I have heard some songs where chords like "E" and "F" are often used (some times the progression is like, "Am, G, F and E"). The main song relays on these two chords(E and F).

For example, you might have watched the youtube video "worlds best guitar player unbelievable". I know some other songs but not their names... so I cant give any other examples.

I just wanna know the name of the type of the song. So I can Learn more about these type of songs.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by minor second chords Jul 11 '15 at 8:51
  • Oh like "c and c#" , "e and f" (chords with one semi note higher) (i dont know whether they are minor second chords, but i mean the chords like e and f; f and f# etc) Jul 11 '15 at 9:35
  • 2
    The Am, G, F and E progression is an example of what is called The Andalusian Progression. It is one of the most (over?)used progressions in music and crops up in most genres since pre-baroque times to modern rock and pop music. Wikipedia has a big list of songs that use it - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Jul 11 '15 at 15:04
  • Since the iii and IV chords in major keys and the v/V and VII chords in minor keys are all popular, I'd say a large number of songs will have this. Jul 11 '15 at 20:14

I think you're referring to Flamenco music. Its characteristic scale is the harmonic minor scale, which in Flamenco is often used starting from the 5th note, i.e. its 5th mode is used. That scale is usually called phrygian dominant.

The notes of the phrygian dominant scale starting on E (i.e., A harmonic minor) are:

E F G# A B C D

Its main characteristics are the b2 (the note F), and the augmented second interval between the 2nd and the third note (from F to G#). The latter is the only difference with the phrygian scale, which has a major second between those two notes (i.e., a G instead of the G#).

The chords you probably refer to are the chords E and F (in E phrygian dominant), or Em and F (in E phrygian), where the tonic chord is the chord with root E.

There are many other relatively common scales with a b2, e.g. dorian b2, etc., but phrygian and phrygian dominant are the most common of those scales, especially in Flamenco.

  • OP is asking about chords one semitone apart, although using those scale notes one can formulate the appropriate chords.
    – Tim
    Jul 11 '15 at 16:04
  • @Tim: If I understood correctly he asks about the "type of songs", that's why I answered "Flamenco". And indeed, you can build a chord on each scale tone, so in phrygian dominant you'd get E and F, whereas in phrygian you get Em and F. I'll add that to my answer.
    – Matt L.
    Jul 11 '15 at 16:25

Matt is correct, this is characteristic of Flamenco music, assuming E is the root.

This question is pretty vague, but I interpret it as saying the song is in A minor and but stays on E and F for extended periods of time during the instrumental, I would associate it with 80's metal, specifically, Randy Rhoads. He popularized the use of harmonic minor in metal while playing for Ozzy. During live performances the band would stay on the V chord (in your example E), or E and F while he would tear it up in the Harmonic Minor scale and its associated arpeggios (most notably the diminished 7th arpeggio).

For those not familiar with this era of Ozzy I should point out he was not just playing over power chords, as Ozzy had an organ player in the live band. I haven't seen the YouTube video the O.P. talks about, but this would certainly be an area where the "worlds best guitar player unbelievable" might want to show his stuff as is a signature move of one of the guitar pioneers.

Pick up Randy Rhoads Tribute by Ozzy Ozbourne and start from there.

If you want the CAGED patterns patterns of the Phrygian Dominant Scale starting on E (same as harmonic minor in A) I have them free on my website. I got some flack for posting links to my (btw free with no ads) website, so just type Phrygian Dominant into Google, my chart is in the knowledge box thing on the top of the page with the Wikipedia description.


I can think of three songs where the chord progresses down a semitone from the root:

Ain't no pleasing you by Chaz and Dave - at the beginning of each verse. You won't find another fool like me by The New Seekers - when the song title is sung. Use it Up Wear it Out by Odyssey - in the introduction of the song.

I think this gives each tune a sad tone at that point without even using a minor chord but also very unusual. I can't think of any other examples - difficult thing to search on Google!

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