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Watch the Triads online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from Guitar Interactives

PRINCIPLE 3 - TRIADS (3 note chords)

We are going to create 3 note chords now. These chords are called triads. (tri, meaning 3).

Triad chords are built by stacking 3rds. For example the chord G major is built by using the notes G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G (W- W - H - W- W - W - H). The resulting chord is a G Major chord. The second chord built from the G major scale is’s how we build that chord ... G - A - B - C - D - E - F# - G (W- W - H -W- W - W - H).

Adding the 3rd to our chords determines whether the chord is major, minor or diminished in quality. Major chords have 2 whole tones between the Root and the 3rd (Major 3rd interval) and minor and diminished chords have a whole tone and half tone distance between the root and the 3rd interval. (Minor 3rd) Look at the diagrams above to see how this works.

We’ll continue through the scale harmonizing each scale degree.

The resulting chords are:

I - G MAJOR = G - B - D

II - A MINOR = A - C - E

III - B MINOR = B - D - F#

IV - C MAJOR = C - E - G

V - D MAJOR = D - F# - A

VI - E MINOR = E - G - B


Practice the resulting chords against the various backing tracks I’ve provided for you.