Simple Triads

These chords are very easy to play, and they will make your playing sound a lot fuller. This is probably the next step up from power-chords. They also make for some nice picking parts.

Hey, this is my first lesson, so you?ll have to bear with me a bit if you don?t understand what I?m saying.

Part I. Major and Minor Chords

Alright, I?ll start with a little bit of theory. A triad is a 3 note chord. This chord is made of the 1st, 3rd and 5th of the scale tones.
So basically, a C Major Triad would be- C E G
I hope that makes sense. If you don?t understand it, look at some of the lessons on basic chord construction.
Anyway, Enough theory. I?ll show you the basic shapes.

Major Triad Shapes
     C  D  E  F   G  A  B
e |--------------------------|
B |--------------------------|
G |-0?-2?-4--6---------------|
D |-2?-4?-6?-8---0?-2?-4-----|
A |-3?-5?-7?-9---2?-4?-6-----|
E |--------------3?-5?-7-----|

Minor Triad Shapes
    Cm  Dm  Em  Fm  Gm  Am  Bm
e |-------------------------------|
B |-------------------------------|
G |-0?--2?--4-?-6-----------------|
D |-1?--3?--5?--7---0?--2-?-4-----|
A |-3?--5?--7?--9---1?--3?--5-----|
E |-----------------3?--5?--7-----|

The main trick with these chords is that you have to make sure you only play the strings which you have fingers on, or which are meant to be played open. Otherwise it can sound pretty bad.

Here?s a little picking tab using these chords.

    Bm           G           Em          A
e |---------------------------------------------------|
B |---------------------------------------------------|
G |------------------------------4-----4--------------|
D |-----4-----4-----0-----0----5-----5-------2-----2--|
A |---5-----5-----2-----2----7-----7-------4-----4----|
E |-7-----7-----3-----3------------------5-----5------|

Combined with power chords, these chords can make your playing sound a lot fuller.

Part II. 1st Inversions: Major and Minor Triads

An inverted chord is where the root note of the chord is played somewhere else in the chord. (ie. Instead of C E G, the chord would be played E G C (1st Inversion) or G E C (2nd Inversion))

For now I?ve only done the 1st inversions, but I?m thinking/planning on making another lesson with more inversions/string sets and crap like that.

Major Triad Shapes (1st Inversion)
    C  D  E  F   G  A  B
e |--------------------------|
B |-1--3--5--7---------------|
G |-0?-2?-4--6---0--2--4-----|
D |-2?-4?-6?-8---0?-2?-4-----|
A |-?--?--?------2?-4?-6-----|
E |---------------?--?-------|

Minor Triad Shapes (1st Inversion)
    Cm  Dm  Em  Fm  Gm  Am  Bm
e |-------------------------------|
B |-1---3---5---7-----------------|
G |-0?--2?--4-?-6---1---3---5-----|
D |-1?--3?--5?--7---0?--2-?-4-----|
A |--?---?---?------1?--3?--5-----|
E |------------------?---?--------|

Alright, Now I get a little more complicated. If you are into music styles which use more complicated chords than Majors or Minors, here it is-

Part III. Augmented and Diminished Chords

Augmented triads are pretty easy to play. All the notes are close together on the fret-board.

Augmented Triad Shapes
    C+  D+  E+  F+  G+  A+  B+
e |--------------------------------|
B |--------------------------------|
G |-1?--3?--5?--7------------------|
D |-2?--4---6?--8?--1-?-3?--5------|
A |-3?--5?--7?--9?--2?--4?--6------|
E |-----------------3?--5-?-7------|

Diminished Chords make for a bit of stretch, but it?s possible.

Diminished Triad Shapes
    D°  E°  F°  G°   A°  B°  C°
e |--------------------------------|
B |--------------------------------|
G |-1?--3-?-5---7------------------|
D |-3?--5?--7---9?---1-?-3---5-----|
A |-5?--7?--9---11?--3?--5---7-----|
E |---------------?--5?--7---9-----|

Hope it helped you.

Last edited by jazkel24 at May 8, 2006,
wow... you made my hand hurt with that... how do you play the third of the major triad shapes (the 4-7-6-3) i just don't get it

but its pretty nice thoery though
Last edited by ToesKa at May 6, 2006,
You should write how you get those shapes. Such as lowering the third for the minor triad or raising the fifth for the Augmented triad.

And yeah DEFINATELY put them in code.

Quite good begginer stuff though.