Thinking Music Theory 101: Triads


Thinking Music Theory 101: Triads

Now where getting somewhere.

note: If this is your first time reading this lesson, then I would suggest to start with the very first lesson. Things could get confusing, you need to start here first to understand this lesson.

Download the pdf worksheet right here.


A chord is produced by simultaneously playing two notes. Most chords are generally made up of a minimum of three notes or more.

Triads are made of only three notes. The first note is the root, the second note would be the major third and the third note would be a perfect fifth. Most triads are made up of these basic rules but with a few alterations depending on the particular triad.

C major triadThere is also the minor triad, the difference between the major and minor triad is one note. The second note of the major triad is a major third distance away from its root note. The minor triad would be a minor third away from its root note. The root and fifth of both triads remain the same

c minor triad

Though both triads are just one note difference, the sound are complete opposites. The major triad tends to sound happy and uplifting while the minor triad will tend to sound sad, moody or even have a thrilling tone.

Augmented and Diminished Triad

The augmented triad contains the root, third and augmented fifth. The diminished triad is comprised of the root, minor third and diminished fifth. These triads tend to sound very dissonant and not very pleasing to the ear. Think of nails scratching on the chalkboard. Yikes!

aug and dim triads

triad exercises

triad exercises 2

Download the pdf worksheet right here.

Now we’re making some music. Sort of…

Triads are just the beginning my friend there’s a lot more.

“The more learn the more you earn.” Warren Buffet

Don’t hesitate to leave any questions in the comments below. We all have questions and don’t be shy.

Long live and prosper.

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