How to Play Triads on the First Three Strings

Major Scale Triad Chords picture
Triads on the first three strings


In this lesson, I will show you how to play triads on the first three strings.

To play a triad means to play different notes. We will get these three notes from the G major scale.

How to Build Triads

If you start with the root and include the third and fifth, this will be how you build these triads. This is also called “in thirds”. On a music staff, all your triads built in thirds would be on consecutive lines or consecutive spaces.

The G major scale notes are, G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, and G. For our first triad you would play G, B, and D. This equals a G major triad. You would do this for each note in the G scale.

The other triad or chord qualities in the major scale would be A minor, B minor, C major, D major, E minor, and F# minor b5, ending with another G major to finish.

Opening Up the Fretboard

To play these triads along the fretboard on strings 1, 2, and 3, we will start in the third position and finish in the fifteenth position.

You will see these triad patterns up and down the fretboard in eight different positions.

This way of playing is good for breaking out of the major scale box patterns (My post “Pentatonic Scale Plus Two Equals Major Scale”).

G Major Scale Triads on the First Three Strings

G major on the first three strings
G major triad 3rd fret
A minor triad on the first three strings
A minor triad 5th fret
B minor triad
B minor triad 7th fret
C major triad 8th fret
C major triad 8th fret
D major triad
D major triad 10th position
E minor triad 12th fret
E minor triad 12 fret
F# minor b5
F# minor b5 14th fret
G major triad on the fifteenth fret
G major
15th fret

How to Practice

  • Play them as chords strumming them all together
  • Arpeggiate them one note at a time
  • Use them in chord progressions
  • Find a backing track on YouTube for one of the modes of the G major scale and practice sequencing them up and down the fretboard

These are just a few suggestions on how to get started in practicing these triads.

If you liked this post, be sure and check out my next article on playing triads using strings 2, 3, and 4 from the G major scale.