new transposer      circle of 5ths    wap



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
United Kingdom
Lessons: 24
Licks: 37
Karma: 47
Moderator

Upper Structure Triads

by JazzMaverick

31 Jul 2011
Views: 6222

Upper structure triads are very useful for bringing new elements in your comping and single note soloing.

Triads are ideal for comping because they are easy to finger and most of the time don't contain the root of the chord (which is generally played by the bass player).

Before I press on; I must let you know this lesson is credited to Dirk Laukens, who is a brilliant musician and dedicated to great theory. I have been given personal permission from him to post this here. You can find the original here: Clicky

In this lesson you'll see which upper structure triads work best. These guitar chord substitutions open up new sounds and give you fresh ideas. If you want to know even more about upper structure, I suggest you take a look in the excellent book "The Jazz Theory Book" (it is the true jazz theory bible) WELL WORTH IT'S MONEY!




Now, let's start with the upper structure triads for the Cmaj7 chord:



1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 1, 3
C, E, G, B, D, F, A, C, E


Here are the triads from the root on :

C E G 1-3-5 : is not an upper structure triad because it contains only chord tones
E G B 3-5-7 : is not an upper structure triad because it contains only chord tones
G B D 5-7-9 : this is the first upper structure triad
B D F 7-9-11 : this is not a usable upper structure triad for Cmaj7 because it contains the avoid note (11) for C major
D F A 9-11-13 : this is not a usable upper structure triad for Cmaj7 because it contains the avoid note (11) for C major
F A C 11-13-1 : this is not a usable upper structure triad for Cmaj7 because it contains the avoid note (11) for C major
A C E 13-1-3 : this is the second upper structure triad.

Some things to keep in mind :

--> The upper structure triad must contain at least one tension which is not an avoid note.
--> Avoid notes only play a role in major chords.
--> An upper structure triad can be major, minor, diminished or augmented.
--> For me major upper structure triads work best.
--> You can use upper structure triads for soloing as well as for comping.
--> Triads are technically non complex chord forms, but in combination with a bass player they can really open up your sound.

Here's a list of upper structure triads that sound.

I'll do the first one with you so you can see how the list works:

The first upper structure triad in the list is for a major chord type.
V means we build the upper structure triad on the 5th note (compared to the root of the chord).

So in case of a C major chord the upper structure chord is G: G B D (5 7 9)

V- would mean a minor triad on the 5th note.
V+ would mean an augmented triad on the 5th note.
bVII would mean major triad on the b7.
bV are the tritone upper structures.



|Chord Type | Chord Tensions | Upper Structure Triad | Note Function |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| Major | 9 | V | 5, 7, 9 |
| |-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | | II | 9, #11, 6 |
| | 9, #11 |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | VII- | 7, 9, #11 |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| Minor | | II- | 9, 11, 6 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | IV | 11, 6, 1 |
| | 6, 9, 11 |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | V- | 5, b7, 9 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bVII | b7, 9, 11 |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| minor/major | | bIII+ | b3, 5, 7 |
| | 9 |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | V | 5, 7, 9 |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | | V- | 5, b7, 9 |
| Dominant | 9, 13 |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | VI- | 13, 1, 3 |
| |-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | | II | 9, #11, 13 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | 9, #11, 13 | II+ | 9, #11, b7 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bVII+ | b7, 9, #11 |
| |-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bII- | b9, 3, b13 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bIII- | #9, b5, b7 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bIII | #9, 5, b7 |
| | b9, #9, b5, b13 |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | III+ | 3, b13, 1 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bV | b5, b7, b9 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bVI | b13, 1, #9 |
| |-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | b9, 13 | VI | 13, b9, 3 |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | | IIm | 9, 4, 13 |
| Sus4 | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | IV | 4, 13, 1 |
| | 9, 13 |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bVII | b7, 9, 11 |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bVI | b6, 1, 3 |
| Half | |------------------------|----------------- |
| Diminished | b6, 9, 11 | bVII | b7, 9, 11 |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
| | | II | 9, b5, bb7 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| Diminished | b6, 9, 11 | IV | 11, b7, 1 |
| | |------------------------|----------------- |
| | | bVI | b6, 1, 3 |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |
|---------------|-----------------|------------------------|----------------- |


So hopefully this all makes more sense now! Enjoy :)

Here's a guitar lick example to help you understand this more!
You can check it out here:
Upper Structure Triads Guitar Lick

Or below :)







There's a C major arpeggio in the second bar, which sounds like b7, 9 and 11 on D minor.


"The toughest thing about success is, you've got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point in business. You've got to keep working that talent." - Irving Berlin

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Also, check out my music listed on Sound Cloud (link below) if you like it follow me on facebook! :)

JazzMaverick on Sound Cloud
JazzMaverick Music

__________________________________________________________________________________________



Comments:

01
07.31.2011
  Guitarslinger124

Great Lesson!

02
07.31.2011
  JazzMaverick

Thanks GS! Glad you like it!

03
07.31.2011
  MoshZilla1016

Awesome job. Thanks for the lesson. That's another book I gotta add to my collection.

04
07.31.2011
  V3N0M3333

my brain hurts :(

im glad its here though :D

05
07.31.2011
  JazzMaverick

I bought the book probably 4 years ago now... it's pure heaven. Sometimes it still baffles me. It's a book that will definitely keep you busy for years - so even though it's expensive, it is soooo worth it.

@ Venom, what don't you get? Maybe I can simplify it for you? It might just be one of those things that seem complicated at first, but once you keep playing it - it'll all make sense in no time. :)

I hope so anyway - it's useful information, none the less!

06
07.31.2011
  gshredder2112

Nice addition to.my musical vocabulary,good job missy. +1

07
08.01.2011
  Afro_Raven

Great lesson, but what I'd really like to know is the progression you've got going on in the musical example? I love it!

Afro

08
08.01.2011
  Empirism

Glad you been busy darling! great lesson once again. Bookmarked.
Emp

09
08.01.2011
  DanielM

Ah I've heard of this or at least something very similar referred to before as polychords but this lesson actually put it in a way that's making me play properly with it and paying more attention.

Nice lesson to come back to after 2 weeks of absence :D

10
08.22.2011
  gshredder2112

question-Is the 11th always the *avoidd* note? amd is there more
avoid notes for different keys?

11
09.12.2011
  gshredder2112

Bump need question answered.

12
02.16.2012
  devilchild

What is an avoid note?

Guest access is read-only. To write comment, please login!



Copyright © 2004-2009 All-Guitar-Chords.com. All rights reserved.