This is a great one to easily generate a Lydian sound over a major 7 chord by using none other than a guitarist’s best friend: the minor pentatonic scale, which is a great way to use modes without even thinking about them!
What we’re going to do is play a minor pentatonic scale a half-step down from the root of the chord, which is easier than it sounds.
Let’s take a D Major 7 chord at the 5th fret.
Then we lay the C# Minor Pentatonic scale right over it.
It fits like a glove to give us a Lydian scale with no root and the intervals: 2, 3, #4, 6, 7.
Load up your looper with a Dmaj7 chord and try it out, if you don’t have a looper treat yourself to one from Amazon.
You’ll be glad to know that we can do this with all the other patterns from the minor pentatonic to create our rootless Lydian pentatonic scale up and down the neck, or right under whichever your go-to major 7 chord is.
Here’s the adjacent major 7 chord and lydian pentatonic.
Here’s the classic minor pentatonic box 1 now functioning as the rootless Lydian pentatonic scale.
I’ll leave you to work out the other two patterns and chords, and if you want to use this with other tones just remember that it’s the minor pentatonic a half-step down from the root of the major 7 chord. You can also use this idea over major 9 and major 7#11 chords.
If, like me, you’re also obsessed with pentatonics, check out our FREE eBooks, Pentatonic Soloing System and the Pentatonics Handbook.