Lateral Use Of Mixolydian Triads Pt 4 Triad Pairs And Stacked Triads
Shaun Baxter concludes this series on using triads to create fusion-like sophistication in your playing by stacking them, one on top of the other.
In this recent series, we’ve looked at ways of deriving triads from A Mixolydian in order to use them as the basis for new musical lines. Triads can help to introduce harmonic propulsion into your single-note lines by implying chord motion; producing results that sound both ear-catching and powerful. In the previous lessons, we’ve looked at different ways of creating lines by extracting diatonic triads and triad pairs from the scale and shifting them laterally along the guitar neck. In this final instalment on lateral motion, we are going to conclude our study of triad pairs as well as moving on to stacked triads. Stacked triads occur when triads are placed (visually) on top of each other within the same area of the neck.
Diagram 1 shows the various CAGED shapes of A Mixolydian with the dark notes representing the parental A triad notes within each shape (A-C#-E). Of all the different triads that exist within the scale, this is the strongest and many of your lines should hinge on these notes in particular.
Diagram 2 shows how all the CAGED shapes link together along the neck, so that you can see how everything is connected. It’s important to note that many ideas, especially lateral ones, will straddle two or more different CAGED shapes at the same time, and it’s important to be able to visualise this: if you don’t, you risk getting lost, and not being able to reapply the same ideas to different keys.
Remember, your aim, through formal experimentation with stacked triad ideas, is to establish a series of friendly flexible shapes (rather than theoretical concepts) that exist within each particular scale pattern; allowing you to use the information in an instinctive and intuitive way.
Initially, you should try to establish some stacked triad-based vocabulary in each of the five CAGED shapes of A Mixolydian. Next, try taking the principles that you have learned and establish equivalent ideas in the various positions of all the other scales that you know. Finally, as in previous lessons, when experimenting, remember to work 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.
Within the transcription, some pick-stroke indications are given to reflect where I used sweep picking on the recording; however, where 16th-notes are used, you may prefer to use alternate picking instead, as the tempo isn’t that high at only 120 bpm. Finally, all of the examples have been integrated within standard rock-blues vocabulary just to give you an idea of how the two approaches can be forged together.
it’s important to note that many lateral ideas will straddle two or more different caged shapes at once