Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Stacked Triads

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by GrooveSlave, Dec 14, 2003.


  1. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave

    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I was reading the thread about Carol Kaye's approach to improvising http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=98885 and ordered the book.

    I'm working on the stacked triads concept at the moment and it seems pretty cool. However, I find that as good as her musicianship is, I have a hard time understanding her writing. So, can some of you guys chime in on the subject of stacked triads and how to use them?

    I'm confused about how you decide the order of major or minor triads in the stack. E.g. on page 3 of the Jazz Improv book, she gives a G7 example. The chords are G, Bm7(B5), Dm, F, Am, C, Em, G. It looks like she goes Major, Minor, Major, Minor, etc... Is this the only way to do it (of course not)? Why is the 2nd chord a m7(b5)?

    Anyway, I appreciate any input you guy might have.

    GS.
     
  2. Dr Teeth

    Dr Teeth

    Dec 11, 2003
    Australia
    I'm confused about how you decide the order of major or minor triads in the stack. E.g. on page 3 of the Jazz Improv book, she gives a G7 example. The chords are G, Bm7(B5), Dm, F, Am, C, Em, G. It looks like she goes Major, Minor, Major, Minor, etc... Is this the only way to do it (of course not)? Why is the 2nd chord a m7(b5)?

    G7 is the 5th chord of C major scale (CDEFGABC), so you use C major to harmonise the notes of G7.The 2nd chord is actually 1/2 diminished: BDFA (uses the flat 5 and the flat 3)

    If you harmonise G7 using the notes is C major you get:
    GBDF (1)
    BDFA (3)
    DFAC (5)
    FACE (7)
    ACEG (Chord built on the 9th)
    The 11th note- C- is generally avoided because it's too close to B- a really important note in the chord.

    Good choices for improv in blues/jazz etc are the notes 3,5,7,9,13 away from the root (naming) note.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  3. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave

    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    G7 is the 5th chord of C major scale (CDEFGABC), so you use C major to harmonise the notes of G7.The 2nd chord is actually 1/2 diminished: BDFA (uses the flat 5 and the flat 3)

    Yo Doc, thanks for your help. :)

    So I know that we are using the notes of C major since we are beginning our triad stack with G7 (the V of C major) ?

    If this is true then, I know that the Dm7 is the ii of C major and the same rules apply?
     
  4. Dr Teeth

    Dr Teeth

    Dec 11, 2003
    Australia
    yep :)
    no probs
     
  5. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave

    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Ok, I'm on a roll here (thanks.). I'm going to hijack my own thread...

    I was looking at some more chord excercises (in another book) and I came across an example that works through the circle of fourths using a Diminished chord as a passing tone of the fourth beat of each measure. So it goes like this

    C, C#o7, F, F#o7 and so on.

    I know that a diminished chord is built on the 7th scale degree. But I don't see how C#o7 leads to F. Can anyone (Doc) elaborate?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Dr Teeth

    Dr Teeth

    Dec 11, 2003
    Australia
    The third of C#dim is E- only a semitone (half step) from F = smooth transition :cool:
     
  7. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Also,

    The seventh of G°7 is E, the fifth of Bb°7 and the root of E°7, any of these chords can be used in the place of the C#°7 because they are all the same chord just different root notes.
     
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Diminished chords are not built on the 7th degree of a scale, min7b5 chords are.
     
  9. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Well, if you enharmonically substituted a Db for the C#, you could interpret the chord as a C7b9 without the root, and a C7b9 would resolve easily to an F. The E would resolve up to F, the Db down to C, the Bb down to A, and the G down to F.

    But more often, if you start with C and C#o7, you'd kind of expect a Dm of some sort to come next. Of course, Dm is the relative minor of F.
     
  10. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave

    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    OK, I must be confused. If I play the triads for each degree of the CMaj scale for the 7th degree I play B,D,F. Is this not a diminished chord? Am I using the wrong terminology?

    Thanks.
     
  11. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Technically, you're right. In terms of triads, B D F is a diminished triad. But many of us in daily use employ the term "diminished" to refer to what are technically *diminished 7* chords. I think Pac was probably thinking that way, and thus probably thinking of which *7th chord* would be built off the leading tone rather than which triad would be. In those terms, he's (as usual)quite right: the diatonic 7th chord built off the leading tone of a major scale would be a m7b5, not a o7.
     
  12. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave

    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Ok, I get it. Ain't this place great. :D

    Thanks to all.
     
  13. Dr Teeth

    Dr Teeth

    Dec 11, 2003
    Australia
    I suppose adding to the confusion is that a m7b5 is AKA a 1/2 dim 7?
     
  14. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Exactly. And I apologize - when I think "chord", I automatically think of (at least) 4 note chords. Less, and I have to qualify it as "triad".
     
  15. i just want to know if stacked triads are chords built from the degrees of another chord. is that right? example: you have a Cmaj7 chord. you can play also a Em7 and a G7? kinda like the sub-V substitution?
     
  16. Dr Teeth

    Dr Teeth

    Dec 11, 2003
    Australia
    Stacked triads use the key of a parent scale. Eg G7 uses C major because G7 is the 5th of C. It's just like you were playing diatonically in C- which chords would you get if you harmonised each degree of the scale.

    I'm not sure what you mean by a subV substition, though, sorry.

    C has no sharps or flats,so:

    CEGB- Cmaj7
    DFAC- Dmin7
    EGBD- Emin7
    FACE-Fmaj7
    GBDF-G dominant 7
    ACEG- A min7
    BDFA- min7 flat 5 (1/2 dim 7)
    back to Cmaj 7
     
  17. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Stacking triads is a way to approach improvisation. You can imply different chords by combining triads - for instance, when I combine a C maj triad with a D maj triad, the resultant sound is Cmaj7#11 (CEG(B)DF#A). C maj combined with F maj can give you the sound of FMaj9 (FACEG). You can imply complex harmony when improvising using this method.

    Does that help?
     
  18. GrooveSlave

    GrooveSlave

    Mar 20, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    Thanks Pacman. It helps in that it gives me yet another way to think about this. I'm still trying to digest the whole thing.

    The way Carol is applying it is that you would play a G7 triad followed by Bdim(?) (BDF) so the stack would be GBDBDF. Factoring this out we get GBDF which is still just G7.

    There's more to it, but I don't have the book in front of me. I'll follow up with more this evening.
     
  19. let me see if i got it. to imply more complex harmony you can "add" triads from a parent scale that have the notes you are looking for in a certain chord?
     
  20. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Not the parent scale. You add triads from outside the parent scale to imply more complex harmony.