Patreon MUSICARTA Premium

Triad Shapes Drills
- Page One -

Most popular modern keyboard styles involve playing triads in the right hand, harmonising the top (melody) note.

So you need to practice seeing the three basic triad shapes (root position, first inversion and second inversion) below any top note in a key - and getting to them fluently.

Here's a sample 'Triad Shapes Drill' video. Watch it, then carry on reading the explanation below.

 Three patterns

The video shows the three possible triad shapes (root position, first inversion and second inversion) played on each of the eight scale tones of C major, going up.

There are three patterns in the Triad Shapes Drills.

Study the three-line voice movement diagrams in the diagram until you see clearly the difference between the three types.

The voice movement diagrams show whether the notes of a triad stay the same or rise and fall to their positions in the next chord. This is very helpful in 'keeping track' of where the notes go.

Notice also that Musicarta uses circle, square and triangle symbols to indicate the three inversion shapes - root position, second inversion and first inversion respectively.

Refer visually to the symbols from time to time – it helps distinguish the three inversion shapes more clearly in your mind, and you will in time be able to 'hear' which triad shape is being played.

Watch the sample video again.

 Pattern One ascending in C

Looking closely, you see that:

  • Starting from a root position chord (circle), the top note goes up a step to make a first inversion chord (triangle);
  • Then the middle note goes up to make a second inversion chord (square symbol);
  • Then the bottom note goes up to get back to a root position chord (circle).

The pattern repeats seven time over a whole octave.

 Fingering - Pattern One

The first run-through of Pattern One uses the 'official fingering'.

  • Fingers 1-3-5 for a root position chord (circle)
  • Fingers 1-2-5 for a first inversion chord (triangle)
  • Fingers 1-3-5 (again) for a second inversion chord (square).

The second time, you use fingers 1-2-4 for the root position (circle) chords.

Go ahead and play the pattern. You get a two-bar count-in. With a bit of practice, you should be able to keep up.

 Pattern Two ascending in C

In Pattern Two, you:

  • Start from a root position chord (circle) but take the top two notes up a step to make a second inversion chord (square).
  • Then the middle note goes back down a step to make a first inversion chord (triangle symbol).
  • Then the bottom two notes go up a step to get back to a root position chord (circle).

Check the instructions against the voice movement diagrams over the music (below).

The same fingering rules apply - the first time through, use 1-3-5 for the first position (circle) chords. The second time, try it with fingers 1-2-4 for the root position chords.

Try to play Pattern Two ascending in C.

Remember to always use fingers 1-2-5 for the first inversion (triangle) chord.

 Pattern One descending in C

Pattern One descending is the exact mirror image of Pattern One ascending.

  • Starting from a root position chord (circle), the bottom note goes down a step to make a second inversion chord (square);
  • Then the middle note goes down to make a first inversion chord (triangle);
  • Then the top note goes down to get back to a root position chord (circle).

The pattern repeats seven time over a whole octave.

In the demonstration video, you get to use first the 'official' 1-3-5 first inversion  fingering, then the alternative 1-2-4 fingering (but you don't start with 1-2-4 - that wouldn't make sense).

 Pattern Two descending in C

In Pattern Two descending you:

  • Start from a root position chord (circle) and take the bottom two notes down a step to make a first inversion chord (triangle).
  • Then the middle note goes back up a step to make a second inversion chord (square).
  • Then the top two notes go down a step to get back to a root position chord (circle).

Play Pattern Two descending in C. Play through once using 1-3-5 for the root position (circle) chords, and once with 1-2-4 (where convenient).

Practice all of these movements several times, patiently, watching carefully for where you have any difficulty.

Then go on to Page Two of the series, where you start playing the drills in key-signature (black-key) keys.


Thanks for studying with Musicarta
- Come back soon! -

PATREON
CHORDS SERIES



MUSICARTA
PUBLICATIONS

exciting keyboard
creativity courses


THE MUSICARTA
CHORDS 101
WORKBOOK
CHORDS 101 cover
Exclusively on
MUSICARTA
PATREON

Learn more!

THE MUSICARTA
- HANON -

video course
The Musicarta Hanon cover
Introductory offer
price on Udemy
$10.95 ONLY
BUY NOW!

THE MUSICARTA
PENTATONICS
WORKBOOK

video course
The Musicarta Hanon cover
Introductory offer
price on Udemy
ONLY $19.95

BUY NOW!

Learn more

GREENSLEEVES
Creative Keyboard

video course
GREENSLEEVES

THE MUSICARTA
BEAT AND RHYTHM
WORKBOOK
12-bar Styles Workbook
ONLY $24.95
Buy Now
FIND OUT MORE!

PIANO SOLOS
- Volume 1 -
Piano Solos Vol. 1
ONLY $19.95
Buy Now
Browse the contents

THE MUSICARTA
12-BAR PIANO
STYLES WORKBOOK
Musicarta 12-bar Piano Styles
ONLY $24.95
Buy Now
FIND OUT MORE!

THE
MUSICARTA MODES
WORKBOOK
Musicarta Modes Workbook
ONLY $24.95
Buy Now
FIND OUT MORE!

MUSICARTA EASY
PIANO STYLE
Musicarta Easy Piano Style
ONLY $24.95
Buy Now
FIND OUT MORE!

THE
CANON PROJECT

video course
The Canon Project
ONLY $24.95
Buy Now
ALSO ON UDEMY!
FIND OUT MORE

THE PYRAMIDS
VARIATIONS

video course
The Pyramids Variations
ONLY $24.95
Buy Now
ALSO ON UDEMY!
FIND OUT MORE
KEY CHORDS VOL.1
Key Chords Vol.1
ONLY $24.95
Buy Now
FIND OUT MORE!

'Chords for Carl'
- Piano Solo -

video course

Chords for Carl
ONLY $12.95
Buy Now
ALSO ON UDEMY!
FIND OUT MORE

‘Mariaan’
- Piano Solo -

ONLY $12.95
Buy Now
FIND OUT MORE!

All the Musicarta
YouTube playlists
Pyramids
Pentatonics
Canon Project
Key Chords
Modes
Musicarta
Easy Piano
Musicarta
Blues & 12-bar
Beat & Rhythm
Solos
'Mariaan'
Chords for Carl
Songbook
Basic Music-
making Position
Left-hand-over
Style
Suspensions
Enya Solos
Scales
Technical Exercises
Triads and Inversions