This page contains Phrygian dominant guitar diagrams & TAB.
The Phrygian dominant scale produces a unique ‘Eastern’ sound. It is formed either by raising the third note of a Phrygian modal scale, or by playing the fifth mode of a harmonic minor scale.
- You can learn more guitar scales here: Guitar Scales Master Page.
- Download a printable guitar scales book here: Guitar Scales Chart Book.
- Learn and improvise with guitar scales using our specially produced backing tracks: Guitar Scales Backing Tracks.
Hear the unique sound of the Phrygian dominant scale by playing the tab below:
Phrygian Dominant Guitar Tab
The tab shows a 2 octave C Phrygian dominant scale. It uses the notes shown in Fretboard Diagram 1 (shown below) and starts at the 8th fret.
Tab for an E Phrygian dominant scale is provided further down the page.
The Phrygian dominant scale is also known as the Freygish scale (particularly when used in Hebrew music), the Spanish Phrygian (or just Spanish) scale, or the major phrygian scale. It is very widely used in Middle Eastern music, and in flamenco.
Recently, rock guitarists have adopted the scale, and it is frequently used in heavy metal solos when the guitarist wants an Eastern sound.
Phrygian Dominant Guitar Diagrams
Use the diagrams below to play the phrygian dominant scale on guitar. The root notes of the scale are shown in green (i.e. position the green notes over ‘C’ notes on the fretboard to play a C Phrygian dominant scale).
Phrygian Dominant Guitar Tab
Below is the guitar Tab for an E phrygian dominant scale.
Phrygian Dominant Scale Theory
The notes in an E Phrygian dominant scale are:
E, F, G#, A, B, C, D, E
The scale can be formed by playing the fifth mode of a harmonic minor scale.
- Learn about modes here: Guitar Modes.
- You can see harmonic minor scale guitar diagrams here: Harmonic Minor Scale Guitar.
If you start any of the harmonic minor scale shapes on the fifth note of the scale, you’ll be playing a phrygian dominant scale.
For example, by starting a C harmonic minor scale on the fifth note (G), you would be playing a G Phrygian dominant scale.
Changing a Phrygian Modal Scale to Create a Phrygian Dominant Scale
The phrygian dominant scale can also be formed by raising the third degree of a standard phrygian modal scale. See this article for shapes: Phrygian Scale Guitar.
By playing an E Phrygian scale with a raised third note (i.e. a G# rather than a G), you’ll be playing an E Phrygian dominant scale.
The Phrygian dominant scale is a great scale to learn. You’ll be able to make many other guitarist’s jaws drop when they hear its cool, Eastern sounds. Give it a try the next time you take a solo!
You’ve Learned The Scales … Now Use Them!
The Phrygian dominant scale is one of those featured in Guitar Command’s specially produced Guitar Scales Backing Tracks album. Practise improvising with this and other common guitar scales over specially recorded jam tracks. Listen to sample tracks here: Guitar Scales Backing Tracks.