In the introductory phrygian
dominant scale lesson, we
learned the basic patterns and functions of this wonderful scale. This
lesson is about ensuring you can play this scale confidently in any
position on the fretboard, by seeing one large pattern broken up into
These smaller patterns are built on each degree of the phrygian
dominant scale, giving us 7 positions. Break it down this way and
you'll be playing across the entire fretboard sooner than you might
The 7 phrygian dominant scale positions
First, just as with any other scale we might apply this process to,
out the intervals of phrygian dominant along the low E string. This
will provide us with the positions for building the 7 patterns.
For this example, I'm using a root of G,
but remember that this large pattern we're building is movable and
relative to where the root note lies.
So, starting with the 1st position pattern, which we already know from
the first part. You could also play the 3rd on the low E string if you
2nd position. Fingering's a little tricky at first, but a great workout
for the fingers. A lot of these patterns will be useful for warming
4th position. Exactly the same as the harmonic minor 1st position
pattern. That's because phrygian dominant is a mode of harmonic minor
(more on this another time!)...
5th position. You'll notice this and the last patter overlap the A
string boxed pattern we learned in the first part...
Finally the 7th position...
Staying in the example key of G,
connecting the phrygian dominant scale positions from above would
create the following large scale
Note that as the G string is the note G
(obviously!) the open G string
and therefore its 12th fret will be a root note.
These root positions, and intervals such as the 3rd and
5th, should be seen as reference points to help you find your bearings.
Study how these interval relationships exist in each positions. You
should be able to pick the major arpeggio (1 3 5) patterns out of each
Remember, all major scales contain this 1 3 5 (major triad)
relationship - Ionian, Mixolydian, Lydian to name a few. So it's
beneficial to be able to isolate these common intervals.
As with the other scales, create your own patterns within this larger
pattern, by connecting two or three positions, to accomodate techniques
such as runs and string skipping.