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  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

More Triads in the Blues

In a previous post, Triads in the Blues, I gave some examples of common ways triads are used in the context of a 12-Bar Blues.

There's more where that came from!

Be sure you've familiarized yourself with the material in the previous blog; this current blog will presuppose that.

As with the previous blog, we'll be working with a 12-Bar Shuffle Blues in the key of A.

Over the 6th-string root (A), we have three triads; A, B minor and C:

Over the 5th-string root (D), we have almost the same thing. The only difference is the first triad is A minor instead of A major:

On the 2nd set of 3 strings - 6th-string root (A). We have 3 triads: C# Diminished, D and G:

If you know an A7 Bar Chord, you might recognize the C#o as a little piece of that:

There are 2 more options for the 3rd triad in this sequence. Notice that in all 3 options the bar is retained even though, technically, it's not needed. There are a couple of reasons to retain it:

  1. Most of the time you will return to the 2nd chord. You need the bar for that.

  2. Even if you don't return to the 2nd triad, if you lose the bar you have to pick up your first finger from the bar and put it back down on the single note it plays. That's unnecessary movement. More movement = more potential for error.

Here are options 2 and 3 for the 3rd triad:

2) E minor:

3) Technically this is not a triad. What you wind up playing is the root, the 5th and the 7th of an A7 chord:

Is there a determining factor from a music theory standpoint as to which option to use?

No, they all will work. The determining factor is, which one would you rather hear?

For the 5th-string root on the second set of three strings, the triads are almost the same. The only difference is the first triad is A minor instead of C#o:

All 3 options for the third triad also work over a 5th-string root; in this case, D.


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