Watch the The Triad Approach online guitar lesson by TrueFire from Play Jazz Guitar 6: Soloing Approaches

The Triad Approach - Lesson 1:4 is a video guitar lesson presented by Larry Carlton and is sourced from 335 Improv.


The Cm7 and F7 chords that we've established as comping chords provide a great starting point for working on triads. In case you don't know already, a triad is the root, 3rd and 5th of any given chord. Simple enough, right? What's great about them is how a rudimentary musical building block like a stack of 3rds gives way to some really sophisticated improvisations.



This clip features an improv that is deliberately based around triads to illustrate the approach. For the first pass or two, let the video play as you follow along with the notation. Wherever you hear a triad, you'll see a text annotation.



If you're scratching your head about why certain triads work - such as an Eb triad over the Cm7, or a Bm7 over E9 - think back on our earlier lessons about substitutions. It's all connected.