A Lydian Flat Seven Workout

In a recent post on the lydian flat seven scale, I explored the theory behind the scale, and I promised that I’d have more to say in the future.

I’m as good as my word, and am back with something you can wrap your fingers around in the woodshed. Click on the image to enlarge a little exercise I put together that explores a few of the ins and outs of the lydian flat seven scale. It’s nothing fancy, just something you can work with that will help open up your ears to the scale’s colors and possibilities.

The scale is a G lydian flat seven scale. For best results, play it with some kind of harmonic accompaniment sounding a G7+ll behind it. An Aebersold CD or Band-in-a-Box is ideal. Transpose according to the requirements of your instrument.

By the way, the lydian flat seven scale also works beautifully when you’re soloing on two major-minor seventh chords that are a major second apart. The A section of the tune “Killer Joe” is a classic example, with it’s repeated, I7-bVII7 pattern.

But getting back to the exercise, please note a couple points of interest. In the eighth bar, I take a momentary excursion to the augmented scale, just to slip outside and add a bit of color. And in bars 11 and 12, I inject some chromaticism by using a favorite lick of mine based on the C#+7(#9). The chord is the tritone-substitute for G7+11, and since the same scale works for both of them, the lick transfers nicely.

By now, the more observant of you will have noticed that the exercise is seventeen bars in length. There’s a reason for that, a deep, cryptic logic that is too difficult to explain here other than to say that I wasn’t thinking and seventeen bars is what I wound up with. Deal with it. And have fun!

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