The following guitar lesson worksheet is from a series of studies I use to teach my students called Chords in Context. Visit for more information.

Intermediate Guitar Lesson 2

Triads Using The First Set Of Strings

By Brian Turner

A triad is the smallest form of a chord. The major triad consist of three notes: the 1st (root), 3rd and 5th interval of the major scale. The minor triad consist of the 1st, b3rd (flat 3rd) and 5th of the major scale. The diminished triad consist of the 1st, b3rd and b5th of the major scale. When the 1st interval is the lowest in pitch, the 3rd is in the middle and the 5th is the highest note, the triad constructed is called a root position triad. The triads below are root position triads. These triads only use the 1st, 2nd, 3rd strings on the guitar. These three strings are called the first set (first set of three strings). 

Triads using the first set of strings

Root Position Triads


When the 3rd interval is the lowest note, the 5th is in the middle and the root is your highest note the resulting triad is called a 1st inversion. 

1st Inversions


When the 5th is the lowest, the root is in the middle and the 3rd is the highest note the result is called a 2nd inversion as illustrated below.

2nd Inversions

In the following exercise, the voicings of each triad are played starting with the voicing closest to the nut of the guitar and ending with the one furthest from the nut.


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