Shaun Bax­ter con­tin­ues to delve into the Mixoly­dian mode, stack­ing tri­ads to cre­ate new and in­ter­est­ing blues-rock lines.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Part two of Shaun Bax­ter’s ex­plo­ration of Mixoly­dian tri­ads

In the pre­vi­ous les­son, we looked at ways of de­riv­ing tri­ads from A Mixoly­dian to be used as the ba­sis for new mu­si­cal lines. Tri­ads in­tro­duce har­monic mo­tion into your line by im­pos­ing one chord se­quence on top of an­other (in this case, the sound of mov­ing tri­ads over a static A7 vamp) mak­ing your lines sound a lot stronger than sim­ple scale-step-based ideas. In this les­son, rather than play a triad from each note of the scale (as we did in the pre­vi­ous one), we are go­ing to look at ways of stack­ing tri­ads on top of each other within the con­fines of a sin­gle scale shape; how­ever, be­fore we dive into the mu­si­cal ex­am­ples, we’ll need to re­vise the prin­ci­ples stud­ied so far.

Tri­ads com­prise three suc­ces­sive scale ‘3rds’. Here are the ones that ex­ist within A Mixoly­dian (A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G): A C# E A triad – 1 3 5 B D F# Bm triad – 1 b3 5 C# E G C#dim triad – 1 b3 b5 D F# A D triad – 1 3 5 E G B Em triad – 1 b3 5 F# A C# F#m triad – 1 b3 5 G B D G triad – 1 3 5

It’s not im­por­tant to think of the name of each triad as you ex­tract them from a scale when you im­pro­vise. In­stead, it’s pos­si­ble to merely recog­nise triad ‘shapes’ within each scale. Ev­ery one of the above tri­ads is cre­ated by tak­ing any one of the notes of A Mixoly­dian (A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G) and then play­ing ev­ery other note from that point (A-C#-E then B-D-F# then C#-E-G etc).

When ex­plor­ing ways of con­struct­ing sin­gle-note lines from tri­ads, it’s im­por­tant to ac­knowl­edge that we can play any of the fol­low­ing math­e­mat­i­cal per­mu­ta­tions from the scale. Three-note se­quences (order of notes: 1-3-5 1-5-3 3-1-5 3-5-1 5-1-3 5-3-1 Four-note se­quences (order of notes): Cri­te­ria: all three notes used; only one note re­peated; same note can­not be played in suc­ces­sion, in other words con­sec­u­tively. 1-3-5-1 1-3-5-3 1-3-1-5 1-5-1-3 1-5-3-1 1-5-3-5 3-1-5-3 3-1-5-1 3-1-3-5 3-5-1-5 3-5-1-3 3-5-3-1 5-1-3-5 5-1-3-1 5-1-5-3 5-3-1-3 5-3-1-5 5-3-5-1

Although we will only be ap­ply­ing th­ese per­mu­ta­tions to root in­ver­sion shapes in this les­son; it is also pos­si­ble to ap­ply them to first and sec­ond in­ver­sion shapes:

First in­ver­sion – 3 (low­est pitch), 5 (mid­dle pitch), 1 (high­est pitch)

Sec­ond in­ver­sion – 5 (low­est pitch), 1 (mid­dle pitch), 3 (high­est pitch)

Most play­ers who are new to us­ing tri­ads find it dif­fi­cult to make mu­sic us­ing leaps rather than steps; how­ever, through per­se­ver­ance, it’ll soon be­come pos­si­ble to use tri­ads as a natural ve­hi­cle for ex­pres­sion. The ideal sce­nario is to be able to play se­quen­tially us­ing scales and in­ter­sperse arpeg­gios in a seam­less and mu­si­cal way – just as the great jazz-rock gui­tarists do.

Fi­nally, re­mem­ber to try work­ing at cre­at­ing ideas that have some form of rhyth­mic in­ter­est, as this is a great way help to make tri­ads more mu­si­cal and less me­chan­i­cal, or like ex­er­cises.

it’s not im­por­tant to know the name of each triad in ev­ery scale, but recog­nise ‘shapes’ in each scale as you play them

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