Major and Minor Chords Keyboard

If you want to learn the piano, one of the first things you’ll need to understand are chords – specifically major and minor chords as these are commonly found within music scores.

A major chord is composed of three notes from a major scale, beginning with its root note as its namesake, followed by major third two whole steps above, and fifth one-half step above.

Minor Triads

Minor chords consist of three notes, while major chords have four notes stacked atop each other. Each interval in a triad is known as an interval; three half-steps higher is considered minor while four semi-tone steps higher is known as major third.

A triad is a musical grouping of three notes that can be arranged either on one line, multiple lines or spaces, or all at once. Triads may be written both together (two triads written both and), or in “snowperson” fashion whereby the lowest note becomes the head, middle note becomes body and highest note becomes head again.

Triads can be identified by their letter name and quality (major, minor, diminished or augmented). Their characteristics remain the same in every key; however, how a triad sounds will depend on its intervals from root to third and fifth notes.

Minor Sevenths

Minor seventh chords are an effective and soothing addition to songs written in minor keys, creating an indirect yet positive influence in its context.

Harmonic minor and melodic minor scales form the base for building the minor seventh, making understanding them essential in both composition and improvisation of minor seventh scales.

Utilizing this knowledge, you can construct your own minor 7th chords on the keyboard. The key lies in understanding their quality, stability, width and tonal function for maximum effect.

If you want to create harmonic progressions with depth and nuance, sevenths are an ideal place to begin. There are numerous kinds of sevenths available and each type serves different functions and has unique qualities.

Major Triads

Triads provide an effective means of creating rhythmically complex basslines. Each triad consists of three notes – its root note, major third note and perfect fifth.

Depending on the intervals from root to third and third to fifth, triads have different qualities depending on which major or minor chord they use for the third chord; majors sound “happy”, while minor chords sound sadder; diminished triads can be quite scary while augmented triads possess an air of mystery or fantasy.

Major triads do not change in different keys; for instance, those consisting of do (1)(1) will always be major triads. Minor triads are represented with lowercase “mi” after each capital letter of their root; diminished triads feature an “o” at their end; while augmented triads feature octaves or plus signs following them.

A triad can be written in multiple inversions, including second and third inversions. When written as a second inversion, its lowest note represents by its bass symbol (6 or 4) rather than by the original root note!

Major Sevenths

Major 7ths can be found in advanced music as well as jazz and blues pieces. To form this chord, add the seventh note from your scale to a major triad composed of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes in your scale – and add that to a major 7th chord for a powerful sound!

Major Sevenths can be easily constructed. Simply begin with playing a major triad from your chosen key in root position and add the seventh note from your scale for an effective chord sequence.

Once that has been accomplished, move that top C down a half step so it becomes the B note in your scale – this will create the appearance on your keyboard of CMaj7 (C, E, G & B).