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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Modes: Phrygian

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Modes: Phrygian Analysis.
Okay let's get into the Phrygian mode.
It's kind of a mysterious sounding mode.
It starts on the third degree,
all right, of the scale
So, C scale
Started from the E,
the third degree
Got quite a distinctive sound,
I like this one.
And let's do the one that starts
up here on the 12th fret.
Now, the phrygian mode has
a characteristic sort of
you might say Spanish sound, because it
starts off with a flatted second degree.
Now remember,
we're coming from the C major scale but
when I talk about a flatted second degree,
I'm actually comparing it to
the major scale starting on E rather
than the C scale starting on E.
It's a little confusing I know but
I just wanna reiterate.
That when I talk about the characteristic
sound, the characteristic color of a mode,
I'm comparing it to what it would be
like if it was a regular major scale,
or even another kind of minor scale.
So, it is also a minor scale,
because the 3rd
is f, is a flat 3rd.
It's not
And the first,
very first step is a half step,
because you're going from the E to the F,
So that gives it a very
strong characteristic
it almost sounds like a Flamenco or
Spanish sound right away,
just by doing that.
And if we compare it to E major
it's very different, right?
Because the first step
would be a whole step,
would be a major 3rd
and that's where the difference would end
because then the next
the 4th and the 5th stay the same.
That's the case in all
the modes except one.
And then the six degree is also lowered
whereas in a major
would be that.
It's a half step.
And the seventh degree is also lowered.
So everything's altered,
everything's lowered here, except for
the fourth and the fifth, so we have
So that's the, the C scale
starting from E.
Going to E.
And if we compare it.
To the E major scale, okay,
just for comparison only
quite different.
What a different sound, right?
I just wanna do that because
it sounds kinda Spanish.
So the color is a dark
kind of moody color,
very nice, warm and romantic.
And the chord sequence if we
were to go up the chords from
because there's that half step,
the next chord
is actually a major 7 chord.
E minor 7 to F major 7,
just play that a few times
Try it in different
Now, another thing to make it even sound
more phrygian in a way, more, you know,
in that, that real characteristic color
sometimes we use something called a pedal.
A pedal means when you keep one base note,
and maybe change chords on top of it.
You might have a series of chords,
and someone would say,
well let's do it over a,
a, D pedal, or a G pedal.
What that means is the bass tone, is gonna
stay the same for an eight-block phrase,
or a 16-block phrase, and
the chords are gonna change above it.
That's called a, a,
a bass pedal, or a pedal.
So, I would like to try this over a pedal,
over an E pedal
Okay, so
what that means is I'm gonna just let that
E ring change the chords on top of it.
Let's hear how that
See it even has more of that tension that,
that romantic tension
of that Spanish sound.
Let's try leaving both E strings open,
the low and the high,
and see how that sounds.
It's very rich sounding, right?
And you can even go down here and
play like,
take an F major 7
right, an F major 7 in root position down
here the old way we all learned
it in the beginning, right?
And let's make it,
make it a little more exotic and lift up
Even the, the first finger,
just use these two notes
And play that over E
That's phrygian sound,
like an F major 7 over E,
and you can move that around like E minor
Move around like the, the chord,
the diatonic chords
Right, remember that's that sequence
But now we're starting
it on the third degree
And moving in between the first three,
back and forth
Okay, so that's the phrygian sounds very,
very strong.
And you see that even
though we're just using
the notes of the C major scale,
we're starting it from E,
sounds very phrygian.
Okay, now let's take a shot with
the play along track on this.
I have a beautiful piece that Brian Dunn
laid down a great Latin groove,
and John Patitucci and
Andy Esrongave us a really nice moody
vamp on that sort of E, E pedal.
As I mentioned, pedal with it F and
F major 7 G, tonality moving on top of it.
And it's, it's a lot of fun to play with.
I'll try to play it through as many
of the positions on the guitar
using the Phrygian mode as I can.
So let's give it a try.
Fun with Phrygian.
Here we go.
the pinky
on the C
One more.
Another position
Up here in the pinky position.
Let's do some Spanish
kind of twirls and thrills.
a little
out of
the scale
So there's, there's
a nice example you
can play along with me.
Please take that play along track and
do your own thing on it.
And have a lot of fun with it,
it's a really moody piece.
You saw I went out, I played an F-sharp.
Bad chuck.
Anyway, have fun with Phrygian and
let's move on to the next one, Lydian.