How To Play Major triads Along with Minor, Augmented, & Diminished

How To Play Major triads Along with Minor, Augmented, & Diminished

In this lesson, we will look at how to play major, minor, augmented, and diminished triads.  These are common guitar chords that all guitar players should know. The more you know about these chord types, the easier it will be to understand guitar chords in general.


Major Triads

These types of chords are based on three notes within the major scale that they come out of.  These three notes are the 1 3 5.  Like for instance, the C major triad will have the C, E, & G notes within the chord.

C major chord chart

All major triads are made up of these three notes within the key it comes out of.  G major has the 1 3 5 in it and consists of the G,  B, & D.  The D major triad would be made up of the D,  F#, & A.

These chord types are called triads because they are made up of three notes and will always be made up of the 1,3, & 5 of the major scale that they come out of.  So to easily create these chords, you just need to find out what notes are within a certain key, pick out the 1 3 5 and you’ve got the major triad.


Minor Triads

These types of chords are very similar to the major triad except for one thing.  You flatten the third note by one fret.  This means that if the note is an E, it would now be E fat.  A flat is represented by a small B in music notation (Eb) and is always presented whenever we flatten a note.

A major

A major triad

A minor

A minor triad chord chart

With the above chord example, we can see that we have moved one note back.  That note is the third note in the chord.  The C# has now been moved back to C. This allows us to create a different sound with the chord that is different from the major.

If the note is sharpened (A# for example) then the note would be flattened to an A note.  So with minor triads, you now have a 1 b3 5 chord formula.  In the case of a C minor triad, the notes would be C Eb and G.


Augmented Triads

These are another real simple type of chord to form.  In this case, you keep the three where it is and move the 5th note up a fret.  So now we have a chord formula of 1 3 #5.  It is this sharp fifth note that allows us to make the triad bigger.

 A augmented

A augmented triad

Here we can see that chord has been changed.  The triad chord formula to 1 3 #5.  In the case of the A major chord A C# E, we now have an A C# F. Since the E note is on the 4th string, that is the note we move forward to F.


Since there is no E# in the musical alphabet and the next note is F we make it an F note.  This allows us to make another type of sound with the chord.  Form the chord and strum it.  Listen for how it sounds different than the major, or minor chord.


Diminished Triads

These types of chords are very similar to the augmented.  Except in this case instead of making the chord bigger, we make it smaller.  Diminished.  This is done by flattening bot the third and fifth notes.  So now the chord formula will be 1 b3 b5.  Two notes moved back a fret.

A diminished

A diminished triad

In the case of the A diminished triad, we can clearly see from the chord diagram that we move both the third and fifth notes back a fret.  Simple and easy to form.  Along with the fact that we can now create a different type of sound.  This sound will be different from the major, minor, and augmented triads.


Watch Video Lesson Below


Additional Training

To learn more about guitar chords and how to create different ones for better musical expression, I recommend you check out my book I authored Rhythm Guitar Alchemy.

Rhythm Guitar Alchemy

This book is designed in a very simple step-by-step method of learning to play rhythm guitar to understand the creation of guitar chords.  Major, minor, diminished, etc.  As well as how to put these chords together to create and play songs.


If you are looking to learn more about guitar chord construction and how you can use them to improve your rhythm playing, then this is the book for you.  It can easily be found on Amazon or purchased through my eBay store.  Where you can receive a personally “signed to you” author copy.


Lesson Conclusion

Knowing about guitar chords and how to construct them is very important for improving your guitar playing.  Chords are the essence of all songs.  You want to make sure you know how they are made and how to use them in songs.


Start out with your major triads, then the minor, augmented, and diminished.  These four chord types are the foundation of all other chords to come.  Thousands of chords can be created on the guitar and these triads are the best way to get started.


Online Lessons

In addition to the videos and books, I am also available for online lessons to help you further with the training.  Sometimes a good teacher can save years of frustration trying to get through the musical jungle on your own.


So if you feel this service may help you. feel free to contact me and we will get started.  You’d be amazed how just a few lessons from a teacher can make a world of difference in your progress.


Take care and best of luck with your guitar playing.

Sincerely, Dwayne Jenkins

Dwayne Jenkins Guitar Teacher



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