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E Phrygian or Other?

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6string    81

I've been doing some slow noodling with E,F & G lately in a spanish sounding way.

The notes that seem to work are the C major scale. I've looked that up and it's called E phrygian except the chords don't match.
Is it e phrygian or some other name?

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mset3    158

6string,

Phrygian is the third mode in the diatonic key. In the key of C major, playing the diatonic scale from E to E will give you the Phrygian sound. It's often said the Phrygian sound has a Spanish flavor to the scale. Play this mode over an Em7 and you will hear the Phrygia sound.

Mike

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mset3    158

6string,

Yes, all seven modes can be played in the key of C major. With the Phrygian mode you are technically playing an Em scale (E to E) in the key of C major.

Ionian - Cmaj (I Chord C-E-G - Scale C to C)

Dorian - Dm (ii chord D-F-A - Scale D to D)

Phrygian - Em (iii Chord E-G-B - Scale E to E)

Lydian - Fmaj (IV Chord F-A-C - Scale F to F)

Mixolydian - G7 (V7 Chord G-B-D-F - Scale G to G)

Aeolian - Am (vi Chord A-C-E - Scale A to A)

Locrian - B dim (vii Chord B-D-F - Scale B to B)

All the modes in the key of C major have one thing in common. They all have notes from the C major scale.

Mike

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I got your answer... 1st. Let's change the E chord to Eminor. So your progression Starts out with this E minor chord, then goes to the Fmaj And Gmaj (make the G a DOM7 to really be diatonic)

So as long as the progression keeps falling back to that Em chord. And you solo using ANY the notes of the C maj scale (and they don't have to be from "E to E") you will indeed be evoking the sounds of Phyrigian, especially as you get back to the Em chord..

As you travel to the Fmaj chord (still using C maj as the soloing notes) you will be technically evoking the F Lydian sound (depending on how long chord hangs around) and same with the G mixolydian sound on the G chord.... This explains why this all sounds so good together, because all these modes are diatonic to one Key. In this case the Key of C.

To reiterate;

Starting on and returning to the E minor chord in the backing track, reinforces the phyrigian sound to the listener. The other chords and sounds the F & G.. gave your music that depth and interest that holds a listener, and makes it sound like you know what you are doing. It all works like this because all the Chrods and the modes they evoke are all housed in the same KEY. In this example the Key is C. Also, it helps to sneak an E pedal tone into the background track over all the chords.

Now, you might ask... "but Mark I was playing with an E major chord and it still sounded ok... as a matter of fact I even thought it sounded cooler" Thats ok...Here's wear Music Theory melts into Human tastes and experiments to make really cool music. The E major chord is simply a Substitution for the E minor chord. If your ear says "good' then it's good. How does this all work without sounding bad?

Consider this... it might sound bad to someone who wasn't in the mood for this little special tweak. But ok, If it sounds good or even better than usual here's why; Aside from the slight change to a major 3rd in your 1st chord.. everything else your playing is 99% diatonic to the E phyrigian mode of the parent Cmajor scale. So the human ear (brain) is able to register the sound of E phyrigian... with a special tension. -that being the Major third ringing out of the Emajor chord. 1. The ear likes tension, especially in a key like Phyrigian. 2. this tension is actually a DOORWAY! Thats why I believe people like these little theory "hiccups" so much. This Doorway allows you - the composer- an access point to change keys and travel somewhere else in the music. (modulation)

Other key I would explore taking advantage of the E maj chord: Emaj, E mixolydian(A maj), E Lydian(BMaj).

Ultimately when it comes to 'evoking modes' in music the trick is to realize that it's the chord in the background is creating the mode, not the soloist staying 'between' 2 notes.

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donfully    0

Is the first chord E major or E minor? If it's E major (which I'm inclined to believe it is given the fact that you mentioned "spanish"), it's actually the phrygian dominant scale. It's a very spanish sounding scale. It's a mode of the harmonic minor scale. It's also used heavily in metal.

It's important to not mistake the mode with its parent scale, because that's where the tonic is being defined in your solo. All the notes might be the same but how they interact with one another is different. For example, E phrygian dominant is a mode from the parent A harmonic minor. However, if you playing A harmonic minor, the G# has a strong pull toward the A, being the leading tone. If you are playing E phrygian, the G# is very stable where it is, as it's considered a guide tone.

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