Major Chords Chart

major chords chart

Major chords form the backbone of many classic songs and will likely be your first chords to learn. Major chords consist of three notes from the major scale.

Western music primarily bases itself around major and minor keys for harmony purposes.


A chord scale is the collection of notes that make up either a major or minor key. The first note in any chord scale is known as its tonic, or keynote note; all other notes within that scale are organized around it. Each interval between adjacent notes is known as a half-tone (or semitone).

Sharps or flats may be added to a scale’s notes to create different scales, altering its overall sound. When sharps are added they should be written as # and when flats are introduced they should be written as b.

Major chords can be extended by adding either an 11th or 13th tone, creating what are known as dominant seventh and dominant eleventh chords respectively, which are commonly associated with rock music. When extended further with an added ninth tone – C9 for example – dominance becomes dominant seventh or dominant eleventh, along with minor seventh.


Triads are three note chords. As the most basic chord structure, they’re comprised of just three notes connected by three intervals: from scale degrees up through to fifth degrees on either end. Their quality as major, minor, or diminished depends on whether these intervals exist between root to third note and fifth note – major = three note interval, minor = two note interval between root to third and fifth note respectively.

Quality in triads can also be determined by inversion and bass figure; for instance, a major chord with its first inversion (with third placed in bass position and gap maintained between second and fifth notes) is known as Cmaj7 chord.

With the major scale and triads, you can build chords on every degree of the scale. Roman numerals indicate each chord type; for instance I is used to refer to one constructed at scale degree 1 of G major. Roman numerals also provide information regarding its type and quality.

Suspended Chords

Suspended chords are an effective way to add tension and excitement to your songs. Created by dropping the third note of a chord and replacing it with either an interval from either its second or fourth note, suspended chords produce dissonant sounds that bridge minor and major soundscapes while not quite falling under either category.

These chords, though still triads, have more dramatic sound and are commonly used as key transitions.

Sus chords, also referred to as sus chords, feature a note which remains suspended and waiting to be resolved. Chords where the third note has been replaced with either two notes (Asus2) or four (Sus4) tend to resolve up or down; typically major or minor chords resolve upward while sus2s reverse direction downward – however this all depends on what chord progression you use them with.


Major chords can be altered in various ways to create novel and intriguing sounding chords, typically by adding one or more variations, such as Cadd6 or Csus2. When adding an added sixth (such as to Cadd6) it is known as suspended chord and should not contain major third (such as an open G7 chord) which would render it regular major chord.

Add5.Adding a fifth to a major chord is another common practice, often producing Led Zeppelin-inspired sounds.This process is typically known as an add5.

Build chord progressions using the basic stock chords listed above. Being familiar with alternate voicings allows for spontaneity while performing; your brain’s filing cabinet comes in handy! For instance, Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba progression can easily be modified using power chords for greater spontaneity on stage!