Joe Satriani Style Lydian Mode Solo


The Lydian Mode is perhaps my most favourite scale. It was the first exotic scale I ever learnt, and really stood out from the Pentatonic stuff I knew. That, and the fact that the first Joe Satriani track I ever heard used it, make this scale give me a warm, nostalgic, cuddly feeling all over (yes I’m weird!).

Like the Ionian Mode, the Lydian Mode is also a Major Scale, but it differs only by one note, a sharp 4th, verses a perfect 4th of the Ionian Mode. The 4th has a very unresolved sound: think of sus4 chords – the 4th always wants to resolve back to the 3rd. Because our emphasis is on the sharp 4th of the Lydian Mode, the scale has a strange twist, and a slightly unresolved sound. But at the same time it has a very majestic, even mystical flavour to it.

When writing solos and melodies, you don’t want to go straight in with all guns blazing, so notice how the piece is built – the first verse is very subtle with lower register phrases, and then it gradually builds to high register bends in the second verse.

Near the end there are ‘lazy’ legato lines which push this piece into the Advanced category. Try not to be put off by the note groupings. Just try to feel the licks, not trying to group the lines on specific beats. That’s what I did, which is why you’ll notice that the timing of the tab for those parts are perfectly in sync with my playing.

As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!

Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!

Watch the video:

Play along with the backing track:

Read the tab:

Joe Satriani Style Lydian Mode Solo

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