Lesson #078, Building Basic Scales and Chords V

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Lesson #078, Building Basic Scales and Chords V

Hi Everyone,

Lets look at this major triad a little bit more in this lesson. We can put the combination of the notes G B D together however we want to make up G major chord triad. We already put them together with the 4th string position, so lets move on up the neck and put them in the 2nd string position. The second string fretted behind the eighth fret is our G... the fourth string fretted behind the ninth fret is our B note....and the third string fretted behind the seventh fret is our D note. So again that is why the 2nd string position is what it is. The same three notes stacked up in a different combination. It doesnt matter how or where we put those three notes together.....when you play them at the same time...you get a G triad. Thats all there is to it. Lets move up to the 3rd string position or the barre position. The third string fretted at the twelveth fret is our G note, the second at the tweleth is our B note, and the fourth fretted at the twelveth is our D note. So again you can see why that position is what it is as well. Three different positions that we have gone over before and they all contain the 1-3-5 or the G B D of the G major scale.

Its good practice to resite the notes and the numbers when first learning the makeup of the major triad. If we start with the 4th string position......1 3 5 or G B D.....moving up to the 2nd string position........3 5 1 or B D G......moving up to the 3rd string or barre position 5 1 3 or D G B. You can see for yourself the patterns that are showing up. If you look at the patterns of the numbers and notes....they have a cycle. Learning these cycles will help you greatly and will make things more simple when we go on to build off of the triads to create other chords. It will also help you to understand the fingerboard for improvisations and comping with other musicians as well.

Study well

Have fun

Rock on


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In 2009, at the age of 60, I decided to learn to play the 5-string banjo. I searched the internet for lessons and struck gold when I found David Cavage's free banjo lessons at Musicmoose.org. His video hosting site revver.com was having some serious problems at the time so I downloaded as many of the lessons as I could whenever they became available. Revver.com stopped operating shortly afterwards and, sadly, Musicmoose.org is no more. I contacted David early 2020 and he told me he no longer had the original master videos and feared they may have been lost forever. This amazing course of free banjo lessons, from absolute beginner to advanced player, is too good to be forgotten, so this is my attempt to get David's work back out there again so that he can teach, inspire and spread the joy of banjo pickin' to more generations of budding musicians, just like he did with me. I've rounded up all the Moose stuff I could find and put it here, so start pickin' and enjoy!-------MooseHerder.