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  1. #1

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    Not quite a question but rather a discussion.

    I like Randy Vincent's books and I take a topic from them from tme to time to practice around it a bit to cover some 'blank spots' and so on.

    I also like working with triads - in any application and in any contexts... practical, theoretical, real functional sound, or superimposition, combinations of them and all that... I like how it sounds and works in general.

    Randy has that 'Triad Pairs' chapter... where Triad Pairs are the triads that have no common tones (e.g. C major and D minor)... as Randy always does he tries to investigate the idea throughly with dfferent fingereings and transpositions and inversions...

    I like the colours that this idea makes sometimes ... and so on...

    But I also like to understand things by ear --- yes this is how I call it --- not even mental theoretic logics.. but to hear by ear why the choice is like that... and combine it with logical idea.

    Wha I dig that melodically Triad Pair makes a hexachord... and that hexachord makes almost a 7 note scale... and that thinking triads will probably push a student to play more creatively in intervals and all that - making more tension release internally etc. rather than just running scales,

    But harmonically - Randy mostly hirmonizes the scale with these parallel - and almost totally unrelated - triads... and I do not get why..

    I tried to apply them in some context as subs or harmonizations - somewhere it sounds well.. somewhere not..

    I just try to get an idea why Triad Pairs are particularly those that have no tones in common... what does it give harmonically?
    Ok they have all different notes but why is it important?
    How is it related to actual harmonic context?

    Randy gives only one 'real music' example ove ii-v-i... and again I do not really catch why not using ANY TRIAD pairs...

    Maybe I miss something? Or is just typical educational jazz concept - when you invent some principle just becasue you need some principles and then check if it sounds or not (quite the opposite way that the one I am used too)))


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    I think one use of triad pairs is constructing a scale without the "avoid note". So C major and D minor in your example would commonly apply to the key of F major.
    Melodic ideas created with these chords will work well just like using the pentatonic scale. Actually these triads are just F Maj Pentatonic scale with the added leading note.
    They also have an element of V - I to them (V major to VI minor).
    These are just my guesses. I wondered myself about triad pairs as well.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 04-01-2020 at 08:05 AM.

  4. #3

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    What Tal said...

    the six note scale Locrian (drop the fourth, so 1 b2 b3 b5 b6 b7) spells two major triads a whole step apart.
    B locrian hexatonic spells Gtriad and FTriad

    what you need for the Great Minor Vamp (Take 5, My favorite things, So What...)
    Locrian hexatonic, which provides you with 2 major chords a whole step apart.
    Dominant hexatonic (lose the fourth scale step): this gives you two minor chords a whole step apart. Listen to McCoy Tyner playing My Favorite Things: he really plays with two minor chords in different inversions and sticks mostly to this approach... and to great effect.

    in Coltrane’s solo on My Favorite Things you are going to hear a lot of triad pairs. It looks simple, but sounds complex and be honest, hard to learn.

    the best known triad pair it the hexatonic Whole Tone scale: two augmented triads a whole step apart.

  5. #4

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    I think the purpose of organising any voicings into a harmonisation of a scale is so that one can use them for harmonising melodies. This could be useful for reharms, comping (maybe) or even soloing ideas where you break them into single notes

  6. #5

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    Yes, thank you guys!

    I understand of course the idea that two triads that have no tones in common can make a 6-tone scale, and that thinking triads makes more intervalic and more melodic tension/release thinking (just like pentatonics). I actually wrote about it in my opening post.

    I also understand that sombining these triads can make a particular harmonic effect.
    I try to apply and use it too... and find some nice applications

    What I was wondering about was why sepcifically triads with tonoes in common? Why not any triads for example? C major + F minor triad can make a nice pentatonic scale too...

    Sometimes it seems that limitation in jazz theory has some formal principle... I do not hear any musical basis for such a limitation.

    Why not using - a 7th chord and a triad?

    The only more or les clear harmonic argulment is that they make a hexachord but then tehre should be some hexachord harmonic conception, voice-leading, organization - whatever... but no - it is just hexachord because there 6 otes that is it. And real sounding harmony is subject to other realtions

    Tal_175 pointed out a good idea about 'avoid note' - that is something more or less... but it is only a little bit of it.

    I think the purpose of organising any voicings into a harmonisation of a scale is so that one can use them for harmonising melodies. This could be useful for reharms, comping (maybe) or even soloing ideas where you break them into single notes
    And I like some ideas coming from these Triad Pairs too.

    I think the benefits of classical theory is that it describes what one hears.... in jazz there is often a huge distance between theretical tool (which is actually practical) to the real sound... the tool describes triads - the listner hears some 9#11 gogoing to maj713...

    Of course one can say: use it the way you like and do not overthink... but I like when such things are more or less clear... if there is a system in music it should be musical, it should be within a language... otherwise it is just some more or less arbitrary conception...

    Let's try to combine... I do not know.... major3rds with major9ths and with dim4ths that have all one common tone and see what kind of harmonies we will get.. and harmonize all with it.

  7. #6

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    I haven't seen the Vincent book so I am speaking only for myself
    as far as I know.

    Consider the harmonic meaning against any single bass note.
    One chord will likely be more resolved than the other which offers
    tension>resolution or resolution>tension

    Ex. C and Dm

    Chords are derivative of 2 major scales C and F

    Possible diatonic derived bass notes


    As always, it can get more convoluted than this but perhaps can serve as a
    starting reference.

  8. #7

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    Triad pairs are human constructs as are 12 tone rows built from 4 unique tri-chords. We can combine a 7th chord with a triad or 2 unique 7ths (ex.Barry Harris constructs) or 2 triads with one common tone to make a pentatonic, etc. Such things are useful if we use them.

  9. #8

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    i think triad pairs don’t overlap for the purpose of contrast. If played well it gives the impression of harmony moving in and out of different places, zones...

    McCoy Tyner’s playing on My Favorite things illustrates that so beautifully.

    if you’d play a whole chorus with triad pairs in a standard song, with lots of chord changes, you’d just blur the harmony. In these circumstances I feel it’s better to outline the chords, maybe with some alternate changes.

    to summarize: great for spicing up static harmonic passages.

  10. #9
    I dig his hexa tonic stuff. Interesting approach . Probably a good thing to explore during quarantine , but I guess I'm doing other things right now.

    As far as actual triad pairs, I think of them basically as tension/release. If you're playing a C-major Triad , D and F work really well to target E as an enclosure , which I know is really obvious. To a large extent, that's what the entire triad is in relation to C (or even vice versa for D minor) at least for me.

    Very often I hear people talk about playing jazz as if it's learning to hear every extension as a chord tone. I understand that to a certain degree , but I don't necessarily view things that way as much anymore. I think that more than learning to hear all the extensions as consonant chord tones, jazz might simply be more about ENJOYING tension more in the first place. We probably would camp out on that D minor triad a little longer in a jazz context and enjoy them more, but I don't think they're somehow not tensions at ALL.

    That's all talking out of my arse and highly personal, but I tend to think of things as a hierarchy at this point. There are certain pitches which are more consonant than others, regardless of their position as chord tones, extensions, or tensions etc. I think your learn to hear them and resolve them, and then eventually, you don't necessarily resolve them. Some would say you're hearing them as extensions at that point, and you mostly are. Again, that can get highly personal and philosophical IMO.

    Potayto-Potahto. :-)

  11. #10

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    Thanks I totally dig tension/release thing of course.

    And Matt I also nderstand what you mean about different hearing of things too of course... but stll there is a lot of things in 'jazz theory' that are elaborated from 'player/improvizor perspective' whereas classical theory describes it abstractly from pov of listner who jears the result.

    I had interesting discussions and read some article of classical muscologists where they just hear and analaze jazz music from perspective of form and harmony just as it sounds on record. And sometimes it is fruitful for a jazz musician too... becasue this kind of hearing has very integral quality.

    But on the other hand - many things in jazz just lose sense in that kind of analysis...

    that is why I think that jazz is much about player's music... you appreciate the player if you can play too.
    many non-musician who like jazz I know - they actually like the atmosphere and often do not get what's going on... not all of course.. there are great listners of course. But I think with jazz this kind of audience was strictly connected with enviroment (mostly it does not exist any more).

    As for Triad Pairs and Randy... Randy's approach in general reminds me a bit of Mick Goodrick... of course Moick is much more 'zen-sh' and abstract and Randy is much more style-related... but still he also seems to lay out and investigate every idea systemtically in analytical way (all inversions, all fingerings, all voicings), that implies some kind of abstracy to the whole method...

    I am more used to contextual learning and teaching...

    Though Randy's Shell-voicings and Walking chapters are much more realted to real context of music and turnaournds.