IT’S AN ‘YNG’ THING!
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,