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Triads and Scales
Topic: Theory Subtopic: General Level: Beginner Number of Readers: 73176

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Triads and Scales

We've taken a look at chords and scales individually, now let's look at them together.

Consider the C Major scale:

C D E F G A B C

If we start at C and take every second note we'll end up with

C E G

This is a major triad. It is built on the first degree of the scale, which is also called the tonic. We can build triads on the other degrees of the scales as well, using only the notes from the scale. Here is a triad built on the second note of the C Major scale:

D F A

This is a minor triad. Now here are all the triads that we can build on the notes of the C Major scale:

C E G	major triad
D F A	minor triad
E G B	minor triad
F A C	major triad
G B D	major triad
A C E	minor triad
B D F	diminished triad

Along side each triad is the quality of the triad. 3 of them are major, 3 of them are minor, and 1 of them is diminished. This holds true for any major scale. Here's an example:

G Major Scale

G B D		major
A C E		minor
B D F#		minor
C E G		major
D F# A		major
E G B		minor
F# A C		diminished

As you can see, the note names have changed, the interval structures have not. The triad built on the first note is still a major triad, and the triad built on the second note is still minor, and so on.

We rely on scales to build chords. The two go hand in hand. With our understand of how they together, a better understanding of the relationship between melody and accompaniment can be built.

You can use any scale to build triads. Consider the harmonic minor scale:

A B C D E F G# A

If we build triads on each of these notes, using only notes from the scale, we'll end up with these triads:

A C E		major
B D F		diminished
C E G#		augmented
D F A		minor
E G# B		major
F A C		major
G# B D		diminished

The qualities of the triads built on each degree of the scale are shown next to the triad.

With your knowledge of intervals, triads, and scales, you can choose any scale and build triads on all of its degrees, then figure out what quality the triads are. You might be wondering what use this is, but you'll see as we move on to more advanced lessons. In order to understand things in the advanced lessons, you have to learn this first. Everything builds on everything else.

Things to remember from this lesson:

1. Chords can be derived from scales.
2. Triads can be built on any degree of the scale, using the notes of the scale.
3. With a knowledge of intervals and triads, the type of triads can be figured out.
4. This process works for any scale starting on any note.



Questions
Question posted by Luc on 2000-02-01
what is a 7th triad? is there a such thing? and if so what are the intervals?
There are 7 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by tom on 2000-04-14
hi. i'm a total beginner at this stuff and don't understand it at all! i just don't get the scales and how they're made up. could you explain this a bit more for me?
There are 3 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by adam on 2000-05-09
What's that all about?
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Question posted by mark on 2000-05-11
have you seen my fork?
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Filipe Lopes on 2000-07-17
Teach how learn diatonic scales, please. If possible e-mail me the answer.
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by paul on 2000-07-30
Why can you have only 3 diminished arpeggios in a key?
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by paul on 2000-07-30
My left hand fingers get tired quick, how can I strengthen them?
There are 6 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by j on 2000-08-21
are you gay
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Question posted by j on 2000-08-21
i mean it you sound really gay and i have this friend.....
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Question posted by j on 2000-08-21
sorry i didnt mean to offend any gay people.
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Alex on 2000-09-12
Where can I find blues tabs, especially Robert Johnson's Crossroads and Howlin Wolf I ain't superstitious. What scales are worthwhile knowing for such country blues playing and also Led Zep playing- which is what I'm trying to master.
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Question posted by en on 2000-10-19
how do you plav arpeggios
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Question posted by mike on 2000-10-31
The I chord in harmonic minor(A,C,E) is actually a minor triad. Perhaps the webmaster could consider removing questions that did not pertain directly to the guitar? I am a teacher and would recomend the site to students if it wasn't for that.
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Question posted by jonathan nuņez on 2000-11-23
lesson # 30 to lesson # 36..... Gracias y Chao....
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Question posted by Dave on 2000-12-06
Aaron Hunt, what is an invesion? (you mention it in an answer). Thanks
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Susumse Brumsel on 2000-12-14
Whatīs a guitar? Iīve been playing guitar for 5 years but i donīt know what a guitar is!!!!!!!! Please please help me. I love you.
There are 3 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by sean on 2000-12-24
I notice people talking about scales that go with different chords. How do you determine what scale goes well over what chord.
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Question posted by Sam on 2001-05-28
how do you play leads?
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by david pickett on 2001-06-07
can someone tell me on a tab like this do u play the chord above the fretboard as well as where stated on fret board? wher it says GM do u play this chord and the nums on the board? e-mail me at pickett_david@hotmail.com m 3X| Gm Fm Gm7 Gm Fm Gm7 E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------| B|-4---4---4---4---|-3---3---1---1---|-3---3---3---3---|-1---1---3---3---| i no the fret board is a bit all over the place but u can understand me right thanx dave
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Question posted by KIRK HAMMETT on 2001-06-20
COMO UTILIZAR LAS DIATONICAS, ES DECIR CADA MODO ES PARA UN TIPO DE MUSICA?
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by luis on 2001-06-28
strunz & farah can someone tell me how are their licks? alguine podria decirme porfavor como son sus figuras en las escalas..?
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Question posted by mr mac on 2001-07-10
ihave your fork chico chillamoomoof u k
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by Freddy J. Holste on 2001-07-15
This is great! Iam a 50 year old, that has just gotten back into my music,[THE BLUES}. What I,very much like to know is if you,ve ever come across teaching anyone with ADD,and what methods seem to ,GET THROUGH,Ive got a very difficult time with staying focused,and Ive done OK, with repetative playing to retain songs , but I realize now Ive got to understand so theory, to make any real progress. I beleive if I could find a way to have this stuff click,it sure would make playing more of a pleasure. I just found out about my ADD, about 3 months ago,and it put every little thing Ive ever done into prospective.Can you shead some light on this? Ive got a really understanding teacher,but the problem is getting through to me and he get frustrated, and thus so do I.More then anything, I want to do something with my songs I have had in my mind for years. And with a little help from my freinds, I just know I could make something of myself. THAMKS LOTS!!
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Question posted by mark on 2002-02-18
A C E major this has to be minor or not??
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Question posted by deazex on 2002-03-20
who know about chord progression. please tell me what it is. and how i know what chord must use in what scale
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Question posted by DAVEY on 2002-08-27
BLACK SABBATH/ TRIADS...DO THEY USE THESE?
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by DAVEY on 2002-08-27
BLACK SABBATH/ TRIADS...DO THEY USE THESE?
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by award on 2002-09-06
well i wanted that you were giving to me tips to was uncreating my speed in guitar because i cant play fast.help me men.thanx.
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Question posted by al on 2002-10-15
hi,i want to know how do play in between leads of given chord such as C /Am/F /GSO THAT IT SOUNDS REALLY GOOD N PROFFESSIONAL.
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Question posted by asi on 2004-02-07
how do u play the Bd chord?
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Question posted by . on 2004-05-18
.
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Question posted by . on 2004-05-18
.
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Question posted by Unknown on 2004-12-09
how do you play it?
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Question posted by Chris Pedraza on 2004-12-09
How do you finger C,E, and G on the guitar?
There are 0 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by roy on 2005-01-19
[quote="roy"]1.is it possible to improve or soloing use the five forms of pentatonic or others scales only in one root, for example only in C or G or B etc??is it same with every licks? for example. G dimished lick,is it possible to play it in C root or G or others 2.is it possible to merge 2 or 3 scales in improvisation or solo guitar??for example minor pentatonic with blues major/minor,or myxoldian and ionian 3.if a rhytem of a song is G,B,E,C,D, is it mean that i only can improve or solo guitar only in G,B,E,C,D root?? :D[/quote]
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Question posted by steve on 2005-04-21
how do i use scales to solo
There are 1 answers to this question. View/Post Answers

Question posted by guevara on 2006-10-05
i need some flamingo romance notes
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