Warm Up Exercise

Triad exercises using A, D, & E

Lesson #228

Video Overview

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Editor’s notes

Here’s three quick trio of exercises you can play, all of which are using triads for the chords of A, D, and E. Focused only on the thinnest 3 strings, I quite enjoy exploring how I can put these mini chord shapes together to come up with something fun. Tabs for each exercise are below, and be sure to check out the charts & tabs I’ve written up in order to grok how these triad shapes can in fact be used up & down the fretboard. I hope you enjoy! - David Potsiadlo (March 29, 2019)

Exercise #1

Inspired by β€œClassy Girls” by The Lumineers.

E ||––––––––9–––––––––––|––––––––9–––––––––––|–––––––10–––––––––––|–––––––10–––––––––––|–
B ||–––10–––––––10–––10–|–––10–––––––10–––10–|–––10–––––––10––10––|–––10–––––––10––10––|–
G ||–9––––9––––––––9––––|–9––––9––––––––9––––|–11––11–––––––11––––|–11––11–––––––11––––|–
D ||––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|–
A ||––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|–
E ||––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|–
     A                                         D                      

E –|–––––––12–––––––––––|–––––––10–––––––––––|––––––––9–––––––––––|––––––––9–––––––––––||
B –|–––9––––––––9–––9–––|–––10–––––––10––10––|–––10–––––––10–––10–|–––10–––––––10–––10–||
G –|–9–––9––––––––9–––––|–11––11–––––––11––––|–9––––9––––––––9––––|–9––––9––––––––9––––||
D –|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––||
A –|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––||
E –|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––||
     E                    D                    A

Exercise #2

Inspired by β€œThe First Cut is the Deepest” by Cat Stevens.

E ||–––––––9–––––|––––––7––––|––––––5––––|––––––7––––||
B ||––––10–––10––|––––9–––9––|––––7–––7––|––––9–––9––||
G ||––9––––––––––|––9––––––––|––7––––––––|––9––––––––||
D ||–––––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––||
A ||–––––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––||
E ||–––––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––|–––––––––––||
      A             E           D           E

Exercise #3

Inspired by β€œJack and Diane” by John Mellencamp. Note, on this one you have some flourish notes that are added to the base triads (marked with a *). I always play these with my left pinky.

E ||––5–––5–5–––7–––5––|––4–––4–4–4–––4–4––|––2–––2–2–––4––5–4––|–
B ||––5–––5–5–––5–––5––|––5–––5–5–5–––5–5––|––3–––3–3–––5––5–5––|–
G ||––6–––6–6–––6–––6––|––4–––4–4–4–––4–4––|––2–––2–2–––4––4–4––|–
D ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|–
A ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|–
E ||–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––|–
      A         *         E                   D         E  *

E –|––5–––5–5–––7–––5––|––4–––4–4–4–––4–4––|––2–––4–––5––5–5––5–||
B –|––5–––5–5–––5–––5––|––5–––5–5–5–––5–5––|––3–––5–––5––5–5––5–||
G –|––6–––6–6–––6–––6––|––4–––4–4–4–––4–4––|––2–––4–––6––6–6––6–||
D –|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––||
A –|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––||
E –|–––––––––––––––––––|–––––––––––––––––––|––––––––––––––––––––||
      A         *         E                   D   E   A

Chord shapes for exercise #1

For the A, you don’t need to barre the 9th fret (as I show here). But, I find it helpful to be able to do this – so I’ll practice using that technique when playing this shape. If you don’t want to barre, just use your normal D-major xx0232 left-hand finger positions (moved up to the 9th & 10th frets).

E –––9––  <= left index (barred)    E ––10––  <= left index (barred)    E ––12––  <= left pinky
B ––10––  <= left middle            B ––10––  <= left index (barred)    B ––9–––  <= left index (barred)
G –––9––  <= left index (barred)    G ––11––  <= left middle            G ––9–––  <= left index (barred)
D ––––––                            D ––––––                            D ––––––                        
A ––––––                            A ––––––                            A ––––––                        
E ––––––                            E ––––––                            E ––––––                        
    A                                   D                                   E

Chord shapes for exercise #2

As I show in the video, if you want to be advanced you can keep your index finger barred (thinnest 3 strings) for all of these chords. It’s a bit tougher to learn, but again - I think it makes the transitions a bit easier if you can get a hang of it.

E –––9––  <= left index (barred)    E ––7––  <= left index    E ––5––  <= left index
B ––10––  <= left middle            B ––9––  <= left pinky    B ––7––  <= left pinky
G –––9––  <= left index (barred)    G ––9––  <= left ring     G ––7––  <= left ring
D ––––––                            D –––––                   D –––––                        
A ––––––                            A –––––                   A –––––                        
E ––––––                            E –––––                   E –––––                        
    A                                   E                         D

Chord shapes for exercise #3

Same old stuff! Notice how all these shapes have already been taught via the prior two exercises.

E ––5––  <= left index (barred)    E ––4––  <= left index (barred)    E ––2––  <= left index (barred)      
B ––5––  <= left index (barred)    B ––5––  <= left middle            B ––3––  <= left middle            
G ––6––  <= left middle            G ––4––  <= left index (barred)    G ––2––  <= left index (barred)    
D –––––                            D –––––                            D –––––                            
A –––––                            A –––––                            A –––––                            
E –––––                            E –––––                            E –––––                            
    A                                  E                                  D

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