Vintage Club #6 with Richard | Triads 1

Excellent lesson Richard. I’m working on finding the ‘right’ version of triad to play along to songs. Although for example a C is a C, if it’s too high or too low it doesn’t sound right.

Terrific example of triad use here in the intro.


I am finding @Richard_close2u that this class will surely help me to get a way better feel for triads and where to play them without even really having to know the theory in behind it! I left myself go to a"I know nothing scenario, don’t question it, just go with the flow kinda mindset", worked for me! :grinning: Koodos there brother!

Now, I am at that stage in theory and on the guitar to learn triads and am learning and understand the basics of the roots(1’st) 3rd’s and 5th’s…not only that, flat 3’rds and 5’ths now make sense! An eye opener!!

Thank you, what a great way to learn triads.

Rock on!

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Resources and notes and backing tracks all now completed … watch for an announcement when they are shared on the archive page.

@sairfingers One of my recommendations for triads in real life is that exact song ! :slight_smile:


Hi Richard,

I also found a few of these in this class. I didn’t receive the usual “how was the class” mail, so I’ll post my thought here.

I watched the Justin class on triads a while ago. It did not make it clear the use of triads and tricks to playing them. Your use of three chord triads, in the three shapes, with the fretboard location all next to each other hit home how useful these can be as well as variation on how to play them. Progressively having us try triads on the backing tracks really helped as well. These were very effective tools and removed the “why do I need to use these” feeling I got from the Justin lesson. I now have some excitement about using these. It would have taken some dedication to learning these before I figured out what your diagram did in moments. I may have never really looked into it for lack of understanding why. Thank you!


And of course Justin has a lesson with a very detailed explanation of the triad intro.

When are triads used in comparison to open chords?

There is no answer here other than it depends on the player and the context they are playing in. A solo performance by a single guitarist, with or without singing, probably requires something more than triads to carry a song through from start to finish. A second guitar part can focus on triads only, perhaps not playing all the time for the duration of a song but adding flavour and spice at choice moments with short stabbed triads, arpeggiated triads, melodic lines that weave triads and scale notes together etc. There is a good discussion underway on barre chords vs open chords and triads get a lot of attention in there so check it out here: Barre vs Open chords which do you use most often?

Can you close up on the recommended finger shapes at the end?

Sorry, this doesn’t carry over to a written response and it was missed in the live session. Hopefully these diagrams will help.

Root position


3rd (first inversion)


5th (2nd inversion)


Is using a G triad at fret 3 an alternative to using the G barre chord?

In some circumstances yes, it can be. This is another response following the line that states, it depends on context. If you’re looking to avoid playing barre chords because they are challenging then, a small triad might work as a short term fix. If you’re playing a fingerstyle piece that only needs a few notes from a chord (triad) and has melody notes around it, then a triad could give you that and some fingers are available to add in those extra notes. If you’re playing a second guitar with someone else strumming chords then it will work too - and in that circumstance consider a G triad further along the neck to provide tonal separation.

Do we always play only the 3 strings we are making the triad with or add lower strings for effect

In the resources (available now from the archive page about several songs using triads.

One of the songs I name check is Substitute by The Who. The main intro / chorus riff uses D, G and A triads. And they are played over a drone open D string. If described using chord format you would call them D, G/D and A/D. There is a song that adds a lower string to great effect. If you think what your open strings are (E, A, D) you can use them judiciously in many ways by adding them in as lower root notes or simply lower notes below a triad. This does not have to be done using them as drone notes. They can be incorporated into picked arpeggio patterns etc.


The follow up resources are available now from the archive page


Are triads only ever played on these 3 strings

In the introduction, I explained that, strictly speaking, the open chords on 4 or 5 or 6 strings can be correctly called triad chords. This is due to them containing only the triad notes and no extra notes.

E is a 6-string chord but it only contains 3 notes, the triad notes which constitute E major. The fact that some of those notes are duplicated (at octave intervals) does not negate the fact it has only 3 notes.
E = E, G#, B = Root, 3, 5

That said, in common usage, when people refer to triads, they generally mean the 3-string shapes.

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I just tried playing a minor pentatonic scale and pausing to play triad chords or little riffs off of the scale. Practicing two skills at once!

Weaving in and out of triads and a chosen scale is a great way of developing lead lines and soloing techniques which will also target chord tones and move with the underlying chord progression. Great stuff. I wondered if we would have some more advanced players who would jump in, see the potential and try new things. :slight_smile:

How can I avoid playing string 4? Shall I palm mute it or is there another opportunity?

Palm mute and picking accuracy help. If you are strumming the triads you need a little more wrist action, some rotation and flicking movement and a little less down and up with the arm. Check Justin’s lesson on triad chips.

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Where should i be looking to study the preview materials prior to the class?

In this section of the Community.

In the Whatsapp group if you’re a member.

On the appropriate page of the website within the Archives section - under the Resources tab.

On the main Club registration page where you will find a link etc (see this post by @TheMadman_tobyjenner Vintage Club #6 - Triads - #67 by TheMadman_tobyjenner

… and ‘educational discussion’ with my son made me miss it :sob:
Nevertheless, I checked out the excellent blurb/diagrams/backing tracks and it’s making a lot of sense :smiley:
Hats off Mr. Moderator for another excellent package!

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For anyone who wants to practice triad shapes this is a lesson boring way and you may find this interesting.
@Richard_close2u if this is inappropriate or infringing on your lesson feel free to delete it.
Take it real slow and start with small bites and make sure you use the right triad shapes. this involves both Major and minor triads so take your time.


Tomo has some good Triad videos. Dropped on one a few weeks back and been messing with a certain Honky Tonk Woman when the spirit rises !! :sunglasses:

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I chose only the G, B and E strings as a place to start.
Triads can be found on:

  • G, B & E

  • D, G & B

  • A, D & G

  • E, A & D

Those are ‘closed’ triads - on adjacent strings. There are also open triads which still only use three actual strings but which span across four or more strings. Their formation / fingering misses one or more strings.

I’ve tabbed the triads in the Tomo video @stitch linked above for anyone who wants to practice Hotel California with triads. The actual chord progression for the intro to Hotel Cal is Bm F#7 Asus2 E7sus2 G D Em7. Tomo just uses major and minor triads in his video (Bm F# A E G D Em F#).

The root note of each triad is circled in red.

My tabs are a bit messy. The bar markers are actually on the beats. He plays through the chord progression three times. The first time he plays three diffrent triad shapes for each chord on beats 1, 2 & 3. The second and third times he plays one shape for each chord on beats 1 & 4 (except the last bar which he only strums on beat 1). Hopefully the strumming pattern is clear on the tab. If not watch his video at half speed or less.

Please feel free to point out any errors.

Edit: @Richard_close2u has pointed out a couple of errors. To avoid confusing anyone I’ve deleted the tabs. Standby for an updated version.


I’m not going to delete a link to Tomo showing a great way to develop forming and moving between triads. I know he is a strong advocate of learning and using triads.

My preview material showed major and minor triads on G, B & E strings but the live sessiin covered major only. This viseo is therefore beyond the concepts I covered. But my second triads session several weeks from now will include minors so it is a good primer for that if anyone fancies the challenge it is definitely good for people who already know the shapes.
Hopefully my session was also interesting, not boring. :slight_smile:

Sterling work, thanks for doing this and sharing.
A couple of things.
Tab is normally written with low E at the bottom and high E at the top. You have inverted this convention which may confuse people.
I’m viewing on the small screen of my smartphone but I only saw G, B & E string triads, none on D, G & B.