In this FL Studio music theory tutorial you will learn how to build major triads inside FL Studio’s piano roll.

To get started, you have to understand that the word “triad” means 3 (three). Therefore when we speak of “major triads” we are simply referring to any music major chord, in any scale that consists of 3 notes or 3 pitches played together.

But if we specifically mention major triads in a particular scale, for example, in the key of C major that means you should only think of all the major triads that are a part of the C major scale such as Cmaj (I), Fmaj (IV) and Gmaj (V).

Building a C Major Triad in FL Studio Piano Roll

For illustration purposes let’s construct a major triad from the key of C major.

Step1: You need to list down all the notes in C major.

Notes in C major = C, D, E, F, G, A, B

Step2: The formula for creating a major triad is: 1st, 3rd, 5th. So pick the 1st note, the 3rd note and finally the 5th note of the C major scale.

1st; 3rd; 5th of C major scale = CE-G

 

Building Other Major Triads in FL Studio Piano Roll

Once again, we will use the key of C major as an example to build some of the major triads you will come across when writing music within FL Studio’s piano roll.

The Cmaj triad is not the only major triad in the key of C major because you also have the Fmaj triad (Scale Degree IV) and finally the Gmaj triad (Scale Degree V).

In music theory terms the Fmaj triad in the key of C major is sometimes known as the perfect fourth (IV) whilst the Gmaj triad is often denoted as the perfect fifth (V).

C major Triad = C-E-G

Perfect Fourth Major Triad in C major Scale

Step 1: The perfect fourth interval in the ascending key of C major is the note F. So for us to build the perfect forth major triad we have to use the pitch F as our initial or starting note.

Step 2: To find the “second note” of perfect fourth major triad in the key of Cmaj we just have to count 4 half steps from F.

i.e Counting 4 half steps from F means…

  1. F# ⇒ 1st half step.
  2. G ⇒ 2nd half step.
  3. G# ⇒ 3rd half step.
  4. A ⇒ 4th half step.

 

Therefore the second note for the Fmaj triad is the pitch “A” since the distance or interval from the initial note F is 4 half steps or 4 semitones.

Step 3: To find the “third note” of perfect fourth major triad in the key of Cmaj we can do that by counting 7 half steps from F.

i.e Counting 7 half steps from F means…

  1. F# ⇒ 1st half step.
  2. G ⇒ 2nd half step.
  3. G# ⇒ 3rd half step.
  4. A ⇒ 4th half step.
  5. A#  ⇒ 5th half step.
  6. B ⇒ 6th half step.
  7. C ⇒ 7th half step.

So that means the 3rd note for the Fmaj triad is the pitch “C”, since the distance or interval from the initial note F is 7 half steps or 7 semitones.

C major scale - Perfect Forth Chord

Summary

To summarize what we have done here is, you have to remember that the formula for building a major triad is : Root/Tonic or Initial note + Major 3rd + Perfect Fifth.

In other words, you simply count 4 half steps from your “initial note” to find the major 3rd or the second note of your triad. From there you can either count 3 half steps from the major 3rd (the second note) or you can start all the way from the initial note by counting 7 half steps.

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