Triads/Intervals {Fundamentals}.

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons, Tutorials & Tips' started by MuktiMusic, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Subject: Triads/ Intervals
    Triads: What are they?

    2600 years ago in Greece, Pythagoras was contributing to the organization of western music by creating the Diatonic Major Scale [DMS] formula: do re mi fa sa lo ti do. 100 years later, thousands of years of improvisation were being organized in East India as well: sa ri ga ma pa dha ni sa. The DMS formula is a law. We can depend on it. And its exploration is infinite!

    Formula: whole step=1 tone= 2 frets
    .............half step=semi tone= 1 fret


    The scale above represents 1 octave. Triads can be created by harmonizing any member of the scale in thirds: notes which are either 1 1/2 steps apart from each other {minor], or 2 steps apart from each other {major}.

    Substitute D for the 1 in the scale above and extrapolate the formula. What do you get?


    So if we 'harmonize' any of these scale members by
    leaping in 3rds, which is to say: take a note and add not the adjacent note, but the one after [not a step away but a leap of a 3rd away... [either minor: 1 1/2 steps or major: 2 steps]... then you will have created triads for each member of the scale. This is referred to as Diatonic Harmony. It's a law. We can depend on it.

    Triads for the key of D Major:

    D maj E min F# min G maj A maj B min [C# dim]

    The triad constructed using the 7th degree of the scale, the 'ti', in this instance C# is referred to as a diminished triad.

    {Note: Root and 1 are two names for the same thing}. See below:

    A major triad will have the root of the chord, which is R, the major 3rd which is 2 steps above the R, and a perfect 5th which is 1 1/2 steps above the 3rd or 3 1/2 steps above the R.

    Example: G major triad= GBD {R35 or 135}. G is the root {or name of the chord}. B is 2 steps above G, and D is 1 1/2 steps above B or 3 1/2 steps above G.

    A minor triad will have the root of the chord which is R, the minor 3rd which is 1 1/2 steps above the R, and a perfect 5th which is 2 steps above the minor 3rd or 3 1/2 steps above the R.

    Example: A minor triad=ACE {Rb35 or 1b35}. A is the root. C is 1 1/2 steps above A, and E is 2 steps above E or 3 1/2 steps above the A.

    A diminished triad will have the root of the chord which is R, the minor 3rd which is 1 1/2 steps above the R, and a flattened or diminished 5th which is 1 1/2 steps above the minor 3rd or 3 steps above the R.

    Example: C diminished =CEbGb {Rb3b5 or 1b3b5}. C is the R. Eb is 1 1/2 steps above C, and Gb is 1 1/2 steps above Eb or 3 steps above C.

    Take a look at the chords that you play, right now, everyday in your songs: Name them: G Ami F7 etc. Then write the notes starting with the lowest note. You will need to locate and call the note.

    Below are how intervals are called chromatically. Use this as a reference. You can test yourself by playing an interval of 2 notes and studying the distance as well as the name of that interval. The terms Minor, Major, Perfect, Augmented, and Diminished are the standard names for these intervals.

    Intervals= Measured distance between 2 notes

    Unison {same notes} Zero
    Minor 2nd {b2} 1/2 step
    Major 2nd 1 step
    Augmented 2nd/Minor 3rd {#2/b3} 1 1/2 steps
    Major 3rd 2 steps
    Perfect 4th 2 1/2 steps
    Augmented 4th/diminished 5th {#4/b5} 3 steps
    Perfect 5th 3 1/2 steps
    Augmented 5th/Minor 6th {#5/b6} 4 steps
    Major 6th 4 1/2 steps
    Minor 7th {b7} 5 steps
    Major 7th 5 1/2 steps
    Octave 6 steps
    Minor 9th {b9} 6 1/2 steps
    Major 9th 7 steps
    Augmented 9th {#9} 7 1/2 steps Major 10th 8 steps
    Perfect 11th 8 1/2 steps Augmented 11th 9 steps
    Perfect 12th 9 1/2 steps Minor 13th 10 steps
    Major 13th 10 1/2 steps

    Question! What are the following triads? They might be major or minor. We'll leave out diminished for the time being. They might not be in root position and the voicings may be closed or open. In other words the notes may appear in there natural sequence in the scale [closed voicing], or they may be spread out [open voicing]. In other words:

    Root position: R35 R53
    Ist inversion: 35R 3R5
    2nd inversion: 5R3 53R


    CEG.....C major {R35} Root position/closed voicing.
    DAF#...D major {R53} Root position/open voicing.
    BbDG...G minor {b35R} 1st inversion/closed voicing.
    AF#C#..F#minor {b3R5} 1st inversion/open voicing.
    CFA.....F major {5R3} 2nd inversion/closed voicing.
    ECA.....A minor {5b3R} 2nd inversion/open voicing.

    Name the following and the order in which the intervals appear. What positon are they in: Root, 1st inversion, 2nd inversion, open voicing, closed voicing?


    MM ;)

    My Websites:
    110 MB of free acoustic guitar downloads:`fingerstyle`slide`altered tunings.
  2. d_ist_urb_ed

    d_ist_urb_ed Genuflect b*tches!

    Thread moved to Guitar tutorials forum.
  3. aysh

    aysh -|h3 ori9in4| (ui!aris-|-

    hello muktimusic. i have a question on this.
    Suppose that i play a chord (whose name i do not know) but surely i know all the notes in that chord then how do i go about inferring which chord wud it be (or what wud be the root note of that chord).
    for eg. you say : "ECA.....A minor {5b3R} 2nd inversion/open voicing"
    .... then how do i know that the chord is 2nd inversion ?and that the root wud be A in tthis case ??
    ....i hope u getting me.. help me coz im a theory enthusiast (and i practice a lot too !! )
  4. Rey1970

    Rey1970 New Member

    Good post again mukti
  5. aysh

    aysh -|h3 ori9in4| (ui!aris-|-

    hey i need the answer.. sumone plz answer me (sum timepass smiley here)
  6. varmas11

    varmas11 New Member


    mukti music/ richard,

    i went to your site. amazing stuff. it's a privelige to be able to contact a musician of such caliber, talent, and fire. your post is fantastic theory and i will surely read it in the days to come. bach's lunch is very good and i think the trek is the one where you combine eastern elements into a great piece. these two are especially good and i will listen to them in the days to come. i took lessons for piano a while back but i quit in 9th grade. it was only after that that i realized how beautiful and true music is. it is very satisfying to know that someone has embarked on the path and i hope to reach those places too sometime in the future. the best wishes for your quest and keep posting and playing music. i will hopefully get some decent recordings soon and it would be an honor to have you listen and critique them.

  7. MuktiMusic

    MuktiMusic New Member

    Memorize you triads...

    And you will recognize them regardles of their voicing.
    Then do the same for 7th, 9th, 11th, etc.


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