Watch the Phrygian online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from The Modal Alchemist

In this video I'll be showing you how to create a really nice Spanish sounding melodic flavor by making the III chord major instead of minor and then playing the E Phrygian mode over the whole progression.

The chord progression I've recorded is basically in A minor/C major and consists of A minor - Ami/G - F major 7(#11) - E major. The E major chord would normally be E minor in this key but we've raised the 3rd to make it major. This gives us a really strong resolution back to the A minor chord due to the fact that the G# (major 3rd) is now only a semi-tone away from the root of A minor. This is called a leading tone.

Try playing the E Phrygian mode over this progression listening carefully to what notes work best and when in the progression they have the most impact and value. You'll most likely notice that the F and C notes work beautifully on the F major 7 (#11) and the E and B notes a semitone lower sound so sweet over the E major chord.

Try recording a solo over the backing track, then listen back and critique your performance.