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  1. #1

    Triad Studies in Leavitt's "Modern Method" (Vol 2)

    Hi All
    I got through volume 1 and am about 1/3 through volume 2 now. On page 29 Leavitt introduces a more in depth triad study in which we're meant to play what I think are all of the D Major, minor, diminished, & augmented triads in root, 1st, and 2nd inversion around the fret board. But I'm no sure what the point is. Are we meant to memorize where each D Major triad is? Memorize the fingerings so we can transpose them to other keys? Its a pretty overwhelming number of forms and I've barely internalized the forms in the previous 30 pages in C, G, and F. And those early forms were only explored across string sets, no UP the fret board as has now been introduced. I wonder if the point is more to make the student more familiar in a general way with the notes that compose the various triads and where they are on the fretboard?

    Thanks for any advice

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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by EdBickertOnPCP View Post
    Are we meant to memorize where each D Major triad is? Memorize the fingerings so we can transpose them to other keys?

    I wonder if the point is more to make the student more familiar in a general way with the notes that compose the various triads and where they are on the fretboard?
    Yes, yes, and yes.

    Playing the forms across the fretboard is indeed much easier. Can you easily play those around the circle of fifths for twelve keys? If not, work on that first.

    Leavitt went pretty far with triads, though not as far as Van Eps, or Mr. Goodchord for that matter.

    One thing that might help you bridge to playing up the fretboard is spelling your triads from all inversions R-3-5, 3-5-R, 5-R-3 starting at the lowest point on each string and travelling up.

    Name the chord, tone, and note out loud as you do so. Like "A major, A, root", or "A minor, C, b3rd".

    Don't overthink it, just do it - for one thing all that talking slows you down an let's you think a little bit. This will help you learn the fretboard.
    Last edited by Jazzstdnt; 02-26-2019 at 11:48 PM.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    One thing that might help you bridge to playing up the fretboard is spelling your triads from all inversions R-3-5, 3-5-R, 5-R-3 starting at the lowest point on each string and travelling up.

    Name the chord, tone, and note out loud as you do so. Like "A major, A, root", or "A minor, C, b3rd".
    Yes, that's a good idea. Thanks. I've already been going at the position playing exercises by naming the note under my finger at any given time while also trying to visualize the fret under my finger (dot..no dot..how close to 12th fret, etc) and that's helped immensely in learning the fingerboard. This is just taking that to the next level , I suppose. I'm also started working through Van Eps "Guitar Method" which is pretty much exclusively focused on triad exercises (those his are far closer to musical in my opinion, so much less boring....though still pretty boring). Anyway, should be a master of solo guitar triad melody by year's end! Thanks for the tip.

  5. #4
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    The big difference between the William Leavitt Modern Method Vol 1 and Vol 2 is that Vol 2 starts having you play all over the fretboard while Vol 1 pretty much sticks to 1st position.

    All of the chords, scales, and arpeggios in Vol 2 are movable so you will also be learning lots of new notes up and down the fretboard.

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    Learn To Play Authentic Jazz Guitar

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Herron View Post
    The big difference between the William Leavitt Modern Method Vol 1 and Vol 2 is that Vol 2 starts having you play all over the fretboard while Vol 1 pretty much sticks to 1st position.

    All of the chords, scales, and arpeggios in Vol 2 are movable so you will also be learning lots of new notes up and down the fretboard.

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    Learn To Play Authentic Jazz Guitar

    Oops, not quite right Steve. That's true of part one of Volume 1. Part two starts in position 2 and deals with movable forms from there. It stops at position 4 by the end of the book if I recall.

  7. #6
    Hey OP [not crazy about your handle BTW....Mr Bickert deserves respect]

    Anyway grasshopper, keep on going....Vol 2 gets you playing 5 positions of major and melodic minor scales.

    I've worked many students through these tomes during my teaching years....and if you can make it through
    the 3 volumes....you'll be bored shitless.....but my my, you'll know a LOT of guitar.

    Keep plugging away man.

    Eyes on the prize.

    But......learn songs and their changes....come to think of it Bill's books are full of harmonic wisdom too.

    Dig deep buddy.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Moonray View Post
    Hey OP [not crazy about your handle BTW....Mr Bickert deserves respect]

    Anyway grasshopper, keep on going....
    Eyes on the prize.

    Dig deep buddy.
    Thanks for the motivation. Actually a few more days into it and, as usual, what seemed a bit overwhelming is actually not and I even realize I know a lot of these triad formations already, just hadn't thought of them in this "moving up the fretboard rather than across" context. Now the gaps are filling in and its making more sense. Yes, volume 2 is FAR MORE boring than volume 1. Learning 100 ways to play a 2nd inversion major triad or playing a G Major scale (but in 9th position) is not as exciting as the 1st time you realize you just played a nice sounded little progression using a half diminished chord or a minor 9 chord---chords you'd heard before but didn't know what they were or how or how to finger them and definitely not how to apply them in a diatonic chord scale. But feeling really motivated to push forward. Thanks.

    PS- Ed is a hero of mine. Tons of respect.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Oops, not quite right Steve. Part two starts in position 2 and deals with movable forms from there. It stops at position 4 by the end of the book if I recall.
    Correct. Spent forever on those 3rd and 4th position reviews at the end of vol. 1 and was feeling very accomplished. Then got to like page 4 of vol. 2 and it was like "play this C Major exercise all the way up to 12th position like it was no big deal. And I was like, uh oh. This is gonna take forever. But actually those ascending and descending position playing/reading exercises have been so far the most useful thing in vol. 2 because only 30 or so pages in, I feel like I pretty much know where every note on the fretboard is and learned in a really short amount of time AND without even realizing that's what I was doing.

  10. #9
    Just for clarification,

    While one can probably come pretty close to exclusive focus while working through Volume 1 (because it has a lot of etudes and short little pieces), it is NOT intended that one play through volumes 2 and 3 without working on other material. That's not what they do at Berklee.

    In private instruction they have: reading in multiple styles, 6-8 tunes per semester, transcription and playing of a solo, and a semester end barrier exam which includes a full performance piece (levels 1-8). The technique tests in the 8 barrier exams are close to Leavitt's materials, but not quite 1-for-1.

    Other instrumental classes abound of course. Improvisation, ensembles of different sizes and styles. And of course the requisite theory, harmony, ear training, arranging, composition etc., etc.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    Just for clarification,

    While one can probably come pretty close to exclusive focus while working through Volume 1 (because it has a lot of etudes and short little pieces), it is NOT intended that one play through volumes 2 and 3 without working on other material.
    I know, yeah. I found the Berkelee 8 level testing info online and much of the insider "secret" hand written study texts used in the guitar dept. I don't really work too much with any of that though. I had been using Leavitt's "Melodic Rhythm" and "Reading Studies" books, but realized reading isn't really my highest priority so am using them much less often, esp. now that I feel reasonably comfortable reading and playing all over the fretboard. So yeah, now its a very standard music theory textbook, "Modern Method" , the Van Eps triad method book, the occasional very specific youtube video if I'm looking for someone to help clarify something, lots of listening to jazz and other songs I like and figuring out the chords and changes (though not solos so much....I'm actually not soooo interested in every becoming a bonafide jazz guitarist. I play music with others but not in jazz groups....just want to have the lovely chords used in jazz at my disposal really). Anyway, thanks!

  12. #11
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    Bobby Stern who posts his lessons on this forum has great material for triads "Triadicisms" .. now Stern is a horn player so his approach is from a improvisation point of view..very melodic yet the harmonic movement is ever present .. I have worked with guitarist approach to triads Larry Carlton Ted Greene and other top players but I have found Sterns approach more to my liking. He uses 12 Keys in ALL his lessons and you begin to see and use the connections .. those long flowing tasty sax lines can be just several triads strung together and played in various configurations..
    play well ...
    wolf

  13. #12
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    Welcome to the forum! You're moniker is scarin' me -- Ed got high on life in Canada!
    Build bridges, not walls.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Welcome to the forum! You're moniker is scarin' me -- Ed got high on life in Canada!

    That's what Frisell said in Austin in 2007 - SOCO. That he was high on LIFE!

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonray View Post
    Hey OP [not crazy about your handle BTW....Mr Bickert deserves respect]
    I agree, it's disrespectful to his family and legacy.

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