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How to Build and Play Augmented and Diminished Triad Inversions on Guitar | Rick Peckham

November 10, 2019


[MUSIC]. Two more triad types that we’re going to go after are augmented and diminished. Again, back to the root, third, fifth model, for an augmented triad we have the root, the third, and the fifth is sharp, it’s a sharp five that goes there. Again, you can use what you know about the major triad and make a small alteration to what’s going on with the augmented triad. This would work going across the fretboard, or up the fretboard. Let me show the augmented triads across the fretboard. [MUSIC]. Now, going up the fretboard. [MUSIC]. The augmented triad going up the fretboard uses exactly the same shape. Has to do with the fact that the augmented triad inverts with exactly the same configuration of intervals, whether the root is in the bass [MUSIC], or the third is in the bass [MUSIC], or the sharp five is in the bass [MUSIC]. For the diminished, we have a root, a flat three, and flat five. So it’s very useful to think of the minor triad, and using the minor triad as a source of information for the location of the diminished triads, go to where the familiar minor shape is and flat the five. I’ll show those going across the fretboard and up the fretboard as well. Here’s C minor [MUSIC], here’s C diminished [MUSIC]. Here’s C minor [MUSIC], here’s C diminished [MUSIC]. The fifth is in the middle of the voicing. This time, [MUSIC] the fifth is in the voicing bottom of the voicing, so we move that down. [MUSIC]. So there are three distinctly different shapes. Diminished is a lot of fun to invert as a seventh chord [MUSIC] because it uses the same shape for every inversion. The inversions for triads are entirely different. It’s [MUSIC]. This is the root position, this is what the flat third in the bass, [MUSIC], this is what the flat five in the bass. [MUSIC]. Now, going across the fretboard, C diminished [MUSIC], and then a wide stretch. You might want to switch fingers to make it so that you have 4, 2, 1 on the bottom of the diminished. [MUSIC]. Again, the fifth is on the top [MUSIC], the fifth is on the bottom [MUSIC]. The third is on the top, the third is on the bottom [MUSIC]. The root moves down to the bottom here [MUSIC]. One last thing I’d like to mention is we went over the sus triad, root 3-5 for a sus, we get rid of the third, and we have root 4-5. So the inversions of a sus triad as we go across the fretboard will be taking the top note and moving it to the bottom, and so on. [NOISE] When we’re going up the fretboard, we take the note that’s on the bottom and move it to the top. It’s just shuffling the deck of notes that are in each triad. If you can keep track of where the root is, you’ll be ahead of the game. Working on triads really gives you a lot of power, but they only really give their full power when you have control of all the inversions. You’ll find an etude, where, I take you through the paces of playing through various colors of triads across and up the fretboard. I’d urge you to really dig in on that one to make sure that you have control of the concept. [MUSIC].

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