Ultimate Guitar Lesson

Ill. Triads

Triads are 3-note chords built in 3rds. Know how to write and play all four types.




Major 1 3 5 C
Minor 1 b3 5 Cmi
Augmented 1 3 #5 Caug
Diminished 1 b3 b5 Cdim

Suspended triads are not built in 3rds, so they’re not true triads. Learn these two kinds.
sus4 1 4 5 Csus4
sus2 1 2 5 Csus2

Practice using the major scale to find the notes in the triad types listed above from all possible roots. Then find chord voicings on the guitar.

Don’t spell a major chord with a diminished 4th! Awkward as it sounds, every beginner at some time has said “the 3rd of F# is Bb” or some such. This means you have skipped a letter in the alphabet. Don’t do that. The 3rd of F# must be A#. If this is not clear, return to section I.