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Major diatonic triad pattern played over some standard Jazz blues

Posted on April 03, 2014 by Justin Malizia

This Jazz pattern is pretty easy to learn and incorporate into your Jazz solos. It is basically triads based of a major scale with an added half step in between each diatonic triad going up the major scale.

Diatonic triad lick with half step

Here is a sample played on trumpet over some standard Jazz blues:

How to memorize this jazz pattern in 12 keys:

This pattern makes us think about 2 major scales at the same time, so the best way to learn this pattern in all 12 keys is to first think about working up the ‘primary scale’, which is the scale we are going to work up the diatonic triads over each mode. Example over C major: CEG DFA EGB FAC GBD ACE BDF. After you have become comfortable with the triads, then start incorporating a half step below each of the triads.

In this example it will outline a B major scale. Once you are ready to incorporate the ‘lick’ into a jazz solo keep in mind that you do not have to start the lick at the beginning of the scale, as I have demonstrated in my playing. Experiment taking one pattern, and starting the lick in different spots to hear how it fits within the chord you are playing over.

I have found in my playing that it can be a flashy attention grabber if played at a burning tempo. Start off slow and continue to build up speed, and as always, have fun with it.

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