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Home > Scales > Phrygian Dominant Positions

Phrygian Dominant Scale Positions

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 smaller patterns.

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 expect.

The 7 phrygian dominant scale positions

First, just as with any other scale we might apply this process to, let's lay 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.

phrygian dominant scale across the low E string

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 wanted...

first position phrygian dominant box pattern

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 up...

2nd phrygian dominant position

3rd position...

3rd position pattern of phrygian dominant

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!)...

4th position of phrygian dominant

5th position. You'll notice this and the last patter overlap the A string boxed pattern we learned in the first part...

phrygian dominant scale 5th position

6th position...

6th pattern of phrygian dominant

Finally the 7th position...

7th pattern of the phrygian dominant scale

Staying in the example key of G, connecting the phrygian dominant scale positions from above would create the following large scale pattern...

G phrygian dominant across the entire fretboard

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 one.

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.

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