Phrygian Nightmare

by Guido Bungenstock

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  • Hi GMC!

    Welcome to the Phrygian Nightmare! :-D

    As you can already imagine it's all about the classical phrygian mode. The dark character of this scale comes from the classical music and can be found in many progressive metal songs. I mostly used the fifth mode of the B harmonic minor scale or F# phrygian Major Mode (I prefer to say F# phrygian Dominant Mode here because this scale has a stronger dominant 7th character rather than a typical Major sound).

    First I start with a 8 Bar metal inspired riff based on the chords F#5, E5 and G5 (the F5 is just a passing chord).
    During this riff you can hear a really strange melody coming from the keyboard in the back. Most of this melody is "composed" just by playing random notes on my MIDI keyboard trying not to think to musically (if possible). Later I made some note corrections and the fun part began: I learnt this strange melody on my guitar and added some typical phrasings like slide, vibratos etc to make it more human. So this unusual composing process sometimes can be very productive and creates something I would never compose in the normal way.

    So bar 9-16 you can hear the keyboard melody doubled with my guitar.

    On the following solo section (bar 17-32) I tried to continue this strange feeling of the melody by developing it more and more. You can hear some extraordinary chromatic lines with inside/outside playing, a lots of unusual melodies and some cool ascending tapping lines that end with a chromatic staccato line. Near the end I come back to the last part of Keyboard melody by adding some variations.

    It took a little time to get used to this strange piece. But the more I hear it, the more I love it. So I hope you will too! Have fun with it! :-D

    A & B Part 4 times

    F#5 E5 F#5| G5 E5|
    F#5 E5 F#5| N.C.|
    F#5 E5 F#5| G5 E5|
    F#5 F5 E5| N.C.|

    Final words

    I tried to transcribe as close as possible. Specially in the Guitar Pro 5 you'll find all this little extras!
    Have fun with it!

    Technical specifications
    Guitar: Music Man Luke II
    Strings: D'Addario EXL 120
    Amp: Peavey JSX Top with Marshall 2x12" V30
    Effects: T.c. electronic G-Major

    Mics: Shure SM57
    Audio Interface: Focusrite Saffire PRO 24
    Recording SW: Logic 9, several plugins

    Standard tuning: E, A, D, G, B, E

    Tempo: 160 BPM



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