Watch the Outline the Triad online guitar lesson by Andrew Ford from Motown Bass Survival Guide

The triad seems like such a basic and elementary concept, but in the hands of a master it can be brilliant. So many of Jamerson's baselines include the outlining of triads. Obviously, the triad gets you away from the root, foundational dominated bass concept, but he was able to use them as a harmonic tool that never vacated the role of foundation provider.

These examples are over an Ab major 7 chord so they only use those triad notes Ab, the root, C, the major 3rd, and Eb, the 5th. We mix different syncopations and octaves to create bass lines that provide harmonic foundation as well as forward motion and dynamics. Only three notes, but very powerful potential.