Learning Major Chords Guitar

major chords guitar

Learning major chords guitar will allow you to perform many popular songs. All major chords are constructed using intervals from the major scale – for instance C major is made up of C (the root), E (a major third up from C), and G (a perfect fifth from E).

To play a C major chord, curl your first finger so the open first string chimes clearly, strum all six strings simultaneously, and repeat this shape for other major chords.


As you begin learning the guitar, there can be a lot of chords, scales and musical theory to take in at once. Knowing some basic principles can make transitioning easier between each element as you put your new abilities into practice.

Scales are composed of tones belonging to one key. Their pattern across the fretboard enables you to switch keys without altering their sound or changing its character.

C Major scales begin on C and end on F#; by switching their tonic note from C to G you can make it a D Minor scale – and so forth for any major key, starting from any fret! This provides great diversity to your music compositions!


Triads are among the basic chord shapes, composed of a root note, major third note and perfect fifth. The quality of these intervals determines if it’s major or minor; those built using do, re and sol (1,4,5) in major keys are major while ones using mi, la and ti are minor.

Because these shapes are designed so easily, moving them up and down the fretboard to form different chords is relatively effortless. For instance, a D major chord can easily be moved up to fret 9 to play an A chord; similarly with other triad shapes. Also worth remembering that chords may be altered by adding an extra semitone between third and fifth strings – this gives an altogether different sound that often used when jazz chords are being created. Also keep in mind that chords with 7ths (dominant chords) or 8ths (diminished chords); to indicate this distinction they are written with either + or aug next to their name next time they occur on fretboard.

Root notes

The root note serves as the starting point for chords and determines their major/minor classification, as well as being its name. Without its presence scales, arpeggios, and chords would make no sense at all. Chords are groups of notes that can be either strumming or picked (picking is covered under Picking and Plucking chapter) for strumming/picking or plucking; their name comes from their interval between root note (F in F major chord for example) and third (eg “E”). This name comes from its interval between root note F and third (ie “E”, where “F” signifies fifth).

Root notes of major chords on guitar can be played in any octave without altering the name or sound of that chord, however if played differently than other tones they can alter its sound significantly – for instance playing C major chord in second octave on bass string changes to G minor and by altering third tone to B it becomes D minor chord.


Inversions allow you to alter the position of individual notes within a chord. For instance, playing the D shape pattern above and shifting it up one whole step (2 frets), would yield the E major chord inversion – something Led Zeppelin used on their iconic song Stairway to Heaven.

Chord inversions can be an invaluable way to learn chord progressions and refine comping techniques. Many songwriters and composers employ this strategy when crafting stunning sounds.

At first, we will look at the most frequently used inversion patterns for major chords: root position, 1st inversion and 3rd inversion. Use the jam track to practice moving smoothly between these inversions – it will prevent tightening up on your guitar neck while playing rhythm! Next we’ll move onto open string minor 9 inversions which utilize open strings for added sustaining sound!