Major Chords For Piano

major chords for piano

C is one of the easiest major chords to create on a piano, starting from any white key root note and counting seven half steps up from there.

The next two notes represent third and fifth intervals; chords are always named by their root note.

Major and minor chords work harmoniously together, yet serve different functions. Minor chords add moody tension while major ones provide happier tones that create upbeat songs.


A chord’s root note serves as its basis; typically the first, third and fifth notes from any major scale but it could also be any other note altogether. However, due to interval stacking techniques used to form the chords themselves and distant fundamental notes forming these intervals; its low note often does not match its root note exactly (and may even differ by sharps and flats).

Chord inversions exist to alter the sound of chords – by switching up their order, chord inversions can create more tension or simply alter its overall sound. There are four primary chord types found in piano: major, minor, diminished and augmented chords each offering their own flavor yet sharing similar structures that allow musicians to compose beautiful songs – with major triad being one such popular structure with three tones (root tone, major third tone and major fifth).


A major triad is formed by using notes one, four and five from a scale in order to form the third chord in any major key key. It contains the first three scale degrees; thus it’s commonly referred to as such.

When written on sheet music, major chords will typically have their root note identified and quality described (such as sharp (#) or flat (b). Capital letters indicate it as a major chord; lower case indicates it as minor chord.

A major key third chord always features its major third four half steps higher than its root note; this key feature gives this chord its characteristic sound. To locate this third from its root note, move up the scale four semitone steps (in this instance four half steps) until E is found; add this note with its major third to create a chord and add its root note to complete it; this process is known as second inversion.


The fifth chord is one of the most often utilized major triads, featuring all the same intervals as a major scale and therefore can be played in any key. But unlike its fellow major chords, its middle tone always falls half a step below that of its tonic note, creating an overall more minor sounding chord.

Addition of tones adds depth and variety to these chords, and some of the most commonly used tones include 6, 7, and 9. These numbers correspond with notes measured up from the root using scale measurements counting it as one note.

Other common additions include suspension chords (which replace one tone with another) and major thirteenths, often written Cmaj13. While the latter might create dissonant moves that must eventually resolve back into major chords, its use should be done sparingly to achieve optimal results.


Start songs off on an unexpected note by playing major-to-minor progressions – they often create dramatic mood shifts! Play C-G-Am chord progressions at the end of songs to observe its impact.

Sometimes you may encounter chords that Finale does not recognize (for instance a Gmaj7), in these instances using another system can help create a chord suffix that Finale recognizes as specific chords; teaching Finale the new chord as described under How to teach Finale new chords will work as well.

Keep in mind that the keyboard shortcuts “b” (for flat) and “#” (SHIFT+3) allow you to quickly add common chord characters without using chord symbols Finale recognizes, such as flat and SHIFT+3. They should be treated as regular text characters since you often combine fonts when typing chords into your score.