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Metal - Phrygian


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A great sound for Metal riffs, licks and solos is the Phrygian mode. The Phrygian mode can be described a few ways. It is the major scale that starts and ends on the third note of the scale (in this case, a G major scale that starts and ends on B: B,C,D,E,F#,G,A,B). It is also a natural minor (or just "minor") scale with a flatted second (or flatted 9 - the same as the second). I'd like for you to see it as the fourth form of the pentatonic scale with a couple of added notes. Here's the way the minor pentatonic scale and Phrygian mode compare:

Pentatonic : 1 b3 4 5 b7 Phrygian : 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7

Notice the dark, dissonant, or "Spanish" sound of the mode. How does this provoke a Metal mood for you?

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