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The Sultan's Triads - Guitar triads for soloing

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The Sultan's Triads:
Guitar triads for soloing
by Shawn Bradshaw

This lesson is about what I like to call "The Sultans of Swing Thing". The idea comes from part of the solo in the Dire Straits song "Sultan's of Swing". But this sound can be heard in many other songs and solos.

You are going to be playing arpeggios, which are the notes of a chord played individually. The name of this lesson is "The Sultan's Triads". A triad is a basic 3 note chord. Major and minor chords are triads and only have 3 different notes in them. To understand more about triads, go to the lesson on basic chord construction in the theory section.

In these particular arpeggios, you are going to play a very specific shape. You are going to play 2 notes on the 1st string, and 1 note on the 2nd string. Having 2 notes on the 1st string will allow you to do hammer-on and pull-off combinations that will allow you to play fast, with minimal effort.

Major Shapes

Let take a look at the major arpeggio shapes. The numbers indicate the fingering, and the red dot shows where the root of the chord is. The root location is going to be your guide, so memorize where it is. Of course for these to be of any use, you will need to have a basic knowledge of what the names of the notes are on the neck of the guitar.

major triad diagram
major triad diagram

If you played the 3 notes of a major chord using the string combination mention above (2 notes on the 1st string and 1 on the 2nd string) this will give you 3 different sets of these 3 notes. The only problem is that one of the sets is not a very comfortable combination, so we are not going to use it. We are looking for some comfortable and useful shapes to learn. Just because it exist, doesn't mean you need to play it.

major triad diagram
awkward stretch

Page 2, Minor shapes, and lone 2nd and 3rd string shape


The Sultans Triads - guitar triads for soloing
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Free Download - 17 Essential Strum Patterns PDF

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