The Triad Trusty: Major, Minor, Augemented and Diminished

The magic of music! This was the first music concept I ever understood. I hope it helps! In this blog post, I’ve created a cheat sheet of all the possible triads my teacher taught me.

What’s a Triad?

As a mathematical person, I like dealing with the numbers of music. One of the most basic units in music math is the triad. A triad is a chord constructed with 3 notes: the root, the 3rd, and the 5th. (Sometimes a perfect 5th.)

Triads are a basic chord structure and the basis of how other types of chords are constructed. There are four types of triads:

  • Major
  • Minor
  • Augmented
  • Diminished

Major Triads

Major triads are built off of a major triad and a minor triad on top. It sounds like a sharp knife used in action film fights. But that’s just me.

Get used to seeing this all the time.



 Root Chord  Major 3rd Notes 
 C  C E G
 C♯  C♯ E♯ G♯
 D  D F♯ A
 E♭  E♭ G B♭
 E E G♯ B
 F  F A C
 F♯  F♯ A♯ C♯
 G  G B D
 A♭  A♭C E♭
 A  A C♯ E
 B♭  B♭ D F
 B  B D♯ F♯

Minor Triads

Minor triads are constructed from minor triad and major third on top. This sound reminds me of a dull knife. It’s like your cutting that fancy restaurant butter.

 Root Chord   Minor 3rd Notes 
 C  C E♭ G
 C♯  C♯ E G♯
 D  D F A
 E♭  E♭ G♭ B♭
 E  E G B
 F  F A♭ C
 F♯  F♯ A C♯
 G G B♭ D
 A♭ A♭ C♭E♭
 A A C E
 B♭ B♭ D♭ F
 B B D F♯

Augmented Triads:

Augmented triads have a cool sound, very mysterious. An augmented triad is a major third on top of another major third.

 Root Chord  Augmented 3rd Notes  
 C C E G♯
 C♯ C♯ E♯ Gx
 D D F♯ A♯
 E♭ E♭ G B
 E E G♯ B♯
 F F A C♯
 F♯  F♯ A♯ Cx
 G G B D
 A♭ A♭C E♭
 A A C♯ E♯
 B♭ B♭ D F♯
 B B D♯ Fx

Diminished Triads:

A diminished triad has a dissonant sound to it. It’s built using two minor thirds.

 Root Chord   3rd 
 C C E♭ G♭
 C♯ C♯ E G
 D D F A♭
 E♭  E♭ G♭ B♭
 E  E G B♭
 F F A♭ C
 F♯ F♯ A C
 G G B♭ D ♭
 A♭ A♭ C♭E ♭♭
 A A C E♭
 B♭ B♭ D♭ F♭
 B B D F


Thank you for stopping by!


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