Warm Up Exercise
Triad exercises using A, D, & E
Print-friendly chord sheet available for Patreon supporters
- Get the PDF here -- after clicking and logging in to Patreon, look for the file attached to the bottom of the post.
Supporting me on Patreon gives you access to the PDF for this as well as 150+ other lessons. One month minimum ($3, cancel anytime) gets you access to everything... here's a free sample. Thanks for supporting me and this project!
- 0:00 Playthrough & Greeting
- 1:40 Exercise #1
- 6:41 Exercise #2
- 9:09 Exercise #3
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)
Inspired by “Classy 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
Inspired by “The 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
Inspired by “Jack 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
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
Recent video lessons:
📝 Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample »
- Sedona by Houndmouth
Aug 9, 2020 • Lesson #313
- 3 ways to strum without a pick
Aug 8, 2020 • Lesson #317
- Summertime by Billy Strings / Doc Watson
Aug 1, 2020 • Lesson #279
- Riffs with Circular Bass Lines
July 25, 2020 • Lesson #314
- Happy Birthday triad exercise (Key of G)
July 23, 2020 • Lesson #312
- 3 ways to silence strings with your left hand
July 18, 2020 • Lesson #311
- Keep the Wolves Away by Uncle Lucius
July 10, 2020 • Lesson #310
- Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles / Carole King
July 4, 2020 • Lesson #309
- Stand By Me by Ben E. King
June 28, 2020 • Lesson #308
- Mr. Bojangles by Jerry Jeff Walker
June 21, 2020 • Lesson #307
- Willin' by Little Feat
June 13, 2020 • Lesson #306
- My Church by Maren Morris
June 7, 2020 • Lesson #305
- Pull-off Exercise (Key of C)
June 6, 2020 • Lesson #304