Dyads

Dear Students,
I hope you’re enjoying Guitar Lessons for the Curious Guitarist. I want to go deeper into the topic of dyads. In our course, I explained what they are and some basic ideas to find & use them. Today we’ll go much deeper into this tool that we can use constantly, every day, in everything we play.

While this course is pretty long, it’s still meant to be a launching pad for you to go in any guitar direction that you choose. My goal was to give you the tools to continue learning on your own, in any style or genre that you choose. I feel that dyads have been overlooked as a major tool to help you do this – we’ll fix that now.

As a recap, dyads are mini 2-note chords. (The textbook definition of a chord is that it has at least three different notes.) So a 2-note chord is called a dyad. (Bowed instruments, like violins & cellos, call them double stops, bowing on two strings at the same time.) When we learned about dyads, we played two notes on adjacent strings using notes of a scale or mode. This is a great way to practice dyads from a soloing or melodic perspective.

Let’s consider dyads from a harmonic perspective. Take any chord. (Let’s use C major.) Identify the triad – the three chord tones or arpeggio notes. (They are: C, E, G.) Now, find a C note anywhere on the fretboard. Look for E or G note (we only want one of these) on a neighboring string (above or below, any neighboring string.) Play those two notes together for your first dyad. Now take the second note and connect it with a triad note on a neighboring string. I’ll walk you through this, from C note 10th fret on D string.

(C note – 10th fret D string) plus (E note – 7th fret A string) = dyad.
(E note – 7th fret A string) plus (G note – 5th fret D string) = dyad.
(G note – 5th fret D string) plus (C note – 5th fret G string) = dyad.
(C note – 5th fret G string) plus (G note – 8th fret B string) = dyad
(G note – 8th fret B string) plus (C note – 8th fret E string) = dyad
(G note – 8th fret B string) plus (E note – 12th fret E string) = dyad
(E note – 12th fret E string) plus (C note – 13th fret B string) = dyad

This could go on & on all throughout the fretboard just using these three notes. I am recommending you spend time on a single triad finding dyads all over – not memorizing them, but finding them in real time. Pick a major chord, then a minor chord. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do this on-the-spot with chord construction (you’ll find chord shapes you’ve never played before) and with soloing. This will take your playing to a new high level where you will be comfortable with harmony and melody working together.

A single extension (possibly some 7th interval) adds a lot of shape possibilities. But first, learn the basic major & minor triads. Soon you’ll be soloing with a new authority and playing chord shapes your guitar friends have never seen.

I hope this makes sense. Also, thank you for your reviews of me and your support of me – I really appreciate it! It means more to me than you may know – thank you!

Talk with you more later,
-Dan (your guitar teacher)