Improve your solos with the triads
If we want to acquire additional resources to make our solos and improvisations more interesting, we cannot simply learn the notes of a scale-whether, it is the major scale or any other type of scale. Basing the melodic lines of our improvisations solely on scales will make our performance sound mechanical and uninteresting to our listeners.
To make our improvisation more interesting, we need to use additional resources that complement the use of the scale. In this lesson, we will begin to explore one of the resources we can use for that purpose: The study, analysis, and execution of the triads derived from the major scale.
What Are Triads?
The triad is one of the fundamental components of our tonal musical culture. It is the simplest formation when we talk about chords, but at the same time, it allows us to build very complex chords.
In simple words, triads are three-note chords.
A detail that not many know is that most of the basic chords on the guitar are, in essence, triads. The difference is that they have repeated notes.
In this case, the note on the second string (C) is the same as the note on the fifth string, but an octave (eight notes) higher. Similarly, the note on the first string (E) is the same as the note on the fourth string, but an octave (eight notes) higher.
What kind of triads does the major scale contain?
When analyzing the major scale note by note, we find that it has three types of triads:
- Major triad - basically a major chord or arpeggio
- Minor triad - basically an arpeggio or minor chord
- Diminished triad - basically a diminished chord or arpeggio
These types of triads are distributed as follows on the larger scale:
- First note: Major triad
- Second note: Minor triad
- Third note: Minor triad
- Fourth note: Major triad
- Fifth note: Major triad
- Sixth note: Minor triad
- Seventh note: Diminished Triad
Triads in the Major Scale
The Major Triad
The major triad is basically a major chord. Theoretically, it is formed by combining a major third interval (two tones, equivalent to four spaces on the guitar fingerboard) with a minor third (tone and a half, equivalent to three spaces on the guitar fingerboard).
A C major triad is composed of the notes C, E, and G.
There are basically three types of fingering to execute the major triad in any part of the fretboard. For the purposes of this discussion, I will identify them as follows (they are not official names, but merely the way I will refer to them in this lesson)
- Type A: One note on each string played (uses three strings).
- Type B: One note on the first string played and two on the next string (use two strings).
- Type C: Two notes on the first string played and one note on the next string (uses two strings).
The Minor Triad
In the same way that the major triad corresponds to a major chord, the minor triad is basically a minor chord. Theoretically, it is formed by combining a minor third interval (one and a half tones, equivalent to three spaces on the guitar fingerboard) with a major third (two tones, equivalent to four spaces on the guitar fingerboard). Note that the construction is the inverse of the major triad, which begins with a major third followed by a minor third.
Triad of C minor guitar
As with the major triad, there are three types of fingering to perform the minor triad anywhere on the fretboard. Let's take a moment to review the names I use to refer to each one (they are not official names, but merely the way I will refer to them in this and the other lessons of the series):
Type A: One note on each string played (uses three strings).
Type B: One note on the first string played and two on the next string (uses two strings).
Type C: Two notes on the first string played and one note on the next string (uses three strings).
Master the triads all over the mast
If you want to master the triads all over the mast, the good news is that you don't have to learn any new chords, you already know them. You just have to apply the figures of C, A, G, E, D, etc.
There are more triads like the augmented and diminished scale guitar ones, but the major and minor triads are by far the most used with the guitar. If you liked this article you might be interested in https://www.pimpmylicks.com/ with our guitar mastery method review, you’ll find the best rock guitar lessons, and advanced guitar lessons: the best way to learn guitar online!