Melodic minor modes – Lydian Dominant

Continuing my look at Melodic Minor modes this post covers mode 4, Lydian Dominant. This mode is sometimes called the Lydian b7 or Overtone Scale.

As a matter of interest George Russell in his book The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization calls this scale the Lydian Flat Seventh scale. See this post for details.

Lydian Dominant and non-resolving dominant chords was also discussed in this post.

Scale formula

The formula for the Lydian Dominant scale is:

R - 2 - 3 - #4 - 5 - 6 - b7

You can see this scale is similar to the major scale Lydian mode, the only difference being the b7. The term ‘Lydian’ suggests a #4 and ‘Dominant’ a b7.

Position 1 fingering for the Lydian Dominant scale.


  • Dom7#11

Possible extensions/tensions: 9, 11, 13

Example chords for use with the Lydian Dominant scale.


  • Play over non-resolving dominant chords.
  • Substitute the dom7#11 chord for a ‘backdoor dominant’.

See this post for a discussion of Lydian Dominant and non-resolving dominant chords.

A ‘backdoor dominant’ is a bVII dominant chord that’s used before resolving to the I chord. It also seems common to use a minor iv chord before the dominant bVII.

See also



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