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  1. #1
    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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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdBickertOnPCP
    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
    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.

  6. #5

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    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

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    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
    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
    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

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    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
    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..

  13. #12

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    Welcome to the forum! You're moniker is scarin' me -- Ed got high on life in Canada!

  14. #13

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

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by EdBickertOnPCP
    ...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
    Thanks to the OP for starting a great thread and to everyone for their valuable input.

    The Inversions In All Common Guitar Keys Are Given
    William Leavitt provides the major, minor, diminished and augmented triads across and up the fingerboard in root, 1st, and 2nd inversion in the keys of: D A Bb Eb. On page 58 he gives major and minor triad inversions in: E A D G C F Bb Eb. I guess the four remaining 'not so common keys' are up to you: Ab Db Gb B. Remember that the triad inversions up the neck are the same grips as across the neck. Just in different order.

    Useful Inversions
    Musicians can apply variations through chord substitution. Instead of a few measures on the same Tonic chord in root position, we can cycle the tonic chord through it's inversions in some melodic way. Akin to chord extension and chromatic alteration, it opens possibilities for voice leading, counter melodies and bass lines. They also allow one to stay in the same position. And they provide some relief from Six Stringed Barre Chord Syndrome.

    Polychordalism
    According to Johnny Smith:
    Notice that in G13-9 [1x7b369b] the top three notes is a major triad inversion. In G7+5-9 [1x7b35#9b] the top three notes is a minor triad inversion. Knowledge of triad inversions helps with more complex grips. If one knows how to manipulate them, they can alter more complex chords with simpler ones that 'live' within them. Easy on the memory when you recognise a complex chord by the sum of its parts.

    Magic Up The Neck
    They're good when you play the fingerboard on different string-sets in the vertical plane with respect to the floor, but they really sing when you play them in ascending fashion up the neck (melodic momentum).

    Understanding Is Enough
    Does one have to memorise everything? A master would. But I think that just knowing their possibilities and the process is even good in itself. When you come across a song that is using or could use inversions, then experiment and try inversions up the neck. You can figure them out at the time when you need them, as long as you can recognise the opportunity when it presents itself. We'll never live long enough to memorise everything (music is infinite) so that you can improvise on the spot. Improvisation is a bit of a fallacy. A cruel joke if you believe it. You can only play what you know. Charlie Parker practiced, and practiced, and practiced again... There are videos on the internet of him practicing. Better to drive your practice with repertoire. At least, in the end, you'll be able to play a tune. Aunt Edna won't be impressed with inverted triads unless you can play them in Home On The Range.

    Chord Spelling With The Cycle Of Thirds
    It's easy to chord spell inversions after you've memorised the Cycle of Thirds: ...FACEGBDFACEGBDFACE... (or FACE GBD FACE GBD FACE...) Just add the accidentals where required. Practice chord spelling while on the train going to work. Throw the crosswords out. Start with a pad and pencil, but graduate to mental chord spelling of triads and sevenths and their extensions and alterations. Use them to find common tone chord substitutions. Upper structures are spelled out in the Cycle of Thirds.

    Johnny Smith's Inversion Practice Charts
    Johnny Smith's method devotes 10 pages depicting 24 matrices of the major and relative minor chord inversion grips in 12 keys, along with musical notation. Simply follow along to practice them. Bear in mind that his book avoids ledger lines by using both Treble and Bass Clefs. You have to learn the top two spaces and lines of the F Clef.

    Rows
    The grips that appear as you play across the strings are depicted as three rows, with the three ACE forms (from CAGED) played up along the same string-set, rotating in order of CAE ECA AEC...

    Columns
    But, if you look down each column, you can see the same inverted three note grips played across the strings on adjacent string-sets in the same form, a column of C, a column of A, and a column of E.

    Rotating Matrix & Morphing
    The matrix rotates the order as you work through each key in the cycle of fifths. The grips are all in close order. There are only 9 unique major grips with the 9 minor triad inversion grips derived from lowering the 3rd. Of course, played in every key, it seems like more. The minor, diminished and augmented inversions can be derived from the major ones, providing you memorised the chord degrees and know which note to raise or lower. This makes 4x9=36 total grips.

    Along & Across
    When playing up along the same string-set, just locate the bass note on one string as R, 3, or 5. The rest of the grip falls into place after some practice. When playing across the strings, just stay within the CAGED form.

    View The Field
    Another thing about Bill Leavitt's work is that you know in advance what's expected if you go to Berklee. Us DIY's also gain the benefit of his work. The deeper one digs into it, the better it gets. Sometimes, going through it one page at a time can be stifling, but if one views the field and tries the first bit of every chapter, they'll be better motivated to go back and slog through the preparatory material. Buy Berklee Phase 1 and Phase 2 by Bill Leavitt to use as reading primers!

    Master Of The Telecaster
    And yes, some members should change their handles. Ed Bickert has passed and the recordings he left behind benefit hundreds of guitarists. B.I.O.N., it's disturbing for the rest of us. And what would a family member think? Also, PCP is evil. I'd rather it not be made light of or brought to mind as we're studying guitar.


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    Last edited by StringNavigator; 07-01-2021 at 03:32 PM.