Music Theory

Building Triads

A chord in it's simplest form is 3 or more notes. The most common variations of this basic harmony (triads) is a major triad, minor triad, diminished triad and augmented triad. Here are the degrees from the root that make up each of these triads (example in C):

Major Triad - 1 3 5 (C E G)

Minor Triad - 1 b3 5 (C Eb G)

Diminished Triad - 1 b3 b5 (C Eb Gb)

Augmented Triad - 1 3 #5 (C E G#)

To find these shapes on the neck, you need to know the interval between each of the notes that makes up the triad, and then be able to make those jumps on the fretboard. The interval structure of each of these triads are as follows:

(Major 3rd = 2 Whole Steps)

(Minor 3rd = 1 1/2 Steps)

Major Triad - M3 + m3

Minor Triad - m3 + M3

Dim Triad - m3 + m3

Aug Triad - M3 + M3

Here are some examples of these shapes on the fretboard:

Inversion: When the order of notes in a triad is changed.

Root, Third, Fifth (No Name)

Third, Fifth, Root (1st Inversion)

Fifth, Root, Third (2nd Inversion)