The Lydian Scale
Ahh, this is my favourite of the seven church modes we´re sinking our teeth into.
The root or tonic is in F, followed by G, A, B, C, D and E.
When I was kid my brother in law, Mr Kevin Fickling, took sitar lessons
from an indian sitar player who in his turn had taken
lessons from the fabulous Ravi Shankar. I used to wake up to a nice raga
everyday for a summer and I´ve had a crush on Indian music ever since.
The Lydian scale is only one of tons and tons of modes used in this music but
you can at least make sort of a "low budget raga" on the guitar
with this scale. Simply move
the scale from F to D lydian. Tune your low and high E-string down to a D and
the B-string to an A. Use the G-string to play the actual lydian tones but
hit the other strings every now and then to create a discount version of the
many resonance strings of the sitar. The fourth (G sharp in D Lydian) and
major seven (C sharp) the most effective tones to make it sound "raga". Bends
around these tones will make it more colourful. See what you can do.
Another interesting point about the Lydian scale is that the tonic -
fourth was considered being the interval of THE DEVIL (gee...)
during the middle ages. You might have heard the word "tritonus" or diabolus in
musica (The devil in the music), well, that fine interval is it!
If you happened to jerk around on the keys F and B on
the local church organ around the fourteenth century you can bet your ass the
efficient guys from the Inquisition would be knocking at your door within the
next couple of hours. Sometimes, though, it would be nice to have an interval so powerful
you could actually blow someone of the planet! It seems the good ol´ PMRC
(anyone remember them?) thought a little distortion on your guitar, an
occasional earring and long hair would be enough to send you straight to
hell some ten years ago. (Those guys and gals are still out there. Beware...).