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Jazz Guitar Lessons: Triple Stops

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So, we've talked a lot about octaves.
We've done a little bit of double
stops what if we put double stops and
octaves together?
Well, a great guitarist
named George Benson
developed a great technique for
doing just that.
And man, that's a beautiful sound.
I'm a huge fan of George's and, and he,
he's got a few different triple stop
options that have really become part
of the vocabulary of the jazz guitar.
I wanna talk a little bit about it now.
So I did mention before.
That you can play an octave going up
the neck rather than down the neck, right?
When we're going to add other notes,
you know,
inside of the octave
to create triple stops
you;re going to want to use that direction
quite a bit of the time okay?
So this is an exception to that rule for
What's a good key to do it in?
Let's do it in G, the key of G
Okay I'm gonna start on the fifth of it,
of the key On the D.
So the octave here, normally I would do it
like that, if I'm just playing the octave.
But because I'm gonna add a note in
I'm gonna play that one.
So there's actually four strings
across that, that interval
Most of the time for this exercise at,
at this moment right now,
I'm going to be doing
this with my fingers.
So I'm going to pinch the two
strings with my right hand
Make sure you can see that.
Instead of
where I have to mute everything.
And now I'm gonna add
a third below the top note.
And a sixth above the bottom note.
So it's really a combination of
an octave and a sixth and an octave and
a third, it's kinda semantics.
The note is the third of the key
So it's that B
when I put them together,
it's a triple stop
And George became very
adept at taking that and
moving it through the scale and
moving through a solo,
and forced all of us to try to do that too
So I'm moving up the scale,
and every time I change, and
the third becomes minor instead of major
The first one is like this.
First, second I'm sorry first finger,
the second finger on the third.
Third finger on the low octave.
And each one's a fret apart,
so it's, it lines perfectly.
But to get to the next one,
if I go up the diatonic scale, I need
I need a C instead of a C sharp
instead of a major third,
I need a minor third.
So, I just bar my first finger across.
You see that?
Now remember when we did the chords,
major seven, minor seven, minor seven,
major seven, dominant seven, minor seven,
minor seven flat five, major seven.
So, we're gonna follow that same pattern.
Minor seven there to so
I'm borrowing across.
Major seven major chord on the four chord
So I moved back to the three fingers
Stay like that one the fifth
There's a dominate chord as a major
third also
another minor chord, right?
Last one even though it's a minor seven
flat five chord that normally is there,
but here it's a major third in between
And then we're back to the beginning,
let's do that slowly.
Grab your guitar and
play along with me
Make sense?
I'll do it once more with
a little bit of grease.
I'll just arbitrarily put,
the grease somewhere
Let me go down
Pretty cool sound, right?
Now, that was the middle four strings, but
of course you want to do this
in other places as well.
I don't normally use this voicing
down on the, on the low strings.
And part of the reason for that
is because you don't have the B string
involved in creating the octave there
It's a wider spread
I'm not saying you can't do it,
it also starts to sound a little muddy
down there.
There, with the sixth and
the third between it
So, we won't talk too much about that.
If you wanna try to do that,
show me up, send me a video.
I'm, I'm happy to be shown up.
Triple Stops Part 2.
Now let's talk about the,
the one between the fourth string and
the first string.
The high E string, okay?
So now the octave, again it's going back.
It's not,
it's not with the pinky like that.
I'm going up the neck this
way to get the high octave.
And the third now,
is no longer, for the, for
the major 3rd so
Here I need an E natural not an E flat.
I have to use my pinky, instead,
for that same interval.
So let's say,
let's take this first one that I did.
Right, the G,
the two with the 5th and B string.
There's a 3rd there, so I'm using
first finger, second finger, third finger.
Let's take, take that same voice and
move it up an octave, so
that the
Ds are on.
D string and the high E string.
So when I take in an octave,
if I want that same interval.
I want the B, hey, I gotta use my pinky.
Right, because if I use my 1st,
my 2nd finger it's gonna be a minor 3rd.
That's unacceptable.
So it's just a difference because of
the B string.
The same notes.
Have to be fingered differently.
Remember, I'm still using the pinching
technique on my right hand.
Don't forget that.
You still might have to do
a little bit of muting.
It's gonna kinda naturally happen
by the fat part of this finger or
the tip of this finger, okay.
So you see the configuration's
a little bit different.
Now in this case,
let's start the scale with the.
Root, instead of the 5th.
And then I'm gonna put a third below that,
or a six above the bottom.
Cool sound, I love that sound.
Let's go up the G major scale like that.
To stay in the scale,
I have to move down to a minor 3rd there.
Back to the major 3rd, major 3rd,
then the minor 3rd on that one.
Stay on the minor third there
and then back to the major third.
Let's do that
nice and slow.
Grab your
guitar, play
with me
Cool sound, huh?
So now you're not going to stay just
either on one set of strings or another.
You're going to go across.
From one position to another, so
don't forget to practice that as well.
So you're gonna go in the same key,
switch right there.
Now do that nice and
slow and put a little grease on it.
a very cool
What does this sound like if you
improvise instead of just going up and
down the scale.
You know, you have this, the famous
the Breezing song by George Benson that's,
you know, kind of a nice example of it.
They actually had the flutes doing that.
But, let's take a little ride with it,
and see what it sounds like.
I'll just play in
the key of G to give
you a sound of what it
might be like
Throw, throw in some
chromatic movement in.
So, please play around
with this yourselves.
It's a really nice sound,
and let me hear what you do.
I want those videos.
Triple Stops Part 3.
So let's continue on with this triple
stops idea I'm going to harken back to my,
you know, buddy and idol Mr.
George Benson.
Not only did he add a 3rd, a nice pretty
tone in between, he also added a 4th and
a 5th, mostly a 5th as a,
as a note in between the octave,
now we're gonna go back to
Instead of that position, we're gonna
go back to the regular position for
octaves in this case when I create
the octave, instead of using my naturally
occurring third finger for the higher
octave, I'm going to use my pinky.
Why, Chuck, They ask?
Well, because I'm going to add another
note, and if I add another note I need
another finger
So I'm going to add a 5th in between.
So here's the octave and
if I count up five notes
I get the fifth.
You know, that's like pretty common
power chord thing, you know,
that most guitarists know.
But if you take it and you use it in jazz,
it's a really cool sound.
You can just move it around.
I'm not gonna do it in a scale.
Position right now,
because that doesn't make a lot of sense.
It ends up sounding a little medieval
You know, and
you get a tritone at one point.
It's more like used to interject
a little bit of blues into the jazz solo
A lot of times, you'll hear this
that kind of a sound.
It sounds a little bit like
like Pink Panther.
But anyway it's kind
of a bluesy technique.
Now you can also
now I'll point out a couple of quick
When you change from this position
where the root is on the
fifth string
and the octave is on the G string or
on the bottom position
there's just the three fret spread.
But again because of the B string when
you get up to the fourth string and
you need an octave above that,
your pinky's gonna be up a fret
you probably saw that when I did
the example.
I automatically switched to that position.
So when you
when you create the octave with the 5th
in between,
here I had to change to use my pinky.
Here the pinky's already in use
just simply add the 5th.
Same thing on the next string
Here I have to hammer across to get the
the 5th up here.
Remember, it's a 5th up from the bottom
note, it's a 4th down from the top note.
So very slowly,
let's just play a blue scale.
In let's do it in the key of A
I'm down on this position here.
So I have the octave, low octave here.
The high octave here
I add the 5th in between.
Then I go to the next string
low octave
high octave there.
Add the 5th
in between
and then stay on that string,
that position.
And then I'm gonna go up to the seventh
degree of the pentatonic scale
Low octave here, high octave there
5th in between
And then when I move to this string
low octave
high octave there, bar the pinky for
the 5th.
check it out,
slow pentatonic
Do that again,
I'll put a little grease in it this time.
So that's your octave with the 4th and
the 5th.
You can also sometimes
make it a 4th
It's a kind of a weird sound, so
I'm not gonna spend a lot
of time talking about it.
Instead of a 5th,
you could just make it a 4th
from the bottom and a 5th from the top
Not my favorite sound, but again,
do what you want with this.
Try to make it your own,
send me a video of it.
I want to know what you are doing
the octave and the 5th.
Triple Stops Part 4.
>> So, in talking about three notes
at a time I'm just gonna revert for
a moment to a double top that
we didn't discuss before.
And what that is is a tenth.
Now remember when we spoke about tension,
we said that there were
notes above the octave.
Up to the 9th.
Up to the 11th and up to the 13th,
skipping a note each time.
There's one other interval
that gets used a lot and
referred to a lot above the octave and
that's the tenth.
So we go one, two, three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten.
Well all it is, is the 3rd but
above the octave.
So I take the 3rd here.
C sharp in the key of A.
And make, bump it up an octave.
Play it with the low note.
It's a nice sound, it's pretty sound, and
as we get into chord solos
later we'll talk about,
about moving tenths around to create
a nice walking bass sometimes or even just
outlining a melody.
Sound familiar?
It's a sound that's used not only in
jazz but in many different settings.
But right now I want to talk
about a triple stop with that.
And I'm talking about
both putting a 5th in it.
So I have a 5th on the bottom.
And then a 10th way above the octave.
It's a very nice sound.
So I use that sometimes
Just to get a nice, rich open voicing.
I don't use it a lot for improvising,
but sometimes
Just to lead to the end of a song.
I'll use it and
by the way I almost always do it.
I almost never do it by strumming across.
You certainly can, but
you've got to mute a lot of strings.
I usually use a picking
each note technique.
Again, that sort of pinching idea
I grab it with my fingers.
And when we get into chord solos
I'll talk more about using that.
But there's another triple
stop that uses the 10th.
And it's a, it's a really cool one.
I'm gonna take the,
the root,
go all the way up above the octave.
And go up to the 3rd, okay?
And then I'm gonna add
the 7th instead of the 5th,
which is kind of a triadic
open major sound.
I'm gonna add the 7th below the 3rd.
Now interestingly enough,
if you just have the root of the chord,
the 7th and the 3rd without the 5th,
it's not a full chord voicing of a,
of a 7th chord.
You really get the character
of the chord anyway.
Let me just go through the scale like
That's the major 7.
Minor 7.
Now all I'm doing is
leaving the top note off.
3 minor 7.
4 major 7.
5 dominant 7,
that's kind of a tricky one
to play in that position.
If you do it up here it's a little easier
6 minor 7.
And the, the minor 7 flat 5
doesn't have a 5th in it so
it just sounds like a minor 7 as well
You see the way I'm, I'm, I do that a lot.
You see I'm not just plucking,
I'm kinda rolling my fingers across.
just slight delays like
what's called a glissando.
I'm trying to make music out of it.
Now at times I will use that for
soloing, when I'm doing a chord solo.
I cheated
at the end.
I did a little.
A little voice ringing.
You might want to go through all the keys,
do the building a chord over
each note of the scale exercise,
with just the root, 7th, and 3rd.
And doing it every key, because you'll,
you'll get more familiar
with these little voicings.
You might for example want to use them for
walking bass lines
So, you know it's a good thing
to really know how to do.
It will come in handy later on.
Check it out.
Triple Stops Part 5.
This last voicing doesn't necessarily
involve the 10th interval anymore but
it does use the same concept
of having just the first,
the root, the 3rd, and
the 7th, 1-3-7 voicing.
In this case rather than being so spread
out I'm gonna do it with the root on
the A string because down on the, on
the low string it gets a little muddy I'll
show it to you in a minute, but
let's start with D major 7, okay.
So I'm saying 1-3-7, okay?
So here we have it one, two, three.
Up to the 7 if I put those together
It's a little tense, but
you hear the character of the chord.
I'm gonna go through the D
major scale like that.
If you go across the strings, you're gonna
have to change because of the B string,
remember, so the major 7th
will be like that instead of.
Instead of the.
Three strings here,
it'll involve a fourth.
Fret, go up one more fret.
So let's do that and then the minor 7,
too, will be different.
Instead of like this, it'll have a little
bit more of a spread because of the B
string, you're gonna have to go
up an extra note, all right?
So, here you go.
Get the dominant voice there.
Kind of cool, right?
I'll do it once more play along with
me let's put some grease in it, too.
These aren't always the easiest things to,
to use to improvise but,
going back to the walking baseline idea,
sometimes you'll wanna go between.
This voicing with the 10th
and the other one I'll give you
an example.
Let's say dominant 7th chords.
That's a really good,
walking bass line pattern, so
like if you're going down in dominant 7th,
seventh chords around the cycle of 4ths,
you can put a little chromatic
note before each one.
It's a cool sound,
I'll do that one more time slow.
So I go to the
dominant 7th voicing here,
I'll do it with this finger.
Let's see, what I normally I usually
do it with this voicing here,
without using my first finger.
I get a dominant 7th chord a half
a step above my target note,
for a little chromatic action.
Same thing
my target note is C here but
I'm gonna be a half-step above it.
A half-step above each one of them.
one more time slowly.
So that's, some 1-3-7 voicings,
more triple stops have fun with it,
let me hear what you're doing.