MusicArrangers.com



Triad Chords

Two notes in harmony make counterpoint. Three or more notes make a chord. The simplest chords are the triads.

C

The C triad is made from the first, third and fifth of the diatonic scale.

diatonic scale C = C D E F G A B C
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
chord C = C   E   G      

Cm

Little m is an abbreviation for minor. It says play the minor 3rd instead of the major 3rd.

diatonic scale C = C D E F G A B C
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
chord C = C   E   G      
chord Cm = C   Eb   G      

Csus4

A suspended 4th chord has no 3rd. sus4 says play the diatonic 4th and omit the 3rd.

diatonic scale C = C D E F G A B C
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
chord C = C   E   G      
chord Csus4 = C     F G      

Cmb5

b5 says play the flat 5th instead of the diatonic 5th.

Diatonic scale C = C D E F G A B C
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
chord C = C   E   G      
chord Cmb5 = C   Eb   Gb      

C+

+ says play the augmented 5th instead of the diatonic 5th.

Diatonic scale C = C D E F G A B C
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
chord C = C   E   G      
chord C+ = C   E   G#      

Triads in summary

diatonic scale C C C#
Db
D D#
Eb
E F F#
Gb
G G#
Ab
A A#
Bb
B C
  Root S T m3 maj3 4 b5 5 + 6 V7 maj7 8ve
chord C C       E     G          
chord Cm C     Eb       G          
chord Csus4 C         F   G          
chord Cmb5 C     Eb     Gb            
chord C+ C       E       G#        


Music Theory


"Become an arranger first, then an orchestrator, and then a composer." - Joe Paparone

Joe Paparone is an Australian music arranger of the highest international calibre. Allow him to share 35 years of real world experiences with you.