Twenty-Five Songs for Practicing Triad Pairs

Wondering how to make use of triad pairs? The 25 suggested songs below will certainly help you get started.

Just turn on the original recording and play around with the suggested pairs. Try matching the melody, try filling space between phrases, or just slowly move through the pairs. 90% of the time it will probably sound pretttttty good.

Keep in mind that this is a right hand exercise and that these triad pairs do not represent the actual harmony of the song. So while If I Ain’t Got You walks down diatonic seventh chords from the 4 to the 1, you don’t actually need to know that to have fun exploring triad pairs. The G & Am pair works over all of it. That’s the beauty of this exercise – it applies a universal harmonic sound to the entirety of a progression or sometimes, a whole song!

Looking for a little practice material first? Check out my course Triad Pairs & Spreads or download the WePiano Harmony Handbook to find the pairs in each key.

Song & KeySuggested PairsWhere to use
Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan (Ebm)Ebm & DbVerse & Chorus melodies
All Star by Smash Mouth (Gb)Gb & AbmPentatonic verse melody
Amazing Grace (G, usually)M1, m2 + VSome melody moments call for the ‘V’
Attention by Charlie Puth (Ebm)Ebm & DbPentatonic verse melody
Baby I Know You Will by Lohai (E)E, F#mChorus – two chords…
Bada Boom, Bada Bling by Caleb Hawley (Eb)Eb, FmMajor one, minor two works great the whole time
Come Together by The Beatles (Dm)Dm, CPlay along with the verse
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley (Cm)Cm, BbWatch the video for more tips on filling space
Don’t Let Me Down by The Beatles (E)E, F#mWorks the whole time!
Don’t Stop Believing by Journey (E)E, F#mVerse & chorus melodies, try A & B pair in prechorus
Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin (B)B, C#mThe whistle hook works great!
Freefallin’ by Tom Petty (G)G, AmThe ENTIRE melody is just three notes… 1, 2 & 3.
Gravity by John Mayer (G)G, AmVerse, chorus & outro melody
Hit The Road Jack by Ray Charles (Abm)Abm, Gb + EbSave the Eb for the V chord
I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston (Gb)Gb, AbmChorus is fun, try it up a whole step for the last one!
I Wish by Stevie Wonder (Ebm)Ebm, DbPentatonic verse & chorus melodies
If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys (G)G, AmChorus melody
Just The Two Of Us by Bill Withers (Fm)Fm, EbPentatonic chorus melody
Man In The Mirror by Michael Jackson (G)G, AmChorus melody all the way!
Miss You by The Rolling Stones (Am)Am, GThese will work pretty much the whole time
Moondance by Van Morrison (Am)Am, GVerse melody (or approximate piano part)
My Girl by The Temptations (G)G, AmVerse and prechorus work great!
September by Earth, Wind & Fire (A)A, BmThat chorus bah-dee-yah… mmmm!
Stand by Me by Ben E King (A)A, F#m + DProps for harmonizing the string line
You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates (F)F, GmChorus melody and vocal ‘oohs’

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