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A Deeper Look at Triads – Part 2

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Hello Freteleven Family! If you're reading this, chances are you've already checked out our last blog post on triads (if you haven't, be sure to give it a read here: https://freteleven.com/blog/b/a-deeper-look-at-triads).

In that post, I talked about the basics of triads and their benefits for guitar players of all levels. But I also promised that we'd be diving deeper into triads in future posts, and that's exactly what we're here to do today.

In this week's post, I'm going to take a look at some advanced techniques for using triads in your guitar playing, including how to extend triads to all string sets, open voicings, and how to add tension to triads.

Please don't keep this valuable resource to yourself! Share it with other guitarists who could benefit from the content. And if there's something specific you want us to cover in a future post, don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@freteleven.com. Your feedback is what helps us create even more useful content for you.

Learning Triads Across the Entire Guitar

When I first learned about triads on guitar, I learned them as part of a song. I didn't have a comprehensive understanding of where they fell on the fretboard. It wasn't until later that I realized they could be played on all sets of adjacent three strings, and that opened up a whole new world of possibilities to my rhythm playing.

Knowing triads on all string sets helps to move beyond the limitations of playing in just one area of the fretboard. By understanding how to play triads on different string sets, I began to find the right chord quickly without thinking about it.

To deeply know the triads on each set of adjacent three strings, it is important to spend time practicing them and memorizing their positions. By doing so, it becomes easier to incorporate them in a musical way and use them as a tool for creating interesting rhythm parts. Below are all the major triads as they occur on three adjacent strings. Remember from last week, it is easy to take those major shapes and play triads with a different quality (i.e. minor, dim or aug)

Open Voicings

Notice the strings sets that these triads are typically played on skip a string depending on the inversion.

To give you an idea of how to apply open voicings to your playing, here are some examples of triads in different keys played in open voicings:

Creating Tension

Music is an amazing art form that has the ability to evoke emotions and captivate us. One of the reasons music is so powerful is because of the use of tension and release. Tension in music is when there's an element of dissonance or instability added to a musical phrase or chord. Release, on the other hand, happens when that tension is resolved by moving to a more stable, consonant sound. It's this back-and-forth interplay of tension and release that creates interest and takes us on a musical journey.

So, how can we add tension to our triads? By changing one or more notes in the triad to non-chord tones. The most common non-chord tones used for adding tension are the 2 (or 9), the 4 (or 11), and the 6 (or 13).





One exercise you can try is to take a simple chord progression, like I-IV-V, and experiment with adding tension to each chord. Use the add, sus4 and 6 chords below in a I-IV-V chord progression and discover the tension that each chord feels and sounds like.

Remember, tension is an important tool in creating interesting and engaging music. By incorporating non-chord tones and inversions, you can add tension to your triads and create more interesting chord progressions.

Well, there you have it, folks! We've covered a lot of ground in this post, exploring the basics of triads and diving deeper into more advanced techniques like open voicings and adding tension.

I hope you've found this post helpful in expanding your understanding and use of triads as a tool to help creating interesting and dynamic rhythm guitar parts. Remember, like with any new skill, practice is key. Take some time to work on incorporating triads into your practice sessions, and soon enough, you'll start hearing the benefits in your playing.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to share this post with your fellow guitarists who are looking to expand their rhythm guitar toolbox. And don't forget to let us know what topics you'd like us to cover in future posts. Your feedback helps us create even more valuable content for you. Keep on practicing!

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