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4 Kinds of Triads  

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robert
(@robert)
Noble Member Admin
Triads Talk! Let's dig in a little bit deeper.
 
There are four known classes of triads:
 
- The major triad
- The minor triad
- The diminished triad
- The augmented triad
 
These triads are named the way they are because of the specific harmonic characteristics they have, and I’m going to take discuss them today. Before I get started, I have to say these theory concepts are perhaps the most valuable theory tools you can ever learn. I highly encourage you to learn this.
 
 
#1 – The Major Triad
 
If you know the scale relationship between the notes of a major triad, you can form it in all twelve keys.
 
The major triad is built off the first, third and fifth tones of the major scale. Therefore, playing the first, third and fifth tones of any major scale produces the major triad. For example, the first, third, and fifth tones of the D major scale: are D, F#, and A.
 
Using the D major triad as a reference, here are the intervallic constituents of a major triad.
 
D-F#: a major third, which is two whole-steps (4 frets on the guitar).
 
E|--------
B|--3--7--
G|--------
D|--------
A|--------
E|--------
 
Or, you can also play the major third this way:
 
E|-----2--
B|--3-----
G|--------
D|--------
A|--------
E|--------
 
Next, D-A: a perfect fifth. This is what it looks like on the guitar:
 
E|-----5--
B|--3-----
G|--------
D|--------
A|--------
E|--------
 
So now we know that the major triad has two intervallic constituents – the major third and perfect fifth intervals.
 
#2 – The Minor Triad
 
The notes of the minor triad have a scale relationship with the natural minor scale. The first, third and fifth tones of any natural minor scale produces the minor triad.
 
What are the first, third, and fifth tones of the A natural minor scale?:

The answer is A, C, and E.
 
Those are the tones of the A minor triad.
 
Using the A minor triad as a reference, here are the intervallic constituents of a minor triad.
 
A-C: a minor third, which is 1.5 whole-steps, or 3 frets on the guitar.
 
E|---------
B|---------
G|---------
D|--7--10--
A|---------
E|---------
 
Or, you can also play the minor third this way:
 
E|--------
B|--------
G|-----5--
D|--7-----
A|--------
E|--------
 
 
and A-E: a perfect fifth.
 
E|--------
B|--------
G|-----9--
D|--7-----
A|--------
E|--------
 
Summary - the minor third and perfect fifth intervals are the intervallic constituents of the minor triad.
 
#3 – The Augmented Triad
 
I'll be relating this triad with the whole tone scale. The first, third and fifth tones of any whole tone scale produces the augmented triad.
 
In the C whole tone scale, the first, third, and fifth tones are C, E, and G#.

Those are the tones of the C augmented triad.
 
Using the C augmented triad as a reference, here are the intervallic constituents of an augmented triad.
 
C-E: a major third, and C-G#:an augmented fifth.
 
E|--------4--
B|-----5-----
G|--5--------
D|-----------
A|-----------
E|-----------
 
 
So to summarize - the major third and augmented fifth intervals are the intervallic constituents of the augmented triad. Due to the quality of fifth (augmented fifth interval) in the augmented triad, the augmented triad has a degree of harshness (I think it sounds uber cool!).
 
#4 – The Diminished Triad
 
Using any octatonic scale, you can form a diminished triad by playing its first, third and fifth tones.
 
In the C octatonic whole-half scale, the first, third, and fifth tones are C, Eb, and Gb:
 
E|--------2--
B|-----4-----
G|--5--------
D|-----------
A|-----------
E|-----------
So, those are the tones of the C diminished triad.
 
Using the C diminished triad as a reference, here are the intervallic constituents of a diminished triad.
 
C-Eb: a minor third, and C-Gb: a diminished fifth.
 
Due to the quality of the fifth (the diminished fifth interval) in the diminished triad, the diminished triad sounds kind of dissonant, and I love it!
 
I hope you have found this useful! Let me know. Theory can be dry and boring, but I encourage you to grab the guitar right now and try out these triads on the fretboard. Theory is useless if you can’t apply it to your instrument!
 
Here's a lesson on using minor and major triads in the same key:
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Posted : February 13, 2019 12:11
Clayton and JestMe liked
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jncinn
(@jncinn)
Estimable Member

Nice summary/breakdown plus a bunch of great stuff for us all to chew on, RR!!

 

Jivin' Jim

ReplyQuote
Posted : February 13, 2019 14:28
robert liked
JestMe
(@jestme)
Honorable Member

Well done maestro! Great job. Love the theory stuff!

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Posted : February 13, 2019 15:40
robert liked
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