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Talking Technique: Talking Triads

Triads are three note chords that serve as the building blocks of functional harmony. As bass players, it’s important for us to recognize triads by ear and to know how to play them starting on each string in all keys and in all registers of the bass. We’ll focus on the major triad in this lesson to get your ears and your fingers in shape.

In this lesson, we’ll cover five important shapes for playing major triads, so we can play them no matter which string the root is on and wherever on the bass we just happen to be. Once we go through each of the triad shapes, we’ll learn an exercise to play them through the cycle of fifths and subsequently through every key.

Stay tuned through the end for a little quiz on bass lines built around triads. What bass lines do you know that feature triads?