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Old 02-16-2013, 05:16 PM   #1
wiggedy
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Saying Triad names while playing

I have a quesion for those with good fretboard knowledge.

I am learning Major triads up and down the neck. Starting on C, I play these in root position in 5 fret lots, up to fret 13.

I can play all these no worries from muscle memory, but when I go to name them whilst playing I sometimes get a mental block. That in turns breaks up my rythym and I get lost.

So my question is, do people actually think about the name of a chord when playing a progression you know really well. Or is it something you let go of, once you know a progression.

I think I need to find a way of applying what I am learning.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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Before worring about remembering the names you have to start doing something far more important - start learning to recognise how they sound.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #3
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just let go of it if it's bother you. you don't need to. thinking of the changes in real time is a tool for people who think/play a certain way.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:16 PM   #4
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If you learn chord numbers rather than letters it is much easier - rather than learning 11 patterns you only have to learn one. For example, in C major :-

1 (I) = C = Root
2 (ii) = Dmin = Supertonic
3 (iii) = Emin = Mediant
4 (IV) = F = Subdominant
5 (V) = G = Dominant
6 (vi) = Amin = Submediant (Relative Minor)
7 (vii) = Bdim = Subtonic

All those fancy words aren't that important, but knowing progressions like I - IV - V is. Also, Knowing vi is the relative minor it important.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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You're on the right track with your method, but it sounds like you need to slow down.

Start by doing each chord for a full measure at a slow tempo, then half notes, then quarters. For sake of practicing counting and time signatures, do them in 3/4 and 6/8 as well.

Start slower than you think you need and then speed up gradually until you can feel you're on the edge of losing it.

Once you've got C down, start working on other keys*. Working things out in every key helps you establish ideas as aural and physical patterns. You will actually get good at each individual key faster by practicing all the others.

*When practicing one thing in multiple keys, do them in this order: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb/F#, B, E, A, D, G. That's the Circle of 5ths. As the name implies, it "wraps" around - If you start on G, you to C, then F, Bb, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by primusfan
just let go of it if it's bother you. you don't need to. thinking of the changes in real time is a tool for people who think/play a certain way.


I wouldn't call playing halfway decent a "certain way"; it's the only way, if you're serious about music. Keeping track of harmony is extremely important, no exceptions.

Last edited by cdgraves : 02-16-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgraves
I wouldn't call playing halfway decent a "certain way"; it's the only way, if you're serious about music. Keeping track of harmony is extremely important, no exceptions.

You're missing what he was saying. You don't have to name the chords as you play them. It's good to know what you're playing, but nobody is going to be playing and then think to themselves "OK next I have to play a Csus4add11/F#". They just play. Or if they're writing, they try different chords that may or may not exactly fit.

How I write is I come up with something that sounds good, and then I analyze why it sounds good afterwards. I don't consciously think about what may sound good, I just listen for what does sound good.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior#1
You're missing what he was saying. You don't have to name the chords as you play them. It's good to know what you're playing, but nobody is going to be playing and then think to themselves "OK next I have to play a Csus4add11/F#". They just play. Or if they're writing, they try different chords that may or may not exactly fit.

How I write is I come up with something that sounds good, and then I analyze why it sounds good afterwards. I don't consciously think about what may sound good, I just listen for what does sound good.


1) If you're learning music, yeah, you do have to think about what's coming next. You have to play it whether or not you can think of 4-part voice leading in your head beforehand. Which you can't when you're at the level of learning diatonic triads.

2) The OP isn't writing original music, s/he's doing a guitar exercise for the purpose of learning chord names, shapes, and sounds. Leaving any of those out defeats the purpose of the exercise.

Even professional musicians can get disoriented in a complex or lengthy jam by losing attention for a moment (which is easy if you're last in line for the solo). Being able to keep a mental map of the chart AND knowing what those chords sounds like is the only way to get back on track.

Forgetting about all that "Theory" stuff is something you get to do once you've already learned it and know how to get those sounds without doing the math in your head. But you only get that good by working through it mentally, aurally, and physically many times.

Edit: to be clear, my point is that there should be no choice between playing, hearing, and knowing. I know what I'm playing at all times, no matter what. There is no choice of not knowing what notes/chords I'm playing. It'd be like not knowing what side of the street I'm driving on, or forgetting where I live.

Last edited by cdgraves : 02-16-2013 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:37 PM   #8
wiggedy
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Good discussion, thanks to all.

What about applying these triads?

I mean playing it as excercise is probably the easy part, how would you apply these?

Using the Key of C, I have been practising triads in 5 fret lots, using alternate picking (like playing a scale) Minor 3rd's - C, Eb, Gb, A, Db,E,G,Bb,D,F,Ab,B
& Cycle of 4ths C,F,Bb,Eb,AB,Db,Gb,B,E,A,D,G
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:15 PM   #9
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What do you mean by "5 fret lots"? Can you tab out the triad exercise in one key for an example?

It looks like you're on a great practice routine, so keep that up. I would start learning tunes with them next. Ask your instructor for some music that utilizes the triad shapes you're learning. You won't find much music that uses those triads exclusively, but it'll be good practice even if you don't yet know how the other chords work.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiggedy
I have a quesion for those with good fretboard knowledge.

I am learning Major triads up and down the neck. Starting on C, I play these in root position in 5 fret lots, up to fret 13.

I can play all these no worries from muscle memory, but when I go to name them whilst playing I sometimes get a mental block. That in turns breaks up my rythym and I get lost.

So my question is, do people actually think about the name of a chord when playing a progression you know really well. Or is it something you let go of, once you know a progression.

I think I need to find a way of applying what I am learning.
You seem to be employing a "say it, spell it, say it", approach to learning the fret board, which is great. Some players don't feel compelled to bother with "such nonsense", and I expect it can come back to bite them in the ass, later on down the road.

When you get those fundamentals down, you should be able to omit that "spell it" center step. Then you'll begin to automatically know which chords are in which key, and which position to play them.

In the meantime, I expect that it would slow you down to name every note and chord you're playing.

But, once you commit it to memory, you won't have to, and you'll be so much the better player for it.

Another thing you might toy around with, is to randomly select notes and chords around the fretboard, and try to name them ASAP. That should help break up anything you're learning strictly by pattern.

Last edited by Captaincranky : 02-16-2013 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:19 PM   #11
wiggedy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgraves
Can you tab out the triad exercise in one key for an example?


I have seen people post tab here, how do I do it?

To try and explain without tab.

5 fret lots, from 0 to 5th, 5th to 9th, and 9th to 13th. Minor 3rds, Cycle of 5ths, & (haven't got the next 2 nailed yet) Chromatic and Whole Tone.

So on frets 0 to 5th, play Triads using alternate picking, play up one Triad, down the next. Play through & then alternate. At this stage using all root notes (no inversions).

If I can work out how to post Tabs, I will.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:39 AM   #12
cdgraves
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quote this post to get evenly spaced tabs:

Code:
e |----------------|----------------|| B |----------------|----------------|| G |----------------|----------------|| D |----------------|----------------|| A |----------------|----------------|| E |----------------|----------------||


copy/paste as needed
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:45 AM   #13
wiggedy
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(edit- these are all supposed to be arpeggiated, the preview looks nothing like what I typed)

Thanks, hope this makes sense

Major Triads played in a Minor 3rd sequence starting on C ascending (Eb descend .... an so on)

C, Eb, Gb, A, Db,E,G,Bb,D,F,Ab,B

Code:
e |----------------0------------------------1-----------------------------2- B |--------------1---2-------------------3--3------------------1-------4 G |--0-3-0----3-------2-----1-4-1-----4-------3----2--5-2-3------1----4- D |-2------1-4-------------3-------2-5------------4-----------------3------------- A |3---------------------4-----------------------5--------------------- E |----------------------------------------------------------------------


There are other fingerings within the 5 frets of the same triad for eg F
Can be played (within 5 frets)


e |----------------|----------------||
B |----1-----------|-----5----------||
G |--2-------------|---2------------||
D |3---------------|-3--------------||
A |----------------|----------------||
E |----------------|----------------||

Part of the exercise is to come up with your own fingerings, then move it up to the next 5 etc.

Last edited by wiggedy : 02-17-2013 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:30 AM   #14
wiggedy
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Sorry this looks nothing like I typed, the last 2 triads were typed like this....?

e |---------------2-
B |--------1-4-----4
G |-----1------------4-
D |-------------
A |---------------------
E |----------------

Must be using the wrong font or something...?

Last edited by wiggedy : 02-17-2013 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:31 AM   #15
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You need to use the {code} tag. Hit the Quote button on my tab post and you'll see them in the reply box.

But I think I get the idea. With your teacher's guidance, maybe get some basic jazz charts so you can practice the arpeggios as improvisation, along with identifying them in the tune's melody. Jazz is a great blank slate for practicing vague concepts like triad shapes and Circle of 5ths patterns.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:41 PM   #16
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Study closed and open voicings, TS.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgraves
I wouldn't call playing halfway decent a "certain way"; it's the only way, if you're serious about music. Keeping track of harmony is extremely important, no exceptions.


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Old 02-17-2013, 01:58 PM   #18
wiggedy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdgraves
You need to use the {code} tag. Hit the Quote button on my tab post and you'll see them in the reply box.

But I think I get the idea. With your teacher's guidance, maybe get some basic jazz charts so you can practice the arpeggios as improvisation, along with identifying them in the tune's melody. Jazz is a great blank slate for practicing vague concepts like triad shapes and Circle of 5ths patterns.


Thanks, I sorta fixed it ... don't have time right now it's still messy.

cheers
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #19
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I can play all these no worries from muscle memory, but when I go to name them whilst playing I sometimes get a mental block. That in turns breaks up my rythym and I get lost.

So my question is, do people actually think about the name of a chord when playing a progression you know really well. Or is it something you let go of, once you know a progression.


It's certainly useful to do this in practice but I wouldnt do it in playing.

Personally I'm much more attached to what interval it is - the root of the scale? The leading note? The 3rd of this chord? etc.

I know Alex Hutchings thinks the note names of chords as he plays over them, it's certainly not causing him much problem.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven seagull
Before worring about remembering the names you have to start doing something far more important - start learning to recognise how they sound.


This ^ don't worry about the notes, but make sure you are able to hear the triad no matter what not you start on.
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