Modes lesson 4 – The Phrygian mode

 

The Phrygian mode – This blog will deal with the next minor mode of the major scale; the phrygian mode. Like the dorian mode, the phrygian mode is minor. While the dorian mode is bright sounding, the phrygian mode is dark and exotic. While the dorian mode is easy to understand and apply, the phrygian mode has its challenges.

The Phrygian scale is the third mode of the seven modes.

Below is the Phrygian mode in E major and how it relates to an E major scale

I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
I
E Major
E
F#
G#
A
B
C#
D#
E
E Phrygian
E
F
G
A
B
C
D
E
Modal Equation
1
b2
b3
4
5
b6
b7
E

The scale has a spanish flavour to it but is also used in Heavy metal songs by players such as Yngvai Malmsteen.

You need to be very careful to use certain notes of the scale like the b2nd and b6th as they are not notes to “rest on”.  By that I mean they should be used as passing notes.  The best way to practice using this scale is to practice licks over a backing track like the one below.

Modes lesson 4 – The Phrygian mode

 

 

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