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 Post subject: Phrygian pentatonic
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:18 pm 
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Calf Cutter
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Ready to move on to something a bit more exotic? Well, since we've got a good understanding of how to embellish a pentatonic to make it sound different (by changing modes), let's try another one. This time we'll construct a Phrygian pentatonic.

The Phrygian mode is the third mode of a major scale, which also makes it a minor mode. So, with that in mind let's take a look at our good friend the A min pentatonic.

A, C, D, E, G- Root, IIIb, IV, V, VIIb.

Remember that in the Dorian mode we simply added the natural 6th to go from natural minor to Dorian. In this example, we want to make it Phrygian. Let's look at a Phrygian scale in A:

A, Bb, C, D, E, F, G- Root, IIb, IIIb, IV, V, VIb, VIIb

Again, very similar to a natural minor with only a one note difference- The flatted 2nd. This one note gives this scale it's unique flavor, a darker spanish feel. In fact, Phrygian is the mode of choice for Flamenco guitar styles.

To construct our embellishhed pentatonic, we simply take our minor pentatonic scale (in A min):

A, C, D, E, G and add a flatted 2nd to (Bb):

A, Bb, C, D, E, G.

A variation of this scale is often used by metal guitarists by playing a major third instead of minor third. This is called a Phrygian Dominant and would simply be (in Amin):

A, Bb, C# (our Phrygian dominant note), D, E, G

Listen to some of Ritchie Blackmore's music for good examples of the Phrygian mode.


Last edited by sirN on Fri May 19, 2006 5:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 2:58 pm 
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Mr. Electonica Dude
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I always wondered what Ritchie Blackmore was doing when he played.
Trying it out on the keys is easier.

MSG


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 4:06 pm 
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No More Coasters!
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Sometimes I feel so musically dumb.

I play completely by ear. I know the names to maybe 1/3 of the chords that I play. Musical theory discussions go right over my head. On one hand, I feel lucky that I have a good ear for music. On the other, I could play so much better with a bit of training.

I enjoyed reading the posting, despite not really understanding it.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:57 am 
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Calf Cutter
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utah wrote:
Sometimes I feel so musically dumb.

I play completely by ear. I know the names to maybe 1/3 of the chords that I play. Musical theory discussions go right over my head. On one hand, I feel lucky that I have a good ear for music. On the other, I could play so much better with a bit of training.

I enjoyed reading the posting, despite not really understanding it.



I played a couple solos on two songs for a friend at HR. In both songs I wanted to get some modes thrown in there but realized that I was trying too hard to put something in that might not belong. In the end I played two solos using the minor scale with a touch of Phrygian at the end of one. You know, modes can sometimes be over rated. Sometimes you just got to play by ear and do what feels right for the song. If a song cries out for a certain type of feel, then play it. Whether it's a specific mode or not, doesn't matter. Players get way too hung up about playing modes that they tend to sound like the original key anyway. For the song Redemption I played minor until the very last run which turned out to be Phrygian. I didn't even realize it 'cause I was thinking e minor, but in an a minor setting. It just worked.

Anyway, I'm glad that some of you guys enjoyed the posts I did here. But in the end, just play what sounds good and feels right and don't worry too much about whether you're playing a phrygian dominant minor augmented diminished scale! Some of the best solos are simple.


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 Post subject: Re: Phrygian pentatonic
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:06 pm 
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No More Coasters!
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I still play by ear ( 6 years after my original post ).....but I've added some keyboard playing by ear, to my repertoire! I am considering taking piano lessons, and starting them up in the fall for something fun to do. I used to read music when I was 9 ( I took piano lessons for 3 years as a kid ). If I could master some of it then, I'm sure I could learn a bit today!


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