Upper structure guitar triads dominant chord 2

Upper Structure Triads For Guitar - Lesson With Charts and Tabs

This guitar lesson discusses a very useful way to come out new colors to your soloing or comping ideas called "Upper-structure Triads. This technique consists of superimposing triads to highlight extended notes of minor, major and dominant chords.

What's a Triad in Music?

A triad is a set of three notes, root (R), third (3) and fifth (5) stacked in third that can be played simultaneously (chord) or one by one (arpeggio). There are four types of triads that are major (1-3-5), minor (1-b3-5), diminished (1-b3-b5) and augmented (1-3-#5).

What Are Upper Structure Triads?

Before tackling this musical concept, it is important to have a strong knowledge of the main important triads on guitar. Any self-respecting guitarits must be able to hear, recognize and play any types of triads (minor, major, diminished, augmented) using different voicings (root, inverted) and positions (close and open).

Upper structure triads are three adjacent notes built from the structure (1-3-5-7) of any seventh chord/arpeggio containing one (or more) extra note beyond the octave. These notes are the 9, 11 and 13 respectively 2, 4 and 6 up one octave. Keep in mind that the 11 is an avoid note because it clashes with the third. Let see what are the upper structure triads taken from the three most important chord types : minor, major and dominant.

Upper Structure Triads

Upper Structure Triads Of Major Chords

The tab below show the notes of the C major scale, the related arpeggio (1-3-5-7) and the extensions that come from (9-11-13). These three extended notes actually form a D minor triad made of D (root), F (b3) and A (fifth).

Upper structure triads major chords

Upper structure triads contain at least on extension which can be the 9, 11 of 13. It means that we can build several upper triads from this major scale that are :

  • G - B - D, fifth (5), seventh (7) and ninth (9) of Cmaj7.
  • B - D - F, seventh (7), ninth (9) and eleventh (11) of Cmaj7.
  • D - F - A, ninth (9), eleventh (11) and thirteenth (13) of Cmaj7.
  • F - A - C, eleventh (11), thirteenth (13) and root (1) of Cmaj7.
  • A - C - E, thirteenth (13), root (1) and third (3) of Cmaj7.
Triad Notes Intervals Of the Triad Intervals Of The Related Major Chord
G major G B D 1  3  5  5  7  9 
B diminished B D F 1  b3  b5 7  9  11
D minor D F A 1  b3  5 9  11  13
F major F A C 1  3  5  11  13  1
A minor A C E 1  b3  5 13  1  3

 

The following tab show how triads are superimposed on a Cmaj7 arpeggio. 

Upper structure triads for guitar

Upper Structure Triads Of Minor Chords

Now let's take a look at the superimposed triads of a minor seventh chord (1-b3-5-b7) from the Dorian mode (D in the example). The extensions 9 (E), 11 (G) and 13 (B) form an E minor triad.
 

Superimposed guitar triads

The upper triads from D Dorian including at least on extension are:

  • A - C - E, fifth (5), minor seventh (b7), ninth (9) of Dm7.
  • C - E - G, minor seventh (b7), ninth (9) and eleventh (11) of Dm7.
  • E - G - B, ninth (9), eleventh (11) and thirteenth (13) of Dm7.
  • G - B - D, eleventh (11), thirteenth (13) and root (1) of Dm7.
  • B - D - F, thirteenth (13), root (1) and minor third (b3) of Dm7.
Triad Notes Intervals Of the Triad Intervals Of The Related Minor Chord
A minor A C E 1  b3  5  5  b7  9 
C major C E G 1  3  5 b7  9  11
E minor E G B 1  b3  5 9  11  13
G major G B D 1  3  5  11  13  1
B diminished B D F 1  b3  b5 13  1  b3
Upper structure guitar triads

Upper Structure Triads Of Dominant Chords

Dominant seventh chords are made of 1-3-5-b7, the chord tones added are the same as for major and minor chords, namely 9, 11 and 13. As shown in the example below, these three supplementary notes form an A minor triad (A - C- E) when placed on the top of a G7 chord.

Superimposed triads dominant chords for guitar

The five superimposed triads of G7 (G Mixolydian) are :

  • D - F - A, fifth (5), minor seventh (b7), ninth (9) of G7.
  • F - A - C, minor seventh (b7), ninth (9) and eleventh (11) of G7.
  • A - C - E, ninth (9), eleventh (11) and thirteenth (13) of G7.
  • C - E - G, eleventh (11), thirteenth (13) and root (1) of G7.
  • E - G - B, thirteenth (13), root (1) and major third (3) of G7.
Triad Notes Intervals Of the Triad Intervals Of The Related Dominant Chord
D minor D F A 1  b3  5  5  b7  9 
F major F A C 1  3  5 b7  9  11
A minor A C E 1  b3  5 9  11  13
C major C E G 1  3  5  11  13  1
E minor E G B 1  b3  5 13  1  3
Upper structure guitar triads dominant chord
  • Guitar Chord Dictionary

    This PDF eBook provides over 550 guitar chord shapes. This is the perfect reference guide to understand how chords are built and how to play them on guitar.
  • 172 Arpeggio Shapes For Guitar

    This printable PDF is a method dedicated to guitarists of all styles who want to learn the most important types of arpeggios.
  • 126 Triad Chord Shapes

    This handbook for guitar players is intended both for teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
  • II V I Bundle - 170 Exercises

    This bundle contains 4 PDF methods for a total of 170 exercises with tabs & audio files for practicing scales, licks & chords over the famous 2-5-1 progression.
  • Diatonic Licks Bundle

    This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
  • 30 Smooth Jazz Guitar Licks

    In this package you'll get a printable PDF Method with tabs, notation, analysis, scale shapes and audio files related to 30 smooth jazz guitar licks.
  • 40 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks

    This pdf method for guitar contains fourteen 2 5 1 jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
  • 40 Minor 2 5 1 Chord Voicings

    This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
  • 40 Minor II V I Licks

    This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor 2 5 1 jazz patterns.
  • 40 Mixolydian Jazz Guitar Lick

    PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
  • 40 Minor Jazz Guitar Licks

    This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
  • 40 Major Jazz Guitar Licks

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
  • Guitar Walking Bass Lines

    This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
  • 101 Dominant Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
  • 49 Essential Jazz Lines

    This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians. Tab, standard notation, audio files & analysis.
  • 11 Jazz Blues Studies

    This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • 25 Altered Jazz Guitar Lines

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
  • 40 Blues Dominant patterns

    This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
  • Mastering Pentatonic Scales

    This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
  • 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks

    You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
  • 25 Diminished Patterns

    This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 6 Tritone substitution licks

    This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.

slash chords triads superimposition superimposed triads

Add a comment