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Extended triads???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by dabass, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. dabass

    dabass Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2005
    Can someone explain and give some examples of extended triads? Oteil mentioned that he learned extended triads from Carol Kaye in a Bass Day 97 video. Please clarify???
  2. petermynett


    Apr 22, 2006
    There are a few things you might be talking about, but they all involve adding more notes to chords.
    Quickly: from a scale your get a chord. You do this by taking the first, third and fifth note (1 3 5) of the scale and you get a triad. When you add a fourth note, you get a seventh chord (1 3 5 7). This is the most common type of chord in lots of kinds of music. But you can keep going. Its common to have a ninth in the chord. So it'd be 1 3 5 7 9. Thus you have "extended" the number of notes in a chord.

    Now say this is Am9: A C E G B. Instead of writing Am9 you could write Em/A (said E minor over A). This would mean to play an E minor triad over an A bass note. It would be describing a specific voicing for an Am9 chord that leaves out the b3.
    Another example could be a voicing for a Gsus7 (G C D F, 1 4 5 b7) chord. This is a G7 chord (G B D F) with the 3rd suspended to a 4th. If you were to extend this chord you'd add the 9 and get G C D F A (1 4 5 b7 9). If you take the F A and C out of that, you can play Gsus7 as F/G.
  3. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    You hear people talk about using Traids in their soloing and it is taking what PeterMyNett spoke of to another level. Sometime you hear what Peter was talking about called Polychords. Written like C Maj/D Maj (pronouced C triad over D triad). Polychords are away to play imply a extended chord with fewer notes. So a C Maj/D Maj gives you the sound of C 6/9 #11 chord. That is still a lot of notes to play on a guitar so one make the C just a bass note of the chords. Then players soloing look at these triad as a way to control what colors they are playing in their solos. So if interest you can make a chart of all twelve triads and the colors they create against a major chord. Then can do the same for the triads against a minor chord and then dominant. After that same thing again for minor triad against all those chords. By time your done and have experimented with working the triads into solos and learning the sound of the colors they bring, you will probably find a handful you like and can use in the future.
  4. He could be talking about playing triads across two or more octaves? That's something a teacher got me doing years ago, it's a great way to learn the fingerboard, it's a good way to avoid becoming too dependent on scale/chord box shapes. It's really simple, if you start by playing across the strings in position (with a shift for the second octave). Once that's comfortable try and play the same triads up the fingerboard, you'll find that there are many ways to play a triad in two or three octaves by moving up the fingerboard and across strings. I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for, but it's good practice anyway :)
  5. DLowrider


    Apr 16, 2012
    I actually had a lesson with Oteil this past week and that is exactly what we talked about. He explained it from the perspective of a horn or brass instrument. Since they can not play full chords they play extended triads. Its the same as chord formation. All you do is just arpeggiate thirds and there you have it. 1-3-5-7-9-11-13. Its an extremely simple concept, but holy cow, it adds a really cool element to ones playing. It also helps with getting a better understanding of the whole neck instead of just a box. you can start from the root, do the modes, etc. im still working it all out, but so far I've been amazed with the results.:bassist:
  6. I could not find Carol's video you speak of, however, extended triads - dirt simple explanation.

    To build any chord you start with a scale and stack every other note to build that chord. Called "stacking 3rds".
    C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B

    For a Triad we would use the C E G notes.
    For an extended chord we would add more notes to our stack. C E G B and this is not called a triad as there are more than three notes in the stack. So what do we call it? As B is the 7th note in the C scale the C E G B stack is called the 7th chord.

    Add another note and you get the 9th, another gets the 11th, and one more gets us to the 13th.

    I'll have problems playing all those notes - a C13 has these notes (C E G B D F A) I don't have enough fingers to pull that off. So I can do one of several other things, one is to leave out some of the notes. The following chart will help. http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm The notes in () are optional, can be left out. Or another way you could make slash chords and you play the slash and the solo instruments play the other notes.

    Why would you want to do this? DLowRider hit it on the head -- you can get some really beautiful sounds doing this. But, you alone do not have enough fingers to pull it off so you need help. Solution; you take part of the chord and let other instruments take the notes you can not "finger". Together we'll make those beautiful sounds.

    Now go back and read the posts that speak of breaking the chord down into something else - same notes, but in a different order - which can make a different chord all together. Took me a long time to realize what they were doing, and why.

    You take that, I'll do this and together we end up with what we need. The songwriter or composer normally will take all that into consideration when writing the score. We play the bass clef or the slash, whichever..... the other notes necessary are put into and played by the treble clef people.
  7. davidhilton

    davidhilton Supporting Member Commercial User

    Apr 13, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    you may be referring to "upper structure triads"
    an upper structure triad is a triad that contains at least one tension/extension i.e. On a Cmaj 7 chord u might play a Dmaj triad- D, F#, A...the 9, #11, and 13. or maybe on an A7alt you might play an Fmaj Triad- F, A, C...now ur playing b13, root, #9.
    I think thats what ur talking about.
  8. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I don't understand calling it extended triads. It's always been chord extensions to me. Yes, they might be triads, but all of those triads (unless you're playing outside) form a scale when rearranged.

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