the big brother of the lydian mode. It is the same scale except instead of a natural 5 lydian augmented has a #5.

Use this lesson to:

  • Understand the theory behind this scale.
  • Learn the easiest approach to improvising with it.
  • Accustom your ears to its sound.
  • Have fun while learning!

This mode has a very modern sound. Use it wisely, and impress your friends!

The Maj7#5 Chord

Do you know how to play a Maj7#5 chord? Chords and scales go hand in hand. Your first step to learning any mode is to play the chord and tune your ears into its individual sound.

maj #5
A favorite trick of mine is to use a major triad from the 3rd. e.g. on Cmaj7#5, play an E triad. This trick works for chords as well as single note lines. Give it a go, it sounds really hip!

The Scale

melodic minor mode
Can you see how it shares the same notes as Eb lydian but with raised 5th? See how it is a mode of C melodic minor?

Fingering

Here is how to play this scale on the guitar, in two positions. Numbers indicate fingers. The white circle is the root note of the scale. These positions will be similar to your lydian mode positions, just that one different note.

melodic minor mode

melodic minor mode

How to HEAR the Lydian Augmented Mode

To start off with, it is handy to relate this mode back to its parent melodic minor scale. But to really HEAR the unique sound of this mode you need appreciate it as its own entity.

Try this:

  • Forget about the parent melodic minor scale.
  • Record a maj7#5 chord and play through the scale slowly.
  • Accustom your ears its sound.
  • Try this with all your modes, think of each mode as its own unique scale.

To sum up, modes are easy to learn because they share the same notes as each other. But to get your ears around them, think of each mode as a unique scale and key center.

When to Use the Lydian Augmented Scale

  • maj7#5 chords
  • any maj7 chord (for a modern, crunchy sound).

My rule for this mode is: use it on any Maj7 chord. But use it wisely; know what it sounds like before you playing it it. Play around with this scale, and have fun!

Lydian Augmented Summary

ScaleLydian Augmented
ChordMaj7#5
NotesR, 2, 3, #4, #5, 6, 7
C Lydian AugmentedC, D, E, F#, G#, A, B
Chord/ Guide Tones3rd and major7th
Color Tones9th, 13th, #11, #5
Avoid NotesNone
Sam's TipThe is the nasty version of the friendly lydian scale. Check out that #5, wooo! Instant modernness.

Keep Learning

Once you feel comfortable with this scale, here is some further reading I recommend you check out:

More Free Melodic Minor Mode Lessons

Thanks for checking out this lesson, please feel free to leave a comment below with any suggestions or questions you may have.

~ Sam Blakelock | pickupjazz.com

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