Fresh New Sounds With Triads, Part 2

Welcome back! I'm sure you are glad it's summer, I am! I hope you had a chance to check out part 1 of my "Fresh New Sounds With Triads". This lesson we will continue exploring more ways for coming up with some new sounds. The point of this lesson is you don't have to play one big arpeggio to achieve a 9th or an 11th or a 13th sound. I mean, that's cool too, but just by using small triads you can get those sounds. This technique will also bring out the neat flavors of the modes, which we will focus on more this lesson. Superimposing triads is something that is popular at G.I.T. We will be playing these triads as arpeggios.

Example 1. Here we have an Am and F triad arpeggio over a Am7th chord. The F triad (F, A, C) is the one giving us the extra extension like the b6, which will give you that Aeolian flavor. So whenever you are playing over a minor chord just play a major arpeggio up a b6. For example, C major over Em.

MP3 - Example 1

Example 2. Lay down a greasy C7th vamp and play this line over it. This line is made up with just a C and a Bb triad. The notes in the Bb triad are Bb, D and F - the Bb is the b7 of C7, the D is the 9th of C7, and the F is the 11th of C7th, all the hip tones in one triad. Notice on beat 3 and 4 the notes are inverted with different intervals. This line maybe tricky at first - make sure you follow the fingerings provided.

MP3 - Example 2

Example 3 takes us across the neck quickly using three triads linked together: Gm, Dm and Am with the same sequence over a Gm7th chord. This line has some nice chord tones like the 9th and the 13th, which will give us a nice Dorian flavor. Playing a minor triad up a 5th from a minor 7th chord will give you the 9th and playing a minor triad up a whole step will give you the 13th. Try playing this lick over a rock, funk, or fusion groove.

MP3 - Example 3

Example 4 uses three triads: Gdim, Dm and Eb over Gm7.T ry this one over a rock or a blues feel, and dial up a smooth distortion sound. The notes are based off of the G Dorian (G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F) and G Aeolian (G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F) scale. The Gdim (G, Bb, Db) gives this line a bluesy flavor because Db is the b5 of G. You might want to experiment by putting a little swing in this line.

MP3 - Example 4


OK, this wraps up our lesson! If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Be sure to check out my CDs on this amazing site and check out my new CD release, "Vibe". Visit for more information.

Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric and acoustic. He has studied at G.I.T. (Honors Graduate), and with Paul Gilbert, Norman Brown, Stanley Jordan, Scott Henderson and Keith Wyatt.

Mike Campese: The Fire Within