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Lydian scale/pattern...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Christofolo, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Christofolo


    Mar 17, 2012
    Miami, FL

    I have been playing bass for about a year now but have gone a bit stagnant so I went back to go through some scales. My guitar friend told me to try out the Lydian scale as he wants to practice some jams with me in C#

    I have my 4-stringer tuned C#G#C#F# and while I do understand the notes have now moved around I am having trouble grasping how the scales apply now. I've heard before that you just need to know the pattern but I notice different instruction sources giving me conflicting advice..can anyone clarify this please?
  2. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    First question. Are you locked into that C#G#C#F# tuning? Reason I asked; I've never run up on that tuning before and if you have an altered tuning all the standard tuning box patterns will not work with that altered tuning you are using. As most of the box patterns you find in books, or the Internet, are for standard tuning. Lose that altered tuning and life becomes much simpler. I know I'm probably missing something here, but, I've never seen that tuning before, there must be a reason you chose that one, why are you using that specific tuning? Moving on......

    C# major scale is C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, B#.
    C# Lydian is the same, but, with a raised 4th or the F# is raised to a G. That is a piece of cake with a standard tuning pattern. Or if you are a note person - just use C#, D#, E#, G, G#, A#, B#.
    Bass Box Patterns based upon standard tuning:
    Major Scale Box. 
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string
    Place the R on a C# note and move the 4th up a fret 
    to where it is right under the 7 and you get C# Lydian.
    But, with your altered tuning, you will have to work up a box pattern for that tuning. Thus my question are you locked in with that altered tuning?
  3. Christofolo


    Mar 17, 2012
    Miami, FL
    As of right now I am just playing in the said tuning and none other so I imagine I'm locked lol

    Seeing how it goes I will have to figure out the pattern to make it work in lydian scales which I can do its just gonna take me time to get used to.

    The reason for being in this tuning is my guitar friend (played for like7 years already, me one...huge skill gap) wants me to play in this tuning so we can jam and play metal songs. At first I figured 'okay- drop D' and he instead tells me to go C#G#C#F# but its proven a bit annoying so far.
  4. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    I think your friend needs to stick with the 6 string guitar and let you play your four string like it was intended to be played. If all he wants is for you to play in C# Lydian. Use what ever pattern you are using now and play the C# major scale ---- and raise the 4th one fret - if you ever get around to using the 4th.

    Modes --- Uggauggh......... Some of you mode guys tell him what to do.
  5. Christofolo


    Mar 17, 2012
    Miami, FL
    That is what gets me, I actually like the songs he brings up and when I look up the notations the tuning for the bass is in that altered tuning. I mean I can see how it would favor the deeper sounds but what are you suggesting? I just bring it up to drop D?

    Funny enough my musical tastes hardly touch the range of metal he is into, I fit more into RHCP, incubus, and primus type stuff.
  6. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    Looks like your guitar player is down tuned to dropped c. The tuning you are in is the same as dropped d but two flats lower. And ridiculous for bass. IMO. You could get a five string to get that low and play in standard tuning.
  7. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I should say, there's nothing wrong with tuning like that. I know a lot of metal bands are doing that these days. My kids band plays like that and it sounds good. I just don't think it's necessary for bass, but I'm old and haven't played metal in over 20 years.

    To make that tuning standard(ish) you would bring the low c up to d. Then the scale patterns will work.
  8. chadgrimes


    Jan 11, 2013
    I was asked to come check this thread out to help.
    In my very humble opinion, seeing that you have only one year experience on bass, I would learn to read bass notes and play bass in STANDARD TUNING. E A D G.
    I'm always amazed at how many new players get crazy with weird tunings and haven't even learned one percent of standard tuning. There is so much to learn and do in standard tuning.
  9. jchrisk1


    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I agree.
  10. Christofolo


    Mar 17, 2012
    Miami, FL
    I'm actually trying to get my own practice in along with his style but I think I'm trying to please too many people here, He wants to get a band going but its really a pipe dream for him since he is trying to fill a void in his head right now. I just know bringing that up would be a bad idea lol

    Good stuff though, I learned more about these altered tunings outta all this! thanks all
  11. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    Consider this. On the piano, C to C on the white notes is C major. Now, F to F on the white notes is F Lydian. Do you see that in order to find a pattern for F Lydian you can think down a perfect fourth and play like a major scale?
  12. Some of you guys over think alternate tunings. Drop c# was used a lot by Tony Iommi. It is an Eb tuning with the lower string dropped a whole step for one finger power chords. Tony did it this easy for lower tension because he had list parts of his fingers and find some workaround.

    OP, do you know how to count the notes on the fretboard? How about your intervals? Learn your C# major scale. Learn what the notes are and make your own scale pattern. Then raise the 4th note by a half step. In this case from F# to F##, enharmonic with G
  13. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    Can I just make a comment on your note naming convention, first E# is F and secondly B# is C. Thank you and have a great day....:hyper:
  14. Convention as I know it would dictate the Lydian scale is C# D# E# F## G# A# B#

    Typically you only have one of each note... Otherwise you would have an F and an F# and whenever you notated it you would have to notate if you mean the F (the 3rd) or the F# (the 4th). Or in the case of the Lydian Scale, the G and the G#. That's the reason for the nasty sharps that are present.
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Why not just notate it Db-Eb-F-G-Ab-B-C? Seems a little more conventional to me... unless you insist on playing C#...
  16. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    No. C# Lydian is spelled: C#, D#, E#, F##, G#, A#, B#

    Note: There is a symbol for "double sharp" (it's not available on this forum). It looks somewhat like an "X".


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

    * * * *

    Learn the INTERVALS, not the note names.
  17. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    If you know enough theory you would understand why you must say E# and B# (as well as Fb and Cb sometimes, and use double sharps and flats). I don't feel like explaining it all now. Later.