Ive been stuck on triads for a few days now. I understand that to make a triad you need the major 3rd and the perfect 5th interval of the scale. But what i don't understand is naming the triads. For example, the triads in D Major
D E F# G A B C# so if i want to find the triads in this key i take every three notes
DF#A- D Maj this is where i have a problem. You see how the 3rd is a sharp, what i don't understand is how that is a major. wouldn't it be a minor since you would want to flatten it?
So what my question is basically how would you determine the name of a triad if the 3rd interval is a sharp and if not can you guys recommend some books i can read on the topic.
Quote by mgrant971
Ive been stuck on triads for a few days now. I understand that to make a triad you need the major 3rd and the perfect 5th interval of the scale. But what i don't understand is naming the triads. For example, the triads in D Major
D E F# G A B C# so if i want to find the triads in this key i take every three notes
DF#A- D Maj this is where i have a problem. You see how the 3rd is a sharp, what i don't understand is how that is a major. wouldn't it be a minor since you would want to flatten it?
So what my question is basically how would you determine the name of a triad if the 3rd interval is a sharp and if not can you guys recommend some books i can read on the topic.

your second sentence is incorrect. You dont NEED a major 3rd to make a triad. It can also be a minor 3rd. if you want a major triad then, yes, you need a major 3rd. If you want a minor triad then u use a minor 3rd

if you take your D major scale u listed, DEF#GABC#D (or ANY major scale) and you plot it out using root-third-fifth then you will get 3 major chords and 3 minor chords and one diminished chord. it is "diminished" because it has a minor 3rd and a flat 5th.

for instance:

I chord= DF#A = D major chord

ii chord = EGB = E minor chord (E to G is a minor 3rd, not a major 3rd)

etc

now go back and plot all those D major chords again
Last edited by JohnProphet at Oct 12, 2014,
Quote by JohnProphet
your second sentence is incorrect. You dont NEED a major 3rd to make a triad. It can also be a minor 3rd. if you want a major triad then, yes, you need a major 3rd. If you want a minor triad then u use a minor 3rd

if you take your D major scale u listed, DEF#GABC#D (or ANY major scale) and you plot it out using root-third-fifth then you will get 3 major chords and 3 minor chords and one diminished chord. it is "diminished" because it has a minor 3rd and a flat 5th.

for instance:

I chord= DF#A = D major chord

ii chord = EGB = E minor chord (E to G is a minor 3rd, not a major 3rd)

etc

now go back and plot all those D major chords again

Ok that clears up a bit. But how would you determine the major 3rd from the minor 3rd? Maybe i have to study intervals more because how is E-G a minor and E-F# a major, i don't understand
Quote by mgrant971
Ok that clears up a bit. But how would you determine the major 3rd from the minor 3rd? Maybe i have to study intervals more because how is E-G a minor and E-F# a major, i don't understand

minor 3rd = 3 semitones, so on guitar thats 3 frets

major 3rd = 4 semitones, so on guitar thats 4 frets

semitone is also called a "half step"

half step, or semitone = 1 fret
whole step = 2 frets

So if you go back to your major scale, you can ask "how do they come up with those particular notes?" They use this formula: WWHWWWH W=whole step H=half step

D up a "W" is E. E up a "W" is F# etc. So you get DEF#GABC#D there are a millon sites, here is one of the first on google http://musictheory.tripod.com/scales.htm

a major chord will have a major 3rd. In other words the 2nd note will be a major 3rd interval above the first note. So you get D to F#. D to F# is 4 frets, or 4 half steps, or 2 whole steps etc

If you are going to stick to your WWHWWWH major scale pattern, starting on D you get these notes DEF#GABC#D. thats your D major scale. As I described above, if you start on each note and form your triads, some of them will be major triads and some will be minor triads because some will have major 3rds and some will have minor 3rds
Quote by mgrant971
Ive been stuck on triads for a few days now. I understand that to make a triad you need the major 3rd and the perfect 5th interval of the scale.
If you want to harmonize a scale then you would use a scale.

If you want to understand chord construction you have to start with intervals...

Intervals:

It helps tremendously if you know your major scale since intervals are named in relation to their position in the major scale.

If you know the Major Scale well then you might want to skip to Naming Intervals

The major scale is made up of a step pattern as follows: W W H W W W H

H= half tone or semitone, this is equivalent to moving one place along the chromatic scale. On the guitar this is equivalent of moving one fret.

W = Whole tone or tone. This is equivalent to moving two places along the chromatic scale, on the guitar this is the equivalent of moving two frets.

The chromatic scale is made up of 12 pitches each a semitone apart from the next:

C - C#/Db - D - D#Eb - E - E#/F - F#/Gb - G - G#/Ab - A - A#/Bb - B - B#/C

Apply our major scale step pattern starting on C, our first note is C. This is 1, or the root of the scale. If we double this note, that is play the same note in the same octave (at the same time or one after the other) it is said to be a unison.

So starting on our root note and moving up as prescribed by our step pattern W W H W W W H the first step in our Major scale is a Whole Tone - so we skip the note C#/Db and land on D for our second note in the scale.

We then move up another whole step from the D (so skip D#/Eb) and land on E for our third note of the C major scale.

Following along the step pattern we then move up a Half tone (semitone) to the very next note after E and get E#/F. Here we have two possible names for the same sound. We could call it E# or F. This is called "enharmonic". Since we have already used the letter E to name a note in this scale we choose to name this note F.

We carry on along our step pattern until we have our full scale starting with the root note C.
C D E F G A B C. This pattern carries on repeating itself for as many octaves as you want...
C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G...etc.

Naming Intervals

There are two parts to naming an interval: Quality and Quantity
The Quantity is the number value we use in naming an interval e.g. second, third, sixth, ninth etc.
The Quality is the type of interval e.g. major, minor, perfect, augmented, diminished etc.

To find the quantity of an interval you count the letters; to find it's quality you count the semitones.

Interval Quantity - Second, Third, Fifth, Eleventh, etc
When you count the letter you count the first letter as 1 and every letter up to the second letter in the interval. So for intervals starting with C...
``````C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8``````

So we have...
Some kind of C to some kind of D is some kind of 2nd.
Some kind of C to some kind of E is some kind of 3rd.
Some kind of C to some kind of F is some kind of 4th.
Some kind of C to some kind of G is some kind of 5th.
Some kind of C to some kind of A is some kind of 6th.
Some kind of C to some kind of B is some kind of 7th.
C to C is an 8th or an OCTave.

We can carry past the octave if we want.
``````C D E F G A B C D E  F  G  A  B ...
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 ...``````

Some kind of C to some kind of D is some kind of 2nd or 9th
Some kind of C to some kind of E is some kind of 3rd or 10th
Some kind of C to some kind of F is some kind of 4th or 11th etc etc you get the idea.

As you can see all we need to do to find out the kind of interval between any two notes is to count each letter starting on the lower letter and finishing on the higher of the two.

So to use an example G to D# we count letters G=1 A=2 B=3 C=4 D=5. So we know some kind of G to some kind of D is some kind of 5th. But what kind of 5th is it exactly?? What is the quality of that particular 5th interval?

Interval Quality - Augmented, Major, Perfect, Minor, Diminished etc
This is where our major scale comes back into play. There are two kinds of intervals found in the major scale - Major Intervals and Perfect Intervals. We'll come to why they are called what they are in a minute but first I'll just tell you which are which.
The perfect intervals are the Unison (1st or root), the 4th, the 5th, and the Octave (8th). The Major Intervals are the 2nd 3rd 6th and 7th.

As we said all the intervals in the major scale are either major or perfect. So we can apply these qualities to our major scale degrees. And we pay attention to the number of semitones (which we can work out by way of our step pattern W W H W W W H)
1 = Unison (perfect but usually just called unison) = 0 semitones
2 = Major Second = 2 semitones
3 = Major Third = 4 semitones
4 = Perfect Fourth = 5 semitones
5 = Perfect Fifth = 7 semitones
6 = Major Sixth = 9 semitones
7 = Major Seventh = 11 semitones
8 = Octave (Perfect but usually just called Octave) = 12 semitones

These distances are derived from the major scale step pattern (W W H W W W H)
The step pattern in the major scale is always the same
Therefore, the distances in semitones for the major/perfect intervals are always the same.

I.E. A Major Second will always be one whole tone (two semitones). A Major Third will always be two tones (four semitones). A Perfect Fourth will always be two and a half tones (five semitones). etc etc.

So what happens when the interval we are dealing with is outside the major scale??

Well the first thing to do is determine the quantity of the interval. Is it some kind of fourth or some kind of fifth etc. You do this by counting letters. If we look at the previous example G to D# we see G A B C D, is some kind of fifth. Now we want to know it's quality.

We know the fifth in our major scale is perfect and that it is a distance of seven semitones. Thus a perfect fifth is always seven semitones up from the first note. If we count the semitones between G to D# we get 8 semitones. So it's not a perfect fifth, but we know it's some kind of fifth so what is it????

When a Major or Perfect Interval is raised one semitone it becomes Augmented. Augmented? What the **** is that? It's simply when a Major or Perfect interval is raised one semitone. (So our G to D# is an augmented fifth.)

Similarly...
When a Major interval is lowered by a semitone it becomes Minor.
When a Minor or Perfect Interval is lowered by a semitone it becomes Diminished.

These relationships also works in reverse
So when a Minor Semitone is raised by a semitone it becomes Major.

Here's a little chart
``````[CENTER] [size="4"] _____________________
|      Augmented      |
↑|---------------------|↑
|  Major   |          |
↕|----------|  Perfect |
|  Minor   |          |
↓|---------------------|↓
|[U]     Diminished      [/U]|[/SIZE]

If you follow the arrows you should be able to see how it works.
On the left you have your Major/Minor Intervals
On the right are your Perfect Intervals[/CENTER]``````

So we can then work out any interval.
Si
Inverse Intervals

Intervals are typically measured from the lower note to the higher. An inversion is when we change the relationship by making the lower of the two notes the higher note by shifting one or the other of the two notes an octave.

Going from C up to G is a Perfect Fifth but what if the G is lower than the C? What then?? What if we are going from a C down to a G??
Well lets count the letters going down. C B A G - So we know this distance is some kind of fourth. But is it Perfect Major, Minor, Augmented, or Diminished??

Well we can count the semitones and find that there are five semitones which is equal to a perfect fourth. Or we can look at inverse relationships.

If we know C up to G is a Perfect 5th then we take note of that "Perfect" Quality. When we "Invert" this interval (keep the same target note but down an octave so that it is below our starting note) the Perfect Quality remains in tact. An inversion of a Perfect Interval is always Perfect. This is what is so "Perfect" about it.

So a Perfect Fifth inverted becomes a Perfect Fourth and a Perfect Fourth Inverted becomes a Perfect Fifth.

A Major interval on the other hand becomes Minor when inverted. So if we have a Major 3rd C to E and drop the E an octave so that we are moving down from C to E the distance we move will now be a MINOR interval down. What kind of minor interval? Lets count the letters C B A G F E six letters - So it's a minor sixth (you can count the semitones to check if you want).

An Augmented Interval inverts to a Diminished interval and a Diminished interval inverts to an Augmented interval.

Now it can be easier just to always start with the lower note and work out the interval then just note whether you are travelling up from it or down to it.

Or you can just learn your inversions it's not that hard.
Remember qualities:
Perfect ⇔ Perfect
Major ⇔ Minor
Augmented ⇔ Diminished

And size:
2 ⇔ 7
3 ⇔ 6
4 ⇔ 5

1 ⇔ 1
8 ⇔ 8
``````
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
|             |         |[B]DISTANCE[/B] |              [B]NAME [/B]             |                                |
|             |         |   [B]in[/B]    |             [B]  of [/B]              |                                |
|[U]    [B]NAME[/B]     | [B]Numeric[/B] |[B]SEMITONES[/B]|            [B]INTERVAL[/B]            |           [b] INVERSION [/b]          [/u]|
|[U]Tonic        |    1    |    0    |           Unison/Root          |           Unison/Root          [/u]|
|             |   b2    |    1    |            Minor 2nd           |            Major 7th           |
|Super Tonic  |- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]             |    2    |    2    |            Major 2nd           |            Minor 7th           [/U]|
|             |   b3    |    3    |            Minor 3rd           |            Major 6th           |
|Mediant      |- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]             |    3    |    4    |            Major 3rd           |            Minor 6th           [/U]|
|[U]Sub Dominant |    4    |    5    |           Perfect 4th          |           Perfect 5th          [/U]|
|[U]Tri Tone     |  #4/b5  |    6    | Augmented 4th / Diminished 5th | Augmented 4th / Diminished 5th [/U]
|[U]Dominant     |    5    |    7    |           Perfect 5th          |           Perfect 4th          [/U]|
|             |   b6    |    8    |            Minor 6th           |            Major 3rd           |
|Sub Mediant  |- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]             |    6    |    9    |            Major 6th           |            Minor 3rd           [/U]|
|Sub Tonic    |   b7    |    8    |            Minor 7th           |            Major 2nd           |
|- - - - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - -|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
|[U]Leading Tone |    7    |    11   |            Major 7th           |            Minor 2nd           [/U]|
|[U]Tonic        |    1    |    12   |              Octave            |              Octave            [/U]
``````

When calculating inversions you can use the number 9. A second inverts to a seventh 2 + 7 = 9. A fifth inverts to a fourth 5+4=9. And the quality flips - Aug becomes Dim, Major becomes minor and Perfect stays Perfect.

Hopefully I haven't completely confused you now.

If you're still with me...we can then look at chord construction
Si
Chord Construction