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  • Writer's pictureThomas Doggett

More from the studio with English & inverted triads

My students have been enjoying these videos and I have enjoyed sharing the material. This has been a crazy week in the history of the world and I'm happy to have experiences to share. I love recording and practicing and this video brings together both subjects.

I assembled the video with the audio from last week's recording session with English to show how a recording session works. I left out an important piece when I described what we hear in our headphones: we have a metronome going the entire time. So, to all of my students: use a metronome!

At the end of this video, I share some musings from my apartment and an exercise that Bob Reynolds gave me back in 2016. For whatever reason, the exercise didn't stick; it was a concept I wasn't ready for back then but my ears have grown and it makes a lot more sense now. The exercise is playing inverted triads over a whole-half diminished scale. That sentence alone might cause some of you to stop reading and that's ok. First the scale: starting on Bb, ascend by a whole-step and then a half-step and repeat until you arrive back at Bb. Because it's a symmetrical scale, it sounds very unlike your familiar major or minor scales. This is one of two versions of a diminished scale, the other version is half-step followed by a whole-step. Now the inverted triads: for this, I had to think differently because I needed to see the notes of the scale inside the triads and I had to get away from thinking that the first degree of the triad was connected to the scale degree. All of the triads are major triads and the third of the triad is the scale degree. For example, the first scale degree is Bb and Bb is the third of a Gb triad: Gb, Bb, and Db. The second scale degree is C and C is the third of an Ab triad: Ab, C, and Eb. Continue up the up the scale applying these triads and you'll get what I play.

Happy practicing, stay optimistic, wash your hands, be smart,




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