Vertical Truth: Chordal Mechanisms for the Guitar

Unit 3:  Triads

Triads occur in every genre. No matter what kind of music you're into, you'll need to have at least a functional knowledge of triads if not a theoretical, exhaustive knowledge. This lesson series will give you all of it! 


Interested? Read on!

This lesson series on Triads consists of a PDF that contains:


  • 38 pages

  • 8 lessons

  • 253 fretboard diagrams

  • 21 music notation examples

  • 27 demonstration video links.


All triad types are covered: Major, Minor, Augmented, Diminished & Suspended.


All close position voicings are covered: Root Position, 1st Inversion & 2nd Inversion.


All positions - that's 4 different positions on the neck for all the above - are covered in every key.

After working through this lesson series there will be no mystery to triads!

Here's what the PDF looks like:

Why Learn Triads?

They occur in every genre. No matter what kind of music you're into, you'll need to have at least a functional knowledge of triads if not a theoretical, exhaustive knowledge. This lesson series will give you all of it. 


Here are just a few examples from Hendrix, Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MGs, the Blues Brothers and many others), John Mellencamp, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Van Halen and other 80's Rock examples as well as classic rock bands like the Doobie Brothers, the Allman Brothers and Free. Check it out:

253 Fretboard Diagrams?!?

You could do just the first lesson out of 7 and walk away from it and still have massive benefit to your playing.


Let me prove that to you. In the following video I will teach you two triad shapes – just 2 – and show you how you can play entire songs with just those 2 triad shapes.


As an added bonus, for you Rolling Stones fans, I will show how those 2 triad shapes apply to the Open G tuning. Songs like Gimme Shelter, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, Beast of Burden and Honky Tonk Women all use Open G. 


BTW: the Stones aren't the only band that uses the Open G tuning – there are many; Blues, Folk and Country musicians have been using it for decades. Slide players in all genres use it. George Thorogood, Johnny Winter and the Black Crowes all come to mind.

So...2 triad shapes = entire songs:

Triad Technique Issues

Sometimes when a guy like me is teaching, because I've been playing for years I forget to tell the student how to do something.


It's one thing to understand; the understanding is about 2% of it. It's another thing entirely to be able to actually play.

Usually what I neglect to talk about has something to do with technique. Because of constant use and repetition, I've sublimated most of my technique and don't think about it much.

But that wasn't always the case; I've put major amounts of time and sweat-equity into technique work. If you want to be a good guitar player, you must do so as well.

So with that in mind, here's a couple of technique issues that commonly occur when first learning to play triads:


To get the most out of this lesson series on triads, there are a couple things of which you need to have a working knowledge:

The 5-Lesson Foundational Series: I encourage all Site Members to go through this series; almost everything I teach presupposes it. It will give you the ability to find any note, anywhere on the fretboard. There is a free, webpage-based version of it, but you must be a Site Member to access it.

The First 2 Major Scale Patterns in this Lesson: This is a free webpage-based lesson but you must be a Site Member to access it.


The retail price for Unit 3: Triads is $99: Anyone can purchase - if you want to pay full price without signing up and with no other strings attached, just click on the button below:

If you are a Master Guitar School Site Member you can use your Members-Only Discount and purchase for $49!

If you are a Site Member: When you click on the button below you will be prompted to sign in if you are not already signed in. The page is a Members-Only page.

If you are NOT a Site Member: When you click on the button below you will be prompted to sign up as a Site Member. Membership is free and there are many other benefits to being a Site Member, but the Members-Only Discount is a big one (at least 50% or more)! After signing up you will be automatically redirected to the Members-Only Discount.

What does it mean to be a Site Member?


First of all, sign up is free!


  • Free Lessons: You will have access to free lessons in the "Members Only" area of the website. These are mostly webpage-based. Last count was over 100 and it's being added to regularly.

  • Monthly Newsletter: You will receive the Master Guitar School Newsletter the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Most of the monthly newsletters contain a free lesson not published previously anywhere else. Besides the free lesson, each newsletter contains recent blog links and any other communication I deem pertinent to Site Members.

  • Members-Only Discounts: These discounts are available at all times to Site Members and are at least 50% off - in some cases more. Compare the Site Member price to the full price given above for Unit 3: Triads for example.

  • New Product Launches: New products are launched first to Site Members only. A new product launch typically lasts 5 days and the product is priced even lower than the Members-Only Discount. For instance, the full price for Unit 3: Triads is $99. The Members-Only Discount price is $49. The launch price was $39. Again; these launches are to Site Members only!

  • Skype/FaceTime Consults: I call this a "consult" rather than a "lesson" for several reasons. This consult is an on-demand deal for site members. It can be used for whatever you want - anything related to guitar or lessons that you've viewed, purchased &/or downloaded from Master Guitar School; it can be used as a feedback loop to make sure you understand the lesson and are drilling it correctly. The price is $30.00 and the guaranteed default time is 30 minutes. I am willing to spend extra time at no extra charge if necessary and if my schedule allows. As a site member you can use this option whenever you feel the need. 

  • Personal Response to Questions via Email: If your question can be adequately dealt with without a Skype/FaceTime consult I will give Site Members personal attention via Email at no charge. You are committed to a process; I am committed to lead you through it.

  • Priority Scheduling for One-On-One Lessons: I need to preface this; I am currently teaching about 50 private students a week and don't want any more. There is a waiting list. However, if you are a Site Member you will have priority relative to the waiting list. 

  • Blog Notifications: I try to publish a blog every week. The blog content is random; whatever I feel like writing about, though it's always music &/or guitar-related. Some of the blog categories are: Free Lessons, Technique, Music Theory, Stories, Philosophy, Questions and Answers, Rants & Musings, Gear and many more. Although the blogs are available to anyone, Site Members receive an email notification with a direct link whenever a blog is published.


The guitar has been a Grand Obsession of mine for over 50 years. I love everything about it. I've been a full-time professional performing musician since the early seventies. I've taught 50-100 personal students a week since the early eighties.


I know what it takes to play, teach and learn. I'm passionate about playing as well as helping people obtain the priceless value that I've received from music and the guitar.

Any questions about Triads? Any questions about anything guitar &/or music related? Questions about Site Membership that I didn't answer above? 

Contact me. Let's talk.


Thanks! Message sent.

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