Minor triad arpeggios in all 12 keys.

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another bass technique lesson. In this one we will focus on minor triads, learning how to play each key individually on the electric bass, from root position to I and II inversion.

But first, how do we define a minor triad? Generally speaking, as already seen in the previous lesson, a triad is a succession of the three most important notes of any given scale. For a minor triad, these will be: 

  • the root (the first note of the scale that sets the key); 

  • the minor third;

  • the perfect fifth. 

The minor triad belongs to a series of scales like the dorian, phrygian, aeolian, melodic and harmonic. We won’t cover in this lesson all the differences between those scales, but keep in mind that a minor triad is going to fit in any of the previously mentioned scales.  

Dorian minor scale: minor 3rd and 7th.

Phrygian minor scale: minor 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th.

Aeolian minor scale: minor 3rd, 6th and 7th.

Melodic minor scale: minor 3rd.

Harmonic minor scale: minor 3rd and 6th.

Just like for the major triad, the three degrees of the minor triad are not at all times played in the order root - minor third - fifth, but they can be mixed and played in different positions. Therefore, we can have the following three different positions (C minor triad arpeggio): 

C minor in root position: the root note is on the bass.

C minor in I inversion: the minor third is on the bass.

C minor in II inversion: the perfect fifth is on the bass.

Following here the minor triads in all twelve keys. In each exercise you will learn to play a specific key in root position, I and II inversion, on both octaves of a 4-string electric bass. Painful but meaningful and very effective practice on the basics: that’s all you need to master your instrument in a fraction of the time!

Remember that triads are the staple for bass players (and musicians in general), so this is a very important lesson for you to master. Practice each key out of tempo at first, and make sure that you can play fluently the exercise before using the metronome.

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That was it for this lesson. Use the previous exercises as a tool to expand your knowledge of the fretboard, and take your time to absorb those positions. 


Happy practice and see you in the next lesson!

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