How I understood the basics of triads?

Sahil Jagtiani, my Guitar Guru introduced triads in our last Sunday class. I thought this would be the end of the Guitar classes for me. It seemed to be so complex.

Then I felt sick. Browsed twitter for a while and read too much about recent riots in Bangalore and wondered why don’t we have strict law against people who resort to riots to protest? How we can banish this way of protest so that people have negative incentive to burn public property, attack public personal and take away innocent lives.

Coming back to the guitar. So, How to spend time lying on bed with no screen time, the eyes would just not want to see any kind of electronic media? What could you do without a mobile? So with eyes closed something happened.

Remembered about the triads from last Sundays class. Thought it would be the best time to by heart it. Suddenly an intuitive flash came. What if I could convert notes to number so you would have something like this

So A and E have no company, B is flattened with Bb. Rest of the notes pair up. You can notice the colors used above to make it distinct. So 4 and 5 would be C and C#.

Then the rule of triads came into life. If you add 4 to a note it would give second note of triad. If you further add 3 to it you will get the 3rd note of triad. Then simply convert it back from numbers to note to get the triad. It would look like this

So D major chord will be DF#A. Why? D is 6, 6+4 = 10, 10 + 3 = 13, 13 -12 = 1, so its 6, 10, 1 which mapped back to the notes would be DF#A.

Now the next challenge is to locate it on guitar. So remapped the frets and strings to match with numbers and got the following

So to form D Major chord you press the frets on light cyan color above and then keep playing it in any combination for the rest of your lives.

The mapping for G# is also given with light red background color. Similarly you can keep mapping/coloring. You can clone the spreadsheet and play around with it.

Sahil promised that when we get it, it will be the eureka!! moment for us. And indeed it was. Now triads moving on fretboards became a mathematical beauty, a musical melody.

Oh! moving triads around is also easy. If you shift G# to left then you get the next triad which is A. Then keep going on and cover the entire fretboard.

I am few months in guitar classes so any feedback above would be taken with open arms.

How has been your triads learning journey?

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