Tomo's triad lesson Vol 1

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Tomo, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass
    I like to think simple. Playing is supposed be fun.. not
    like school home work. But it's better to have some foundation.

    Here is some ideas on triads. Just like foods, if you like this
    "take it" if you don't dig it. just ignore this please. This is not
    best answer.

    First, knowing CAGED , Penta tonic, Major scale are good thing. Many people
    like you who has been playing box shapes, has same feeling "I want to get out from
    these box!). I understand it. Problem is not knowing notes name, degree.. sometimes.
    So all you need to is re-learn these (what you know) from different point of view.

    So let's start to learn your TRIAD(Rt 3 5/ 3 5 Rt/ 5 Rt 3).
    I can suggest something here so later you can do by yourself.

    1) Learn C triad (CEG/ EGC/ GCE)
    over 123/234/345/456 set of strings.
    Side way, Across.....

    2) Do the same thing in F.

    3) do these on C F Bb Eb..
    Then you 'll understand your fretboard.

    And "Color" means... Many things, Chord changes... or Say Dom 7 has certain color
    9th chord... (Rt 3 b7 9th 5th) not shape , sound and color. So that you need to relearn
    all your chord voicing with those color, degree... That's why triads are best way to start.

    Because you only need to deal with 3 notes, Simple is BETTER for me.

    Rt 3 5
    3 5 Rt
    5 RT 3
    Each one has a color. So you need to know by sound (emotion)
    and Degree (Technique) Those balance make you as better guitar player.

    Then apply these to music. That's how you study and practice your guitar.
    Specific direction and goal. It's fun!

    For instance, if you play G triad on 123 strings
    from bottom to up .... let me spell the notes

    Over G (just G triad) G triad over C majot7 G over A7

    B D G (3rd 5th Rt) (M7 9th 5th) (9th 11 b7)
    D G B (5th Rt 3rd) (9th 5th M7) (11 b7 9th)
    G B D (Rt 3rd 5th) (5th M7 9th) (b7 9th 11)

    but if you play G triad over C major7 ?
    Color changes to 5th M7 9th instead of Rt 3rd 5th

    How about play over A7? b7 9th 11(sus4)
    Carlton and Robben plays this way over dom 7
    Play A & G triad over A7 chord, what you get?
    Rt 3rd 5th from A and b7 9th 11 from G ....sound like
    A Mixsolydinan without 6th degee?

    Traids are very powerful for me.
    Those are just a taste. Good luck!


    I will write next how to make, play
    melody with chords. Chord melody as
    Tomo's Triad lesson Vol 2.



    Hi all,

    I would like to add more info regarding triads.

    You don't have to buy anything. I am not great writer(I wish)
    but I do my best to help you about triads.

    I generally practice more on my time, my touch, and Tone.
    Especially grooves. I am sucker for any rhythm guitar.

    It's very interesting... more I practice my rhythm guitar
    and harmony. It seems like my soloing is getting better?

    Because I was preparing my harmony sense, song forms
    with triads as well as Rt 3rd 7th chords, so this made
    me to see clear path for my soloing.

    Most people want to improving their soloing skills,
    but I think there is not enough preparation for changes
    (specific sound direction , harmony relationship).

    I hope I can help a little. My goal is your freedom of playing

    Tomo 6/22/06


    Tomo DVD tour Box


    Hi guys,

    Thanks for reading here. I thought about this....
    I will post my previous posts which I edited a bit for easy to understand.
    It's like a summary of what I wrote regarding triad topics. I will keep adding
    more here for you to review things.


    Tomo 7/16/06

    Reviewing " Triad and melody in E"

    I teach my students. simple tune in key of E.
    Because you can make a major scale on 1st string.
    0 2 4 5 7 9 11 12 frets. Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do.
    (also... Key of C is uncool for guitar!!!)

    Keep it simple is the important key for me.
    Ok, play triads on 123 strings like this.

    Just top 123 strings. Let's review these.

    E triad:
    0 4 7 12
    0 5 9 12
    1 4 9 13

    A triad:
    0 5 10
    2 5 9
    2 6 10

    B triad:
    2 7 11
    4 7 12
    4 8 11

    Now play Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti do on E string(1st string)
    0 2 4 5 7 9 11 12.....

    Now it's time to play with the triads.

    0 2 4 5 7 9 11 12
    0 4 5 5 9 10 12 12
    1 4 4 6 9 9 11 13

    So i iv v chords can be melody. I don't like to rely or think too much
    theoy. Think music first instead of reason.........
    What sound good to you?

    You can play chord melody on 123 strings.
    Just E , A, B.... 3 shapes.

    Of course, once you can master this.
    What do you do next???

    Yes, you are right!!! Apply this idea to your music!

    How about apply same chord sound into different positions...
    let's say... 234 set strings.


    Please don't forget to feel the degrees. not just those shapes.



    " i vi ii v triads idea"

    Reviewing on triads over 1 6 2 5 changes.
    Let's try these over top 123 set strings.

    1) Key of Bb:(123 strings)
    a) Play all three inversions from possible area..... Bb...... G........C-........F.......
    b) choices of direction. from bottom to up, from up to down, or combination....
    c) Play in tempo?

    Could you do play these without big effort?

    now step 2.

    2) Key of Bb: (234 strings)
    now you try same ideas over 234 strings.

    now step 3?

    3) Key of Eb:
    a) Play all 3 triads over each chord ... Eb....... C...........F-............ Bb.............
    b) b) choices of direction. from bottom to up, from up to down, or combination....

    Step 4.

    4) Now it's time to play Bb G C- F like this
    a) 1 3 3 5
    3 3 4 6
    3 4 5 5

    b) Then next pos.....
    6 7 8 8
    6 8 8 10
    7 7 8 10

    c) Then.... next....
    10 10 11 13
    11 12 13 13
    10 12 12 14

    How's going so far? Can I do next step?


    " Review C triads over 123 set strings. And apply to C F, Bb, Eb..."

    1) C triads over 123 set strings. Feel the top notes: 3rd, Rt, 5th again....
    Think about shape first is ok. then degrees.... Don't look at your fingers too much.

    0 3 8 12
    1 5 8 13
    0 5 9 12

    Are you ready to go next? OK.

    2) Apply your C major triads to key in F. Do this very slow please.
    If you hurry to work on this, then you are trying to memorize.... no no.....
    you need to apply this naturally.What is the top notes. Don't count, follow the color of sound.

    From the bottom note... 5th, Rt , 3rd.
    Yes, good question! Fingerings. There are 3 voicings.
    From bottom to top.

    a) E shape. 1 & 2 fingers
    b) D shape 1, 2 & 3 fingers.
    c) A shape 3,4 & 1 fingers.

    1 5 8
    1 6 10
    2 5 10

    3) Bb triads: Starting different fingering.... do you understand it?

    A shape(5th), E shape(Rt), and D shape(3rd)......

    Most of us thought bar chords are cooler than camp fire open chords?
    Real world more simple is better (in my world)

    1 6 10
    3 6 11
    3 7 10

    4) Eb triads..... These are really useful when you jam with SRV!

    3 6 11
    4 8 11
    3 8 12

    OK. Review more here...

    a) Triangle shape: D form. Top mote is 3rd. From bottom.. 5th Rt 3rd

    b) If you use 1, 3, 4 fingers......This is "A form" top note is 5th. Yes.

    c) Famous E shape!!! You can play just this shape ... slide side by side.
    You can play slide guitar! Top note is Rt. Yes.

    How was that? Now it's ready to apply your triad into tunes.


    I should go over how to apply triads over jazz standard changes... but let me do some
    rock, blues tunes, ok?

    "Little Wing"

    Basic changes are... (as simple as triads)

    E- G A- E- B- (Bb-) A- C G F C D........

    Play like this(very simple) ... 123 set strings.

    0 3 0 0 2 (1) 0 0 3 1 0 2 (1st E string)
    0 3 1 0 3 (2) 1 1 3 1 1 3 (2nd B string)
    0 4 2 0 4 (3) 2 0 4 2 0 2 (3rd G string)

    or.... side way... 3 positions on each triad... just in case.

    037 3710 058 037 2710(169) 058 038 3710 158 038 2510
    058 3812 1510 058 3712(2611) 1510 158 3812 1610 158 3710
    049 4712 259 049 4711(3610) 259 059 4712 2510 059 2711

    a) From bottom to up.... each chord, 3 triads.

    b) Up to bottom...

    c) any directions, any combinations.

    d) Play music, mix ideas.... but please make sure that you can play
    these triads over each chord effortlessly, naturally without thinking
    too much shapes or visual aspect....

    I would like to stick around good fundamental for advance playing.

    Please spend your triads with "Little Wing" This may change your playing?
    Hopefully you can add something to your own playing.

    I have next ideas follow this tune.

    PS, Guys, thanks for your time and writing.

  2. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    NJ out of England
    Thanks, T.
    Happy Fathers Day! From one to another. Dance on.

    Best, Pete.
  3. NotWesYet

    NotWesYet Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2002
    South Carolina
    Thanks Tomo!!! Happy Father's Day!:D
  4. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass
    Happy Father's day!

    Pete ,

    I can't dance!


    I always wish you ES335!

    and Everyone!

    My lesson gift for you!

  5. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Silver Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    North Carolina
  6. Butterfly

    Butterfly Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Location Location
    Thanks Tomo and a Happy Fathers Day to you
  7. WhosYourPal

    WhosYourPal Member

    May 6, 2003
    Northern, NJ
  8. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass
    Hi Guys,

    Hope you had a great "Father's day" yesterday.


    Thank you. You know all these and we want to help
    people... I am doing same thing.
    but hope I can reach one more person.


    Thank you so much for reading.
    Triads are simple and powerful. My Accelerate DVD2
    covers all "CAGED" "3notes per strings"
    "2strings set" systems and many etudes...
    Walking bass line system... so that anybody can play
    like Joe Pass.


    Thank you so much! I love my job, teaching.
    Hope I can do more writing here and there
    to help prople. More harmony, chords... will
    help soloing... which people are interested in.

    Thank you for listening.

    Time to pick up your guitar!
    Enjoy playing.

  9. Marcello

    Marcello Member

    Jul 15, 2004
    Great stuff Tomo, triads are fundamental.
    Thanks for the lesson !
  10. Butterfly

    Butterfly Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Location Location
    Tomo or TGP: When the triads are spelled out, I understand the R, 3 & 5. But what are the 5th, M7 and 9th and b7 9th 11th? Are they intervals of the r, 3 5? How can they be, wouldn't they be the same as the intervals between the triad stays the same? And how could the R be a b7 in this case?
    Any help would be appreciated. I know this is the key to understanding the guitar.
  11. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass

    Hi Roger,

    Regular major triad, say C... C E G
    that's just major triad.

    Here I presented as upper structure triad over bass.
    Basically same C triad could have 12 different
    bass note.

    I have question for you. Can you play C triad
    over 123/234/345/456 set of strings?

    Up or down? Do you know each degrees?
    Which note is what? 3rd? 5th? Rt? Then,

    Can you play all F triad on fretboard?
    Many things are possible... but you have to
    work on "One by one"

    You can say same question to other things.
    For instance, I play B on (Hi E string 7th fret)
    Then if you play C Majoy7.. Then my "B" sound
    like Major7.

    But if you play A-7... my "B' note will sound
    9th (A-9)..... If you play C#-7.... my "B" as

    That's how I think notes, not as position or patterns.
    That's ok , first ...then I would like you to know my
    "B" means againt "?"

    "One note many colors"

    I am not try to teach anything here.
    Hope someone notice something new.

    PS, you could do same way on minor, dim
    aug triads... that's another story. Stay around
    blues... that's what I like.

    I should go back to my correspondence lessons.

    To Marcello,

    Thank you. I like simple stuff, it's really useful.

    Triads are like vegetables.
    Good for you!

  12. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    What he is saying is the relationship of the triad notes to the chord.

    For example:

    BDG played over a G chord (GBD) is:

    B =3rd of the G chord,
    D= 5th of the G chord
    G = root of the G chord

    BDG played over a C Major 7th chord (CEGB) is

    B = Major 7th of the C chord
    D = 9th of the C chord
    G = 5th of the C chord

    BDG played over an A7 chord (AC#EG) is:

    B = 9th of the A7th chord
    D = 11th of the A7th chord
    G = b7 of the A7th chord

    Just count up scale tones from the root to figure this out.

    For example in a C scale the notes are:


    Because the chords are built in triads (3 notes apart) we don't count D as a 2nd but as a 9th.

    C Maj7th:


    Same goes for A mixolydian mode over which the A7 chord is built:

    A11 chord:
  13. Butterfly

    Butterfly Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Location Location
    Tomo & Lance:
    First thanks for the in-depth reply.
    Tomo: I don't know the C triad across the string group. I do know various triads here and there, ie this three notes is an A, over here this fingering is a C and so on. Never learned the fretboard in the way you suggest. Looks like its the way to go.

    Lance: Now I see, the relationship not to each other but to various chords. Pardon my dumness, but I think this is what Robben Ford and others refer to a understanding the notes in the chord and "the scale that runs through it".

    Its amazing how you can learn as I did, with the patterns and chords, but not learn this stuff. Kudos guys
  14. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass

    Hi Lance,

    I was waiting for you to step in!

    Great plus!!! Thank you so much!

    More you repeat this ideas on more cases
    people will see the point. Thank you so much
    for adding here.

    Colors on note. This will help not to think just
    shapes. Even those shapes will mean and serve

    How about blues applications.
    (look like cooking recipe ?)

    I will do this later.

  15. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass

    Hi Roger,

    C triad on side by side... top 123 strings,
    234,345,456,456.... close voicings.

    1) C form
    2) A form
    3) G form
    4) E form
    5) D from

    All you have to is find out
    CEG on every possible places,
    same way find EGC...

    CEG (root position)
    EGC (1st inversion)
    GCE (2nd inversion)

    or Do Mi So
    Mi So Do
    So Do Mi... sing those.

    I have specific way to study and apply these,
    but that's lesson. here we are friend and sharing
    ideas. So no rules. Do all and feel by yourself.

    Do you have a fax machine?
    I can send you triad visualization sheet.

    As much as you learn, please help kids, friends..
    spread guitar world.

    PS, Knowing fretboard is very important for me...
    otherwise as if you don't know the name of streets,
    when you have to detour...(in different key) you have
    no idea.


    Please review all material.
  16. Kappy

    Kappy Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Soho, NYC
  17. Tone

    Tone Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Hi Tomo.
    Why C, F, Eb, Bb?

    Thanks for putting this up!:dude
  18. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass

    Cycle of keys? Sometimes no reason.
    But how you learn and how you apply these
    later... it's very important.

    Most people learn stuff and can't connect to

    So this case.

    1) You learn cycle of flat keys.
    go forth.... i goes iv like blues..

    2) So C =no flat
    F=one flat
    Bb=Two flats
    Eb=Three flats

    3) This way you can practice to
    see C, F, Bb, Eb on same set of
    strings, for instance 123 strings.(just idea)

    4) One purpose is to forget about shapes,
    more about sound and color.

    5) Finally , after you master those 4 chords.(C F Bb Eb)
    There is a test ( I use this for Berklee mid term)

    ...... Please review these really well.

    a) Bottom to up.
    b) Up to bottom.
    c) Bottom to up and up to bottom
    d) You know what to do?

    6) Then you can aplly this to "Autumn Leaves"
    Actual changes ..

    Yes, you can practice with Rt 3 7 form too. You can apply Ex19 from
    my AYGP to this tune! Don't memorize this. Learn and apply.


    but you can also just play plain triads...
    this way your jazz become more friendly
    and jazz= not too difficult feel =more fun!

    Here we go again. Let's play on top 123
    strings. I can do more specific.
    (notes on 321 strings... you'll see)

    Practice 3 potitions each chord:

    C- (CEbG)
    F (CFA)
    Bb (DFBb)
    Eb (EbGBb)
    Adim (CEbA or EbAC)
    D (DF#A or F#AD)
    G- (DGBb or GBbD)
    G (DGB or GBD)

    7) You need to check this...
    Can you play C F Bb Eb on 123 set strings
    before you play above?

    One more time please!

    Now you can do this?

    Like this
    Bb (BbDF DFBb FBbD BbDF)
    Eb (BbEbG EbGBb GBbEb BbEbG )

    C (513 135 351 513)
    F (351 513 135 351)
    Bb (135 351 513 135)
    Eb (513 135 351 513)

    Hope you can see these colors.
    I need a coffee!


    ....... Reviewing is really important!
  19. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Apr 16, 2004
    Boston, Mass
    Hey Dave,

    Did you make this?

  20. lhallam

    lhallam Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Thanks Tomo. I just love teaching which I haven't done in years. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I found this forum.

    I agree with color concept. When I studied Impressionism the professor stressed the concept of color in music. Awesome. About that time Fripp and Eno released their first collaboration which is a wash of colors.

    BTW - I've never bought into the 11th being an avoid note in standard jazz tunes. To me it sounds like "thunk". I like the sound of "thunk" as long as it's not a heavy object landing on my foot. ;)

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