Learn the Major Triads On The Bass Strings

Major Triads In C on Strings 345 and 456

This is a continuation from following free lesson blogs Major Triads in C on strings 123 and Major Triads in C on Strings 234.

Here are the C, F and G triads on the bass strings.

Learn the C chords first on the A, D and G string.

1. The 3/2/0 shape (3rd fret, 2nd fret, open G string) is what you call “root position”. The notes from low to high are C E G (root, 3rd, 5th). Whenever you play that shape on these 3 strings, you play a major chord with the root as the lowest note. Also, play this shape up 12 frets on frets 15/14/12
2. The 7/5/5 shape (7th fret, 5th fret, 5th fret) is what you call “1st inversion”. The notes from low to high are E G C (3rd, 5th, root). Whenever you play that shape on these 3 strings, you play a major chord with the 3rd as the lowest note.
3. The 10/10/9 shape (10th fret, 10th fret, 9th fret) is what you call “2nd inversion”. The notes from low to high are G C E (5th, root, 3rd). When you play 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 A string, and then play the right shape on that note. The notes you are looking for (for a C chord) are C, E, and G.

1. C is on the 3rd/15th fret of the A string
2. E is on the 7th fret on the A string
3. G is on the 10th fret on the A string.

When you’re on the root C, you play the 15/14/12 shape, if you’re on the 3rd E, you play the 7/5/5 shape, if you’re on the 5th G, you play the 10/10/9 shape. The more you think notes rather than just only shapes, the better for your musicianship.
Focusing on these 3 notes on the A string only, helps you memorize the location of each C chord shape.

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

The notes in an F chord are F, A and C
These are the 3 notes you’re focusing on on the A string.
You play the root shape on F on the 8th fret on the A string
You play the first inversion (3rd in the bass) shape on A on the 12th fret on the A string
You play the 2nd inversion (5th in the bass) shape on C on the 3rd/15th fret on the A string

Once you get all the F chords memorized: go up the neck with C chords and down the neck with F chords.
When you can do this pretty daily: learn the G chords.

G chords are easy if you know the F chords really well. The G chords are the 3 F chords up 2 frets.

When you get the G chords down, go up with C chords and down with G chords.

Once you feel you get all C, F and G chords down pretty well on these 3 strings, you are ready for the next exercise.
Practice these chords over a 12-bar blues in C

C F C C
F F C C
G F C G

Here’s what you do:

In bar 1: play 2 different C chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 2: play 2 different F chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 3: play 2 different C chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 3: play 2 different C chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 5: play 2 different F chords, 2 beats each, downstrokes only.
In bar 6: play 2 different F 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 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 C, F and G triads memorized.

Then start this process over again on the lowest 3 strings.
Good news: this won’t take too long, because all shapes are exactly the same as on the previous (A, D and G) string set.
Just focus on the notes of each chord on the low E string, and place the root shape on the root, the 1st inversion shape on the 3rd and the 2nd inversion shape on the 5th.
You already know the shapes, you just have to get their locations memorized on this last string set.

Hit me up anytime at vreny@zotzinmusic.com 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

Hit me up anytime at vreny@zotzinmusic.com if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.

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There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.

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