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Piano Major Chords

Piano major chords consist of 12 chords. There are different enharmonic names, but there are only twelve major chords in piano and in music.  As a result, there are only 12 major keys in music.  Visit the circle of fifths to learn more.

Below is an excellent visual for how each chord is voiced on the piano. For more in depth instruction visit Learn to Play Piano.

Piano Major Chords

In the above diagram you see all twelve chords on the staff and voiced on the piano.  The black and yellow print is the name of the chord.  The purple writing spells out each chord.  I have also laid out the chords and their spellings in order below.

These chords are also called triads because they are made up of 3 notes.

D MAJ - D-F#-A
E MAJ - E-G#-B
A MAJ - A-C#-E
Db MAJ - Db-F-Ab
Eb MAJ - Eb-G-Bb
Ab MAJ - Ab-C-Eb
Gb MAJ - Gb-Bb-Db
B MAJ - B-D#-F#
Bb MAJ - Bb-D-F

Enharmonic just means that a chord or note can have a different name because of the key you're in, but it's still the same chord. The enharmonic names for the above chords are:

C=B#, F=E#, Db=C#, Eb=D#, Ab=G#, Gb=F#, B=Cb, Bb=A#, E=Fb

Major 7th Chords, Dom 7th Chords & 6th Chords

You can add scale tones to your triads to create Maj7 chords, Dominant 7 chords and 6th chords.  These are 4 note chords.

A Major 7th Chord is adding the actual 7th note of the scale on to the triad.  For example, C Maj is C-E-G.  The 7th note of a C Major Scale is B.  So C Maj7 is spelled C-E-G-B.

A Dominant 7th Chord is adding the flat 7(b7) of the scale on to the triad.  In C Major that would be Bb.  So C Dominant 7 or just C7 is spelled C-E-G-Bb.

A 6th Chord is just adding the 6th note of the scale on to the triad. In C Major that would be A.  So C6 is spelled C-E-G-A.

Once you understand what notes are in each key it becomes easier to build chords.  Visit the circle of fifths for how keys are built.

More tips on major piano chords .... enjoy!

Continue to Piano Minor Chords

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