Ch10 Playing Major triads

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites iPod version This is a prepatory exercise for Ch11 Using Major triads in basslines The C , F and G Major triads played in different positions up to the 7th fret, please memorize them, you will gain a great advantage in being able to break out of the "only playing root notes" box fretboard145 (Click the image for full size)

Explanation of  why you should learn this;-)

Since most western music harmony is based on the 7 steps of major scale, and that the chords built on the major scale are VERY common and should be memorized and transposed since they cover the foundation of MOST songs you will ever play. And most pop and classic rock is composed either on a guitar or piano playing simple chords  (often by a non guitarist or non pianist), hence the "easy" keys and chords (C, G, D, Am, Em...) that  are VERY common. So if we take the 7 steps of the major scale and build a simple chord on each step, in this case a triad (a three note chord):
  • 1  C E G - spells a C Major triad - written as C
  • 2  D F A - spells a D minor triad - written as Dm or D-
  • 3  E G B - spells a E minor triad - written as Em or E-
  • 4  F A C - spells a F Major triad - written as F
  • 5 G B D - spells a G Major triad - written as G
  • 6 A C E - spells a A minor triad - written as Am or A-
  • 7 B D F - spells a B dimished triad - written as B0 or Bdim, but is not thatcommon and is often changed to a G Major triad with B in the bass - G/B
To build a triad from a scale, you play every other scale note, ie the C Major triad is the 1st,  3rd and 5th step of the C major scale, the D minor triad is the 2nd,  4th and 6th step, the E minor triad is the 3rd,  5th and 7th step.... So we have: C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim and if you look it as scale steps from the C major scale, it translates to: 1, 2m, 3m, 4, 5, 6m, 7dim If we only use the Major chords we get : C, F, G or the scale steps 1, 4 ,5 Which is a very common progression - ie Blues, Rock 'n' roll (Chuck Berry, Elvis...) | C | C | C | C | | F | F | C | C | | G | F | C | G | Or written as numbers (the scale steps) as the Nashville studio musicians do: | 1  | 1  | 1 | 1  | | 4 | 4 | 1 | 1  | | 5 | 4 | 1 | 5 | A very wise thing to do since you can transpose to all keys more easy just thinking in scale steps | 1 | 4 | 5 | 1 | in C is | C | F | G | C | And transposed to G is | 1 | 4 | 5 | 1 | | G | C | D | G | Go to next chapter of this tutorial with a song built on the 1st, 4th and 5th step ogf the major scale using the triads you have learnt in the video

gusabela said,

May 26, 2011 @ 5:39 am

Thanks a billion…

Harmonizing the major scale 1/3 | said,

April 8, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

[…] For further written explanation revisit this lesson on playing bass lines over triads […]

ajcrm125 said,

November 4, 2009 @ 4:38 am

I think the fret chart has an error for the G major triad. B on the E string is labeled as a 5th when it should be a 3rd.
You are rigth thx, ill correct it pronto

Skybum33 said,

November 3, 2009 @ 10:45 pm

Wow, you did a great job explaining this, much clearer now I must say!

Nikko said,

October 27, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

Thank you so much Marlowe for beginning these kind of theory lessons: It makes so much more sense when someone just lays it down before you instead of focusing on tedious paragraphs of theory. Although I already understood this concept, I can see that you intend on delving deeper into this sacred world of musical intellect and for this, I will wait intently.

P.S. Whenever I feel musically demented or have a lack of motivation to pick up my bass, I click on the PNBRSS tab… and voila! Bass is interesting again.


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