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Scales and Modes with Joshua Barnhart: Open Chord Triads

Welcome back to my lessons on world domination.

This month we’re going to look into open chord triads, as opposed to last month were we looked at closed position triads.

First lets take a look at Major. The simplest way I’ve found to pull most of these off is to take the second voice from the triad voicings and move it up an octave.

Next up is Minor. These are calculated the same way by taking the second voice and moving it up an octave.

Now that those are out of the way, the weird ones get their shot at it.  Augmented triads are a series of major thirds.  And because the number of half steps for a major third is 4, 3 major thirds would make 12 total steps or an octave. So each position of the triad is exactly the same, it just depends on what note you start on.

Diminished triads are an awkward series of notes. 2 stacked minor thirds makes for some weird stretching problems when you start flipping around notes.  I suggest only using the 2nd inversion higher up on the neck. Well in reality I suggest doing all of these as high up as you can. For you 4 string guys this is going to use just about everything you’ve got as far as strings go.

Finally we have our suspended 4th triad. A series of 4th and 5th intervals map out fairly well mostly because out bass is tuned in 4ths.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Michael White

    May 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    is the red dot the open string root?

  2. Joshua Barnhart

    Joshua Barnhart

    May 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    The red dots are the roots of the chord. while the blue dots are other chord tones.

    hope that helps

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