By now, you’ve been playing for a while and you keep hearing this term, “Triads.” It sounds awfully fancy but let’s think about it for a moment.
I’m going to keep this pretty basic.
Remember that tricycle you rode as a child? How about a triangle? Well, “tri” means three and that’s exactly what triads means. It means chords made up of three notes. So, a Cmaj would be C, E, and G. A Cmin would be C, Eb, and G.
Fuck that noise.
A good rule of thumb is that a major triad is shaped like Emin, A, or D chord. You can barre or grand barre them – and they’re almost certainly a major triad.
What a minor triad? That’s easy. The Emin, Amin, or Dmin shapes would almost certainly be a minor triad. You can smash ’em around all across the fretboard and you’re probably playing a minor triad.
I say “probably” because someone’s likely to come along and point out that there’s a spot where that’s not technically true – but I don’t know of such a spot and I’m too lazy to stop and run through checking.
So, where do they fit?
Major triads go with the major scale and major pentatonic scales.
Minor triads fit with the natural minor scale (sometimes called the Aeolian scale), Dorian scale, Phrygian scale, and minor pentatonic scale.
Or, as I like to say, bang at it and if it doesn’t sound right then try the other one! They’re pretty handy little critters to know and understand. People like to make it more complicated than it really is – it’s not. You can make it complicated, but there’s no reason to.