Technique, Reading & Theory

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Building triads

Building triads with intervals

The triad is the most common type of chord. A triad is a three-note chord built in thirds. There are four types of triads: major, minor, augmented, and diminished. Each has a particular pattern of major and minor thirds.

Major triad: major 3rd, minor 3rd

Minor triad: minor 3rd, major 3rd

Augmented triad: major 3rd, major 3rd

Diminished triad: minor 3rd, minor 3rd

major triad minor triad augmented triad diminished triad

Building triads with scale degrees

building triads with scale degrees

On the previous page we built triads by stacking thirds. Another way to build triads is by scale degree. This method is based on the degrees of the major scale. These are also referred to as "chord tones."

Chord notation

There are several ways to refer to each chord type. Here are some common methods:

chord notation Back: Intro to ear-training Next: Functional harmony, Roman numerals, Nashville numers & common chord progressions