Three Note Chords

Basic three note chords…

For the most part three note chords are triads, either in root position or inverted. The most common are major, minor, diminished and augmented chords, although there are others that are alterations. For instance, a C sus chord is C F G, so the middle note, normally E or Eb, is moved over to F. That middle note can be moved in the other direction to make a  C sus2 chord – C D G. There are other possibilities, of course, but this is a good place to start. In traditional teaching there are four qualities, the same major, minor, diminished and augmented chords. But I would add sus chords as a third quality because they are so important, and today they are stand-alone chords in jazz that do not have to move to another chord.

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