My best triads ear-training trick

My best triads ear-training trick

Triads ear training

Being able to play all major and minor triads in all keys is a fundamental and useful skill on not just the trombone but any instrument. But – you should also be able to sing a triad in any inversion without hesitating. 

What is a triad inversion?

A triad inversion is when you start the triad from different notes like C/E, C/G or Dm/A. They all have their unique sound while still being (most of the time) easily recognizable as a major or minor triad. On the piano, you can of course play all inversions as chords. But when you sing or play a wind instrument you will ofcourse have to play them note by note.

My best triad trick

Try this simple exercise – it will really open up your ears:

  1. Choose the triad inversion you want to practice (for example major triads up starting on the 3rd)
  2. Hit a random note on a piano
  3. Sing the triad starting on the note you just hit (or play it on your mouthpiece)
  4. Hit a new note and keep going!

If you are like most people, you will probably find singing a major triad down from the third is a lot more tricky than singing a triad from the root up. Let me know if this helps you!

Free trombone triad workout

This week’s free trombone exercise is all about triads. Although there are 21 pages of free sheet music, I doubt you will need to read them all. Once you get the idea you can start transposing the triad patterns by ear, only using the sheet music for those especially stubborn keys.

I just played it through, and it is a chops buster – in a really nice way!

Have a great day and play well,

Anders Larson

PS. The free trombone triad exercise might have been updated when you read this post. If that is the case, I am sure it is replaced with something really useful!  


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