84 Triad Chords | Guitar Diagrams | Open and Close Voicings | Root Positions & Inversions
- By jazz-guitar-licks
- On 2016-11-26
- 0 comments
Mastering triads is necessary for any guitarist who wants 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 guitar lesson 84 ways of playing triads (major, minor, diminished and augmented) using root and inverted voicings in close and open positions.
Triad chords, as their name implies, are made up of three notes. They are grouped into 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 is a Close and Open Position Chord?
A close voiced chord 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 chord.»
An open position chord has some «air» between one or more of its tones.
What is an Open Triad?
An open triad is built by moving the second note of a close chord up on octave. Thus giving new voicings.
What is a Root Position Chord?
The notes of a root position chord are in the right order, for example, with a major triad : root - third and fifth.
What are Inverted Chords ?
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 lowest note.
Here is an example with the C major chord built with C-E-G, respectively root (1), major third (3) and fifth (5). The bass note (the lowest note) is the root. This is the basic position also called "root position".
As shown in the chart and tab below, 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. The principle is the same for all types of triads.
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||E||G||C|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||G||C||E|
Triads On Guitar
Major triads are made up of a root (R), a major third (3) and a perfect fifth (5). Here are some shapes to play them on the guitar, including 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd string and their related inverted voicings.
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||3||5||R|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||5||R||3|
The next shapes show how to play open major triads on guitar.
|Root position (root in the bass)||R||5||3|
|1st inversion (third in the bass in the bass)||3||R||5|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||5||3||R|
Minor triads are built with the following interval pattern : root (R), minor third (b3) and perfect fifth (5). The following diagrams include 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd string and their inversions.
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||b3||5||R|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||5||R||b3|
The next diagrams show how look open minor triads on guitar.
|Root position (root in the bass)||R||5||b3|
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||b3||R||5|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||5||b3||R|
Diminished triads are built with root (R), minor third (b3) and diminished fifth (b5). Here are some guitar shapes including 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd string and their inverted chords.
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||b3||b5||R|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||b5||R||b3|
The next diagrams show how to play diminished triads on guitar in open positions
|Root position (root in the bass)||R||b5||b3|
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||b3||R||b5|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||b5||b3||R|
Augmented triads are built with a root (R), a major third (3) and an augmented fifth (#5). Here are several shapes that include 4 root positions with basses on the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd string and their related inversions.
|1st inversion (third in the bass)||3||#5||R|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||#5||R||3|
The last three guitar shapes show how to play open augmented triads on guitar.
|Root position (root in the bass)||R||#5||3|
|1st inversion (third in the bass in the bass)||3||R||#5|
|2nd inversion (fifth in the bass)||#5||3||R|
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