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Building a major chord

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.

C Major Triad