Guitar Techniques - - Talk Back -

I am just get­ting to grips with the­ory but some­thing has come up that I don’t un­der­stand. I have just started read­ing Re­lent­less by Yng­wie J Malm­steen, and on page 36 he states, “For ex­am­ple, B Phry­gian is rel­a­tive to E Har­monic Mi­nor. They con­sist of ex­actly the same notes, but de­pend­ing on which key you’re in the scale has a dif­fer­ent name”. Yes, they share all the same notes ex­cept B Phry­gian con­tains a D, and E Har­monic Mi­nor con­tains a D#. Surely the great man can’t be wrong? I look for­ward to your re­ply with in­ter­est.

Alan Orgill (Oggi) A, B, C, D# (the D# is the ‘colour’ note that pro­pels you to the scale’s root – E). B Phry­gian Dom­i­nant con­tains B, C, D#, E, F#, G, A (the D# pro­vides the ma­jor 3rd for the mode, il­lu­mi­nat­ing the sound of a B7 chord; the V chord of E mi­nor). B Phry­gian con­tains B, C, D, E, F#, G, A (D pro­vides the mi­nor 3rd, il­lu­mi­nat­ing the sound of a Bm chord).

So pro­gres­sions such as; Em-B7-Em, Em-Cmaj7-B7-Em, Em-Am-B7-Em and Em-F#m7b5-B7-Em, would be ide­ally suited to E Har­monic Mi­nor (B Phry­gian Dom­i­nant) for solo­ing over.

You may like to sub­di­vide your scale choices so that the spicier sound­ing E Har­monic Mi­nor or B Phry­gian Dom­i­nant gets a re­duced us­age. In that case, a scale like E Nat­u­ral Mi­nor (E F# G A B C D) would work great (as in­deed would B Phry­gian) over the Em chord as it’s eas­ier on the ear. You could then shift to B Phry­gian Dom­i­nant over the B7 to add ten­sion be­fore the res­o­lu­tion to the Em. All this though is per­haps be­yond your ques­tion’s pa­ram­e­ters so I’ll leave it there! But I hope this clar­i­fies and en­dorses your thoughts.

Ja­son Sid­well: Yng­wie’s re­ally re­fer­ring to B Phry­gian Dom­i­nant, the 5th mode of E Har­monic Mi­nor and not a straight B Phry­gian. To clar­ify: E Har­monic Mi­nor con­tains E, F#, G,

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