Triads - Basic guitar chord theory

The definition of a chord is three or more different notes sounding together. There is a vast array of chords out there but our goal here is to learn about triads which is a chord containing 3 different notes.

One rule first before we begin: Triads are always three notes but not all three note chords are triads. We can talk about this later but for now just remember the rule.

The following are the four types of triads: 1. Major 2. Minor 3. Diminished 4. Augmented

These are all based on the notes of a scale. We will use the C major scale as an example. (contains 7 notes)


The major triad is constructed using the 1st, 3rd and 5th note of the Major Scale. So in C major it would be C(1st) E(3rd) and G(5th).

Lets try an exercise..Don't cheat ;)

The scale of G major is G A B C D E F#

What would a G major triad be?

Answer: G(1st) B(3rd) and D(5th)

Very good! Now your getting it!

Next is Minor Triads

Return from Triads to Guitar Chords Central