Can you spice up a solo with the phrygian mode?

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Hi Friend,

It’s 2 PM here on a Saturday and
i’m sitting quietly in my living room.

I’m actually sipping on my favorite
“hot and sour” soup from the local
Chinese restaurant, and I’m looking
forward to relaxing.

Did I mention I’m a chineses-food-aholic?

Anyway, it’s been a long week.

But before I turn on the tube and kick
back, I thought I’d write you a quick
email to give you some new ideas on
the ol’ gee-tar.

I was playing around with a few things
earlier this morning and thought I’d
share with you.

First, for all you newbies out there,
y’all should make sure you master chords
and chord progressions as the first thing.
If you’re not sure how to do this, check out
the Ultimate Beginner Guitar Course
(www.ultimatebeginnerguitar.com/main.php)

Here’s a cool basic chord progression:

Am | Dm | G | Am

This progression is in the key of A minor, so
you can use A minor pentatonic or A minor to solo over
it.

But now lets take a more unusual progression:

Am | Dm | Gm | A

The basic chords should still be easy to play, but
we now have a lot more options and decisions when
it comes to putting scales over this as leads.

Let’s talk “modes” for a second. I usually think
modes are just too much theory – for example
why learn the A Phrygian mode all over the neck
when the F major scale is the same exact notes
all over the neck?

However, sometimes its good to analyze things.

A minor = A B C D E F G
A phrygian = A Bb C D E F G

There’s just one note difference and in fact, the
new note is Bb – which is just one fret above
the root note of A.

This works well with the Gm chord in our progression
which contains the Bb.

That’s just an example of how it could work throwing
in an alternate mode into one of your progressions.

A simpler way to experiment is just to play some licks
in A minor with no backing track, and just trying
throwing in that B flat note once in a while.

It gives a cool, minorish kind of sound.

Have fun with it.

If you don’t care that much about modes and theory,
I would suggest you pick up Killer Guitar Control
Secrets – its really designed to have you playing
from the heart instead of worrying about this mode
and that mode (www.GuitarControl.com/main.php)

On the other hand, if you’re a theory junkie, then
go for advanced fusion package – you’ll have more
modal knowledge than you can shake a stick at.
www.fusionguitarsecrets.com/main.php

Enjoy your day – I’ll be working tonight on my top
secret Halloween project… Should have some stuff
to show you next week…moohahahaha

Claude Johnson

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