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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

48 Triad Chords | Guitar Diagrams | Root Positions &


Inversions

By
Stef Ramin

On 26/11/2016

0 comments

Mastering Triads on the guitar is necessary for any guitarist who


want to expand his fretboard and theory knowledge. These chords are
not really considered as jazz chords because of their basic sound,
but they can be efficient tools for comping and chord soloing.
Indeed, the strong point of these chords is the simplicity of learning and
playing. You will find in this lesson 48 shapes to play major, minor ,
diminished and augmented triads on the guitar.

What are triads ?

Triad chords, as their name implies, are made up of three notes. They are divided in 4 categories according to
wether they are minor, major, augmented or diminished. 

Minor triads are built with a root (1), a minor third (b3) and a perfect fifth (5).
Major triads are built with a root (1), a major third (3) and a perfect fifth (5).
Diminished triads are built with a root (1), a minor third (b3) and a flat fifth (b5).
Augmented triads are built with a root (1), a major third (3) and an augmented fifth (#5).

What are "close position" chords ?

It is a chord played with all its tones as close together as they can be. If the notes are spread out, then it is called
"open position." An open position chord has some "air" between one or more of its tones. Please note that this
article contains only "close positions".

What are root position chords ?

The tones of a root position chords are in the right order, for example, with a major triad : root - third and fifth. 

What are inverted chords ?

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

The tones of inverted chords are in a different order than the root positions. Inverted chords don't have the root note
in the bass, instead they have the third or the fifth as the lowest note of the chord shape.

Here is an example with the C major chord  built with C-E-G, respectively the root (1), the major third (3) and the
fifth (5). The bass note (the lowest note) is the root. This is the basic position also called "root position". This chord
can be inversed in two different ways. One with the third in the bass and one with the fifth in the bass. Thus giving
two inverted voicings.

Root position  C E G
1st inversion (third in the bass) E G C
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) G C E

Major triads - Chord shapes - Guitar diagrams


Major triads are made up of a root (R), a major third (3) and a perfect fifth (5). Here are 12 neck diagrams to play
them on the guitar, including 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd strings and their related inverted
chords.

Root position  R 3 5
1st inversion (third in the bass) 3 5 R
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 R 3

Root positions

1st inversions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

2nd inversions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

Minor triads - Chord shapes - Guitar diagrams


Minor triads are built with a root (R), a minor third (b3) and a perfect fifth (5). The 12 following diagrams
includes 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd strings and 8 inverted chords.

Root position  R b3 5
1st inversion (third in the bass) b3 5 R
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) 5 R b3

Root positions

1st inversions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

2nd inversions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

Minor triads - Chord shapes - Guitar diagrams


Diminished triads are built with a root (R), a minor third (b3) and a diminished fifth (b5). Here are 12 guitar
diagrams including 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd strings and 8 inverted chords.

Root position  R b3 b5
1st inversion (third in the bass) b3 b5 R
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) b5 R b3

Root positions

1st inversions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

2nd inversions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

Augmented triads - Chord shapes - Guitar diagrams


Augmented triads are built with a root (R), a major third (3) and an augmented fifth (#5). Here are 12 diagrams
including 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd strings and 8 inverted chords to play on the guitar.

Root position  R 3 #5
1st inversion (third in the bass) 3 #5 R
2nd inversion (fifth in the bass) #5 R 3

Root positions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

1st inversions

2nd inversions

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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48 Guitar Triads with Diagrams And Theory

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