Here are some listening exercises to help you practice recognising the different types of triad chord.
You can listen to the tracks on this page or download them to practice with on your computer or mobile device. Just right-click an exercise and choose “Save As” or use the download link at the bottom of each set of exercises ().
- Use the “Training” tracks to listen carefully to each type of chord and tune your ear in to the different sounds.
- Each time a chord is played, it is then announced and played note-by-note so you know what you’re hearing.
- Listen to the corresponding “Test” tracks, which include a short pause after each chord.
- During the pause, try to identify the chord you just heard.
- You’ll hear the correct answer so you know if you got it right and have the chance to hear the chord again.
The exercises are in a suggested order for gradually learning all the types of triad.
We recommend practising with just the “root position” form of the chords until you can reliably recognise those before introducing the various inversions.
So work through the tracks below, using only the training and test tracks labelled “root”. Then when you can reliably pass the “All triads (root)” test, go back and start working on the “first inversion” tracks for each exercise set. Finally, you can learn the second inversions and practice with the “all inversions” tracks.
This sequence will work well for most students—but you should feel free to change the order based on your own progress!
Get clear on what chord ear training means and how it can help you in your musical life, in “What is chord ear training and what can it do for you”.