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Harmonic Implications

Each type of triad can have different harmonic implications depending on the musical context. In the last exercise, we chose a chord progression and explored which triads could be applied. Now we’re turning it around. For each triad, we will examine the harmonic contexts in which they can be used.

For reference, the following tables list the combinations of each triad with every root note, including the implied chord and the resulting scale degrees. There are certainly more ways to interpret the slash chords, but these are the most obvious ones.

These tables aren’t meant to be learned by heart. Choose a slash chord you want to explore, find a fitting chord progression and practice soloing using the respective triad. Reharmonize if necessary. Don’t rush through these tables. Take your time with each triad/root combination to fully absorb its particular sound.

Major Triad

Slash Chord Notation Implied Chord Scale degrees
C C 1 3 5
C/Db C7(b9)/Db
Db°
1 3 5
7 b3 b5
C/D D7sus4 b7 9 11
C/Eb Eb7(b9/13) 13 b9 3
C/E C/E
Em(b13)
1 3 5
b13 1 b3
C/F Fmaj9 5 7 9
C/Gb Gb7(b9/13)
Gb7alt
#11 b7 b9
C/G C/G
Gsus4
1 3 5
11 13 1
C/Ab Abmaj7#5 3 b13 7
C/A Am7 b3 5 b7
C/Bb Bb7#11
Bbmaj7#11
9 #11 13
C/B Bm7(b9/b13) b9 11 b13

Minor Triad

Slash Chord Notation Implied Chord Scale Degrees
Cm Cm 1 b3 5
Cm/Db Dbmaj7#11 7 9 #11
Cm/D D7sus4(b9) b7 b9 11
Cm/Eb Cm/Eb
Eb6
1 b3 5
6 1 3
Cm/E Em(maj7/b13) b13 7 b3
Cm/F Fm9
F9
F9sus4
5 b7 9
Cm/Gb Gb7(b9/13) #11 13 b9
Cm/G Cm/G 1 b3 5
Cm/Ab Abmaj7 3 5 7
Cm/A Am7b5 b3 b5 b7
Cm/Bb Cm/Bb
Bb13sus4
1 b3 5
9 11 13
Cm/B Cm7/B
B7(b9/b13)
1 b3 5
b9 3 b13

Diminished Triad

Slash Chord Notation Implied Chord Scale Degrees

C°/Eb
C°/Gb
C°/A
C°, Eb°, Gb°, A° 1 b3 b5 13 (at least three of these, depending on the root)
C°/Db Dbm(maj7)
Dbmaj9(add11)
7 9 11
C°/D D7sus4(b9) b7 b9 3
C°/E Emaj9(b13) b13 7 9
C°/F F7(b9) 5 b7 b9
C°/G Gm(maj7/b13)
Gmaj7(11/b13)
11 b13 7
C°/Ab Ab7 3 5 b7
C°/Bb Bb9(b13)
Bbm7(b13)
Bbm(maj7/b13)
Bbmaj7(b13)
9 11 b13
C°/B B7(b9) b9 3 5

Augmented Triad

Slash Chord Notation Implied Chord Scale Degrees
C+
C+/E
C+/Ab
C+, E+, Ab+ 1 3 #5
C+/Db Dbm(maj7) 7 b3 5
C+/D D9#11 b7 9 #11
C+/Eb Eb13sus4(b9) 13 b9 11
C+/F Fm(maj7) 5 7 b3
C+/Gb Gb9#11 #11 b7 9
C+/G G13sus4(b9) 11 13 b9
C+/A Am(maj7) b3 5 7
C+/Bb Bb9#11 9 #11 b7
C+/B B13sus4(b9) b9 11 13