Core `Ukulele Chords, Traditional and Contemporary Triads

Major, Minor, Diminished, Augumented, Suspended, Add and Lydian chords.

Published: Feb 14, 2013 Updated: Jun 16, 2018

ukulele | Subjects: chordscoreimprovisationintermediatetriads

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A triad is a three note chord. In traditional music theory, there are four triad chord types: major, minor, diminished and augmented. Contemporary triads include sus, add, and modal.

On the ukulele, triads occur on adjacent and non-adjacent string sets.

In music theory, there are four traditional triad chord types: major, minor, diminished and augmented. And four contemporary triad chord types: sus2, sus4, add2, add9. Plus the modal Lydian triad (1 #4 5).

Triads can be used *harmonically* as chords and *melodically* as single notes. Triads are an excellent way to get started with creating melodic solos and improvising.

For a major scale, I have students memorize this sequence of the triad types in a major scale: major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished. This sequence with knowing the notes of any major scale will get you the chords ( triads ) for that scale. For the C major scale, the chords are C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim. For Db major, the chords are Db, Ebm, Fm, Gb, Ab, Bbm, Cdim. This sequence works for any major scale or mode of a major scale. For D Dorian the chords are: Dm Em F G Am Bdim C. Simply start on the second chord the C major scale chord sequence.

You already know triads if you know the _basic open position_ chords such as C, F, G, Am, Dm, etc... If there's no 7 or 5 in the name, they're most likely triads maybe with one or more of the notes doubled. An example would be typical open position C. C is C E G with the C doubled.


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