Am, Dm and Em Triads on Strings 234

Minor Triads in C On Strings 234

This is a continuation of free lesson blogs:

Minor Triads in C on strings 123
Major Triads in C on strings 123
Major Triads in C on strings 234.

Reading the above blogs first is only going to take about 5 minutes of your time, but will speed up your progress learning the following Am, Dm and Em triads.

Today we’ll cover the 3 minor chords on strings 2 3 4 in the key of C major/A minor. Those chords are Am, Dm and Em.

Here are the Am chords on 234

am-triads-on-234

  1. The shape on frets 7/5/5 (7th fret, 5th fret, 5th fret) is what you call “root position”. The notes from low to high are A C E (root, b3rd, 5th). Whenever you play that shape on these 3 strings, you play a minor chord with the root as the lowest note.
  2. The shape on frets 10/9/10 (10th fret, 9th fret, 10th fret) is what you call “1st inversion”. The notes from low to high are C E A (b3rd, 5th, root). Whenever you play that shape on these 3 strings, you play a minor chord with the b3rd as the lowest note.
  3. The shape on frets 2/2/1 (2nd fret, 2nd fret, 1st fret) is what you call “2nd inversion”. The notes from low to high are E A C (5th, root, b3rd). Whenever you play that shape on these 3 strings, you play a major chord with the 5th as the lowest note.

There is a trick to speed up your memorization of the location of the 3 shapes. The trick is to focus on the notes on the lowest of the 3 strings, in this case the D string. The notes you are looking for (for an Am chord) are A, C and E

  1. A is on the 7th fret of the D string
  2. C is on the 10th fret of the D string
  3. E is on the 2nd fret on the D string

Focusing on these 3 notes on the D string only, helps you memorize the location of each Am shape.

The 7/5/5 shape goes on the root A
The 10/9/10 shape goes on the b3rd C
The 2/2/1 shape goes on the 5th E

Play these 3 Am chord shapes up and down till you feel pretty confident you have them memorized.
Then move on to learning and memorizing the Dm shapes.
You’ll notice, it’s the same 3 shapes, just in different locations.

dm-triads-on-234

The notes in a Dm chord are D, F, A
These are the 3 notes you’re focusing on on the D string.
You play the root shape on D on the 12th fret
You play the first inversion (3rd in bass) shape on F on the 3rd fret
You play the 2nd inversion (5th in bass) shape on A on the 7th fret

Once you get all the Dm chords memorized: go up the neck with Am chords and down the neck with Dm chords.
When you can do this pretty easily: learn the Em chords. (Notes: E G B)

em-triads-on-234

Em chords are easy if you know the Dm chords really well. The Em chords are the 3 Dm chords up 2 frets.

When you get the Em chords down, go up with Am chords and down with Em chords.

One you feel you get all Am, Dm and Em chords down pretty well on these 3 strings, you are ready for the next exercise.
Practice these chords over a 12-bar blues in Am

||: Am | Dm | Am | Am |
Dm | Dm | Am | Am |
Em | Dm | Am | Em :||

Here’s what you do:

In bar 1: play 2 different Am chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 2: play 2 different Dm chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 3: play 2 different Am chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 3: play 2 different Am chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 5: play 2 different Dm chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 6: play 2 different Dm chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
… and so on.

This is going to be challenging at first, but this is a good drill to really nail down these chords.
When you can do this exercise pretty well, start practicing it with a metronome.
Work it up to 145bpm.
When you can play this exercise at that tempo, you don’t have to think anymore: you really have your Am, Dm and Em triads memorized.

Hit me up anytime at [email protected] if you would like me to send you backing tracks of the above chord progression, if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.
You’re on your way to becoming a great guitar player.
Have fun! 🙂

Conclusion

Keep me informed on your progress. You can hit me up in the comments section below.
If you like this blog: give it a rating and feel free to also give me any feedback.
I believe everything can always be improved. I’d gladly implement your suggestions and ideas in this blog or the next.

Be on the look out for more blogs about everything guitar, music, songwriting and music education.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Facebooktwittermail

Tagged

Leave a Comment