Watch the E Major Triad and Scale online guitar lesson by Robben Ford from Chord Revolution: Foundations
The first thing we're going to do here is take an E major triad and break it down. What is it composed of and what does it intimate for the future? Everyone basically knows this chord voicing. We call it E. Your basic major and minor chords are generally referred to as triads. So, an E major triad. Right there you would have what would be referred to as first position, E major triad. E is in the root. Then the third, then the fifth. Like that. When you play an E chord, you're playing an E major triad, but some notes are duplicated. The E, root, octave. An octave above that. There are three of them in this particular chord voicing. There are two fifths, which is B in this case. One on the open B string and on third. Notes are being duplicated.
The reason something is called a fifth or a third - I want to explain that to you very briefly. If you play an E major scale, there is a major scale running through every chord. That would be the second. One, two, three. The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh. And the root note again, an octave above E. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight or octave. And then we can play it again up to high E. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. So tonic, or root, third, fifth. That's your basic major triad. And again, you're just duplicating notes when you play that. Still, there's only tonic, third, and fifth there. So that's your basic E major triad, E major scale. We're going to find a lot more things are held within that basic information.