Magazine article Guitar Player

The Power of Three, Pt. 2

Magazine article Guitar Player

The Power of Three, Pt. 2

Article excerpt

THIS MONTH WE CONTINUE OUR multipart lesson on triads and using them in new and creative ways. We left off last month by using the pitches G, A, and D, and labeled this triad 1-2-5 [Ex. 1]. We then used this voicing and its inversion in a number of arpeggiated ways.

This time, let's pair this same triad with another one a whole-step away. Now in most circumstances, when we combine two triads we would have six different pitches. But because of the 1-2-5 voicing, the note A is duplicated, thus leaving us with a tonal pool of five unique pitches: G, A, B, D, and E [Ex. 2a]. Don't worry, this is by design and you may already recognize that these five pitches spell a pentatonic scale. Now, if your neurons aren't firing rapidly, they should be, because if there is one scale that we guitar players know, it's the pentatonic scale [Ex.2b].

Now let the fun begin! Think of this lesson as a way to revamp your lick bag using the same scale you know and love, but approaching it from a triad level. Ponder that for a moment and realize that all the licks will easily work over Era7, E7#9, Fmaj7#11, Gmaj7, G7, Am7, A7, B[??]7alt, and many, many more. I encourage you to play each of these examples over all of these listed chords and hear how great they sound. Here we go.

Ex. 3a shows both triads and their inversions up the neck in closed position. Take some time to see how these lay on the neck, and memorize the shapes. Trick: Memorize the first shape, then move it up a whole step, now do the second shape and move it up a whole step, etc. …

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