Open Voiced Triads

Open Voiced Triads

Closed triads (also called “closed voicings”), are 3-note chords in which all 3 notes fall within an octave. In other words: the distance between the lowest note and the highest note in the chord is less than an octave.


C E G (C chord)
E G C (C chord, 1st inversion)
G C E (C chord, 2n inversion)
D F A (Dm chord)

Open triads (also called “spread” voicings”): the 3 notes are spread out exceeding an octave range. The distance between the lowest and highest note is larger than an octave.

This is the result of “skipping” a chord tone, in the letter series.

A C chord consists of the notes C, E and G

C (D) E…. E (F) G

However: when you skip the letter in the middle (CEG… skip E) and play it up an octave, you get C G E. The distance between the first and the last note is now a 10th interval. ( C D E F G A B C D E)

Following that idea, if we skip the note in the middle in following closed voicing C chords and bring it up an octave

C E G (C chord root position)
E G C (C chord, 1st inversion)
G C E (C chord, 2n inversion)

We get following open voicing C chord:

C G E (C chord root position)
E C G (C chord, 1st inversion)
G E C (C chord, 2n inversion)

All Open Voiced Triads in The Key of C

Open voicings sound really cool.
I use them all the time.
Due to the larger distance between the notes, these chords sound more open (hence the name), larger, bigger, more orchestral also.

Have fun learning these.
They’re very good chords to know about.

Open voiced triads p1

Open voiced triads p2


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