In this final class of the Diatonic Triads series, we will explore clusters. Simply stated, a three-note cluster consists of any three consecutive notes from a seven-note scale. We will start with the notes C, D, and E from the C major scale.

While some of the inversions of this structure played as a chord may prove difficult or even impossible on some string sets and/or fretboard locations, we will explore all the possibilities with a view toward finding the most practical examples. When this tight structure is inverted and opened up, it can create more playable shapes and also provide surprisingly open-sounding and unique sonorities.

Diatonic Triads Complete part 5: Clusters covers:

  • explanation of clusters
  • “piano style” versus “choir style” inversions on the guitar
  • map of all inversions of 3-note clusters, plus diatonic harmonized scales on all string sets
  • using diatonic cycles to gain fluency with inversions and voice leading, including contrapuntal variations
  • exploration of open clusters
  • substitution of occasional open clusters for impractical close clusters
  • arpeggiating open clusters to create melodic ideas with wide intervallic leaps
  • exploring clusters from the melodic and harmonic minor scales
  • single-note line and chordal phrases over a minor II V I progression and over the chords of “My Romance” to demonstrate real-world applications
  • 74 minute running time
  • includes 13 pages of written examples and exercises
  • includes backing track for II V I musical example
  • All musical examples from the video are provided in music notation, tablature, and chord grid form.
  • Each example performance is shown in close-up view and titled and numbered for easy navigation.

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Class Content

Full Class + Download
Diatonic Triads Complete Part V Full Class + Download 01:14:22

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