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Phrygian Improv Techniques

In this first lesson we take a look at the E Phrygian mode in the key of C major. Please note that for the sake of my own aesthetic preferences, I am tuned down a half step, a la Slash; and refer to the notes on the fretboard as if we were in standard tuning so as to avoid unnecessary confusion.

Practice Tips

  • Much like knowing the route ensures you don't get lost on the way to your destination, knowing a scale inside out ensures you'll travel smoothly during improvisation. Don't think of learning scales as boring and tedious. They are the building blocks of riffs and solos. Practicing them regularly will provide you with an arsenal of creativity.
  • Learning other players licks and solos is great for generating ideas of your own. Over time, you will begin to mix and match the ideas you've learned, creating a unique style for yourself.
  • As a developing soloist, I would practice endlessly to my favourite songs, jamming over the top and having a great time. This is a great way of letting loose after a practice session and gives a practical outlet to all the work you do on scales and technique.