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A Phrygian Dominant scale can be considered a major scale as its home chord is a major triad.

The intervals in this scale after the Tonic note are Minor 2nd, Major 3rd, Perfect 4th, Perfect 5th, Minor 6th and Minor 7th. 

The Swars are Sa, re, Ga, ma, Pa, dha, ni – all Shuddh except re, dha and ni.


In a composition built on the A Phrygian Dominant scale, you would commonly find the triads A, Bb, Dm, Gm. Other triads you could play based on each of the notes would be C#-dim, E-dim, F-Aug. Of course, popular songs will often break these rules and could have other chords to match the music arrangement. 

It is also very common to find the Dominant 7th chord built on the tonic or Sa very prominent in a song based on this scale. In the above example, an A7 chord (A, C#, E, G or Sa, Ga, Pa, ni) can be used very effectively to help reinforce the feel of the scale. 

This scale is also equivalent to the 5th mode or inversion of the Harmonic Minor Scale. For instance, if you are playing in E (Phrygian Dominant), you will have the notes E, F, G#, A, B, C, D (Sa, re, Ga, ma Pa dha ni), which is really the 5th mode of the A Harmonic Minor scale (A, B, C, D, E, F, G#). 

Here’s a fretboard diagram showing the notes in an A Phrygian Dominant scale. If you take the 5th note of the scale, which is D, as your Tonic note, you will get the D Harmonic Minor scale (D, E, F, G, A, Bb, C#)

Read "Khaas Baat" handbook for more!

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