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How to Play a Diminished Triad on Bass Guitar

Learn how to play a diminished triad on the bass guitar from musician John Sutton in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.


Diminished triads are made up of a root, a minor third, and then a lower fifth. You can also think about it as two minor thirds. If we take the example of a B Diminished Triad, we can have B, second fret on the A String, open D, which is the minor third, and then a minor third above D is F, which we can find on the third fret of the E String. The Diminished Triad can be used to approach a major or a minor triad at that's a half step above your root. In the case of B, that means we would resolve it to C major or minor. I'll play that example for you. In minor, it would be like this. So, the B Diminished Triad on its own is usually used to cause tension that gets released by its resolution to a major or a minor triad. So, I'm playing B, second fret of the A String, open D, F, third fret of the D String, then B again, ninth fret of the D String, D, seventh fret of the G String, F, tenth fret of the G String. And then it resolves in major in a resolve by playing E, the major third of D and then the C at the tenth fret right below it. You can play them together. That's what we call a double stop. To play the example in minor, you play E Flat, which is at the eight fret of the G String. Here's the example one more time. And minor. And that's how to play a Diminished Triad on electric bass.

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