Major Chords Cheat Sheet

Apart from major chords, you may also encounter other less familiar types. A diminished chord consists of four notes separated by a minor third while a dominant 7 chord builds upon this structure by shifting down one fifth step and changing only its fifth note to form an altered fifth tone.

This guitar cheat sheet will show you each shape in an easy to understand format. Plus, subscribe to our Instagram and Facebook accounts for even more music theory charts!


Scales are integral components of understanding keys. You must know what notes make up each scale to understand which chords fit into it.

Here you can see keyboard images of all Major scales. For instance, A Major has C as its root note and E and G as its notes – all three fit nicely into C Major chord as seen below.

Minor scales share this trait when looking at their interval pattern; for instance, A minor is different than Natural Minor in that each step skips one note between steps.

Understanding chord numbering patterns is vital if you wish to compose chords of any key. Once familiarized with them, memorizing each chord becomes much simpler without needing to consider their numbering system every time you play or sing along with a piece.


Triads form the backbone of most chord progressions. A triad is defined as three harmonizing notes consisting of a root note, third note and fifth note that can be built up or down through various means; or they may even be altered through shifting positions within its grouping.

Quality in triads is determined by the distance between its root note and both third and fifth notes, respectively. There are four varieties of triads; major, minor, diminished and augmented which correspond with each note that begins its composition.

To create a major triad, begin with any note and add major thirds and perfect fifths above it until it forms a triad. If your chord contains flattened fifths or diminished fifths, additional accidentals must be used to ensure the key signature matches before stacking the notes to form it; when written on staff this resembles snowperson-shaped formation with root note at bottom and two additional notes stacked above that.

7th Chords

Add depth and richness to your chords by including a 7th note – these chords are known as dominant seventh chords or “dom7 for short”. To create them you take a major triad and add a minor seventh on top – creating dissonant sounds which can be used for dramatic effects.

Names for chords don’t need to include “seventh” or “dominant”, rather they can simply be determined by the relationship between third and seventh intervals; for instance Cmaj7 chords feature minor sevenths while C dominant seven chords feature major sevens as they differ by interval relationship and quality.

Discover how to create chords by stacking two thirds onto the root and evaluating how the interval relationship with the tonic affects each chord’s quality – this technique also makes possible the creation of more advanced seventh chords such as diminished and half-diminished sevenths chords.

Chord Extensions

Chord extensions add extra notes to a chord, which can make it sound larger and more harmonically interesting while simultaneously increasing tension or emotion in its progression.

Chord extensions are frequently designated with numbers like 9, 11, or 13 to distinguish them from the other intervals in a scale. By adding one sharp to a Cmaj7 chord extension, Cmaj7#11 creates an intense and dramatic soundscape.

As soon as you start playing an extended chord, its number of additional notes may change and require adjustment in order to create a balanced sound. Furthermore, you might need to alter its sound by sharpening or flattening its individual notes in order to find harmony within it.

Extended chords can add an intriguing sound and mood to your music, and can be utilized across various genres and styles. They may take some getting used to; therefore it’s essential that they’re practiced regularly to gain a feel for how they sound.

major chords cheat sheet

Chords are composed of three or more notes and understanding their formation is key for playing any song successfully. With this list of all 12 major chords as a starting point, you have everything you need to start creating them and expanding on them further.

This free cheat sheet and guitar method eBook offers neck diagrams for practicing drop 2 dominant 7 chord shapes. Additionally, it explains their relationships to minor seventh chords.

Major Triads

As the first step toward hearing major triads, practice hearing the interval between root and third. Listen until it becomes clearly audible; then move onto listening for fifth interval triads until you can tell apart major from minor versions with identical root chords.

Major triads can be constructed using any note in the major scale. Triads rooted on do, re and sol (1, 4, and 5)5 are major, while those built around mi and la (1.5 and 2) are minor.

A triad is defined by its combination of root-third and root-fifth intervals, with major chords consisting of triads whose roots lie on degrees I through V; minor chords formed at degree VII may or may not qualify. For identification of major chords see Scale Chord Summary chart above.

Minor Triads

Minor triads consist of three notes – a root note, minor third note and perfect fifth – combined together in either an open or closed voiced configuration (for more details see Chord Shapes).

As with major triads, inverted chords allow you to create new shapes. An inversion occurs by shifting the middle note up an octave; this creates a distinctive sound while also emphasizing altered tones such as those associated with b9s and #111s in your chord.

To create a minor triad, write its root note on a staff and then draw an inverted snowperson with three adjacent notes a third and fifth above it. Add any necessary accidentals from key signature if needed and now the triad should be written as A – C – E.

Circle of Fifths

The circle of fifths is one of the core concepts in music theory that should be grasped quickly and efficiently, helping you understand how different keys relate to one another and facilitate chord progressions efficiently and quickly.

Each key on the circle has an adjacent minor key that corresponds to its left and right side, providing information that will assist with finding chords that work well within that key and help modulate to another key by using one of its minor chords.

To use the Circle of Fifths, begin at C major and count upward to G on your keyboard, this will reveal a series of sharps (or flats if going in reverse direction) in that key (or its reverse order – this allows you to memorize it) within that key; or memorize its order by counting up or down; alternatively you could make up an amusing memory aid like, for instance: “Father Christmas Gave My Dad an Electric Blanket”, for an effective and heartwarming mnemonic for sharps (or use any creative phrase reverse) that can help remember their order – something like “Father Christmas Gave My Dad An Electric Blanket” is useful and heartwarming; alternatively create your own memorable phrase that can help identify its order within any key;

Key Signatures

A key signature defines whether or not a song uses sharps and flats, and informs which notes should be played as sharp or flat. There are various methods for identifying this signature in music; one simple method involves counting how many sharps or flats there are and going up or down one semitone from their last appearance to discover its key.

If a music score contains two sharps and you increase by three semitones, you will reach D Major (which is related to C Major since both keys feature sharps).

The circle of fifths provides a useful logical way of identifying keys. Each key moves one perfect fifth clockwise from its predecessor; starting with C Major (which does not contain sharps or flats), each step clockwise adds one sharp to its key signature – this makes perfect sense, given how major scales work.