Modal Pentatonics: Phrygian - Part 4

by David Wallimann

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  • Welcome to the fourth lesson of the Modal pentatonic series. In the previous lessons we discussed how we could use the pentatonic formula (Root, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th) and apply it to the modes. Today we will use that concept over an A Phrygian scale and combine that pentatonic scale with the full Phrygian scale to create a melodic solo.

    For the Phrygian mode, we need to add a minor 2nd. In order to still keep our scale pentatonic (5 notes), we need to eliminate one of the notes to replace it with the minor 2nd.

    Let’s eliminate the closest note from the 6th. We have 2 options here and can eliminate either the Root or the 3rd. Both choices will work. Let’s keep the Root and replace the min 3rd with the min 2nd.

    The Phrygian pentatonic will include the following notes:


    min 2nd



    minor 7th

    Memorize the scales and work in tempo with precision. Once you are comfortable with the licks, try to write your own using the provided scales.

    Have fun!


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