4 TRIAD CHORDS AT THE PIANO YOU MUST KNOW

MARINE LACOSTE / CHORDING / MAY 20, 2022

 

In this lesson, we will be breaking down the 4 different types of triads.
A triad is a chord that contains three notes. A chord can have a varied number of notes, but a triad always has three notes.

The 4 Types of Triads

The notes of the chords are based on the seven degrees of the major scale.

Type #1: Major Triads 

A major triad is composed of the degrees I, III and V of the major scale.

Examples:
In the C major scale, the notes of the first, third and fifth degrees are C, E and G. Therefore, the C major chord is composed of C, E and G.

In the G major scale, the notes of the first, third and fifth degrees are G, B and D. Therefore, the G major chord is composed of G, B and D.

In the F major scale, the notes of the first, third and fifth degrees are F, A and C. Therefore, the F major chord is composed of F, A and C.

Type #2: Minor Triads

A minor chord is composed of the degrees I, bIII and V of the major scale. The difference between a major and minor triad is the third degree. In a major triad, the third degree is major whereas in a minor triad, the third degree is minor. To find the notes of a minor chord, you simply have to remember the notes of the major chord, then flatten the third note by going down a half-step.

Examples:

The first step in finding the notes of a minor chord is to remember the notes of its major chord. The notes of the C major chord are C, E and G. To transform the C major chord into a C minor chord, you have to flatten the third degree, E becomes Eb. The C minor chord is composed of C, Eb and G.

To find the notes of the G minor chord, we have to remember the notes of the G major chord, G, B and D. To transform the G major chord into a G minor chord, you have to flatten the third degree, B becomes Bb. The G minor chord is composed of G, Bb and D.

To find the notes of the F minor chord, we have to remember the notes of the F major chord, F, A and C. To transform the F major chord into a F minor chord, you have to flatten the third degree, A becomes Ab. The F minor chord is composed of F, Ab and C.

Type #3: Minor b5 Triads

A minor flat 5 chord is composed of the degrees I, bIII and bV. Similarly to the minor chord, the third degree is flattened. The difference between the minor triad and minor b5 triad is the fifth degree. In the minor triad, the fifth degree is major whereas in the minor b5 triad, the fifth degree is flattened. 


Examples:
The first step in finding the notes of the C minor b5 chord is to remember the notes of the C major chord, C, E and G. Secondly, we flatten the third degree of the chord which transforms it into a minor chord, E becomes Eb. The final step to make a chord minor b5 is to flatten the fifth degree, G becomes Gb. The C minor b5 chord is composed of C, Eb and Gb.

To find the notes of the G minor b5 chord, you need to remember the notes of the G major chord, G, B and D. We start by flattening the third degree, which transforms the major chord into a minor chord, B becomes Bb. Then we flatten the fifth degree to make the chord minor b5, D becomes Db. The G minor b5 chord is composed of G, Bb and Db.

To find the notes of the F minor b5 chord, you need to remember the notes of the F major chord, F, A and C. We start by flattening the third degree, which transforms the major chord into a minor chord, A becomes Ab. Then we flatten the fifth degree to make the chord minor b5, C becomes Cb. The F minor b5 chord is composed of F, Ab and Cb.

Type #4: Augmented Triads 

The augmented triad is a major chord that has a sharpened fifth degree. It is composed of the degrees I, III and #V. 

Examples:
To find the notes of the C augmented chord, you simply have to remember the notes of the C major chord C, E and G. Then, sharpen the fifth degree, G becomes G#. The C augmented chord is composed of C, E and G#.

To find the notes of the G augmented chord, you have to remember the notes of the G major chord, G, B and D. Then, sharpen the fifth degree, D becomes D#. The G augmented chord is composed of G, B and D#.

To find the notes of the F augmented chord, you have to remember the notes of the F major chord, F, A and C. Then, sharpen the fifth degree, C becomes C#. The F augmented chord is composed of F, A and C#.

Conclusion

Make sure to practice the 4 types of triads in all keys and inversions to master all the possible options!

Text Transcription by Andreane Boucher

Share this:

Founder of Online Rock Lessons, Marine is the keyboardist for Uncle Kracker, Corey Hart and Highway Hunters.
With over 20 years of experience in show business, Marine is launching the first Canadian Music School dedicated to rock and blues lovers. 

Questions

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GET YOUR FREE ACCESS TO THE CHORDS MINI COURSE

Start learning chords on the piano!

GET THE FREE PIANO CHORDS COURSE

Enter your email to get your exclusive access

You'll also get our weekly updates and free courses delivered into your inbox . Don't like it? No problem. You can unsubscribe in a click.