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Learn Bass Guitar – Minor Triad Pattern

Learn Bass Guitar – Minor Triad Pattern –> The minor triad is one of the most commonly used patterns on the bass guitar. As the name implies, it consists of 3 notes – the roots, 3rd, and 5th notes of any minor scale. Below is a diagram of a C minor with the roots, 3rd and 5th notes highlighted:

c minor triad highlighted

Here is the C minor triad by itself:

c minor triad

Minor Triad Fingering

The minor triad can be played using the four fret span pattern showed above for any root note on the E or A string. When playing this pattern, use the following fingering:

  • Low Root – 1 finger (index)
  • 3rd – 4 finger (pinkie)
  • 5th – 3 finger (ring)
  • High Root – 3 finger (ring)

Using the Minor Triad

The minor triad is used in a variety of music genres and styles. Though you may hear it often in songs that have a sad, or somber sound.

It’s always best to use the minor triad when when minor chords are being used in a song – for example, play a C minor triad when the C minor chord is being played by other instruments. The triad is a great pattern to use when playing minimal notes to emphasize the rhythm and timing of song.

Songs that Use the Minor Triad

“Easy Skanking” by Bob Marley – This song is a great example of the minor triad being used along with a major triad. The Bb major triad is played, followed by a G minor triad:

Bob Marley - Easy Skanking

“Badge” by Cream – The opening line of this song – played by the bass – uses a minor triad. It’s also played throughout the song:

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Learn Bass Guitar – Minor Triad Pattern