Play the Grateful Dead Scale or Allman Brothers Scale on Guitar, Using Gospel Triads | Rick Peckham


[MUSIC] I thought it would be fun to talk about another way to use triads. If I take the notes of a C major triad [MUSIC] and play these notes and all inversions [MUSIC] C over C, [MUSIC] C over E, [MUSIC] C over G. [MUSIC] I did the same thing with minor chords, the D minor chord. This is a D minor and root position. [MUSIC] This is a D minor and first inversion. [MUSIC] Then reaching way up. This is a D minor with A and the bottom, our second inversion. [MUSIC] The D minor and second inversion, [MUSIC] works well down there. If we take these two triads, [MUSIC] that gives us six out of the seven notes of the major scale. [MUSIC] C from the C triad, [MUSIC] D from the D minor triad, [MUSIC] E from the C triad, [MUSIC] F from the D minor triad, and then moving the G from here to there. [MUSIC] G from the C major triad, [MUSIC] then A from the D minor triad. So we end up. [MUSIC] This gives us a scale that I’ve heard called, The Gospel Scale. Our great professor at Berkeley, Ross Hoffman and I were doing a clinic one time. He was showing pianists this set of voicings and they result in notes that come from it, and it really gets some interesting sounds. So I just wanted to talk a little bit more about it now. [MUSIC] So if I walked through the [MUSIC] C triads [MUSIC] and a D minor triad [MUSIC] and now mix them together [MUSIC] This is like the major scale. These are six notes of the major scale, [MUSIC] but not the major 7th. [MUSIC] The B is left out of it so. [MUSIC] Or it could be seen as the major pentatonic, [MUSIC] with an added note in it. [MUSIC] We know about having triads in different string sets. [MUSIC] I’m going to put a vamp into my looper here, and let’s listen to it. [MUSIC] So it’s a C, G and A, just an old Motown groove. [MUSIC] I’m going to play through these triads [MUSIC] 2, 3, 4, C [MUSIC] and root position, D minor in root position. [MUSIC] C major in first inversion D minor [MUSIC] in first inversion [MUSIC] C major in second inversion, [MUSIC] D minor in second inversion. [MUSIC] What goes up [MUSIC] must come down. [MUSIC] We can have B and C as well. [MUSIC] I can do this D minor, [MUSIC] and this C major. [MUSIC] It’s very interesting set of voicings, and it’s fun to mess around with. [MUSIC] One other thing that I’ll say is that it’s nice to go from minor to major on the C triad. So we’ve got a major triad and a minor triad, [MUSIC] but I’m going to [MUSIC] slide up like a piano player going from D# to an E natural. [MUSIC] I’m not doing it with the whole voicing, [MUSIC] but I’m doing it just with the third. So if you work with this and make it so that you’re changing the third to a #9 going up to the major third. [MUSIC] So again, the C major, E-flat goes to E, [MUSIC] or D# goes to E. [MUSIC] D# goes to E [MUSIC] D# goes to E. [MUSIC] So let me try it with that. [MUSIC] The scale that comes from it. [MUSIC] I’ve heard that scale called the Grateful Dead Scale, or the Allman Brothers scale or the Celtic scale, the bluegrass scale. This major sounding while major pentatonic with the fourth attitude does really crosses stylistic boundaries, and it really gives you some cool sounds to use. So the voicings are great to use, and the scale that results from it is cool too. Just to talk about the scale that results from these Gospel voicings. To me, scales and chords are very closely related. I know they can be different classes, and I am not spending much time talking about scales in here, but to me, chords are like ice formations found in the water of scales. You take the notes of scales and stack them up, or you knock them down. It’s if you take the sound of a chord and the knock it over on its side and put the notes and alphabetical order musically, that gives you a scale. So chords and scales are very closely related. Let me go back to this vamp here, [MUSIC] and I’m going to start the scale. Remember, it’s one note from the C major triad, one note from the D minor triad. [MUSIC] Two, 3, 4, [MUSIC] and that’s starting from C. Now, I’m going to start the same scale from E. [MUSIC] I’m going to start the same from G. [MUSIC] That gives me the complete [MUSIC] sound of these triads. [MUSIC] So that’s the scale building into the sound of the course. [MUSIC] So when I’m improvising, I can use the scale or I can use the forms. [MUSIC] So when you’re working on a vamp like you find at the end of this lesson, you can work on improvising using scales or chords. [MUSIC]