A FLAT PHRYGIAN MODE

‘A Flat Phrygian’ is the 3rd mode of the F flat major scale. The notes in Ab Phrygian are:

Ab – Bbb – Cb – Db – Eb – Fb – Gb

If you have read the post on understanding the phrygian mode, you will know that the phrygian mode contains a ‘flat 2’, a ‘flat 3’, a ‘flat 6’ and a ‘flat 7’ (parallel approach). You will also know that it is the 3rd mode of a major scale (derivative approach). Let’s briefly look at how to construct Ab Phrygian using both the parallel approach and the derivative approach.

Parallel Approach:

A Flat Major has the following notes:

Ab – Bb – C – Db – Eb – F – G

If we ‘flatten’ the 2nd note (Bb), the 3rd note (C), the 6th note (F) and the 7th note (G) we get the following:

Ab – Bbb – Cb – Db – Eb – Fb – Gb

Derivative Approach:

Ab is the 3rd note of the Fb major scale:

Fb – Gb – Ab – Bbb – Cb – Db – Eb

If we play the Fb major scale and start on the 3rd note we get the following:

Ab – Bbb – Cb – Db – Eb – Fb – Gb

Let’s look at the Ab phrygian mode in the different positions on the guitar fretboard:

Positions Along the Fretboard:

Firstly, let’s look at the open position:

A Flat Phrygian Mode Open Position Frets
A Flat Phrygian Mode Open Position Notes

Now let’s look at Ab phrygian in the 4th position (lowest fret is 4)

A Flat Phrygian Mode 4th Position Frets
A Flat Phrygian Mode 4th Position Notes

Now let’s look at Ab phrygian in the 5th position (lowest fret is 5)

A Flat Phrygian Mode 5th Position Frets
A Flat Phrygian Mode 5th Position Notes

Now let’s look at Ab phrygian in the 8th position (lowest fret is 8)

A Flat Phrygian Mode 8th Position Frets
A Flat Phrygian Mode 8th Position Notes

Now let’s look at Ab phrygian in the 11th position (lowest fret is 11)

A Flat Phrygian Mode 11th Position Frets
A Flat Phrygian Mode 11th Position Notes
A Flat Phrygian Mode 12th Position Frets

Finally, let’s look at Ab phrygian in the 12th position (lowest fret is 12)

A Flat Phrygian Mode 12th Position Notes

That covers the 5 basic positions and the open position of Ab phrygian along the guitar fretboard.

For an in depth explanation of the phrygian mode, check out phrygian mode explained.

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