The Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale - Guitar Diagrams, Theory, Jazz Concepts, Exercises and Lines

What's The Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale?

The Phrygian dominant bebop scale (aka Altered Bebop) contains eight tones just like all the bebop scales. It is built the same as the Phrygian dominant scale, the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale, but with an additional note, a natural seventh (7) between the b7 and the tonic (1). The Phrygian dominant scale interval pattern is 1 - b2 (b9) - 3 - 4 (11) - 5 - b6 (b13) - b7 - 7. 

Phrygian Dominant Scale 1  (b2) b9 3 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7  
Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale 1 (b2) b9 3 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7 7

Differences Between The Main Phrygian Modes

Here are three other types of Phrygian scales :

Phrygian scale 1 b2 (b9) b3 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7
Phrygian b4 scale 1 b2 (b9) b3 b4 (#9) 5 b6 (b13) b7
Phrygian dominant 1 b2 (b9) 3 4 5 b6 (b13) b7

Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale Guitar Diagrams

The following two shapes show you how to play the Phrygian dominant bebop scale on guitar within one octave. 

Phrygian dominant bebop mode for guitar 1

The next two shapes show how looks the Phrygian dominant bebop scale within the space of two octaves.

Phrygian dominant bebop scale for guitar one octave shapes 1

Now you try the 7 shapes below that cover the whole guitar neck. Obviously, there are several possibilities of fingerings, don't hesitate to experiment you own.

Phrygian dominant bebop chart for guitar

Phrygian Dominant Bebop Exercises

The examples below are based on the G Phrygian dominant bebop scale (G - Ab -B - C - D - Eb - F - F#). 

G Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale G Ab B C D Eb F F#
Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale formula 1 (b2) b9 3 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7 7


Exercise 1

Phrygian dominant bebop scale exercise 1


Exercise 2

Phrygian dominant bebop scale exercise for guitar


Exercise 3

Phrygian dominant bebop scale guitar lick


How To Use The Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale?

The Phrygian Dominant bebop scale is generally played over a VI7b9 chord, at the end of a jazz blues progression (I7 - VI7b9 - iim7 - V7) or over the rhythm changes turnaround  (Imaj7 - VI7b9 - iim7 - V7). Indeed, the tones of a 7b9 chord (1-3-5-b7-b9) match perfectly with the Phrygian dominant bebop scale.

Dominant 7 flat 9 chord 1  (b2) b9 3 X 5 X X 7
Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale 1 (b2) b9 3 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7 7


Phrygian Dominant Bebop Licks

This first example show how to play the Phrygian dominant bebop scale over the VI7b9 chord a rhythm changes turnaround. As you see you will be playing a Bb major 7 arpeggio (Bb - D - F - A) with an added 13th (G) over Bbmaj7, the C Dorian mode (C-D-Eb-F-G-A-Bb) over Cm7 and notes from F Mixolydian (F-G-A-Bb-C-D-Eb) over F7.

I VI ii V jazz guitar phrygian bebop dominant lick

This second line can be found at the end of a Bb jazz blues progression. Three scales and one arpeggio are used :

  • Bb7 Mixolydian (Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab) over the I7 chord Bb7.
  • G Phrygian dominant bebop over the VI7 chord.
  • C minor blues (C-Eb-F-G-Bb-B-C) over the iim7 chord (Cm7).
  • F9 arpeggio (F-A-C-D-Eb) over F9.

I7 vi7b9 iim7 v7 jazz guitar phrygian bebop dominant lick

Relationship With Diminished 7 Chords - Jazz Concepts

The Phrygian dominant bebop scale contains a diminished 7 arpeggio. As matter of fact, the flat ninth (b9), third (3), fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7) represent the degrees of a diminished 7 arpeggio (1-b3-b5-bb7).

G Phrygian Dominant Bebop Scale G Ab B C D Eb F F#
Formula 1 (b2) b9 3 4 (11) 5 b6 (b13) b7 7
Ab diminished arpeggio   Ab B   D   F  
Formula   1 b3   b5   bb7  


Diminished 7th arpeggios are symmetrical, they are made of minor thirds (3 semitones, 3 frets on the guitar). This means that the four tones of a diminished 7 arpeggio can produce four dim7 chords. For example Ab diminished 7 is built with Ab - B - D - F. Each tone of Abdim7 generates a dim7 chord :

  • Bdim7 (B - D - F - Ab)
  • Ddim7 (D - F - Ab - B)
  • Fdim7 (F - Ab - B - D)

All this is to say that  you can play a G Phrygian dominant bebop scale over Abdim7, Bdim7, Ddim7 and Fdim7. In other word, you can use the Phrygian dominant bebop scale starting :

  • a half step (1 semitone) below the root note of a dim7 chord.

Phrygian dominant bebop scale and diminished 7 chords


  • Two whole steps (4 semitones) below the root note of a dim7 chord.

Phrygian dominant bebop scale and diminished 7 chords 2


  • Five semitones above the root note of a dim7 chord.

Phrygian dominant bebop scale and diminished 7 chords 3


  • A whole step (2 semitones) above the root note of a dim7 chord.

Phrygian dominant bebop scale and diminished 7 chords 4


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Last edited: 2022-02-01

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