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Tutorial - Major Scale Modes
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Major Scale Modes - Phrygian

Robert Mussatti 91 lessons

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The Phrygian scale is the third mode of the major scale and has a unique sound to it because of the minor second. This mode has a minor tonality because it also has the minor 3rd and minor 7th included. When the minor 2nd is raised an octave, you get a b9, which is called an altered tone.



Here is the list of chords we get when stacking 3rds using the phrygian mode:

1-b3-5= minor triad

1-b3-5-b7= minor 7th

1-b3-5-b7-b9= minor7b9 (not useful)

1-b3-5-b7-b9-11=minor 11b9 (not useful)

1-b3-5-b7-b9-11-b13=minor 11b9b13 (not useful)

Because of the minor 6th and minor 2nd, many of the chords generated by stacking 3rds are not used because these 2 tones sounds very dissonant against a minor sounding chord. This mode does sound good when played over a major chord giving it a nice flamenco flavor and sounds good over sus4 and sus7 chords, but is not obvious because of the minor 3rd in the scale.

Some possible chords formed by combining notes of this mode:

1-b3-b6= minor b6 *(aka Minor#5)

1-b3-b6-b7=minor 7 b6 *(aka minor7 #5)

1-3-5-6-b7= minor 6/7

1-b3-5-b7-11= minor 11th

1-3-5= major triad

1-4-5= suspended 4th

1-4-5-b7= suspended 7th

1-5=power chord

•(the #5 is the enharmonic equivalent of the b6)

Listed below are the fingering patterns for the Phrygian mode and also a Phrygian vamp to get the sound of this mode under your fingers and in your ears:

Vamp #1: (Am7/Bbmaj7) (Use A Phrygian. All black dots on A)

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