Unlocking Triads Throughout the Fretboard, Across 5 Strings

Guitar Lesson


In this guitar lesson, I am going to show you how to look at triad arpeggios in a way that will give you a deep understanding of their layout on the fretboard.
Guitar Lesson Objectives:
  1. Understand how Major, Minor, Diminished, and Augmented Triad Arpeggios are formed
  2. ​Understand the concept of triad inversions and how this helps play triads anywhere!
  3. Start getting comfortable with the idea of alternate picking arpeggios
Ok, got it - just take me to the exercises for this lesson!

Triads are a deep subject. I won't pretend to tell you everything you need to know about triads in a single guitar lesson. What I want to do is show you enough about triads - specifically Major, Minor, Diminished, and Augmented Triads - for you to then figure out how to use them in your own playing.

It is tough to talk about triad arpeggios without talking about triads as chords. So in this guitar lesson you will see exercises that might look more like triad chord exercises, but there is a logic here: because triads can be used in so many ways, I don't want this lesson to give you the impression that triads have to be played a certain way. In other guitar lessons I show how to play triads on two strings, how to play them with tapping.  In this guitar lesson, you will see yet another way to look at triads, which might also give you some ideas for your rhythm playing since I show you useful triad chord shapes.  Furthering one's mastery on the guitar really depends on seeing given concepts in several ways!

A lot of guitarists probably come to this site thinking they will learn about sweep picking. I will get to sweep picking in future lessons, but I believe it makes more sense to show sweep picking after one has already gained a deep enough understanding of arpeggios. I say this because sweep picking is just a technique. The technique itself doesn't tell you much about triads. So go through this lesson with the number one goal being to understand the nature of triads! Then when you get to my sweep picking lessons you will be far ahead of most guitarists who know only a small handful of sweep picking shapes because they didn't take the time to learn about the structure of triads which opens up many additional sweep picking shapes.

Ok, enough talking. Time to hit the lesson material!

In the theory section of my guitar lesson Triad Arpeggios on Two Strings I talked about the basics of how triads are formed. I won't repeat here, so if you need a refresher on triads then please take a look at that lesson.

Exercises in this Triad Arpeggios Guitar Lesson

Major Triad Arpeggio Across 5 Strings


In this exercise, we start looking at triads across 5 strings by first taking a look at a Major Triad.

Minor Triad Arpeggios Across 5 Strings


We continue studying triad arpeggios in this exercise, by looking at a Minor Triad across 5 strings.

Diminished Triad Arpeggios Across 5 Strings


In this exercise you will learn all about Diminished Triads and hopefully will find ways to use them in your own playing.

Augmented Triad Arpeggios Across 5 Strings


In this exercise we take a look at the last of the basic triad types - the Augmented Triad - which has a very unique sound that should find its way into your playing soon!

Triad Arpeggios Across 5 Strings - Harmonic Minor Etude


In this exercise I show you how to use various triad arpeggio shapes from this guitar lesson to write a cool sounding arpeggio progression.