How to Use Easy Triads on Guitar

In this lesson, beginners will get to know how to use Triads (and Arpeggiated embellishments) to duet on the guitar!

View the full lesson at How to Use Easy Triads on Guitar | JustinGuitar

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I keep ending up muting the 2nd string. Can anyone offer any tips?



@AlexH149 Do you mute the 2nd string when playing F mini barre? These triads are that exact shape, but smaller.
Whatever you did to make your F mini barre ring out cleanly, you need to explore similar micro adjustments and positioning of the fingers.

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@AlexH149, fwiw, it took me a lot of practice to be able to get this shape to sound good. I had to experiment a lot with my index finger position, as well as the middle finger. I find it easier if I barre 3 strings with the index finger, it allows me to curl the middle finger more. Also, I keep my thumb low on the back of the neck, as for barre chords.

As I said, it took a lot of experimentation and practice.


“The trick is to remember that you want to look where you’re going to land your chord shape”
-Justin S

What great advice


Are there any disadvantages to making a full barre with my index finger? That way I can use the base to fret strings 1 & 2, mute strings 4-6 with the tip, and play the 3rd string note with my middle finger.

I can manage this on the lower frets by barring strings 1-3 with the tip of my index finger, and using my ring finger for the 3rd string note – my middle finger still ends up muting string 2. However, I can’t squeeze everything together with this method when I get to the higher frets and end up playing the 3rd string one fret too high.

Just wondering if the goal is to be able to play only the notes on the first three strings, or if the fingering is also a critical part of the lesson/skill development…


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I took it as both, I’ve come across some songs that just use the triad fingering and switch between different types of triad fingerings that would be hard to do with a full barre.

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Hi @rbodey. I agree with @jkahn.

The triad fingerings are tricky and take some experimentation and lots of practice to get down (I’m still working on them). But, I do think you should use the standard grips. Later you will come across additional shapes, used on different string sets (not just strings 1-3, but also 2-4, 3-5, etc.) and the standard grips are the most efficient for changing from one shape to another.

BTW, I’ve never heard anyone discuss muting the unused strings when teaching triads. Seems like triads are used with small strums or (as in this video) individually picked notes. The picking is very controlled, meaning you needn’t mute the other strings (generally, I’m sure there are exceptions). I just mention it, because you mentioned muting in your post.

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Yep, I think it’s worth practicing to strum only the strings are to be played. Sometimes I use a barre over strings 1-3 to facilitate changes between the chords, but not over all 6 strings. And if you play the triads with your fingers, you can mute the lower 3 strings with the palm of your picking hand, too.

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Triads are meant as small fragments and in any sort of context you want to be nimble in your approach to forming them and moving out of them - likely to another triad.
Holding full barres will be clunky, not nimble and missing the point.
You will also likely want to develop the ability to play triads and add embellishment notes around them so you need your fingers available.


Thanks to everyone for the feedback…looks like the long slow road it is.

I have the same problem. Could not play the mini F at all, my 1st finger does not bend that way.

I am playing triads with my first and third finger. Is this a problem (maybe down the guitar journey)?

Yes, it will inhibit and prevent some extra options along the way.
Try to use just fingers 1 and 2 for those little triads.

I started module 17 and doing triads and I feel like I just started guitar again I can’t get this . My triads don’t ring out. Any advice how to get my triads to ring out . I started to get frustrated so I started to use three fingers instead of Barr . I am playing on my acoustic. Any advice is wellcomed

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I can’t do those either. My fingers just don’t want to bend in a way to get there.

My resolution on stuff like this has so far been to just apply patience and make sure I do a little bit twice a day. It has worked, but is annoyingly slow. I don’t have a better way figured out. :frowning:


Yea just have to take my time on this one

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Can you play a mini barre F? It not start there. The Major triad is just the bottom 3 string of the mini barre. The minor triad is just a barre on the bottom 3 strings


What @stitch said - also try rotating your barre to the left - might help.

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Well thanks for help I guess I will break the mini f down and start there .

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Thanks Richard. This was a great tip and helped me get it :+1:

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