Further to my previous post on phrygian mode, see what you think of this:
Pick a tone, say C for convenience. What is the phrygian mode for C? Well according to the interactive circle of fifths, it is achieved by playing a G# major scale, but using C as our centre. What else do you notice about G#? Well, it’s the second to last mode going anti clockwise, followed by C#, which would be C locrian mode.
What we’re getting at here is the fact that C phrygian, or G# major (ionian) is made up of all notes that are in fact root notes for the major scales that give us our different modes for C. So if you ever want to draw quickly upon a set of modes for a particular note, simply think of phrygian mode. The notes required to play phrygian mode can then all be used as roots of their respective major scales, in order to achieve the other modes of the note we began with.
To simplify it further, we’ll use E as an example. E phrygian mode is achieved by playing C major but with E as the tonal centre. Click on E in the interactive circle of fifths, and once it’s at the top you’ll see that each mode is simply a letter, no sharps or flats. So these notes are all from our C major scale, or E phrygian. Once you know what your phrygian mode is, you have the tonal centre for every major scale required to achieve the other modes. Nice.
And if we want to get all geometric about it, phrygian mode in relation to ionian is made up of two points of an equilateral triangle, the third point of which would make phrygian mode for our note that made phrygian mode for our first note! (It also points to the third chord in the major key, which we’ve already shown to be important!) This would give us C, E and G#. Play those notes together and you have what is called an augmented chord, consisting of two major third intervals.