In this lesson you will learn to build a triad. A triad is made of three tones which are sounded at the same time. In the key of C Major, we will build our first triad (chord) on C.

Put your left finger on C, and with your right hand count up 4 half-steps. ( A half-step is the distance from one key to the next. It doesn't matter whether that key is black or white.) So we start going up by half-steps; C#, D, D#, E, (1,2,3,4). We have gone up 4 half-steps and we are now on E. E is the next note of our triad.

Now hold down the E with your left finger and count up 3 half-steps with your right hand; F, F#, G, (1,2,3). You are now on G and G is the top note of the triad.

Now play the three notes together; C,E,G. This is the C Major chord or triad in
root position. C is the low (bottom) note of the chord.

All major chords in root position will have this pattern of 4 half-steps and 3 half-steps. If the bottom note is on a line, the chord will be line-line-line. If the bottom note is on a space, the chord will be space-space-space.

In another lesson we will learn how to invert or turn the chords around.

Listen to the song

Download the Song

Music Score
PDF File

C Major Triad

Other Major Chords

Page Comments

Most Recent Comments ( See more comments on this page )
Your lessons regarding chords, progressions, triads and the V7 chord are excellent. As a new and not so young music student, I have been tearing my hair out trying to understand the theory for quite some time now and, having just come across your site, I think your lessons have finally given me some clarity. Thank you so very much for your excellent work.
Thanks a lot may god bles good tutorials
Ras kwame
Leave a Comment View all Comments

Keyboard and Music Theory

The Keyboard
Stepping Up
Stepping Down
Stepping Up to G
Stepping Down to F
Treble Spaces
Treble Lines
Bass Spaces
Bass Lines
Time Signatures
Sharps and Flats
Up and Down the Hills
Major Scales
Building a Major Chord
Chords and Inversions
The V7 Chord
Chord Progressions
Adding Harmony

Free sheet music