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Triadic options over chords


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  • Triadic options over chords

    Well, if playing over a minor chord... (Along with Dorian and Aeolian, pentatonic minor and blues version among other scales you could use). Another great tool is working with 3 easy to remember triads. The minor triad is 3 notes - A, C & E ... if it is a minor chord you work your way up with an alternating pattern starting with the kind of chord (so minor,major,minor...)... If it were a Major chord you were over it would be Major, minor, Major.

    So for our example an Amin chord (remember the notes are A,C,E) you could play:

    Amin triad
    CMaj triad
    Emin triad

    See they flip flop minor,major,minor,major,minor...

    If it were a Major chord (A, C#, E) you could play:

    AMajor triad
    C#min triad
    EMajor triad.

    See they flip flop major,minor,major,minor...

    Try making up a "scale" build of only notes of these three options. 



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  • #2

    Very good idea. 

    There is a lot you can do with this concept.  Although you did not state it but of course you know it, these three chords or triads are substitutes for each other in their respective key.

    The 1, 3, and 6 chords in a key are substitutes for each other. 

    Some people can endlessly play the same pentatonic scale over 3 chords for their whole life (BB King) but I can't as it bores me death. 

    Good stuff.









    Serious about playing but not much else.


    • #3

      I actually discovered this recently.  A Carl Verheyen interview opened my eyes to it.  Actually, interviews with him have opened my eyes to a lot of things.   I need to work on getting the muscle memory down to play the things and also getting my ears up to speed on what these things sound like in certain situations.

      BTW, what's the difference between looking at this as a triad vs. arpeggio?  I was looking it more like an arpeggio.  Same concept, just different terminology?  I understand a triad is three notes, but say in Am I played something like an E (A string, 7th fret), G (D string, 5th fret), B (G string, 4th fret) followed by the same notes sliding up to the 9th fret of the of the G string starting with the E?

      OK... I ended up typing all that and THEN looking it up. 

      Triad =  a triad is a set of three notes that can be stacked in thirds (root, third, 5th)

      I think I've got it. 



      • windmill
        windmill commented
        Editing a comment
        Not quite sure I understand how to expand this.

        Do you continue the sequence to the seventh and ninth chords of the scale ?


    • #4

      Great little lesson.  I'm definitely going to play with that some tonight. I knew there was a reason I had to starting hanging out here again.  


      I still struggle with training my mind to think in ways like this.  Too much time in the 80's worring about getting across the neck as fast as possible.  lol.


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      • stomias
        stomias commented
        Editing a comment
        Also remember that this little Amin triad is also.....

        1. The 3rd, +5 and b9 of an Ab+5b9 chord
        2. The 4th 13th and 9th of a Gsus13 chord
        3. The 1 3 and 13 of a C13