Major Chords Cheat Sheet

An easy way to remember which note makes up a major chord is its root, third and fifth tones – however there may be other considerations such as inversions that make transitioning easier between chords.

An altered seventh is created when the seventh note is lowered by half step to create a minor seventh chord, as in this example. Additionally, diminished and augmented chords may also exist.

Root Note

Root notes of chords serve as the base upon which all intervals in their chord are constructed, making identifying these important notes essential when reading sheet music or chord diagrams.

Root notes of most chords form patterns that can be recognized across the fretboard, such as E minor chords with their roots located on strings 1, 2, and 6. This triangle pattern makes recognizing each chord much simpler.

It can be helpful to rewrite chords as stacks of thirds to quickly and accurately determine their root notes and qualities, without needing to completely rewrite an entire chord in order to identify its function and quality. Rewriting as stacks allows you to see which note is lowest quickly.

Major Third

A major third (abbreviated M3) is an interval composed of two notes that are four semitones apart – two whole steps apart in musical terms. It is one of the most consonant intervals within any chord and forms an essential element in all major open triads.

The major third is an integral component of the major scale and should therefore be understood through interval notation rather than by using your suggested notation, which does not account for scale degrees and their relationship.

Intervals can be measured both on the staff and keyboard in half steps. Since a major second is defined as two half steps plus two generic seconds, C to D constitutes one such interval – making it easier to remember that four consecutive half steps make up a major third distance.

Major Fifth

As you progress clockwise on a circle of fifths, each key that comes along contains one more sharp (or flat). This is due to how keys on this circle move in increments of fifths; whenever one perfect fifth increases requires adding an additional sharp or flat.

Start in C major without any sharps or flats, move to G major by adding just one sharp (F#). This opens up many closely related keys without needing accidentals – perfect for creating melodies!

Minor Third

If you want to create chords with a minor sound, it is essential that you understand what a minor third sounds like. Although not often used in minor chords, when used it can create a unique sound.

Intervals can be divided into four broad categories, which are major, minor, augmented and diminished. Seconds through fifths may only exhibit major characteristics while for fourths, sixths and sevenths the term “perfect” may be used instead.

To determine whether an interval is major or minor, begin by counting the semi-tone steps and then determine the size and position of its bottom note in terms of major scale position. Finally, imagine its equivalent top note being part of that same major scale and assign its quality accordingly.

Minor Fifth

Knowledge of how to use the Circle of Fifths is invaluable when creating chord progressions. It allows you to visualize the order of chords based on a key, giving you the power to create variations of popular songs with ease.

To locate a circle of fifths for any key, count the lines and spaces on a treble or bass clef to ascertain its size. Imagine the bottom note is the tonic note in a major scale scale, then determine its interval quality by counting how many lines or spaces it shares with it.

Always remember that contracting an interval by a half step converts perfect intervals into minor ones and major intervals into diminished ones. For instance, in C major, creating a vii dim 7 triad can be done by lowering the third of your dominant seventh chord by half step to form C-E-G chord.