C Phrygian b4 Scale on the Piano - Improvisation and Composition

Notes: C, Db, Eb, Fb, G, Ab, and Bb - Key: C - Category: Octatonic Scales

The C Phrygian b4 uses eight notes per octave. Because of this same reason it is a member of the so called Octatonic -scales that have Eight-note (or Eight-tone). On the piano keyboard, it is made up of four black keys: Db, Eb, Ab, and Bb and three white keys: C, Fb, and G. This combination makes this scale - as well as the C Prometheus, C Prometheus Liszt, and C Prometheus Neapolitan - as great choices for composing or improvising music.

If we take a look a the key signature of the C Phrygian b4 Scale we can find it has five flats and no sharps. Therefore, on sheet music you will find five accidentals on the score. The notes of this scale are: C, Db, Eb, Fb, G, Ab, and Bb.

How to play the C Phrygian b4 scale?

  1. 1
    To play the C Phrygian b4 on your piano, start on the Root note. Play C, the first note of the scale.
  2. 2
    Continue with rest of the notes that shape the scale, play Db, Eb, Fb, G, Ab, and Bb.
  3. 3
    Return to the home of the C Phrygian b4 scale. Play again C -the tonic of the scale- to mark its ending.

How to play the scale in descending fashion?

  1. 1
    Begin on the last note. Play the C, the last (and first) note of the scale.
  2. 2
    Go down. Play Bb, Ab, G, Fb, Eb, and Db.
  3. 3
    Reach the home again. Establish tonality by playing the tonic of the C Phrygian b4 scale: C.
  4. 4
    Tip. If you want to learn how to improvise or compose your own music using the C Phrygian b4 scale or any other scale, check out our piano improvisation and composition lessons and enjoy thousands of interactive multimedia piano animations.
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