How Many Major Chords Are There in Music?

No matter the musical style you favor, major chords play an essential part of every performance and knowledge base for musicians. Understanding them will further your repertoire and knowledge base as an artist.

Western music features major chord progressions that tend to sound optimistic and joyful, due to their origin in Ionian music mode.

C Major

Many musicians enjoy adding extra notes to triad chords to create new variations, or “extensions”, of chords. This process is known as ‘extending” chords and can create unique textures of sound.

John Lennon’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door opens with a C major chord, but also features a G major chord played an octave lower as part of its initial riff – this decoration of chords is known as an inversion.

D Major

D Major chords are formed by stacking three-part triads on top of one another, giving each its own name and roman numeral designation to identify where in the scale they sit.

A triad is composed of three notes spaced out in specific patterns – usually root, major third and perfect fifth apart – which form an organized structure. You can expand this into other kinds of chords such as diminished and four note extended chords by adding additional notes to the triads.

E Major

E major chords can be found in thousands of songs and there are various methods for playing them; one such way is the open E major shape.

Esus2 and Bsus4 chords differ by replacing the third note with either its complement (such as 2nd or 4th note) for a suspended effect.

The fifth adds weight and density to a chord, as well as defining its quality – whether major, minor or diminished.

F Major

The F Major chord, commonly referred to as Fmaj or FM, comprises notes F, A and C. To make this more exciting, an added seventh may add extra interest and depth.

Extensions such as major seventh chords or minor seven flat five chords, known as chord flavors, can add much-needed spice and depth to any chord progression and make it much more memorable.

G Major

G major chords consist of three notes – G as its root note, B for its major third note and D as its perfect fifth tone – with chord tones more than five semitones away being reached by shifting down scale from root, giving your hands less stretching while playing chord progressions.

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A Major

Major chords are typically the first type of chords people learn, as these create an upbeat atmosphere in songs and can often be found within them. Their composition consists of three components – root, major third and perfect fifth (1 – 3 – 5).

Why these chords sound happy to Western listeners is because they belong to Ionian music mode.

B Major

B major is an ideal accompaniment for many chords; E Major being one obvious option due to having its root same as B major. Another possibility would be F# Major with its unique sound that pairs nicely with it.

Each chord possesses its own individual sound, and this characteristic is determined by the note intervals it comprises – these being minor, major, diminished and augmented respectively.

C Minor

C minor is composed of seven main chords built from its notes; all diatonic to its key.

Determine whether a chord is major or minor by counting the semitones between its notes, for example C to E has two semitones between them and is considered a major chord; similarly D to F would count for three semitones and would therefore also qualify as major.

D Minor

Many songs in the key of D minor are associated with melancholy or sadness; however, this doesn’t have to be true – chord choice plays an integral part.

Beyonce’s hit “Crazy in Love” is written in D minor but also includes upbeat chords such as B-flat major and A major.

E Minor

E minor is an emotive musical key that will add dimension and dimension to your compositions. Learn the chords and progressions associated with E minor to increase your guitar playing abilities.

To create the E minor chord, place your index finger on the first fret of the G string and your middle finger on the second fret of A string – then strumming both fingers together will yield an Em barre chord!