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Lesson Series

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Danny Gill - Keeping Up With The Chords Part 1: Switching From Minor To Lydian

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 56 **

Hello everyone and welcome to this column! We’re going to start off with the first in a 2 part series in which we will analyse a few chord progressions and figure out some soloing approaches.

This is from a tune of mine called ‘Per’ that will be on a Lick Library Signature Sessions DVD. If you want to dig further into this stuff, please check out the DVD/stream at licklibrary.com

The chords:

Cm Abmaj7#11 Bbsus2 Dbsus2

The Scales:

I’m going to use the C Natural Minor scale for the first three chords (Cm, CMaj7#11, and Bbsus2).*

For the fourth chord, Dbsus2, the keyboards are playing Dbadd9 #11, so I’m going to switch to Db Lydian. Any Major chord with a #11 is a dead giveaway for Lydian. **

What’s the Difference?

There is only one note that separates Db Lydian and C Minor. Can you spot it?

C Natural Minor: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb

Db Lydian: Db, Eb F, G, Ab, Bb, C

You got it...C Natural Minor contains the note D and Db Lydian contains Db. All of the other notes are common to both keys.

Words of wisdom

As you approach the chords take advantage of all of the common tones; try to find a melody and don’t stress out too much about the key change. However, you probably want to avoid the D note over the Dbsus2 chord. Enjoy the jam, and we’ll see you for part 2!

Additional Notes

* Another name for the C Natural Minor scale is the C Aeolian mode. This scale is usually referred to simply as ‘the Minor scale’. For more info on the Aeolian mode check out: http://www.licklibrary.com/store/danny-gill/26609/the-modes-aeolian-michael-schenker

**If you are not familiar with the Lydian scale here is a quick lesson: Db Lydian is the 4th mode of Ab Major. If you want to think of Minor scales, Db Lydian has the same notes as F Natural Minor.

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