Introduction: How to Play Major Triads on the Piano

Learning to play Triads on the Piano may seem a little intimidating at first, simply because we may not know what a Triad is.

If you've always wondered what a Triad is, or even if you've never heard of one until now, you're about to discover what they are and how easy it is to play one.

They add a lot of new texture and sounds to your piano playing and once you learn how to build them, you'll have a whole new world of musical possibilities open up for you!

First, let's review what a chord is.

Step 1: What Are Chords?

Chords are groups of notes that are all played at the same time, instead of being played one at a time as they are in a melody or lyrical line.

Most times, chords are made up of 3 or more notes, but sometimes, you can have a chord with just 2 notes in it.

Chords can be played with both hands simultaneously, or with one hand while the other hand plays a melody.

Chords can have any rhythmic value and can be played fast or slow; loud or soft.

There are many different types of chords and it's really best to learn one kind at a time, so you can build on what you've learned with each new type.

One of the most common types of chords are Triads. Let's learn what they are next.

Step 2: Major Triads

First, a Triad is a chord that has 3 notes in it.

There are Major Triads and there are Minor Triads; meaning the chords are built out of notes from Major and Minor Keys and Scales.

Major and Minor Triads have a specific way that each of them is built. It's much like applying rules for figuring out a Math equation or formula. Once you know the formula, you can build any Major Triad that you want to.

Major Triads always include the 1st, 3rd, and 5th note of the scale.

Now let's find out specifically how we put those notes together and in what order to make up a Major Triad.

Step 3: How to Build a Major Triad

There is a very easy way to build a Major Triad in any key.

You always start with the 1st note of the scale. In this example, it's C Major. So start with C.

Now, count up 4 1/2 steps...C#, D, D#, E. The 4th 1/2 step, or E in this case, is the 2nd note of the chord.

Next, from that 2nd note, count up 3 1/2 steps this time, instead of 4. In C Major, you end up on the note G. This will be the 3rd note of your chord.

So here's the formula again.

Start with the 1st note of your scale, then count up 4 1/2 steps to get the 2nd note of your chord, and then count up 3 more 1/2 steps to get the 3rd note of your chord. It's that easy! You can do this in every single Major Key and each time, you will build a Major Triad.

Are you ready to practice playing some Major Triads on your piano keyboard? Come Practice With Me!

Step 4: Come Practice With Me!

Now that you've learned what Chords and Triads are and how to build a Major Triad, it's time to practice and apply that knowledge to your keyboard.

In this video, I'll show you what Major Triads look like on the Staff, where they are on your keyboard and take you through some practice playing of several different Major Triads. You'll also learn how different Minor and Major Triads sound when you play them on the piano!