Jazz 2-5-1 Phrygian 1

Animated Jazz 2-5-1 Phrygian 1 tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This exercise is from the Jamzone where we are looking at using the modes to add flavour to a basic 2-5-1 Chord progression in the Key of C major. Make sure you have read the article. Modes can be confusing at first, but are worth learning because they open the door to a wide variety of melodic opportunities.

Here we play through the basic E Phrygian Scale Pattern. This works well over chords in the Key of C major. The notes are the same as C major (C D E F G A B C), but in the following order:

E - F - G - A - B - C - D - E

We ascend and descend through 2 octaves first at open position, and then again at fret 12:

E - F - G - A - B - C - D - E (again through 2 octaves)

We then double the pace and play both scales again.

Notice that both scale patterns are exactly the same, except that different fingers are used at the Fret 12 position. At fret 12, we are at 'octave position' - i.e. the midpoint for each string. At this point, all the notes along a string repeat again, except they sound higher (i.e. in the next octave register).

To test this out play open Low E, then move to fret 12 and play that note. It is the same note, but 1 octave higher. All subsequent notes will follow suit (Fret 1 = Fret 13, fret 2 = Fret 14, etc). That is why the scale patterns are identical - BUT - you need to use your first finger to compensate for the open strings when playing at fret 12.

We are showing both patterns because they are both very common.

This scale is considered a type of E minor scale. If you look at the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes you will find they are E-G-B which are the notes of the E minor chord. Therefore the scale has more in common with E minor than C major (harmonically speaking) even though all the notes are the same. Remember that when we originally constructed our backing chord progression, it was from the harmonized scale. We got different chords from the 8 notes of the C major scale. All we are doing is extending that process to full scales, rather than just the 1-3-5 triads.

This example is for E Phrygian, but if you know these patterns you'll be able to play the phrygian mode for any scale. To do that, just apply the same scale pattern (the Fret 12 pattern) from the appropriate note. e.g. if you use this pattern starting at fret 7 (the B note) you will then be playing the B Phrygian.

Oops! You need Flash 9+ and Javascript enabled

In order to view this ActionTab preview you need a web browser with Flash 9 or higher and Javascript. If this is your first time visiting you should be seeing a blue animated fretboard. If you feel your system meets these requirements but it still isn't working get in touch and we'll see if we can help.

Unfortunately Adobe Flash isn't supported on Apple's iPhone and iPad. If you are using a device running on Google Android you will be able to use Flash. Click on the Adobe Flash button below to download it.