Triads on the Top Strings (A Shapes)

Today we've got another guitar lesson on triads - those super-handy three note chords that you can find all over the fretboard! Previously, we looked at Root 1 or E Shaped Triads, as well as Root 2 or D Shaped Triads, and today we're looking at Root 3, or A Shaped Triads

This means that our root notes for all these shapes today are going to be found on the 3rd string. Additionally, it means we'll be using chord shapes you're probably well familiar with: open A major and open A minor. 

Triads are just three notes though, and in the open A chord you have more notes than that. So we're going to focus on just the top three strings. 

That means our first triad, A major, looks like this: XXX220

In this way of writing chords, X means you don't play that string, an the strings are represented in this order: 654321. 

So the root note is the A, right here: XXX2XX. If we move that same chord shape up until the root note is a D, we will get a D major triad, like this: XXX775, and E major: XXX997. 

Now let's look at minor. A minor gives us a shape like this: XXX210, but A minor is not in the key of A major, so we're going to move that shape up two frets to get to B minor: XXX432. Once again, the third string is where the root note is, so we can move that to C#m (XXX654) and F#m (XXX11,10,9). 

The last shape we need to complete the key is G# diminished, and that one is a slightly different shape, which looks like this: XXX13,12,10. 

Remember that you can transpose these shapes into other keys as well! The sky's the limit in how you use these shapes - you can use them in solos or rhythm parts, or even just use parts of them. 

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