Guitar Chords – The Key of E Major

E is one of the cornerstone chords for guitar, appearing across numerous styles & configurations.

It contains the first inversion of an E major triad, which can be moved up or down the neck to create other chords. Furthermore, this fits within Box 1 of the major pentatonic scale.

E Major

The key of E major is an extremely popular chord progression in various musical genres. Its root chord E has a sinuous, almost seductive quality which lends itself to lyrics dealing with sexual rejection or powerful physical desires; yet this key can also serve as an upbeat celebration of success or conquest.

The E major scale consists of seven notes, which we can divide into two groups: whole tones and half tones. Whole tones correspond to intervals between major and minor chords in a key, while half tones comprise intervals between each of its three steps in a scale.

That means there are a wide variety of triad and seventh chords you can play in the key of E, each with their own distinctive sound. For instance, an E major triad consists of E, G# and B (the first, third and fifth notes respectively of the E major scale), but you could add two additional notes for an E major seventh chord or switch out one note for another note to create an E sus4 chord if needed.

All of these chords are easy to play in standard tuning on guitar, offering plenty of finger flexibility and access to grace notes. If you want to know more about their theory behind these guitar chords, visit Uberchord for our series of music theory articles.

E major chord pairs well with various chords, including A major (IV) and B major (V), with C# minor being an excellent way to add contrast in progressions. If you’re in search of some new chords to try out, take a look at this chart, and see which sounds good with your favourite songs!

E Minor

As you begin learning chords, keep in mind that each shape serves as a building block – they can be moved around freely and combined however desired. Also try playing around with strumming patterns and accentuating different strings, which will add extra expression and make the chords seem more authentic.

Guitar chords in the key of E minor are different than their major counterparts because the E minor scale contains one sharp note (F#). When playing E minor chords, your first finger needs to move up one fret position instead of just hitting G – this slight adjustment creates more minor tones to your sound and makes each chord much less major sounding.

An additional difference between E major and E minor chords is that their second fingers don’t bar across open strings like they would for E major. This gives E minor more topheaviness and creates more of an introspective tone compared to its buoyant cousin, E major.

As with other major and minor chords, switch between E minor chords slowly at first to gain familiarity before gradually increasing your tempo to build muscle memory and quickly switch between them without buzzing. You might also try transposing some familiar songs into E minor to see how that changes the sound; this will give an idea of how these chords can be applied in real-world music while deepening your understanding of music theory; our music theory blog features articles to walk you through these steps step-by-step.