Combine triads for meat and potato improvisation


KillboyPowerhead
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Joined: 05/21/16
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KillboyPowerhead
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Joined: 05/21/16
Posts: 10
07/04/2017 8:38 pm

Hi everyone,

i'm struggling with triads in improvisation, here's the point:

there are a lot of songs based on triad strumming/picking/fingerpicking (eg. "Wish you were here" - Pink Floyd, "Best friend's girlfriend" - The Cars, "Sultans of swing" - Dire Straits and so on) and i'd like to introduce these shapes into my improvisation gigs.

Unfortunately i found it extremely hard to do it due to the following reasons:

1) The same triad note can have 3 shapes (inversions) on each string triplet and i don't know when to use one instead of another given a certain song key.

2) The same triad note can be done on high strings or on low strings and i don't know the best practices about how to combine them.

3) I don't know by heart every note on the guitar neck: for the first 3 strings i do quite well (because of E shape, A shape and D shape bar chord), while the other 3 it requires me a few seconds (sometimes a lot of seconds ;-) ) to understand what notes i'm playing.

So i tried without luck to find out here on guitartricks and on the web a sort of "meat and potato" guide that helps you visualize how to combine triads in an easy way when you're improvising, something like the "L shape" bar chords rule if you see what i mean (eg. in a C key song, if i want to do a 1-4-5 progression, i just really have to know where the E shaped C note barré is on the 6th string, after that, without thinking too much, i'll know that 4 and 5 notes are positioned just under on the 5th string).

In short terms:

actually, when i'm improvising on a jam track, i'm used to play by switching between the 5 shapes scales of the track key note using the CAGED system by following my feelings and personal tastes. In some case i play by combining the 5 shapes scales of more notes, follwing the progression of the back track.

Maybe these ways are not very professional but they just work in nearly every case.

To do this i only had to learn the 5 shapes of the scales and how to locate them on the neck and i was ready to go.

Is there something similar for the triads?

Thank you in advance


# 1
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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07/05/2017 1:08 pm

Hey & welcome!

Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

i'm struggling with triads in improvisation

[/quote]

Using triads in melody playing, soloing, lead guitar, improvisation is essentially targeting chord tones in the key or scale you are playing in. In order to know which triad to use & where to play it you really need to know your notes all over the fretboard. Not necessarily all the notes of a triad. But if you are playing over an A major chord, for example, you need to know automatically where all the available A notes are. Without having to stop & think about it! So, when you say this.

Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

3) I don't know by heart every note on the guitar neck: for the first 3 strings i do quite well (because of E shape, A shape and D shape bar chord), while the other 3 it requires me a few seconds (sometimes a lot of seconds ;-) ) to understand what notes i'm playing.

[/quote]

I encourage you to spend time learning the notes all over the fretboard. It's not as hard as it seems. Since you already know some of them, just look for the octaves! :)

Having said that, here are some tutorials that might help you. This first one is Dave covering all the basic triads shapes & how to use them in lead playing.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1946

In this tutorial, I show how to find triads & their inversions across the fretboard.

[br]Major triads on the E, B & G strings.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=734

Minor traids on the E, B & G strings.[br]https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=2214

To address your other concerns.

Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

1) The same triad note can have 3 shapes (inversions) on each string triplet and i don't know when to use one instead of another given a certain song key.

That's a matter of knowing which voicing you want & how you intend to use it to get from the previous lick to the next one. Dave's tutorial shows how to connect some triads in a chord progression. My tutorials will how you how the basic I-IV-V progressions are connected across the fretboard.

But most of that is just being familiar with which triad shapes makes which sound. When you first start using them, just play whatever one you can. Once you get familiar with all of them, then you will have the experience of knowing what they sound like & which one you desire the sound of at any given time. But until you start practicing & using them you won't know the sounds. Make sense?

[quote=KillboyPowerhead]

2) The same triad note can be done on high strings or on low strings and i don't know the best practices about how to combine them.

Again that's a matter of personal musical preference that is hard to know until you have a lot of practice & experience using them.

It's kind of like asking which voicing of a chord you should use. It depends on the song, the other instruments, what effect you are going for & what your musical preferences are.

That's why it's important to learn all the notes, then all the possible triads, then learn solos by players you admire to gain experience at how they work.

[quote=KillboyPowerhead]

So i tried without luck to find out here on guitartricks and on the web a sort of "meat and potato" guide that helps you visualize how to combine triads in an easy way when you're improvising, something like the "L shape" bar chords rule if you see what i mean

I have these tutorials on improvisation. But they are aimed more at using a scale to target chord tones.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=876

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=483

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=491

But, for what it's worth, the L shape works just fine up the fretboard. The only thing is you have to compensate for the G to B string tuning.

For example, in the key of G.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-4-|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|[br]B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]G ||---|---|---|---|-4-|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]D ||---|---|---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]A ||---|---|-4-|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]E ||---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Or if you start with the root on the A string. For example, in C.

E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]B ||---|---|---|---|---|-4-|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]G ||---|---|---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]D ||---|---|-4-|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]A ||---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|[br]E ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

All patterns have to add an extra fret up for the G to B string since they are tuned a third apart (4 frets) instead of a 4th (5 frets) like all the other sets of strings.

That's also an example of how learning all the notes by expanding the octaves works! :)

Hope this helps. If you have other questions please ask! Best of success with triads!


Christopher Schlegel
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# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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07/05/2017 1:27 pm

Here's another idea that just occured to me! :)[br][br]These lessons are more advanced level material. But they might help you to see how to work in the right direction.

This tutorial covers triads & targeting chords tones in blues lead playing.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=826[br][br]

And this tutorial has a lesson on lead playing with arpeggiating triads in jazz.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1757[br][br]Specifically, go to lesson 4 in that tutorial.

https://www.guitartricks.com/lesson.php?input=21869&s_id=1757

Hope this also helps!


Christopher Schlegel
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# 3
KillboyPowerhead
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KillboyPowerhead
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07/05/2017 8:45 pm

Hi Christopher!

Thank you very much for your explanation!

The first thing that i'll do to tackle this argument is to learn all of the G-B notes by heart, in this way i can manage to find out in an faster and easier way the triads roots of the lowerest strings. It's also good for soloing in order to follow the flow of the back track, isn't it?

Then i'll work on triads combination:

"Practicing major/minor triads and inversions" sounds good. It's a course that i have looked for in GuitarTricks database, but i don't know why in the world i couldn't be able to find it until you post it ;-) at the moment i'm writing i've found other interesting courses on other stuff that i've never seen until today! Maybe i'm going to become blind! ;-)

However i hope with these courses to learn how to play and connect them.

Then i'll have a look to your Jazz courses in arpeggio. Hope i can follow them because i gave 'em a quick look and they seems pretty hard to me...

About which triad inversion to adopt in improvisation, you're saying that there's not a rule, it's more like an art that you can handle the day that you know how every single triad sound. If it's so, i think that it'll be long time ;-)

Am i right?

Last but not the least....[br]your schemas about 1-4-5 progression notes given a root on E, A and other strings are very clear and mind-opening, i'd suggest to Lisa McCormick to integrate them into her fantastic beginner core courses (the ones i followed in order to learn playing guitar).[br]Now that i've got it, i'll be able to move better on the lowest side of the guitar neck.

Thank you very much for now and sorry for my english!

I'm italian and English is not my main language!


# 4
KillboyPowerhead
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KillboyPowerhead
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Posts: 10
07/05/2017 9:05 pm

Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

"Practicing major/minor triads and inversions" sounds good. It's a course that i have looked for in GuitarTricks database, but i don't know why in the world i couldn't be able to find it until you post it ;-) at the moment i'm writing i've found other interesting courses on other stuff that i've never seen until today! Maybe i'm going to become blind! ;-)

Now i got it!

I usually watch your videos on GuitarTricks Android app and here i can't find some of your courses like "Practicing major/minor triads and inversions", "Visualing scale patterns", "Syncopation" and so on... is there an issue or do the app is incomplete?

Thank you.


# 5
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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07/06/2017 2:49 pm

You are welcome!

Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

The first thing that i'll do to tackle this argument is to learn all of the G-B notes by heart, in this way i can manage to find out in an faster and easier way the triads roots of the lowerest strings. It's also good for soloing in order to follow the flow of the back track, isn't it?

[/quote]

Yes, learn those notes! That's a necessary part of learning that you will use for as long as you play guitar.

Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

Then i'll work on triads combination:

[/quote]

Great idea!

Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

Then i'll have a look to your Jazz courses in arpeggio. Hope i can follow them because i gave 'em a quick look and they seems pretty hard to me...

They are pretty advanced. I just wanted you to see how important it is & will be to learn those chord tones. It can & should be done at the beginner levels, but even when you get to more advanced levels it's still the same concept, just more expanded.

So, I don't expect you to work through those right away! :) I just wanted you to see that it is important to start learning notes & chord tones, because it is the way forward.

[quote=KillboyPowerhead]

About which triad inversion to adopt in improvisation, you're saying that there's not a rule, it's more like an art that you can handle the day that you know how every single triad sound. If it's so, i think that it'll be long time ;-)

Am i right?

Yes! The only rule you can follow is: what sound do I want here? And you can only answer that question if you know what sounds are possible. So, I'm not suggesting that you should know all of the sounds & triads right away. What I mean is that you start to learn them one at a time. Then keep learning more!

That way, eventually you build a library of licks. The more you learn & practice, the more sounds you know & the more choices you have of what to play.

[quote=KillboyPowerhead]

Last but not the least....[br]your schemas about 1-4-5 progression notes given a root on E, A and other strings are very clear and mind-opening, i'd suggest to Lisa McCormick to integrate them into her fantastic beginner core courses (the ones i followed in order to learn playing guitar).

I'm glad that helped you!

You're English is fine. Much better than mine Italian.

Il meglio del successo! :)


Christopher Schlegel
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# 6
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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07/06/2017 2:50 pm
Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

Now i got it!

I usually watch your videos on GuitarTricks Android app and here i can't find some of your courses like "Practicing major/minor triads and inversions", "Visualing scale patterns", "Syncopation" and so on... is there an issue or do the app is incomplete?

[p]I don't know. I don't use the Android app. You might want to contact GT tech support. Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
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# 7
KillboyPowerhead
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KillboyPowerhead
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07/06/2017 10:05 pm
Originally Posted by: ChristopherSchlegel

Il meglio del successo! :)

Ahahahhaha! Speriamo bene (that's the equivalent of "I hope so" )!

For the app issues I'll contact the tech section. For people like me that follows the courses mostly on app is a great no no.

Thank you very much!


# 8
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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07/07/2017 3:11 am
Originally Posted by: KillboyPowerhead

For people like me that follows the courses mostly on app is a great no no.

I just remembered that Anders covers how to use arpeggio triads in rock style soloing in this tutorial from the Rock Course Level 2.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1719

Again, that might be too advanced right now. But it will give you an idea of where you are headed. And why it's great to know all the notes on the neck! :)[br][br]Also, for what it might be worth here are links to my tutorials on improvisation for beginners. It's not about triads, but I discuss using chord tones in scales.

https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=876

[br]https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=483

[br]https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=491


Christopher Schlegel
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# 9
stratmanjimbo
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stratmanjimbo
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07/08/2017 6:55 pm

GuitarTricks members can always depend upon Christopher Schlegel for two things (actually 3):

1. Great lessons

2. Sound well thought out advice and for some (good for me I speak fluent German!!) a tough to pronounce last name!!

:>)

Jim C.


# 10

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