The Minor Triads on The Bass Strings

Minor Triads In C on Strings 345 and 456

This is a continuation from following free lesson blogs:
Major Triads in C on strings 123
Major Triads in C on Strings 234.
Major Triads On The Bass Strings.

For the new shapes we are covering today, you are basically using the shapes as covered in this blog, Major Triads On The Bass Strings, and you lower the 3rd of the chord down a half step to make it minor.

Am Triads

am-triads

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

  1. 12/10/9 is the root shape
  2. 3/2/2 is the 1st inversion shape (b3 is in the bass)
  3. 7/7/5 is the 2nd inversion shape (5th in the bass)

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 an Am chord) are A, C, and E

  1. A is on the 12th 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 A, you play the 12/10/9 shape, if you’re on the b3rd C, you play the 3/2/2 shape, if you’re on the 5th E, you play the 7/7/5 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 Am chord shape.

Play these 3 Am chord shapes up and down the neck 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

dm-triads

The notes in a Dm chord are D, F and A
These are the 3 notes you’re focusing on on the A string.

You play the root shape on D on the 5th fret on the A string
You play the first inversion (3rd in bass) shape on F on the 8th fret on the A string
You play the 2nd inversion (5th in bass) shape on A on the 12th fret on the A string

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 daily: learn the Em chords.

Em Triads

em-triads

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.

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 stringset.

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.
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I believe everything can always be improved. I’d gladly implement your suggestions and ideas in this blog or the next.

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