Phrygian Dominant Scales

author: Vezdehod date: 04/09/2010 category: for beginners
rating: 6.3 / votes: 16 
The Phrygian Dominant scales are some of the most popular scales in music, especially in the Middle East. The Phrygian dominant scale is widely used in flamenco, as the scale sounds very exotic. Many artists use the scale, including Dream Theater and Joe Satriani. In fact, Satch even once said that this is his favorite scale! The solo in Metallica's 'Wherever I May Roam' is a great example of the scale, along with Iron Maiden's whole song 'Powerslave'. Another example is the solo in Rush's 'YYZ'. So, onto the lesson... You've learned the pentatonic scales, and you've played them to death. You have no idea where else to turn, and you've heard of people referring to all kinds of different scales. There are numerous scales, some incredibly difficult to learn, and some, like the pentatonic, that are simplistic in nature but really fun to play. The Phrygian dominant scale has a kind of Middle Eastern flavor to it. Once you play it, you'll see what I mean. The Phrygian dominant scale isn't really all that different than the pentatonic; the overall shape is similar. Below are the Phrygian dominant scales in F, G, A, B, C, D and E. After you take a quick look at them, I'll explain over what kind of chords you can play the Phrygian dominant scales.
In F:
e|-----------------------------1-2-5-|
B|-----------------------1-2-4-------|
G|-------------------2-3-------------|
D|-------------1-3-4-----------------|
A|-------1-3-4-----------------------|
E|-1-2-5-----------------------------|

In G:
e|-----------------------------3-4-7-|
B|-----------------------3-4-6-------|
G|-------------------4-5-------------|
D|-------------3-5-6-----------------|
A|-------3-5-6-----------------------|
E|-3-4-7-----------------------------|

In A:
e|-----------------------------5-6-9-|
B|-----------------------5-6-8-------|
G|-------------------6-7-------------|
D|-------------5-7-8-----------------|
A|-------5-7-8-----------------------|
E|-5-6-9-----------------------------|

In B:
e|---------------------------------7-8-11-|
B|--------------------------7-8-10--------|
G|----------------------8-9---------------|
D|---------------7-9-10-------------------|
A|--------7-9-10--------------------------|
E|-7-8-11---------------------------------|

In C:
e|----------------------------------8-9-12-|
B|----------------------------8-9-11-------|
G|-----------------------9-10--------------|
D|---------------8-10-11-------------------|
A|-------8-10-11---------------------------|
E|-8-9-12----------------------------------|

In D:
e|-----------------------------------------10-11-14-|
B|---------------------------------10-11-13---------|
G|---------------------------11-12------------------|
D|------------------10-12-13------------------------|
A|---------10-12-13---------------------------------|
E|-10-11-14-----------------------------------------|

In E:
e|-------------------------------------------12-13-16-|
B|----------------------------------12-13-15----------|
G|----------------------------13-14-------------------|
D|-------------------12-14-15-------------------------|
A|----------12-14-15----------------------------------|
E|-12-13-16-------------------------------------------|
The overall shape of the scale isn't that difficult to memorize, just take a few minutes and run over each scale quickly and you'll have it memorized in no time. The tricky part of the Phrygian dominant scale is to learn what chords to use it over. The kind chord that is mainly used over the Phrygian dominant scale is something called the 'dominant seventh chord'. The dominant seventh chord in E looks like this:
e|----|
B|----|
G|-13-|
D|-12-|
A|-14-|
E|-12-|
In case this lesson didn't cut it for you, there's plenty of great videos on Youtube you can check out. Thanks for reading, I hope it helped.
Comments
Your captcha is incorrect