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Casa Valdez Studios: Gary Campbell's Triad Pairs for Jazz

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10/25/05

Gary Campbell's Triad Pairs for Jazz


I just picked up Gary Campbell's book
called Triad Pairs. Mr. Campbell is and
Associate Professor at Florida
International University in Miami since
1993. His book thoroughly details how to
use pairs of triads in Jazz improvisation.
In his introduction Mr. Campbell explains
the importance of triad pairs in
improvisation:

"Why Practice Triad Pairs?


1. By limiting note selection to six tones
(each triad consisting of three), a more concise sonority is created. For
example, the conventional chords used in the Jazz idiom are oftentimes
associated with parent chord-scales of seven or more tones (melodic
minor, major, minor, harmonic minor, and so on). Rendering these scales
in the form of triad pairs yields more variety in tone color and suggests
novel melodic possibilities.
2. Each of the triads expresses a tonality. By using two triads, bi-tonal
effects are created. This effect is multiplied when the triad pair is used over
a root tone that is not present in either triad.
3. The structure and "tensile strength" of triads give the melodic line an
independent internal logic. The "stand alone" sound is oftentimes enough
to make a strong, effective melodic statement regardless of how it is (or
isn't) relating to the harmony over which it is being used. It sounds "right".
{see my Thursday, August 18, 2005 post- Bob Reynolds on Garzone's
http://davidvaldez.blogspot.ca/2005/10/gary-campbells-triad-pairs-for-jazz.html

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Casa Valdez Studios: Gary Campbell's Triad Pairs for Jazz

2013-11-06 7:05 PM

Theory of Major Triads}

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4. The triads offer a skeleton structure to base lines on. This can be very
helpful in modal settings where there are no diatonic, cycle-forth root
movements or resolutions and where each chord change may last a long
time (for instance, four, eight, or sixteen measures)"
The applications of this concept are covered in great detail in this highly
informative book.
Here is an example of the concept applied to a C melodic minor tonality:
A C melodic minor scale contains the following triadsCmin Dmin Eb+ Fmaj Gmaj Adim Bdim

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The possible triad pairs are:


Cmin/Dmin__Dmin/Eb+__ Eb+/Fmaj__ Fmaj/Gmaj__ Gmaj/Adim__
Adim/Bdim Bdim/Cmaj
Of these the preferred selections are:

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Cmin/Dmin_ Eb+/Fmaj_ Fmaj/Gmaj


These are the chords that a C melodic minor scale can effectively be
applied to:
Cmi(maj7) Dsus(b9) Ebmaj7(#5) F7(#11) G7(b13) A-7b5 B7alt
One of the most basic triad pairs is Major triads a Whole step apart.
This one triad pair is explored exhaustively in Walt Weiskopf's book
Intervallic Improvisation (Abersold press). I f you have ever heard
Walt play you will hear him use this A LOT! It can be used over ANY
Major chord and any Dominant chord with a natural 9th and 13th.
These two triad triads contain the following:
1st triad- root, 3rd, 5th
2nd triad- 9th, #11th, 13th
Other triad pairs covered are:
Major Triads a Half-Step apart
Major Triads a Tritone apart (works well over dominant seventh b9
chords from the root)
Minor triads a Half-Step apart
Minor Triads a Tritone apart
And on and on.........
Here are is a triad pair idea for a /ii-7 /V7 /Imaj:
Over a- / D-7 /G7alt / Cmaj /

http://davidvaldez.blogspot.ca/2005/10/gary-campbells-triad-pairs-for-jazz.html

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Casa Valdez Studios: Gary Campbell's Triad Pairs for Jazz

2013-11-06 7:05 PM

Play- / G triad F triad / Eb triad Db triad / C triad D triad /


Here is the same concept applied to a diminished scale (also see my
Monday,June 27th post-Slonimsky's Symmetrical Scales-Diminished,
Wholetone):
Over a C7b9 chord you can play a- C# diminished 7th chord, a D#
diminished 7th chord, AND A, F#, Eb, and C major triads.
All these ideas will open your playing up and break you out of the linear rut
that Jazz players often fall into. If you start with some of these ideas and
then start adding more outside triads to the mix you can come up with
some very modern and interesting lines. Try adding some passing tones
between the triads to smooth things out.
I would highly recommend Gary Cambell's Book Triad Pairs to any player
looking for new improvisational material. This book will really open up
your lines and give you some new ideas for playing over chord changes. It
is also good for improving sight reading and technique.
Here is a link to order Triad Pairs for Jazz

6 comments:
Anonymous said...
Are 'triad pairs' the same as the 'hexatonic scale?'
what is the hexatonic scale, and just how widely is it used in
'jazz' anyhow?
great blog!
2:21 PM

David Valdez said...


A hexatonic scale is any scale that has six notes. This could be a
whole-tone, Blues, or Augmented major scale.
Triad-pairs are used for their bi-tonal effect when used in
alternation. The idea is to use the triad(s) as an alternative to
scales.
This give lines a vertical structure.
2:42 PM

Eric said...
A better, cheaper book that covers this subject is Walt
Weiskopf's Intervallic Improvisation
9:05 AM
http://davidvaldez.blogspot.ca/2005/10/gary-campbells-triad-pairs-for-jazz.html

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Casa Valdez Studios: Gary Campbell's Triad Pairs for Jazz

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David Carlos Valdez said...


Walt has more etudes in his book, but he only deals with one
particular pair, Major Triads a whole-step apart.
That pair get old pretty fast. The two books are very different,
so it's like comparing apples and oranges.
I'm soon planning to do an interview with Gary Campbell on
this topic, so stay tuned.
1:35 PM

googlmar said...
David ,you are a wonderful teacher ,I applaud you for sharing
all these little things with us (self-taught players)...a big thank
you.....
Mario Ticlea
9:04 AM

saxman said...
I have Walt Weiskopf book, although I've not played all I see
min triad/aug triad whole step apart, maj triad/aug triad half
step apart, aug triads min third apart, maj triads tri-tone apart
5:18 PM
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