Melodic Triads - Jordan Klemons

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Dickie Fredericks, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    I guess I need to see about his monthly thing or get some private lessons from him. I have questions about it such as, how do you know what triad to play over what chord?
    Do we start a new triad over every chord?
    He has an open class this Saturday online.
     
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  2. Kentano2000

    Kentano2000 Member

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    Where do we sign up?!
     
  3. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Info here: https://www.nycjazzguitarmasterclasses.com/online-programs

    Good question about how the triads get selected. Jordan approaches this from two perspectives. Firstly as I said before, he will take a melody - bar by bar - and listen for either a major or minor triad that most represents the "at home" or what I call "consonant nucleus" of that melody. Then he uses other notes in the melody as tensions to be played against the triad. There is always a primary tension note and he starts there. So now we have a quadratonic structure to play with, keeping in mind the interplay between the tension note and the triad. Then he adds a second tension note, giving you a pentatonic to play with, again starting from tension notes and resolving into the triad. Then he adds a third tension note, giving you a triad pair to play with, same process, the notes in the "tension" triad resolve into the melodic triad. This can go on to include a melodic triad and 9 other tension notes, although I stop at triad pairs.

    Now flipping this over, then yes, we get a system of harmony, except that it's based on melodies as the source. Having done the above for years he has come up with tonalities that show up often and so he shows how to get used to that tonality without linking it to this or that song. So yes, he will show you his approach to Maj7, Maj7#11, -7b5, Maj9, 13b9, 7#9#5, -7, -7/11, etc. Then he picks a song whose melody uses that tonality. By listening very closely over time we start to hear these tonalities as foundation triads with added tension notes and not just big chord grips that we all use. And he will use a different triad for Maj7 than for Maj9, than for Maj7#11, etc. In traditional harmony, we would think the same 1-3-5-7 and then add or substitute 9, #11, etc. Jordan doesn't do this hardly ever and in fact, for these three Maj7 chord types I cited, he doesn't use 1-3-5 from the root on ANY of them! AND, one can't just play X over -7 because there may be three different ways to harmonize that based on how it occurs in songs - there could be three or more ways to think of that -7 chord depending on what the melody is doing.

    As I said before, for me this was a revelation as to why knowing chord tones and progressions all over the place was not helping me improvise off of melodies. And what are the strongest lines in music? Melodies. Jordan says he's thinking like a piano player here, L hand playing 1-3-7 or some subset of the underlying harmony and R hand playing the melodic triad and tension notes. It yields tons of cool voicings and voice leading that I never would have had a way to access or even hear without his systematic approach. It's a simple process but yields a deep dive. Like when I started hearing a Maj7 chord as a minor tonality, and the root of a Maj7 chord as a tension note, that was a wtf moment. I hope this helps a little.
     
  4. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    Last sentence is basically what the demo of the technique is.

    Blew me away. That is why I'm interested. All 12 notes work over any chord. I think this is what gets you there. Maybe.
     
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  5. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Well we all have the same 12 notes, it becomes an issue of some having priorities over others.
     
  6. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    Indeed. So can you explain how your year has been? I mean Im looking at it and dont know where to start really. Do you just jump in and start with the current month?
     
  7. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Yeah that's probably the easiest and every month he goes through the same process so you're learning the process as much as you're learning the current tonality. Plus this month is fun one.
     
  8. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    The #5#9? Cmaj w the Ab triad? Yes, Ive got the study guide and am watching the vids now.
    Thanks for the reply!
     
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  9. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Yup! Good one. Blue In Green approved! And yeah, I try to make all of his open office hours.
     
  10. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    Im hoping to be there too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  11. frdagaa

    frdagaa Supporting Member

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    How well does his system work if you are playing with other musicians who aren’t familiar with it (but are decent musicians though not with monster ears that adapt easily based solely on their ears)? I get it’s usefulness in solo guitar.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  12. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    It shouldn't matter really. It seems if the band is doing a particlular chord, you can use these ideas in your solo spots.

    I didn't make the class yesterday but I did spend most of my day yesterday working on this month's study guide which is the #7#9. C7 shell with the Ab triad.

    I made a loop of the shell and focused on the triad and then added the tension note (in this case) E.

    Several times I found myself smiling as I was really enjoying what I was hearing and it was stuff I'd never play over a C7.

    I am still on the fence for private lessons with a few folks and I'm really considering the Premium membership instead.
     
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  13. Mike

    Mike Member

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    Yay! Very satisfying huh?
     
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  14. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    Yes, it is. Crazy fun too.
    I'd stop, smile and say to myself, "this is insane, I cant believe this"
     
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  15. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Okay, Dickie, I watched the first few minutes of his demo video where he sustains a Cmaj7 shell chord and plays Bmaj triad then adds C, E & G. Instead of sounding like a major triad, they sound like tension notes in his demo. WTF?

    That really messed with my ears. Color me intrigued.
     
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  16. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Unless I'm going deaf it's cause of the looper sounding the B triad, no?
    @Mike
     
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  17. benagain

    benagain Member

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    Think Jordan said it was a C major on the drone / loop.
     
  18. derekd

    derekd Member

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    Yes, he's using a B major triad over that Cmaj7 shell. However, when you've got a Cmaj7 droning in the background, you'd think C, E & G would sound diatonic.

    My head understands the relationships but my ears didn't want to cooperate. Musical trickery!
     
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  19. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Well to me the B is the dominating note in the loop...sonically.
     
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  20. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    And if I continue with that logic that that melodic triad thing makes all the sense in the world. Now that said I watched a few more of his vids and love where he's going. Just personally not sure this is different than say using a C and B triad hexatonic,as source...jus' sayin'....
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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