Major + Minor Triads | Guitargate

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Major + Minor Triads

In this masterclass, Jack delves into the intricacies of guitar triads and melodic soloing, offering a comprehensive guide for enhancing melodic approaches in guitar playing. He begins by emphasizing the importance of understanding triads in the context of various chord progressions, particularly focusing on diatonic chords. Jack introduces the concept of triad groupings and shapes, explaining their relevance in navigating the fretboard efficiently and creating coherent melodic lines. He compares his method to the CAGED system, highlighting how his approach simplifies the visualization of chords and scales across the fretboard.

Throughout the session, Jack demonstrates practical examples of how to apply triad shapes to songwriting and improvisation. He showcases different triad positions on the guitar neck and explains how these can be used to play over song-oriented chord progressions that aren't necessarily bluesy or jazzy. Jack provides insights into breaking down complex harmonic ideas into simpler, manageable components using triads. He also explores the art of melodic soloing, sharing tips on incorporating triads into solo performances to achieve a more melodically rich sound.

The masterclass concludes with Jack addressing questions from viewers, offering personalized advice on practicing triads and integrating them into various musical contexts. He suggests practicing over simple melodies or chord progressions and emphasizes the value of applying these concepts in a real-world musical setting. Jack encourages experimentation with triad shapes and positions, stressing the importance of understanding their role in creating compelling guitar parts. The session is packed with actionable tips and techniques for guitarists looking to expand their harmonic and melodic vocabulary through the mastery of triads.

Transcript Summary

  • Greetings and Setup Issues (00:00:01 - 00:01:01)
    • Jack welcomes viewers and checks audio levels.
    • Apologizes for the awkward camera setup due to missing equipment.
    • Mentions a gig and the loss of his tripod.
  • Introduction to Triads (00:01:41 - 00:03:25)
    • Jack introduces the concept of triads and their use in music.
    • Discusses the importance of simplifying complex chords to their basic triadic forms.
    • References his course "The Art of Melodic Soloing" focusing on triad groupings.
  • Triads and the CAGED System (00:03:26 - 00:04:09)
    • Compares triad shapes to the CAGED system patterns.
    • Emphasizes the utility of triads in rhythm playing and simple melodies.
    • Explains his personal approach to breaking down the fretboard using triads.
  • Applying Triads to Progressions (00:05:04 - 00:05:30)
    • Jack demonstrates how to apply triad shapes to a chord progression.
    • Uses A major as an example to show different triad positions on the fretboard.
    • Stresses the importance of musical context in practicing triads.
  • Expanding Beyond Diatonic Triads (00:09:01 - 00:10:25)
    • Discusses moving beyond basic major and minor triads to include dominant and diminished forms.
    • Introduces non-diatonic progressions and the use of triads over various chord qualities.
    • Highlights the versatility of triads in adapting to different harmonic contexts.
  • Q&A and Practical Application Tips (00:55:45 - 01:08:00)
    • Jack answers viewers' questions on practicing triads.
    • Recommends practicing over backing tracks to understand the application of triads.
    • Shares insights on connecting triads to create melodic lines and rhythmic fills.
  • Conclusion and Recommendations (01:15:00 - 01:17:39)
    • Summarizes the importance of triads in guitar playing.
    • Encourages viewers to explore triads in different musical settings.
    • Plans to discuss non-diatonic chords and progressions in the next session.


Perhaps you remember seeing the video above titled “THIS MAN is my favorite guitar player in the world right now.”

Well nothing has changed. Jack Ruch is quite simply THE player I’m aspiring to become, and he embodies EVERYTHING that I try and teach on Guitargate.

From his buttery lines and perfect voice leading - to his beyond tasteful chord tone soloing - Jack is quite simply astounding.  And he absolutely KILLS live. A total professional & Nashville staple, Jack will be teaching you all of the things that he uses in real life, each and every night. You know: TRIADS, CHORD TONES, & MELODIES!

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