How to Play a Cmaj7 Chord on the Piano

Major Seventh Chords

Let’s look at how to play a Cmaj7 chord on the piano. We’ll also learn the pattern for building any major seventh chord.

What Are Major 7th Chords?

A major seventh chord is a major chord with an added note. The added note is the seventh note of the matching major scale.

To build a major seventh chord, we’ll start by building a major chord. Major chords are built using the first, third and fifth notes of the matching major scale. So to build a C major chord, we’ll play the first, third and fifth notes of the C major scale.

Then to convert the major chord into a major seventh chord, we’ll add the seventh note of the matching major scale. So to convert a C major chord into a Cmaj7 chord, we’ll add the seventh note of the C major scale.

piano chords printable charts

Chord Types Printable

Learn to play 17 types of piano chords using 12 different root notes with this 34-page PDF! Chords are sorted both by their root note (C, D, E, etc.) and type (major, minor, augmented, diminished, etc.).

How to Play a Cmaj7 Chord

Now let’s build a Cmaj7 chord on the piano. We’ll start by building a C major chord using the first, third and fifth notes of the C major scale: C – E – G

Then we’ll add the seventh note of the C major scale, B.

So to play a Cmaj7 chord on the piano, we’ll play:

C – E – G – B

cmaj7 chord piano

You can use this pattern to build any major seventh chord. Just play a major chord and add the seventh note of the matching major scale!

Chord Fingering

To play the Cmaj7 chord with your right hand, use fingers 1 – 2 – 3 – 5. With the left hand, use fingers 5 – 3 – 2 – 1 (thumbs are 1’s).

Other Seventh Chords

Since there are different types of seventh chords, it can help to compare their differences:

Seventh chords are major chords with an added note. The added note is the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step.

So a C7 chord is: C – E – G – B♭

Major seventh chords are major chords with an added note. The added note is the seventh note of the matching major scale.

So a Cmaj7 chord is: C – E – G – B

Minor seventh chords are minor chords with an added note. The added note is the seventh note of the matching major scale, lowered 1/2 step.

So a Cm7 chord is: C – E♭ – G – B♭

Other Chord Types

Some of the other chord types you can learn are:

Major
Minor
Augmented
Diminished
Second
Minor second
Fifth
Suspended
Sixth
Minor sixth
Seventh
Minor seventh
Ninth
Minor ninth
Major ninth

Conclusion

One of the great things about chords is they can be used to play all styles of music. They also leave so much room for creativity and personal expression. There are many types of chords, so as you continue learning, the possibilities keep growing!

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6 Comments

  1. Nelson

    Hello Miss Julie Swihart..! Thank you very much for taking your precious time to give us a hand in climbing the piano learning ladder which is a bit awkward when you don’t want to advance and you can’t afford a piano teacher. Step by step we are walking the path of knowledge and practice until we know and understand this great instrument, the base of all musical instruments, thank you infinitely. I ask heaven, the Universe and all the suns, manifestations of the great Creator God, to illuminate every step of your life for all eternity, so be it and so it is.

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      I’m glad it’s helpful and that you’re learning more and more about the piano!

  2. Pat C

    Great stuff! Inspiring as always

    Reply
  3. Kostas

    You have a great gift. You are great teacher.

    Reply
    • Julie Swihart

      Thank you for the encouraging message!

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