Fun with Minor Triads

Fun with Minor Triads

We looked at major triads on the E, B and G strings in an earlier post – See here

The corresponding minor triads are made in much the same way as the major triads, except that the third of the chord is a semitone (1 fret) lower, making it a minor or flat third,  (instead of a major third as in a major chord). Mixing these triads with major triads gives you lots of scope for melodic chord riffs and for use in soloing.



Minor Triad Shapes

The first shape from the left is based on the Em shape, the next the Dm shape and the third the Am shape


  • A good example of how major and minor triads work together is the Sam and Dave classic – Soul Man

The verse uses a nice chord riff that uses the G chord in two different inversions and an Am passing chord:

G shape 1        |G shape 2     Am     G shape 1|   Listen to the recording to get the rhythm and the chord changes

Soul Man Chord shapes


  • I also like this progression using an open D string drone throughout:


|D          |A         |F#m      |G       |


Triad example



N.B. a F#minor triad with a D in the bass, sounds a Dmaj7 chord


There is another lovely Dmaj7 voicing to use with an open D string

DMaj7 chord shape


Learning these triad shapes is also a passport to being able to use sixth intervals in your soloing and rhythm playing –  but more about that in another post!


Have fun

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