Triads

The triad chord type consists of exactly three different notes.

There are four types of triads, of which the most common is the major triad.

The four triads are:

  • Major – intervals: 1, 3, 5. Example: A.
  • Minor – intervals: 1, b3, 5. Example: Am.
  • Augmented – intervals: 1, 3, #5. Example: A+.
  • Diminished – intervals: 1, b3, b5. Example: Adim.

More about interval theory.

Triad examples

Chord charts example in the key of A for the four triad types.

Click on the chord diagrams above to navigate to the corresponding page for each type of triad.

Triad theory and inversions

A short description of the triad chord and its inversions.

  • A triad is the most basic type of chord.
  • A triad consists of exactly three different notes.
  • These notes can be played in any order.
  • The different orders the notes in a chord can be played are called inversions.
  • The C major chord consists of the notes C, E and G, thus the different inversions of the C major chord are: C E G, E G C, G C E, G E C, C G E, E C G.
  • One and the same note can appear multiple times in a chord. A chord with the notes arranged as follows is still a C major chord: C E G C E.