Major Triad Grips Memory Exercises

Mmm yeah, but in the video I kinda thought there were some backing tracks especially for this exercise. He mentions, for example, Walking On Sunshine.

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Personally I don’t think a song is an effective backing track for learning triad grips. I’m flat-out trying to work out what shape to play on a given set of 3 strings to leave any brain power for working out what chord is being played in the song.

I like to practice triads over standard four-chord progressions in various keys. Youtube is full of such backing tracks. The best ones display the chord being played on the screen. You only have four chords to think about and they repeat. Look for titles like “slow backing track in C major” for example.

I won’t post links because I’m not sure if it contravenes the Community rules.


Yep, the BT’s are the way to go. Two and three chord tracks are also very beneficial, as are drone tracks.

Cheers, Shane


People asked for it, I have done it.
Backing track for Walking On Sunshine created and available here:

This is not in the original key of Bb but in the key of G so the chords fit the lesson: G, C and D.
It is fast at 100bpm - but still slower than the original.

| G C | D C | repeated for intro, verses, 2nd part of chorus and outro

Important - the chords do not change on the count of 3 but are pushed and change on the a before 3 (counting 16ths). Look for the 1 and the a in this count shown in bold.

| 1 _ & _ 2 _ _ a _ e _ a 4 _ & _ | 1 _ & _ 2 _ _ a _ e _ a 4 _ _ _ |

| C | D | full bars of each repeated for 1st part of chorus

Because it is quick I have another - much slower - backing track here:

2 bars of G
2 bars of C
2 bars of D
2 bars of C

@TheeTdubs @Kuzflies @martzon @GiantPaul @jacksprat @sclay


Great thanks for these. Is the idea that we use thd tracks just to help us get used to finding the right triads, in the various positions?

I’m guessing we’re not trying to do anything fancy (I’m not capable of ‘fancy’ yet :slight_smile: )

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The first few posts here might give you inspiration…

Oh thanks Richard. That should be very helpful. I kinda feel I’ve got it, but I’d rather totally nail it before moving on, so your help is mucho appreciado, as we say in Aus

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Like you I was finding the course progressing along, but as a beginner I am still trying to learn the notes on the fretboard. I am using the note trainer app and it is helping but it doesn’t come easily.
I am worried that this will stall my progress as I feel I shouldn’t move on until i can recall it easily.
Did anyone else struggle with this as a beginner?
Did you move on and keep revisiting the triads in practice or should should I wait to advance until I have it nailed?
Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.


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Just do a little each day (or a lot if you feel like it) and keep learning other stuff.


Thank you.

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Hey Wayne,

Yep, it takes a while mate to get somewhat familiar with the keyboard. The key is daily focused exposure to it, through different exercises/drills.
Triads in particular are actually a great way of learning the notes on the fretboard. They put it in context. Takes a while though.

Cheers Shane

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Thanks Shane,
I was beginning to think I was too slow picking it all up.
This seems the key element to me for this course now, to become so familiar with the note positions.
It will form the basis of freetime activities before practice too. Especially the note position apps when I have a few mins spare to practice that.

Thanks for taking the time to respond.


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I know why Justin didn’t include other triads as exercises, but I actually grasped all G, C, D major triad grips in 10 minutes with these exercises, and places of the notes on fretboard along with them. However, I’m struggling with other notes as website does not provide exercises :frowning:

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Do you mean you grasped the theory behind them in 10 minutes, or you could actually play them along with a backing track within 10 minutes? I’ve been practicing major and minor triads on strings 1, 2 & 3 for a couple of months now. Playing them over a variety of chord progressions in various keys. I’ll play them with minimum movement along the fretboard then I’ll aim for large movements to change it up a bit and add variety. I’m starting to add triads on strings 2, 3 & 4. I focus on the root note for each grip. That’s helping me learn where the notes are on the fretboard.

I’m not sure what you mean by “other notes”. The three shapes are moveable and you can play them in any key you want.

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If you want to learn triads of other chords (not just G, C and D) then use the same exercises and find backing tracks that use only those chords (there will be hundreds online).

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Not the theory within 10 minutes, but the part where you play with backing tracks with G, C, D. The only problem is I don’t have the fretboard memorized, so it was very helpful for me to learn (Major 123 grip, also 234 because I already knew it from songs) with a tablature as it also was helping me with memorizing the notes on the fretboard as it is a systematic approach. Anyway I think I’ll follow Richard’s and your advice in playing them in different chord progressions in different songs, and I’ll use my guitar’s built-in tuner to learn and find the notes.


I think that’s the way to go. And it’s more enjoyable, because it sounds musical. But rather than using the inbuilt tuner to identify notes, I recommend finding the notes yourself using the octave method. That way you’re reinforcing the pattern the notes follow on the fretboard, rather than trying to memorise a random spot on the fretboard. If you haven’t seen Justin’s lesson on it, it’s worth a look.


As @jacksprat has said, I strongly suggest you do not find notes using an elecrtonic device. Use what you know to find what you don’t know.
These triads are all small fragments of bigger CAGED chords, specifically the A< E and C shapes. You should know where the root notes on strings 5 and 6 of any A-shape, E-shape and C-shape chord is. And you should know that another root at a higher pitch (one or two octaves higher) can be found within the A, E and C shapes on strings 3, 1 and 2 respectively.
See the diagram. The triads are shown as black dots with red root notes and they are sitting within a CAGED chord shape whose notes beyond the triad are grey or pink (for root notes).

I hope that helps.
Cheers, RIchard


This is making so much sense to me! I feel like someone has unlocked the fret board for me! Thanks to all, Happy New Year!

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