What we’re up to:

Triads – the building blocks of chords

Triads are chords with only 3 differently named notes, which are always the 1st, 3rd and 5th degrees of the scale of the bottom note when the triad is in closed position.

All you really need to know today is that it doesn’t matter if the 3 notes, from bottom to top on the paper, spell F-A-C, C-A-F, A-F-C, or any other arrangement of the letters—they’re all “F Major”. That’s why I’ve already shown you more than one shape for F. All the chords can be played in many ways. Music flows a lot like a river, and the “right” way to play any chord depends on what you can make your fingers do, what you did before, and what you want to do next.

Think about it. There are only 8 note names, and we use # or b to name 4 more (12 notes of the chromatic scale, and all the notes on any string if you play all 12 or more frets); you only have 4 fingers and they can’t stretch 12 frets. You can mix and match the notes and the audience will just go with the flow.