Phrygian Mode - The Dark ModeYou are now going to learn the Phrygian Mode of music. You will get a quick reference guide, plus a free chord chart of the Phrygian Mode.

The Phrygian Mode is what I personally call “the dark mode”, because it has that super tense flat 2nd note, which riffs and baselines can focus on for a darker feel.

This flat 2nd (b2) will also create a minor 9th, which results in the mode having a diminished dominant chord. Both of these factors will add to the high tension sound of the Phrygian mode.

You can play this mode by starting on E, and then play all white keys up to the E an octave above it. Now let’s have a look at a quick overview guide of the Phrygian Mode.

The Phrygian Mode – Quick Guide

  • Mode Feeling: Dark, Evil, Tension, Exotic
  • Mode Pattern: R – h – W – W – W – h – W – W
  • Mode Formula: 1 – b2 – b3 – 4 – 5 – b6 – b7

E - Phrygian Mode



The Phrygian Mode – Chord Chart

These are all diatonic triads of the Phrygian Mode, plus the diatonic 7th chords in parenthesis.

  • I = minor (min 7)
  • II = Major (Maj 7)
  • III = Major (Dom 7)
  • IV = minor (min 7)
  • V = diminished (m7b5)
  • VI = Major (Maj 7)
  • VII = minor (min 7)

Quick Guides on All 7 Modes

PS. Here’s a link to a free printable modes chord chart.


Mikael Baggström - Composer and Sound DesignerMy name is Mikael “Mike” Baggström, and I am a composer, sound designer, artist and educator.

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