Finding Triads Under Your Fingers

Let the magic start! Finding triad chords on the fretboard is incredible - and it's time for you to do it!

View the full lesson at Finding Triads Under Your Fingers | JustinGuitar

Interesting to see that the open Low E is ignored for the C chord, seems like it would go perfect there, but we all know how good a C chord sounds when you accidently hit the 6th string :rofl:


2-3 hours trying study, analyze how the notes are organized in the 6 major chords and try to memorize the triads (jumbled ones included)… my mind really starting overheating
From there I tried to experiment the grips by myself before moving to the next lesson

Here are my results:
D: x x 1 5 1 3 /// 1 triad (c)
c 3rd string

A: x 1 5 1 3 5 /// 2 triads (a c)
c 4th string
a 3rd string

E: 1 5 1 3 5 1 /// 3 triads (a c b)
c 5th string
a 4th string
b 3rd string

F: x x 1 3 5 1 /// 2 triads (a b)
a 4th string
b 3rd string (like E chord)

C: x 1 3 5 1 3 /// 3 triads (a b c)
a 5th string
b 4th string
C 3rd string (like D chord)

G: 1 3 5 1 3 1 /// 3 triads (a b c)
a 6th string
b 5th string
c 4th string (like A chord)

Kind reminder:
1 3 5 being the grade of the notes in the major scale
a b c being the notations for inversions in classical music, taught in the previous lesson

I guess all this is worth the effort, figuring this out by myself will make it easier once Justin will teach the grips in the next lessons since I already know how it is constructed


I’m not sure if this will make it’s way to Justin but this course saved my life!

I’m taking a music theory course at a local college and the professor has a doctorate in music. Smart man but he makes understanding the theory so bloody difficult!!! If I didn’t have this course I would be completely lost. Thank you!!!


Used judiciously, in a situation where there is movement in the bass line, voice leading using low notes, the C/E chord can work really well.
I hope that helps.

Cheers :smiley:

| Richard | JustinGuitar Approved Teacher, Official Guide & Moderator

I found that on the open chords, the notes E and B are the only notes that are doubled (besides the main note for the chord). We also don’t really see E and B sharps very often.

Is this just a coincidence?

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They are very rarely used enharmonic equivalents of the much more commonly used notes F and C.

I think one of the interesting things is that if we leave the C and G maj chords to the side, the other chords have that common ordering of intervals of 1 5 1 3 (5 1) going from thicker to thinner strings.

The F chord would also apply because when we extend to include strings 5 & 6, this pattern appears again, since it would then ultimately be an E maj shape shifted up one fret.

The A, E, D open chord shapes will be moveable up the fretboard and the intervals will remain the same, only the note names change.

I’m hoping that by committing those 3 shapes and the interval patterns to memory that it will be easier to figure out what notes are what on the fretboard, using the patterns as a sort of stepping stone to full memorization of all the notes on the neck.

Hello @johnny0 and welcome to the community. Thanks also for taking a subscription to the theory course.

There are easier ways to learn notes on the fretboard than thinking of the order of intervals within chord shapes - although that is useful knowledge.


or this:

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard | JustinGuitar Approved Teacher, Official Guide & Moderator

I’m working on the MT_405_Notes_In_Chords_Q.pdf.

I’ve questions regarding some of the muted strings.


The C triad is comprised of C-E-G.
The 6th string is muted.
So from string 6 to 1 we’d have: x-C-E-G-C-E. These notes do comprise the C Maj chord.
If we un-mute the 6th string we’d have: E-C-E-G-C-E
Why would we not play the 6th string?

The D triad is comprised of D-F#-A.
The 6th and 5th strings are muted.
So from string 6 to 1 we’d have: x-x-D-A-D-F#. These notes do comprise the D Maj chord.
If we un-mute the 5th string we’d have: x-A-D-A-D-F#
Why would we not play the 5th string?

The F triad is comprised of F-A-C.
The 6th and 5th strings are muted.
So from string 6 to 1 we’d have: x-x-F-A-C-F. These notes do comprise the F Maj chord.
If we un-mute the 5th string we’d have: x-A-F-A-C-F
Why would we not play the 5th string?

If the reason was covered somewhere else, please point out where.
Does it have something to do with those forms being 1st inversions?

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I’m just starting the triads, so I am really asking questions at this point and not authoritative.

Isn’t the idea of a triad to be three strings, with the shape moveable along the neck? You are adding more strings, so it wouldn’t be a triad now? And especially the open strings you are looking at - those would now require barre.

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@LamphunLamyai open chord have the Lowest Note as the Root. C for open C, D for open D, F for open or Mini F. A full barre chord F also has F as it lowest note.
All of this is covered in the beginner course.

@sequences The term Triad in music actually mean 3 notes so technically any Major or minor open or Barre chord can be called a triad. When teaching chords on 3 strings teacher use the word triad which is also correct. But to make life easier and less confusing most people call open chords open chords, Barre chords Barre Chords and 3 string chords Triads.
Hope this helps


I have an old chord book where the low e is included as part of an open position A chord.


@Peterctid that would be a slash chord A/E. Open A chord with an E in the bass. This kind of chord is used a lot with alternating Bass strumming or picking.


It is a commonly asked question.

You started a topic in September that covered this issue:

Others …

Yeah, well. I’m an old guy an I’ve got memory issue. No doubt, I probably did start a topic and then forgot about it.

Hopefully none of you out there ever get old or have cognitive impairment.

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Be assured, I meant no offense by my comment. I was responding to your request of pointing out where the topic had been covered previously. I simply used the search tool and the search phrase ‘C chord mute string’.

wow! Mind blowing this lesson! I always have the curiossity of why E and A chords shapes were called it Minor or Mayor! Now starting to understand this triad thing. Hope It will be more live sessions about triads in the next couple of months.

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