Watch the Lesson 3 online guitar lesson by Howard Morgen from Fingerboard Breakthrough

A triad is a chord formed by three tones stacked in successive major third and/or minor third intervals. The lowest tone, which names the triad alphabetically, is called the root; the middle tone the third; and the top tone the fifth. Stacking major and minor thirds in all their possible combinations produces four distinct types (or qualities) of triads called major, minor, augmented, and diminished. The four triad qualities provide the harmonic foundation for all further chord construction. As such, a thorough working knowledge of how they are formed, their spellings, and inversions is absolutely indispensable for all musicians.

As a guitarist, you'll find that paying special attention to the shapes generated on the fingerboard by triads located on all string sets will make it much easier to visualize and to conceptualize chord construction, embellishment, and substitution, as well as the voice leading techniques and more advanced harmonic and improvisational concepts that will be developed as these lessons evolve. Figures 1, 2, and 3 illustrate how... > Continued in manual (click Chart button above).