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  1. #1

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    Hey guys,

    I'm new here.

    I have a basic knowledge of the CAGED system and how triads and seventh chords are constructed.
    Now i wonna learn triads and inversions across the whole fretboard.

    What would be the best way to learn what notes are exactly in a triad and how to visualise them across the neck?
    How did you learn triads?

    Thanks for the help!

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Each 7-note scale provides a set of 7 triads, each with 3 shapes. 1 triad and 2 inversions.
    Harmonic minor has a surprise for you.

    I just went in and played the triads and those 2 inversions as you would play a scale. So - tie them all to your patterns or shapes or whatnot.. or licks.. or some ear magic.. They better get connected or they will be only a theoretical help.

    Then I used good old simple tunes and played a triad or an inversion with the top note as the melody note. A few sounds fun, a few sounds wrong. Still fun though

    It's also possible to play jazz tunes like that. It takes a bit of work to figure out how it goes - with changing of keys and all. I might post an example later this week - it's kinda cool.

    I'm not finished though (learning myself), there are a lot of things you could use the triads for. Abundance of bonus options.

  4. #3

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    But be warned, triads are not the be-all and end-all for good soloing. They're not very melodic and are no substitute for learning the boring old 'ordinary' stuff first. It takes a lot of advanced musicality to really use triads effectively and it all takes a load of work.

    My advice is look carefully before you leap. Triads are not a quick fix to soloing.

  5. #4

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    If that's not enough negativity (!) look at this:

    Jens Larsen - YouTube

    He's done LOTS of triad videos. Ask yourself why it needed so many...

    Somebody who's already mastered the basic stuff like chords, arpeggios, altered scales, jazz phrasing and vocab, etc, can very likely use triads as effectively as Jens or others. But if you're just starting that would be a different kettle of fish altogether.

    Just saying.

  6. #5

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    You might want to obtain a copy of this book: Chord Connections: A Comprehensive Guide to Guitar Chords and Harmony by Dr Robert Brown It covers exactly what you asked for.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1


    But be warned, triads are not the be-all and end-all for good soloing. They're not very melodic and are no substitute for learning the boring old 'ordinary' stuff first. It takes a lot of advanced musicality to really use triads effectively and it all takes a load of work.

    My advice is look carefully before you leap. Triads are not a quick fix to soloing.
    I play by ear (still a long road ahead). The experience so far is that hearing(ready to use) 3 triad notes instantly opens up a wider road.

    One more thing - imo, a triad is the most powerful basic note combo expression-wise. And it can sound so lame when used wrongly exactly for the same reason.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by emanresu
    And it can sound so lame when used wrongly exactly for the same reason.
    Quite, that's why I'm saying it takes a pretty advanced music mind to employ them well.

    I know, wet blanket :-)

  9. #8

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    Interval numbers.

    If a particular string/fret location is a minor 3rd, do you know what the nearby locations are?

    Also, the CAGED system is an expression of the interval numbers illustrated by the 'Five Shapes.'
    For instance, the C-chord lies within the shape that starts with the Major 3rd on the low-E string.

    If you really want a headache heres a lesson on using triads to imply big stuff in context:



    Maybe SloeGin might want to give more detail.

  10. #9

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    using basic triads..close and open voiced..and their inversions on all strings sets in all keys expanded my harmonic and melodic playing ALOT ..

    then adding a bass note below the triad and treating it as a moving voice stretched my ears to hear "harmonized scales" and progressions stemming from just one chord movement

    the van epps / ted greene and others approach to harmony and melodic voice movement has triads as a vital part of this study

    as a pivotal part of jazz theory..the basic triad-in part or whole- then can be used as upper structures to all chord types and functions

    to me it makes the guitar less illogical and the ability to view it more like a keyboard .. the ideal - bill evans
    Last edited by wolflen; 07-20-2020 at 05:20 PM.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SloeGin
    Hey guys,

    I'm new here.

    I have a basic knowledge of the CAGED system and how triads and seventh chords are constructed.
    Now i wonna learn triads and inversions across the whole fretboard.

    What would be the best way to learn what notes are exactly in a triad and how to visualise them across the neck?
    How did you learn triads?

    Thanks for the help!
    I learned them from 'cowboy chord shapes'

    Screw everything else, triads are the single most important thing. For every style of western music. And remarkably handy for jazz.

    You need to know what shapes are close voiced. Luckily there's only three of them for any string group. So, close voiced triads you have 12 shapes, and most of them are based on familiar shapes... So, for F, say:

    x x x 2 1 1
    x x x 5 6 5
    x x x 10 10 8
    x x 3 2 1 x
    x x 7 5 6 x
    x x 10 10 10 x
    x 3 3 2 x x
    x 8 7 5 x x
    x 12 10 10 x x
    5 3 3 x x x
    8 8 7 x x x
    13 12 10 x x x

    • Learn in all keys, there's your major.
    • Now identify the third (good exercise), take it down a fret and you have your minors.
    • Identify the fifth and put it down a semitone and you have a diminished triad.
    • Alternatively, take the major and put the 5th up a semitone and you have augmented, which is fewer shapes (4)


    That'll get you started. There's the spread/open voicings as well...

  12. #11

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    x x x 2 1 1
    x x 3 2 1 x
    x 3 3 2 x x
    5 3 3 x x x

    x x x 5 6 5
    x x 7 5 6 x
    x 8 7 5 x x
    8 8 7 x x x

    x x x 10 10 8

    x x 10 10 10 x
    x 12 10 10 x x
    13 12 10 x x x

    Reformatted Christian's offering to show my additional entry approach (along with his example) into triad study.
    Combined you are then addressing vertical and horizontal fretboard movements.
    Not really triads formally, but I always included Mab5 (1 3 b5) and Sus (1 4 5) chords as part of this game.
    For my own purposes, I think of them as prefixes along with the standard triads, building blocks of 7th chords.


  13. #12

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    In my opinion, a valid reference for the use of triads in (Jazz) musical context can be found in Bert Ligon "Jazz Theory Resources", Vol.1 & 2 - not specific for guitar.

    As an aside: nobody uses (for melodic purposes) triad fingerings on two strings?
    Like (for G maj - root position):
    G: string 6/fret 3; B: string 5/fret 2; D: string 5/fret 5
    + same fingering on strings set 4-3 starting on fret 5
    + same fingering on strings set 2-1 starting on fret 8...

    Sergio

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    x x x 2 1 1
    x x 3 2 1 x
    x 3 3 2 x x
    5 3 3 x x x

    x x x 5 6 5
    x x 7 5 6 x
    x 8 7 5 x x
    8 8 7 x x x

    x x x 10 10 8

    x x 10 10 10 x
    x 12 10 10 x x
    13 12 10 x x x

    Reformatted Christian's offering to show my additional entry approach (along with his example) into triad study.
    Combined you are then addressing vertical and horizontal fretboard movements.
    Not really triads formally, but I always included Mab5 (1 3 b5) and Sus (1 4 5) chords as part of this game.
    For my own purposes, I think of them as prefixes along with the standard triads, building blocks of 7th chords.

    The way I worked on them was similar to Christian and Bako but through a cycle of 4ths to link all the forms:
    Visualising triads-triads-jpg

  15. #14

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    But it's easy to get overwhelmed.

    Start with the majors and minors in close position.

  16. #15

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    Yes, but how does a beginner use them without sounding like a robot? That's the question, not just put your fingers here and here.

  17. #16

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    I find LISTS of things (eg triads in this case) very difficult to assimilate generally
    (you maybe OK with learning lists of things , which is cool)

    So how I do the major triads all over the neck ,
    is to look at the them (root , Ist and and inversions) as revealed in the CAGED shapes

    There's a boat load of them in there .....
    and they sound pretty broken up like that too (also the diads)

    ------------------------------------
    And then (or possibly at the same time)
    I have a look at the nearest I , IV and V shapes

    eg in G

    G xx543x the I chord
    C xx555x the IV chord
    D xx423x the V chord

    I always do them in the context of a tune (a I IV V tune)

    You get the Triads , the Diads , you learn the geography of the neck (the so-called one big shape)
    and you build on and re-enforce your knowledge of the CAGED system

    make sure you have fun with it ....

    Get out in that Kitchen at rattle them Pots and Pans !

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Yes, but how does a beginner use them without sounding like a robot? That's the question, not just put your fingers here and here.
    I think Garrison Fewell's book is a good resource on learning to improvise with triads.

  19. #18

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    Learn the proper stuff first, then embellish it with triads - not the other way round!

  20. #19

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    Christian's point about being overwhelmed is valid although we all have different
    tolerances for how long we can proceed on a given task while being partially in the
    dark about what this all means. In that spirit let me add one more that I think of as
    a comparative approach.

    Once the major is learned simply change whatever is different to form the next chord type:

    Major: 1 3 5
    Augmented: 1 3 #5
    Minor: 1 b3 5
    Diminished: 1 b3 b5

    C E G > C E G#
    C E G > C Eb G
    C E G > C Eb Gb

    E G C > E G# C
    E G C > Eb G C
    E G C > Eb Gb C

    G C E > G# C E
    G C E > G C Eb
    G C E > Gb C Eb

  21. #20

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    I dunno about you Bako, I drop what I think is a minimal amount of specific and relevant info in a lesson and very often students look like their heads are about to implode. Easy to overlook how much stuff you’ve picked up over the years.

    Never give out too much jazz info... It’ll all end up like Scanners lol... And seeing this is on the ‘getting started’ thread.

    i think we are being reasonably consistent. Once learned just spend some time with Parker heads for instance ...

    But info itself is cheap. Application and internalisation takes ages...

  22. #21

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    And seeing this is on the ‘getting started’ thread.
    I mostly view new threads where the sub-forum heading is not so obvious.
    I wonder if noticing this would change my overload tendency.
    When questions are posed on the forum, there could be a dozen different responses before
    the OP re-enters the conversation. This is a less than perfect learning scenario.
    On a good day the OP will walk away with something tangible to work on.
    Teaching one on one is a far more subtle experience that better allows us to adjust as needed.

  23. #22

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    There is a really good study group on Garison Fewell's book active now on the forum. I can't think of a better introduction to triad centric soloing than his book "Jazz Improvisation for Guitar, A Melodic Approach", and you get the benefit of an active study group. What are you waiting for? Go check it out.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    I mostly view new threads where the sub-forum heading is not so obvious.
    I wonder if noticing this would change my overload tendency.
    When questions are posed on the forum, there could be a dozen different responses before
    the OP re-enters the conversation. This is a less than perfect learning scenario.
    On a good day the OP will walk away with something tangible to work on.
    Teaching one on one is a far more subtle experience that better allows us to adjust as needed.
    Quite. Hopefully the student appreciates we are saying pretty much the same thing

  25. #24
    Yeah. I think the real bottleneck with triads is the human mind and attention span. That being said, I found the best way to learn them to be just spending some time with chord melody playing , utilizing triads in non-jazz styles.

    Like has been stated above, there are only three inversions of each. You can really get major and minor going on one string set in relatively short time. Then, there are other string sets.

    Came up with basic rules. Utilizing mostly upper neighbor replacement of the top voice to accommodate tensions/non-chord tones. I utilize dim triads mostly for dominants. Anyway,I really went down the rabbit hole with that for a while. Eventually found it much more interesting than playing jazz and didn't apply it there.

    So maybe don't try it? Ha!

    Anyway , eventually I realized that this is what William Levitt lays out in volume 3 of his modern guitar method. I never actually learned it out of that book though ; never got that far. I think he covers most iterations : melodization of triads, open, closed, 3-note dominant etc etc.

    you can get some really nice non- jazz playing technique from this. Sounds really nice on acoustic as well and is just a fun way to play . I can post more common examples etc. if anyone was interested , but it's really a distraction to actual jazz . :-)

    TLDNR: it's possible that learning to utilize triads as legit lower structure elements may be the mental hack toward eventually knowing where things are enough to utilize as actual upper structure jazz improv devices.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher
    Yeah. I think the real bottleneck with triads is the human mind and attention span. That being said, I found the best way to learn them to be just spending some time with chord melody playing , utilizing triads in non-jazz styles.

    Like has been stated above, there are only three inversions of each. You can really get major and minor going on one string set in relatively short time. Then, there are other string sets.

    Came up with basic rules. Utilizing mostly upper neighbor replacement of the top voice to accommodate tensions/non-chord tones. I utilize dim triads mostly for dominants. Anyway,I really went down the rabbit hole with that for a while. Eventually found it much more interesting than playing jazz and didn't apply it there.

    So maybe don't try it? Ha!

    Anyway , eventually I realized that this is what William Levitt lays out in volume 3 of his modern guitar method. I never actually learned it out of that book though ; never got that far. I think he covers most iterations : melodization of triads, open, closed, 3-note dominant etc etc.

    you can get some really nice non- jazz playing technique from this. Sounds really nice on acoustic as well and is just a fun way to play . I can post more common examples etc. if anyone was interested , but it's really a distraction to actual jazz . :-)

    TLDNR: it's possible that learning to utilize triads as legit lower structure elements may be the mental hack toward eventually knowing where things are enough to utilize as actual upper structure jazz improv devices.
    2 x 2 2 1 x
    x 3 x 4 5 3

  27. #26

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    Using the major scale as a source...

    play a melodic pattern before playing the chord..using the scale degrees of the chord..

    G major 2 3 1 5 A B G D...now find that pattern in as many positions on the neck and follow it with some from ot the G chord

    and to make it a bit more harmonic/melodic do the same with the third degree of the scale

    B minor 2 3 1 5 C D B F#...and then the fifth degree of the scale

    D major 2 3 1 5 E F# D A

    now the same with the 7th degree..then the two four and six degrees and back to the tonic G an octave higher

    of course finish this pattern until you have all the chords in the scale ..using every other degree give a nice break to the flow of chords/patterns

    this also helps developing some connecting lines to other chords and patterns outside of the scale..

    and then ..there are countless patterns to develope and use in this kind of exercise..this also helps alot in developing solo lines

  28. #27

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    I think triad knowledge is of enormous use.

    Three note comping helps get the guitarist out of the all-or-nothing grip-type (Thynne ) chord shapes the newbie find themselves limited by.

    Using the CAGED system, or as I think of it, C/D shape, A shape and E shape to play the same chord yields all three inversions directly. You can go up and down the neck playing inversions - Pete Townsend obviously shedded this, witness 'Substitute'. Or Cissy Strut. It's also a great entry into chord melody thinking, even if it's God Save The Queen, or my favourite, In The Bleak Midwinter.

    They are invaluable in playing the Blues when bending notes becomes tiresome. The certainty of chord IV's 3rd when normally beginners will go for the tonic's flat 7 is great, and their little eyes light up when I show them. The 7th can be introduced then and some great Blues sounds come out and we haven't needed to burn at all.

    I always think of the guitar as a visual instrument and locate chords within visual scale patterns - but it also happens in reverse, so the triad can pin you to a secure place harmonically and your scale knowledge will allow you to play notes surrounding the triad tones. You don't have to use them in the intervals supplied by their shape. This is where some structural knowledge is necessary, but nothing is free.

    I generally use major shapes. I sometimes derive tonality by changing notes, to make minor, find the 7th etc. but I haven't spent much time at all looking at minor shapes - I find them less rewarding harmonically as triads. I know Dave Cliff, a guitarist in the UK, has handouts for all chord types on adjacent string sets (1,2,3 - 2,3,4) in three scale types (this was a while ago and the 4th hadn't been discovered yet). I've had them for years but have never bothered to learn them all, but I know he has, which is why he's Dave Cliff...

  29. #28

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    I'm waiting for the OP to show up again...

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Gainly
    I think triad knowledge is of enormous use.

    Three note comping helps get the guitarist out of the all-or-nothing grip-type (Thynne ) chord shapes the newbie find themselves limited by.

    Using the CAGED system, or as I think of it, C/D shape, A shape and E shape to play the same chord yields all three inversions directly. You can go up and down the neck playing inversions - Pete Townsend obviously shedded this, witness 'Substitute'. Or Cissy Strut. It's also a great entry into chord melody thinking, even if it's God Save The Queen, or my favourite, In The Bleak Midwinter.

    They are invaluable in playing the Blues when bending notes becomes tiresome. The certainty of chord IV's 3rd when normally beginners will go for the tonic's flat 7 is great, and their little eyes light up when I show them. The 7th can be introduced then and some great Blues sounds come out and we haven't needed to burn at all.

    I always think of the guitar as a visual instrument and locate chords within visual scale patterns - but it also happens in reverse, so the triad can pin you to a secure place harmonically and your scale knowledge will allow you to play notes surrounding the triad tones. You don't have to use them in the intervals supplied by their shape. This is where some structural knowledge is necessary, but nothing is free.

    I generally use major shapes. I sometimes derive tonality by changing notes, to make minor, find the 7th etc. but I haven't spent much time at all looking at minor shapes - I find them less rewarding harmonically as triads. I know Dave Cliff, a guitarist in the UK, has handouts for all chord types on adjacent string sets (1,2,3 - 2,3,4) in three scale types (this was a while ago and the 4th hadn't been discovered yet). I've had them for years but have never bothered to learn them all, but I know he has, which is why he's Dave Cliff...
    Right. Dave Cliff isn't simply 'a guitarist in the UK', he is one of my favourite players full stop.


    Name a more swinging bop/straightahead player. He's up there.

  31. #30

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  32. #31

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    I like triads, and they will take some work, sure. It is nice, however, when that work is laid out in a coherent and meaningful manner. Personally, I really liked the approach to systematic inversions as presented by Dana Rasch in some of his courses (in my case Time Works, but I think his deepest treatise is Chord Melody Program...funny, he now offers access to all of them), both horizontally and vertically.

    Now, as a bass player, it really solidified my understanding of the fingerboard and seeing in advance where to move when targeting certain notes in walking lines etc. Sure, they aren't be all end all kind of tool, but they are an important one.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Right. Dave Cliff isn't simply 'a guitarist in the UK', he is one of my favourite players full stop.


    Name a more swinging bop/straightahead player. He's up there.
    Well, yes, but my point was that he had some handouts. He doesn't play much now - you know he's not well?

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo Gainly
    Well, yes, but my point was that he had some handouts. He doesn't play much now - you know he's not well?
    Yes.

    I last saw him last year (November) at a Pasquale Grasso gig, hope is doing OK with all this lockdown stuff.

    I just that I feel he should be bigged up at every possible opportunity for those unfamiliar with him. He's obviously well known in the UK but in the states etc, maybe not so much.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Right. Dave Cliff isn't simply 'a guitarist in the UK', he is one of my favourite players full stop.

    Name a more swinging bop/straightahead player. He's up there.
    i love bop maestro Dave Cliff !

    I had only one lesson with Dave ....
    when I was starting out with jazz

    it was the BEST lesson I ever had ....
    he turned some kind of key for me and opened the door to functional harmony
    how he might play a line through changes .... whilst outlining those changes

    he listened to me play for a few minutes
    then he said .... hmm ok .... and got a piece of paper
    and wrote out a line for me to practice
    (just one line ...)
    It was EXACTLY what I needed at that moment
    i took it home and had gone that direction ever since

    a total genius .... yes

    carry on

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by SloeGin
    Hey guys,

    I'm new here.

    I have a basic knowledge of the CAGED system and how triads and seventh chords are constructed.
    Now i wonna learn triads and inversions across the whole fretboard.

    What would be the best way to learn what notes are exactly in a triad and how to visualise them across the neck?
    How did you learn triads?

    Thanks for the help!
    1. Firstly, learning the notes is theory/harmony so you simply have to understand intervals and interval qualities, and how to build and name chords. It's easy with triads because there are only 3 notes to deal with.

    2. Regarding the guitar, yes there are ways to learn triads using visualization. One very effective method for learning closed position or "close voicing" triads is found in William Leavitt's Modern Method For Guitar, Volume 2. It shows three ways to learn triads of all qualities, and in all inversions:

    1. "across the fingerboard",
    2. "across and up the fingerboard", and
    3. "up and down the fingerboard". This last one uses one "string set" at a time to move up and down on. (String sets 6-5-4, 5-4-3, 4-3-2, 3-2-1).


    Learn "across the fingerboard" first, with just the major triad, and you'll get the hang of it. Then keep going.

    Leavitt's book uses many chord diagrams but not for this. You can do without but it really helps to use a visual aid when it comes to learning guitar chords. An ex-student at Berklee showed me some visualization charts that the folks at Berklee use for this. You can make these charts on your own - four of them in fact, one each for Maj, Min, Dim, Aug.

    The charts look like the following:

    1 page with 16 fretboard diagrams, 4 rows of 4.
    • The bottom row starts with the major triad in root position on the 6th string. Reading to the right from that first chord across the bottom row has you playing the 1rst inversion, then 2nd, then root position again (12 frets higher) - all on string set 6-5-4.
    • The row above that starts with 1rst inversion on string set 5-4-3, then reading to the right covers 2nd inversion, root position, then 1rst inversion again
    • The next row up starts with 2nd inversion on string set 4-3-2
    • The top row starts with root position on string set 3-2-1.


    Finally, you play this chart in two ways:
    1. Each column from bottom to top (across the fingerboard). Draw an arrow on the right side of the page pointing up.
    2. Each row from left to right (up and down the fingerboard on a single string set). Draw an arrow on the bottom of the page pointing to the right.

    I realize that's a lot of words. "A picture tells a thousand words", and all that. Charting these is well worth your time if you're serious about this. Again, charting ALL guitar chord "grips" speeds learning by a very significant degree. If you put in the work - and maintain it - you won't need the diagrams after a while.
    Last edited by GTRMan; 07-28-2020 at 09:27 PM.