Using the Phrygian Dominant Mode

In this quick video guitar lesson, I will show you how to improvise using the Phrygian Dominant mode by using your familiar harmonic minor scale forms.

If you don't have an in-depth knowledge of how to play the harmonic scale over the entire fretboard don't worry. Simply check out my harmonic minor scale guitar lessons and you will be good to go in no time.

By watching this quick little improvisation and talk about the Phrygian Dominant mode, you will learn that it is simply a mode of the harmonic minor scale. More specifically, it is the 5th mode of the harmonic minor scale.

Using that knowledge, I will quickly demonstrate how to locate the Phrygian Dominant mode in all keys using some simple scale theory.

After that, you will be able to improvise with this very interesting sounding scale. You have probably heard this scale many times if you are a fan of hard rock and metal music. Many famous guitarists including Kirk Hammett, Marty Friedman, Dave Mustaine, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani have used it extensively to give their soloing a very exotic and musically satisfying flavor.

Hopefully, after you watch this video lesson and review the harmonic minor lessons cited above, you will also be able to add this super cool sound to your arsenal.

Good Luck!


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Using the Phrygian Dominant Mode


  1. Ronn on December 7, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Hi Carl, So in the video you played the a harmonic minor scale over an E chord… what type of E chord was that? Was that the major, a minor E chord?

    • Carl Brown on December 7, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      You can playing an E major or E7 chord. Or even a basic E power chord. It will all sound great and give you an E Phrygian Dominant sound if you play the A harmonic minor scale over it.

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