Jazz-Funk Phrygian Solo A

Animated Jazz-Funk Phrygian Solo A tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is from the Jamzone, make sure to read the associated article(s)!

Now we've established a modal progression that suits the Phrygian mode, let's do a solo with it. We're going to go a little lively and funky here just to put a fun spin on things. We are sticking to the two E Phrygian scales shown here.

A distinguishing feature of the Phrygian mode is the 2nd note. This distinguishes the scale from its common relative, the natural minor scale. In the case of E Phrygian this note is F:

E Natural Minor Scale: E F# G A B C D E

E Phrygian Mode: E F G A B C D E

You can see here that the only difference between the 2 scales is the 2nd note. In the E Phrygian Mode it is F, not F#.

In order to bring out the most from this Phrygian scale we are emphasizing 5 notes in particular: E - G - B - D - F. The E - G - B - D notes give us the standard Em7 chord. The F note is that nice distinguishing Phrygian note, so go overboard with it!

In this solo we start by making a little funky Phrase. It's a lick that emphasizes the Em chord and the F note. The phrase ends on those little E-F hammer ons. The phrase repeats twice at the start and at the end of this lead guitar part. Between those bookends there is more a freeform solo.

This freeform part of the solo starts with an arpeggio sweep of the Em chord. A sweep is just a chord played in such a way that the notes are sounded out one at a time. As soon as you have played a note the next note should be played instantly. The moment that happens the previous note is muted. This takes practice, but is a very cool technique.

Think of it as strumming a chord, just a tiny bit slower than a usual strum. As you strum, you need to mute each string that has just been played, this is done by releasing pressure off the string with your other hand. It's a bit like squeezing the chord, and then releasing the squeeze along with the pick as it passes over the strings.

By playing this Em chord we are further establishing E minor as the centre of the solo, but we want to make use of the phrygian twist, i.e. using those F notes (here and here).

Try out your own solos with the Backing ActionTab, or download and play along with the extended Backing mp3 file.

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