Improvisation with Triads

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Improvisation with Triads

The triad improvisation method allows you to simply improvise over any song you like, chromatically and diatonically in a simple and fun way, by visualizing and mastering the three shapes of triads all over your fingerboard. Than you can play around the triad notes to get all the other notes that you want.

This method does not require any theory background and it is the easiest to understand and fastest and most fun to implement. There are only two must-have skills you need to use this method:

  • Feel of the form of the song
  • Visualize the shapes of the triads of the chords of the song on your guitar.

1- The form of the song – at any moment when you play a song, you must know what the chord is. Where you are – what chord you have to improvise over.

2- For each chord- major or minor – we have 3 shapes, for our three inversions:

Triad Shapes

Let’s learn the basic shapes that we’ll use in this lesson for Minor Swing:

You can create simple and beautiful improvisations using the triads themselves, but it is beautiful to play below and above the notes of the triads.

Here are some of the most common embellishments that are used in Gypsy Jazz:

Half tone approach:

For each note of the triads, play a half tone below it:

Am – Half tone approach exercise #1 (2:26 in the video)

Am – Half tone approach exercise #2 (2:34 in the video)

Dm – Half tone approach exercise #1

Dm – Half tone approach exercise #2 (6:28 in the video)

E – Half tone approach exercise #1 (9:20 in the video)

E – Half tone approach exercise #2 (9:25 in the video)

Enclosure:

For each note of the triad, play a note half tone below and another diatonic (or chromatic, depending of your musical taste) note above.

Am - Enclosure exercise #1
Am - Enclosure exercise #2 (4:24 in the video)
Am - Enclosure exercise #3
- Enclosure exercise #1 (6:37 in the video)
Dm - Enclosure exercise #1 (7:41 in the video)
E - Enclosure exercise #1 (9:40 in the video)
E - Enclosure exercise #2 (10:20 in the video)
Minor Swing – Form
Playing with motifs over Minor Swing

By listening to a lot of Django solos, we hear how beautiful and important is to play motifs in your solo. Playing motifs over the triads is a great starting point.

Lets take Minor Swing and practice our motif playing over it.

Step 1- learn the shapes of triads for Minor Swing.

Step two – play simple improvisations with notes from the triads, to make sure you keep the form.

Step three – Add half tone approach and enclosures.

Step four – think in terms of motifs and repeat each motif at least three times.

 

For the entire Triads Couses, click here>>

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2 Comments
  • Robert Matichak
    Posted at 16:18h, 01 October Reply

    Great lesson. Thank you for your generosity!
    Question:
    In your exercises you almost always use your 1st and 3rd fingers (left hand).
    Is there a reason for this?
    Can we use our 4 fingers of our left hand?
    Example: in the semitones below and diatonic above (trill) exercise,
    You use your 1st and 3rd fingers only. Is it ok to use my 2nd-4th-1st fingers?
    Thx again.

    • Yaakov Hoter
      Posted at 01:09h, 15 October Reply

      Hi Robert
      Yes of course you can use any fingering you’d like.
      For me fingering is a very personal thing and I just played many of Django’s solos with two fingers to understand his fingerings, So it influenced mine and I have found it much easier for me to use only two fingers some times.
      Hope that helps
      Keep swingin’!
      Yaakov

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