Phrygian Dominant

The Phrygian Dominant mode

The home of chord IIIx

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A Phrygian Dominant scale shapes


When to use the Phrygian Dominant mode

The Phrygian Dominant mode is a modified Phrygian scale. It is the most common mode in popular music that isn’t directly linked to the major scale.

Even though Phrygian Dominant is a major scale, due to its similarity to Phrygian, it’s easier to learn it with a Minor Pentatonic framework.

Practicing Phrygian Dominant as a variation of Phrygian, you will more clearly see the connection. Since the scale only appears when a chord has been modified from being a normal III chord into a IIIx chord, this approach makes more sense.

This is what both scales look like using just the intervals. Notice how it is only the 3rd interval that differs.

Phrygian Dominant:
3 4


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Connect Phrygian Dominant shapes

Connect the shapes

This exercise connect the Phrygian Dominant shapes in A. When you can do this, try all other keys and push that BPM!

This is much more difficult than previous modes due to the more angular layout of Phrygian Dominant. Use the video lesson to see how this is done.

When you can do it in A as the video demonstrate, try it in D, G, C, F and all other keys.

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Phrygian Domianant and the cycle of 4th

The final step

Your final variation takes the Phrygian Dominant mode and runs it through the cycle of 4th. This is an important step when teaching your hands the shapes of the mode.

Should you get stuck in a shape, go back and practice that shape individually.

The full exercise flows like this:

A Phrygian Dominant – E(m) shape, D Phrygian Dominant – A(m) shape, G Phrygian Dominant – D(m) shape, C Phrygian Dominant – G(m) shape, F Phrygian Dominant – C(m) shape.

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Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

The advanced songs require you to learn 7th note chords, arpeggios, and modal scales. This will be revolutionary for your understanding of the guitar fret board.

Go to Advanced guitar course.


These are pretty advanced exercises. You’ll be playing 7th note chords, arpeggios and modes all over the neck.

But don’t fret – As you’ve already mapped out the fret board with pentatonic scales and barre chords, extending the concept is actually really simple.

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You can learn how to play these advanced songs on the acoustic guitar.

Angels, Baby Won’t You Please Come Home, Blackbird, Cannonball, Don’t Wait Too Long, I Shot The Sheriff, Over The Rainbow, Roxanne, Scarborough Fair, Sunshine Of Your Love, Take Me To The River, Tears In Heaven, and Wish You Were Here.

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