Chord Construction and Triads lesson 1

Chord Construction

Today lets take a look at how chords are constructed.


The smallest most basic chord is called a triad and there are four types of triads.  

What’s a Triad?

A triad is a chord constructed with 3 notes. When in root position (the root note is on the bottom) each note is a third away from the last.  Triads are a basic chord structure and the basis of how other types of chords are constructed. There are four types of triads:

  • Major
  • Minor
  • Augmented
  • Diminished

Major Triads:

Hopefully you’ve read about major scales already; if not go check them out, triads will make much more sense. To create a major triad simply stack the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of a major scale on top of each other.

Let’s take the G major scale: G – A – B – C – D – E – F#

Take the 1st, 3rd, and 5th scale degrees out: G – A – B – C – – E – F#

The G major triad would be G – B – D.

Minor Triad

Minor triads are constructed in the same fashion as major triads, only based off the Natural minor scale. Take the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the scale and you end up with the minor triad.

Lets take the G natural minor scale – G – A – Bb – C – D – Eb – F

So the G minor triad would be G -Bb – D

Augmented Triads

Augmented triads have a cool sound, very mysterious. An augmented triad is a major third on top of another major third. So basically, you can take a major triad and raise the 5th note by a half step to get the augmented version (since a major triad is a major third on the bottom and a minor third on the top). The augmented triad has lots of uses and can resolve in many ways. By ‘resolve’, I mean it naturally has the tendency to lead into another chord.

G augmented triad is – G – B – (raised 5th) D#

Diminished Triads:

A diminished triad has a dissonant sound to it. It’s built using two minor thirds.

G diminished triad – G – Bb – Db

Nest week harmonising scales!

Minor triads london guitar


London guitar school major triad