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“Major Triads use the 1st, 3rd & 5th notes of the major scale”

-The next easiest chord to play uses 3 unique notes and is referred to as a “Triad”. Triads are common in all types of music. -The “Triad” is a fuller sounding chord than the “Power Chord” because in addition to the Major Power Chord’s 1st & 5th notes of the major scale, a Triad also uses the 3rd note of the major scale:

E Major Triad (full)

Fig.1 Commonly referred to as simply an “E Chord”, the E Major Triad uses the 1st (Root), 3rd and 5th notes of the “E Major scale”. Remember: the Intervals determine that it is a MAJOR Scale.

-The E Major Triad above has repeating notes at different Octaves (three “E”s & two “B”s) as well as the G# (the 3rd). This makes for a full sounding chord.

-Since the “G# note” is the third note up from the “E note” and the “B note” is the third note up from the “G# note” the notes are said to be “Stacked Thirds”. OR, the Triad is formed by Stacking Thirds.

-It would still be considered an “E Major Triad” if only the 5th, 4th & 3rd strings were played because it would still contain the 1st, 3rd & 5th notes of the E Major Scale but with no repeating notes. This series of notes would also be considered a “Chord Inversion” because the “B note” would be the first struck by the pick followed by the “E note” then “G# note”(the order changes or Inverts).

D Major TriadFig.2. The 3 string Triads are commonly used.  They have a unique Timbre (More Treble) when played higher up the fretboard.  Try the “D Major Chord” shown above and compare the sound to a “D Major Open Chord”.

-EASY Major Triads for the Beginner.

-Below is the Easiest way to play the open Major Chords.

-These fingerings can be used if you are after the sound they make (voicing) for a composition OR if you want the simply want the easiest way to play the Chord.


Fig.3. Common Major Triads in their most Simplistic form.

-Try the following Chord Progressions using the above simplified Triads:

Video 1.  G-C-D Chords in a I-IV-V Progression using the Simplified Major Triads.

Quiz: What is the difference between a Major Power Chord and a Major Triad?

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