How to Find Any Major Chord on the Piano

Discover an easy and effective trick to quickly locate any major chord on the piano, including all major triads and minor chords! It will also serve as a basis for finding minor chords!

Music is all about formulas and patterns. Chord formulas make memorizing chords easier while understanding how they function.


Root notes serve as the base note upon which to build chords; for instance, C major chord consists of root note, major third note, and perfect fifth (C – E – G). Their root notes give this chord its name and determine its pitch and tone.

To create a major chord, begin by placing your thumb at the root. Next, use your index finger on a note two whole steps up from the root for a major third; finally put your middle finger on an open fifth note – that completes your chord! Congratulations – now you’ve successfully created one.

Now let’s examine the formula for minor chords. While slightly different than its major equivalent, this method serves to easily remember these magical shapes of these chords.

Major Third

A major chord consists of three notes and is formed by adding the third note from the major scale to its root note, such as G for example; therefore its major third would be B as it is four half steps above G.

This interval is one of the core components of music, providing major-sounding scales, chords, and arpeggios with their brighter sound while complementing minor scales and chords with darker or sadder tones.

Similar to adding sixth or ninth chords, creating major seventh (maj7), six (m6), and nine chords can also be done by adding sixth, seventh or ninth as in Cmaj6 but you could also try adding fifth (add5) chords like C5(add5) or C7(add5) instead.

Perfect Fifth

Major chords tend to create a happier atmosphere than minor ones and consist of three notes – root, major third and perfect fifth (1 – 3 – 5). Some common examples of major chords include C, F and G chords.

A perfect fifth is a musical interval spanning five staff positions and comprising seven semitones (with more consonance or stability than its sharp or flat equivalents). It occurs above the root of all major and minor triads and their extensions.

To construct a perfect fifth easily and quickly, count seven half steps from your root note upward. This method works for ascending or descending notes alike and is much quicker than counting keystrokes individually. Once familiar with this approach, use it also when building other intervals such as 4ths or 6ths–just match accidentals to ensure equal sizes!

Major Triad

Chords are an integral component of music. If you’re just starting out in music, starting your songs off using chords will make things much simpler for you. Major chords are commonly heard today but can even be found as far back as romantic music (such as Debussy’s Clair de Lune).

Every note in a triad chord has a specific quality: starting from its root note – always an major scale degree (see diagram), to major third and perfect fifth (four half steps above root and three above major third respectively), to perfect fifth.

If you want to alter the quality of a triad, changing its interval between root and third or fourth can alter its tone – giving a minor or major sound depending on how far away from root is set it.