Working on triads is something I do frequently as I find it good for my ears, my mind, my technique and my basic understanding of one of the fundamental structures found in both melody and harmony. Strong melodies and voicings are often an embellishment of a triad, often times a triad with one added note. In this video I’m working with a metronome on 4 simple 2nd inversion triad phrases from my book Major Triad Mastery. Each triad is in 2nd inversion but the notes are played in 4 different orders thus creating 4 distinct triadic melodies. These are the note orders in 2nd inversion: 1). 1,5,3 alternating with 3,5,1 – 2). 1,3,5 alternating with 5,3,1 – 3). 3,5,1 alternating with 1,5,3 – 4). 5,3,1 alternating with 1,3,5 . The triads are played with a metronome descending by half step from concert Bb major down through the keys.
I finished a new book recently which is a very in depth study of the major triad.
The major triad, built off the naturally occurring overtone series, is one of the most common melodic and harmonic structures found in nearly all types of music. A strong grasp of the major triad, in all of its inversions (root, 1st and 2nd), in all 6 orders of notes (1-3-5, 1-5-3, 3-1-5, 3-5-1, 5-1-3, 5-3-1) and in both spread and closed position will give the improvising artist, the composer and the performer a undeniable leverage point to help improve his or her musical abilities and ear.
Strong melodies and harmonic voicing are often simple embellishments of major triads and through a detailed study of triadic shapes one of basic schematics of melody harmony can be strengthened and expanded upon.
By playing through this book of studies and by singing, visualizing, memorizing and otherwise fully grasping the major triad in it’s many forms, one should see steady and marked improvement in ones ear, musical skills and freedom on their instrument. I believe that the study of the basic melodic and harmonic building blocks of music represent a fulcrum which allows for general improvement in all other musical areas.
This book is designed to help facilitate a mastery of all major triads in both closed and spread positions, in all inversions, in all keys and all 6 orders of notes or arpeggiations. The triadic shapes either ascend or descend chromatically making each melodic sound easier to hear and transpose through all 12 keys. I hope the material helps to transform your playing, hearing and theoretical knowledge in a positive direction. You can purchase the PDF for $4.99 below:
Here I work on the same material from Daily Practice 10 but only in one key (concert A major 7 #5). Using space, focusing on posture, balance and breath will allow you to cultivate many good habits while repeating a phrase in order to help develop your technique. I believe that one very real danger in repetition lies in the habits you are unaware of that you bring into your process. If you are unaware that while repeating a phrase over and over you are also may be practicing mistakes, playing with tension, playing with a wondering (thinking) mind, poor time, non-listening, poor posture, shallow breathing, lack of space etc. you will inadvertently be sabotaging your ability to perform and play well with others even though you are spending hours working on the art form.
In this video I am practicing a Major 7 #5 chord while focusing on my posture, my balance and my breath. I’ll be descending by half step from concert Bb Major 7 #5. While doing this I’m focusing on balance through the awareness of the weight distribution on the bottoms of my feet, my posture by elongating the back of my neck and striving to lift the crown of my head gently toward the ceiling, and breathing deeply and calmly between the phrases or keys. By allowing enough space to pass between each phrase I can slowly ingrain these habits which I believe help you play and perform well, especially in the context of a group.