Watch the Minor Triad Inversions on High Strings online guitar lesson by Robben Ford from Chord Revolution: Foundations
We're going to focus specifically on minor triads here for a moment. I'm enjoying the key of E. The two chord in the key of E is going to be F# minor. We know that the scale on the F# minor chord is an E major scale, we're just starting on the second degree. I'm playing F# minor 7. It's called minor 7 because the seventh is flatted. If you play the scale from F#. Rather than just playing the straight triad, we're playing F# minor 7. We're adding the flatted seventh to the triad, so we still have the triad. There's the root, minor third, and the fifth, that establishes our triad. We have the flatted seventh here. If you recall, each of the minor chords is a relative minor to each of the major triads, so the major triads - E, A, and B. In the key of E. F# minor is the relative minor to A major. A voicing I really enjoy is to play that A triad over that low F#. This is an F# minor 7 voicing, and I'm basically just playing the A triad against F. It's pretty visual. People play it differently, I play it like that. Sometimes I'll play it with my little finger. F# in the root. There's the A triad. F# minor 7 is an octave above. I'm just arpeggiating the A triad. Any version of A triad that I can find, I can play right over that F# and we have a perfect F# minor 7 voicing.
The next chord , if we harmonize the scale, is G minor. There's that B triad which is the other major triad in the key of E. G# in the root. These are all voicings that are available to you. Whenever you have a minor chord it has a relative major triad and you can play all those triads against that G#. The other one would be C# minor. We're harmonizing the E major scale. There's the two chord, three chord, four chord, five chord, six chord is also minor. There's E triad. I'm just playing the triad against that C# minor chord. That's what you play. That's what a minor 7 chord is. It's actually a major triad. There's an F# minor 7, What can sound more major than that? You put an F# in the root, now it's a minor 7 chord. That's how minor 7 chords are built. They're built right off of those major triads.
If I'm playing C# minor, I can play E, B, A, E. I can play all of those triads. You get a nice 11 chord there, B over C#. Great chord. There's that thing once again where the A chord just changes the character of the harmony, and it might be something you want. It may not. That E voicing there with the third in the root, the tonic, the fifth, C# minor 7. This is what everyone is playing and harmonizing the major scale. It's seven notes and an octave yet there's all of this music that can be found in here. Then it goes out beyond that when you get into the extensions and when you get into polychords and things like that. We are exercising polychords here by doing this. Polychord means you're combining one chord with another. You really want to learn these triads all over the neck of the guitar. It's just about all I know. It's everything that I play, especially today. My music is really coming right out of this. This is my information. This is the way I play the guitar, and it's diatonic, it's major scale, it's major triad. I hope that makes sense.