What are Piano Triads?

A Triad, as the word suggests, is a group of 3 notes usually played simultaneously.  When all 3 notes are struck together this is called a “ block chord”.  When struck non-simultaneously the chord is said to be “ arpeggiated” or sometimes referred to as a “ broken chord”.

I teach triads to all my students the very first lesson.  When first learning their triads, I have my students play the chords in what is called “close position”.  “ Close Position” means the notes are as “close” to each other as possible.  In other words they are not spread out beyond an octave.

When a student learns his or her 60 triads, ( 5 types of triads multiplied by 12 different keys on the piano), they are ready to play songs in the form of what is called a “ lead sheet”.

Major chords are indicated by a capital letter by itself.  A minor chord is indicated my a small “ m “ in the chord symbol.  For example a C minor chord would be written as Cm.
Augmented chords are indicated by a “ + “ symbol and suspended 4th chords are written like  C sus 4.  The last type of triad is called “ diminished”.  This chord is written 2 ways: either C dim   or  C o.

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