#1
okay so i've been messing around with E phrygian lately.

now correct me if i'm wrong, but E phrygian is the third mode of the C major scale right? the notes are E, F, G, A, B, C, and D, right?

so why then is the root chord for this mode E major? E major has an A flat in it (or it could be F#, i dont' remember. i just know it has a note that isn't a white key!!!)

am i thinking about this the wrong way? do modes even have a "root chord"? is there some special rule i'm missing?

everyone knows the common progression E-F-G major right? that's phrygian mode isn't it? why does the E major work?!!!
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#2
E phrygian has the same notes and chord types of C major, but simply resolves to the E instead of the C to give it a different feel.

The root for E phrygian isnt E major, its E minor, just like how Em is in the C major scale.
#3
You are correct in the notes of the phrygian scale and that it is the third mode of the major scale.

However, the root chord is not E major in E phrygian. The E-F-G progression you are familiar with is off the 5th mode of the harmonic minor- the phrygian dominant (aka spanish scale, jewish scale, mixolydian b2 b6) which is very similar to the phrygian. This scale works well in jazz over altered dominant chords. In E phrygian Em is the diatonically root chord, and all of the chords diatonic in it will have no accidentals.

Edit: For a quick comparison of scale degrees-

Phrygian--1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

Phrygian dominant--1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7

The b3 in the regular phrygian scale makes the diatonic root Em. In the phrygian dominant, the 1 chord is major because of the major 3rd. This also alters the other diatonic chords of the scale, but I'm too lazy to get into it.
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Last edited by TheSemiBunny at Feb 6, 2008,
#4
Phrygian runs E, F, G, A, B, C, D, and E Major(Ionian) runs E, F#/Gb, G#/Ab, A, B, C#, D#. I think that you are thinking about E Major Pentatonic with the Ab.
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Last edited by Reildeal at Feb 6, 2008,
#5
yes that's what i was wondering, but i always saw E major being used. So E minor is the correct chord, but E major just gives it a really cool sound pretty much right?
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#6
Or maybe I misunderstood your question all together. I digress.
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#7
Quote by TheSemiBunny
You are correct in the notes of the phrygian scale and that it is the third mode of the major scale.

However, the root chord is not E major in E phrygian. The E-F-G progression you are familiar with is off the 5th mode of the harmonic minor- the phrygian dominant (aka spanish scale, jewish scale, mixolydian b2 b6) which is very similar to the phrygian. This scale works well in jazz over altered dominant chords. In E phrygian Em is the diatonically root chord, and all of the chords diatonic in it will have no accidentals.

Edit: For a quick comparison of scale degrees-

Phrygian--1, b2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7

Phrygian dominant--1, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7

The b3 in the regular phrygian scale makes the diatonic root Em. In the phrygian dominant, the 1 chord is major because of the major 3rd. This also alters the other diatonic chords of the scale, but I'm too lazy to get into it.


very cool, thank you very much, that clears it up. so in reality i'm playing the phrygian dominant mode. yet the phrygian scale works well when soloing over phrygian dominant progressions? well i guess that makes sense lol thanks for your help!!
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#8
Quote by psychokiller99
yet the phrygian scale works well when soloing over phrygian dominant progressions?
It shouldn't. Phrygian is minor and Phrygian dominant is major. However, given the fact that phrygian dominant is very dark, perhaps darker than phrygian, the dissonance created by playing a minor third over a major chord may be desirable.

FYI, minor thirds are played over major chords all the time in the blues, so it's not uncommon.


Do you know basic theory, the major scale (more complex that most think!) and such? If you do, great, but if you don't, I suggest reading the "learn your theory" link in my sig.
#9
yeah i know my basic theory, but now i'm a bit confused. the guy above says that the progression E F G (all major) is from Phrygian Dominant. but how can that be since there is no G in Phrygian Dominant (unless i worked out the scale incorrectly) based on what i know about modes and what that guy above said E phrygian is

E F G A B C D

Phrygian Dominant is

E F Ab A B C D

there is no G in phrygian dominant, but there is in phrygian leading me to believe that the EFG progression is a phrygian progression. Except for the fact that it resolves to E major, which according to all of you is from E Phrygian Dominant. Do you see my confusion?
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#10
When you write out scales/modes you should, if possible, have every letter (A-G) written with the right b/# sign next to it accordingly.. so for the E Phrygian Dominant it would be E F G# A B C D, where as in E Phrygian, as you know, it is E F G A B C D.

E Phrygian would give you a, in terms of E F G chords, Em, F, and G. E Phrygian Dominant would give you E, F, and G# diminished. What you're looking for I'm not sure.. but I hope that helps.
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#11
Quote by psychokiller99
yeah i know my basic theory, but now i'm a bit confused. the guy above says that the progression E F G (all major) is from Phrygian Dominant. but how can that be since there is no G in Phrygian Dominant (unless i worked out the scale incorrectly) based on what i know about modes and what that guy above said E phrygian is

E F G A B C D

Phrygian Dominant is

E F Ab A B C D

there is no G in phrygian dominant, but there is in phrygian leading me to believe that the EFG progression is a phrygian progression. Except for the fact that it resolves to E major, which according to all of you is from E Phrygian Dominant. Do you see my confusion?


The scale of E phrygian dominant, is E, F, G#, A, B, C, D, E
You must spell it using each letter once, and adding necessary accidentals, as it is a diatonic scale.

Now to the G chord. There is a G# in the scale. This note, will create a diminished triad diatonically. The diminished chord is usually undesirable. There are two options, to alter the chord. The first would be to raise the fifth (of the chord), which would create a minor chord. The second is to lower the route, while keeping the same thirds, which will give us (G, B, D) [major] instead of (G#, B, D) [diminished].

The second option, is significantly more common than the first, hence the progression of E, F, G for a phrygian dominant, which borrows the third chord from E phrygian, while retaining the major third for the rest of the scale.

This is very similar to how Bbmajor is a common chord in the key of C major.
#12
Quote by isaac_bandits
The scale of E phrygian dominant, is E, F, G#, A, B, C, D, E
You must spell it using each letter once, and adding necessary accidentals, as it is a diatonic scale.

Now to the G chord. There is a G# in the scale. This note, will create a diminished triad diatonically. The diminished chord is usually undesirable. There are two options, to alter the chord. The first would be to raise the fifth (of the chord), which would create a minor chord. The second is to lower the route, while keeping the same thirds, which will give us (G, B, D) [major] instead of (G#, B, D) [diminished].

The second option, is significantly more common than the first, hence the progression of E, F, G for a phrygian dominant, which borrows the third chord from E phrygian, while retaining the major third for the rest of the scale.

This is very similar to how Bbmajor is a common chord in the key of C major.


of course i knew that haha, u can't have Ab and A lol. but um yeah great that clears it up then. i know basic theory, but i haven't quite yet gotten into modal theory and more advanced scale and chord theory so i was a bit confused as to how that worked. well thanks very much for your help!!
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