Major Chords For Piano

Major chords for piano can be found across a wide variety of music genres, lending each track an upbeat, cheerful sound. Furthermore, major chords provide a good starting point to explore various voicing and improvisation techniques.

A major chord consists of three notes stacked atop each other, where each note’s interval from its root tone (or scale tone) determines its value in the chord.


Root chords form the basis for all major piano chords, serving as their cornerstone. A chord consists of stacking notes grouped into intervals made up of whole and half steps.

Assuming you use G as your root note, the first chord you would play would be a G major triad. A major triad consists of its root note (G), major third (four half steps up from root note), and perfect fifth (7 half steps above major third).

This chord progression can be found throughout Classical music, as well as pop songs like Erskine Hawkins’ “Lean on Me.” Understanding this simple progression opens up endless opportunities when playing and singing classical or contemporary music – not to mention experiencing all the joy that major chords bring!


When playing a major chord, its root note must remain at the bottom position, with any combination of notes above it (even doubled ones!) that retain its identity without altering its structure. A minor chord works similarly; we’ll discuss that later.

Second, be aware that major triads feature both major thirds on the bottom and minor thirds on top, connected by a perfect fifth in between for maximum sound effect that represents happiness and strength.

To better comprehend intervals, visualize traveling from C to E: this journey takes two whole steps, which explains why C major triads contain C as their root note. By contrast, minor chords typically feature one-and-a-half steps from C to E for a unique sound that’s associated with melancholic feelings or sounds.


When playing major chords on piano, their fifth will always be four half steps above their root note. This is because every major scale contains different root notes but shares the same number of half steps between its tones; so every major chord sounds identical regardless of which note serves as its root note.

Once you’ve added your root, major third, and perfect fifth chords together, you will have a basic chord structure which can be applied across a variety of genres of music. From there on out, additional tones may be added gradually.

Addition of more tones can produce more distinctive chord tones and alter its overall sound, for instance the C major chord will turn into G major when added a minor third over its perfect fifth note – similar to how 7th chords are created; this process is known as Circle of Fifths and provides you with an invaluable resource for learning new music and creating it yourself!


Addition of a seventh note to a major chord produces a full and rich sound, so it is used in many classical pieces, jazz music, and modern piano songs. You will often see this technique used before the final chord in songs is reached; its designation in sheet music usually reads as either M7, Maj7 or Maj. The number next to its symbol represents where on the scale to add this seventh chord using root note as reference point.

Minor 11 and diminished chords are two other chords commonly found in major keys that can be utilized. A minor 11 chord can be constructed by taking a minor 9 chord and adding one extra note, while diminished chords often contain dissonant sounds that must eventually resolve into either major or minor chords. Practice these chords and their inversions to gain knowledge and understand how they work and sound.