Let’s talk about TRIADS on Guitar!!!
What are triads?
In the post on the Major Scale I talked about them, but today I’m going to go into deeper detail.
So, let’s define what a chord is, what triads are, and what their connection is!
Definition of a Chord
A Chord is defined as three or more notes played together.
What Makes a Chord?
Chords are made from Triads.
What are Triads?
Triads are a set of 3 notes that make a chord.
You have major triads (which make a major chord), minor triads (which make a minor chord, and diminished triads (which make a diminished chord).
So let’s look at what makes each of these…
What is a Major Triad?
Major Triad = Root, 3rd, and 5th of the major scale.
A MAJOR TRIAD comes from the major scale, and is made up of the first note in the scale (the root), the third note in the scale, and the fifth note in the scale.
Root, Third, and Fifth!
A major chord consists of these three notes.
For example, a G Major chord consists of the first, third, and fifth notes in the scale of G Major, which are G, B, and D:
(I only labeled the 7 notes of the major scale in the first octave. After that they just repeat in the next octave)
G, B, and D. These are the three notes that make up a G Major chord:
For a second example, an A Major chord is made up of the root, 3rd, and 5th of the A Major scale = A, C#, and E:
And this is what makes an A Major chord:
What is a Minor Triad?
Minor Triad = Root, 3rd, and 5th of the minor scale.
A MINOR TRIAD comes from the minor scale, and is made up from its Root, Third, and Fifth!
A minor chord consists of these three notes.
For example, the triad for the E minor chord consists of the first, third, and fifth notes in the scale of E minor, which are E, G, and B:
These are the three notes that make an E minor chord:
As another example, an A Minor chord has the root, 3rd, and 5th of the A Minor scale:
And that’s what makes an A Minor chord:
NOTE: The difference between a major triad and a minor triad is that the minor triad has a flatted third. (To flat means to take a note down one fret).
So a minor triad can also be defined as: Root, flatted 3rd, and 5th (in comparison to a major triad).
In music theory you will also see a minor triad defined in this way.
What is a Diminished Triad?
Diminished Triad = Root, flatted 3rd, flatted 5th
A DIMINISHED TRIAD consists of Root, flatted Third, and flatted Fifth (as compared to a major triad).
So a diminished triad has a flatted third, just like a minor triad, but it also has a flatted fifth.
A diminished chord consists of these three notes.
For example, the triad for G Diminished is G, Bb, and Db
And this is what makes a G Diminished chord:
To explain this further: above I noted that a G Major triad is G, B, D. Well, if we flat the 3rd that gives us Bb. And that would make a Gm triad (G, Bb, D).
Well, again, a diminished triad has a flatted 3rd, like a minor triad, but it also has a flatted 5th. So if we flat the 5th from D to Db, then we have the G Diminished triad of G, Bb, Db.
As another example, an F# diminished triad is F#, A, and C.
And this is what would make an F# Diminished Chord:
In the future post “Triads in the Major Scale” I’ll show you what all the triads in the major scale are!
So it’s important that you understand the material presented here.
This will give you the knowledge of what chords go with a given scale!!!
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Thanks for reading!!!
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