What Are Triads, Learn the basics behind the 4 different types of common triads
Mar 20 2013, 09:28 AM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK

As guitarists, we play triads every day of our lives, well most of us do, and they are an integral part of many of our musical lives.

Simply put, triads are three-note chords that are built from the Root, 3rd and 5th of the Major Scale, Minor Scale, Diminished Scale or Augmented Scale.

Here is an example of the four types of Triads (Major, Minor, Diminished and Augmented) written out above the root-note C.

As you can see, each of these Triads has a C, E and G, but that the Minor, Diminished and Augmented have variations of these notes that include Sharps and Flats.

(For a refresher on these accidentals check out the articles “What Are Sharps” and “What Are Flats.”)

Here are the formulas you can use to determine any of these triads from any root-note.

Major Triad = R 3 5 of the Major Scale

So, if you know your major scales, you can build a Major Triad from the R, 3 and 5 of that scale, like we did with C, E and G.

Then, to make an Augmented Triad you simply raise the 5th, G, by a half-step and you get C, E G#.

To make a Minor Triad, you lower the 3rd, E, by a half-step and you get C, Eb and G.

And finally, to make a Diminished Triad, you take a Major Triad and lower the 3rd and 5th to get C, Eb and Gb.

So, there you have a short introduction to Triads. You can read further, and learn how to play these triads on guitar, by checking out the following articles.

After you’ve checked out the different formulas for each triad, go ahead and write some out in the thread below and I’ll be happy to check your work to make sure you’re on the right path.

If you have any questions about these triads, or any theory related question, feel free to post it in the thread below.

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Mar 20 2013, 10:45 AM
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From: 3rd stone from the Sun
Hey Prof that was interesting thanks!....Can you direct me to where I can find a formula for how the chords can be used in a given key...i.e. years ago I remember learning a formula like: Major, Minor,Minor,Major, Major,Minor,Diminished but I can't remember how to apply it or even if it should be applied to anything
The reason I ask, is that I'm making a study of the Major scales across the neck along with their relative minors and I would like to have a think about tonal centres whilst I am doing that...along with learning the note names on the neck etc etc and a wish to learn the caged system and modes.............I know.... its a lot

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This post has been edited by Headbanger: Mar 20 2013, 10:47 AM

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Mar 20 2013, 10:50 AM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
QUOTE (Headbanger @ Mar 20 2013, 09:45 AM)
Hey Prof that was interesting thanks!....Can you direct me to where I can find a formula for how the chords can be used in a given key...i.e. years ago I remember learning a formula like: Major, Minor,Minor,Major, Major,Minor,Diminished but I can't remember how to apply it or even if it should be applied to anything
The reason I ask, is that I'm making a study of the Major scales across the neck along with their relative minors and I would like to have a think about tonal centres whilst I am doing that...along with learning the note names on the neck etc etc and a wish to learn the caged system and modes.............I know.... its a lot

Hey,

Sure thing, here is an article that talks about the construction of the major scale itself that might be helpful.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=47641

And here is the formula for the triads in Major and Natural Minor Scales.

Major - Maj min min Maj Maj min dim

Minor - min dim Maj min min Maj Maj

Hope that helps!

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Mar 20 2013, 03:56 PM
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Posts: 877
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From: 3rd stone from the Sun
QUOTE (The Professor @ Mar 20 2013, 10:50 AM)
Hey,

Sure thing, here is an article that talks about the construction of the major scale itself that might be helpful.

https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=47641

And here is the formula for the triads in Major and Natural Minor Scales.

Major - Maj min min Maj Maj min dim

Minor - min dim Maj min min Maj Maj

Hope that helps!

Thanks Matt... that's just what I was looking for cheers

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Mar 20 2013, 04:18 PM
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From: Manchester UK

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